Bleeding brakes isn’t the most romantic or rewarding of jobs on a car, but it is one of the most important. Lets be honest, without brakes you wouldn’t be able to stop (duh). Most current manufacturers recommend you flush your brake fluid every two years or 20-30,000 miles. If you are a spirited driver, or track your car like me, I like to run new fluid through them after every track weekend.
So how are you going about this job? Taking it to a shop? Coaxing a friend with an iron leg to pump the pedal? Or ignoring the situation and hoping it will bleed itself. None of these are good excuses anymore. There is a better way.
Five years ago, I discovered a revolutionary product (to me) that enabled me to bleed my brakes by myself in a record time. This is the Motive Power Bleeder. The power bleeder can be had for about $50 on Amazon, and should be at the top of every car guys wish list. It looks like a small chemical sprayer with pressure gauge and hose leading off it to a cap that fits on top of your brake reservoir.
The power bleeder works by filling the reservoir or tank with clean brake fluid. You will then screw the attached cap onto your brake fluid reservoir in the car, which has a hose that attaches to the power bleeder. When you pump the bleeder you create a positive pressure inside the tank, which in turn pushes brake fluid into your cars system. Once you have positive pressure built up, you can go around to each brake caliper and crack it open one at a time. The brake fluid and any air bubbles will be pushed out automatically, without the need of a friend pumping the brakes. You can usually bleed all four calipers in under 15 minutes by yourself.
Although the tool is not perfect, it has sure helped me do this unpleasant job by myself many times. I don’t think I can ever go back to the two person method and it has sure saved me a lot of money by not having a shop do it. I encourage you to put this on your next birthday or Christmas list and start bleeding your own brakes!
Now lets get into the instructions:
WARNING: Hydraulic fluid is hazardous. Read and follow fluid manufacturer's warnings. Hydraulic fluid is corrosive and may damage automobile paint or other surfaces. If fluid spills, flush with water immediately. Always wear safety goggles when working with hydraulic fluid.
Ensure the Power Bleeder is clean and free of debris or old hydraulic fluid.
Remove the Power Bleeder pump cap and pour in up to 2 quarts of new fluid from a sealed container. Make sure you use what your manufacturer recommends for your application. Tighten pump cap.
Remove the brake master cylinder reservoir cap and attach the Power Bleeder cap to the master cylinder.
Pressurize the Power Bleeder, but do not exceed 20PSI. (Note higher pressures may damage the vehicles hydraulic system, so we recommend starting at 10-12PSI).
Determine the proper brake bleeding sequence for your car. (Most cars you bleed starting at rear right, then rear left, then front right, and lastly front left).
Attach a bleed tube and bottle to the bleed valve on the brake caliper.
Open the bleed valve until fluid runs clear and free of bubbles.
Tighten the bleed valve to the torque specified in your service manual.
Repeat on each caliper until complete. Pump additional pressure into the Power Bleeder if necessary.
When complete, release pressure of the Power Bleeder by slowly untwisting the pump cap. Remove the cap from the brake master cylinder reservoir and clean any spilled fluid.
Verify correct fluid level, and replace the master cylinder cap on your vehicle.
Check for any leaks before driving the car, and test proper brake operation.
Build It. Race It.
Click to Buy: Motive Power Brake Bleeder