Ever wondered why your brakes won’t bleed? Find it difficult to get your car slowing down? If you’ve experienced any of these problems, chances are you’ll need to bleed your brakes.
But what happens if your brakes won’t bleed?
Brakes won’t bleed because the screws are stuck, or the braking fluid needs to be replaced. If this occurs, take out the previous braking fluid and install the newer one through the help of a mechanic.
By the end of this article, you’ll have the information needed to bleed your brakes properly. That way, you can fully utilize your vehicle and enjoy its longevity.
Why Won’t Brakes Bleed?
If you are not noticing any brake fluid coming out of the brake caliper, it’s a sign of a potentially major problem. While brake bleeding is a simple job, it has to be done correctly. If it’s done incorrectly, you won’t notice any brake fluid coming out once it’s bleeding.
Your brakes use hydraulic systems to operate. When the brake pedal is pressed, the fluid is sent through the calipers. Over time, the fluid is absorbed, and it becomes dirty, reducing your car’s effectiveness.
Brake bleeding or brake fluid replacement is when the old fluid is swapped out for a newer fluid. This will take your mechanic only a few hours to complete this operation. Here are some examples of why your brakes aren’t bleeding:
- ABS System Scan Tools: Scan tools are a program that changes your ABS modulator valves. Once the valves are correctly positioned, they will bleed your brake system. However, not all systems won’t be bled through a scan tool.
- Air Module: If air gets in your ABS modulator, the brake systems will bleed with no issues. Other modulating systems need a shop or dealer to use scan tools to bleed your brakes.
- ABS vs. Non-ABS System: A non-ABS system is easier to bleed. ABS systems can bleed as long as the ABS Modulator doesn’t have any air inside of it.
Before you bleed your brakes, you’ll have to determine how difficult it will be. That way, you can take your vehicle to the shop if it’s too complex. If you have a simple process, you can bleed the brakes yourself.
Brake Bleeding is a direct process. To do it, simply use your foot to pump the brake pedal. This ensures that the air is forced out and purifies your brakes. If you notice any grinding sounds in your brakes, chances are it hasn’t bled properly.
On average, you should bleed your brakes once every 2 years. If you drive a Toyota extensively, you’ll have to bleed them annually. Look at your car’s owner’s manual and look at the maintenance schedule.
Usually, you’ll have to replace your front brake pads before the rear ones. Inspect your car once it’s parked. If you notice any metal shavings, chances are your brake pads are grinding onto the discs.
What Happens If The Brake Fluid Doesn’t Bleed?
Over time the brake fluid absorbs moisture. Like all car parts, it can get dirty. You’ll see the fluid turn brown instead of clear when this happens. If the brakes become too hot, the fluid will start to boil. This will introduce gas into a closed system.
These conditions will reduce the brakes’ effectiveness. As a result, you’ll have to push the gas pedal harder to achieve maximum performance. This will lead to reduced braking power.
How to Bleed Brakes?
Bleeding your brakes can range from simple to extremely difficult. If you’re more of a DIYer, here’s how you can bleed brakes at home.
Gather Your Materials
Your car manufacturer provides a screw to aid in bleeding your brakes. It’s located underneath the brake caliper. Check your vehicle’s (i.e. BMW Series 3) manual to find the exact bleed valve you need for this process to run smoothly.
After you’ve found the bleed valve, see what tool is needed to open it. You can open it with the help of a flathead screwdriver. You’re going to need the following things:
- Spanner or Screwdriver to open the bleed valve
- Catch pan (collects the braking fluid)
- Brake fluid that’s manufacturer specified
Drain Out The Brakes
Bleeding is when you empty your car’s brake lines to remove trapped air. Start by taking off the cap of your master cylinder. Then you can undo the screw/bleed valve.
Gravity is the simplest way to bleed out your brakes. However, it will take some time for the brakes to bleed completely. Open up the bleed valve and place a catch can underneath it.
This can be messy because the fluid comes out irregularly. Make sure to clean the area after gravity finishes the brake bleeding process.
Alternatively, pressure can be used to speed up the brake bleeding process. Get a pressurized brake fluid container and attach it to the master cylinder.
Doing so will help force the brake fluid to come out. When you see brake fluid coming out with no bubbles in it, then you’re done.
In addition, you can use your brake pedal for brake bleeding. Once the bleed valve is open, have a friend repeatedly push the brake pedal. Due to the pressure caused by the brake pedal, your brakes will start to bleed faster.
You can even use a vacuum to aid in bleeding your brakes. Make sure you use a vacuum bleeder to ensure the brakes bled effectively.
Refill Your Brake Fluid
When you remove the liquid from the brake lines, refill your system so it can work correctly. One thing to remember: top your brake lines to the specified fluid that the manufacturer recommends.
How do you refill the brake fluid? Start by pouring the brake liquid inside the master cylinder. After the brake fluid comes out of the bleed valve, push your car’s brake pedal while ensuring it’s at the maximum fluid level.
To conclude, brake bleeding is an important part of maintaining your car. When they are not bleeding, you have to replace the older braking fluid. Once your brakes are properly bled, you can continue to enjoy driving on the road.