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SolaraGuy.com • View topic - How to bleed your braking system.
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How to bleed your braking system.

How to bleed your braking system.

Postby BChad200 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:21 pm

Brake fluid might be the most overlooked fluid when it comes to maintenance. Well that and power steering.... Anyway changing/bleeding your brake system is a relatively easy job you can do yourself. An easy rule of thumb is to just do it whenever you replace your pads. Anyway, this is strictly how to bleed your brakes. If you wanna know how to replace your pads hit me up and I'll post on that too.

1. Jack up the car and support it safely with jackstands on all four lift points. (Look for the tab with two notches in it behind the front wheel and in front on the rear wheel along the pinch weld.)

2. Remove the wheel lugs and wheels. (Note if you don't have an impact wrench break your lugs loose before you raise the car.

3. Now that you have the wheels off you can get started. Our cars don't have bleeders on the master cylinder (which is convenient). In order to shave a little time I have a small hand pump ($4 at advance) I stick into the master cylinder reservoir to pump out the old fluid as best I can. Once you've pumped out as much fluid as possible into a suitable container top off the reservoir and replace the cap.

4. Now the you have mostly fresh brake fluid in the master cylinder you can begin the actual bleeding process. Begin at the passenger side rear. You always want to start at the wheel furthest from the master cylinder and work your way forward. (Rear pass; rear driver; front pass; front driver)

5. Locate the bleeder valve. It should be on the inside of the caliper near the hose (or the rear of the drum assembly). Probably has a little rubber cap on it unless your has since dry rotted and fallen off.

6. Determine what size box wrench you will need. I don't remember the size as its been a while since I've messed with it. Put it on the bleed but DO NOT LOOSEN yet. Also, place a small piece of hose of the end of the bleeder and stick the other end in whatever container your old fluid is going into. Maybe 3/16-1/4" diameter and about 6 inches long.

7.1 This is the part where a buddy to help is extremely helpful. If you don't have friends refer to 7.2 haha. Have your friend sit in the car and depress the pedal at your command. Once they are in place break the bleeder valve loose (half turn) and tell them to depress the pedal and hold it down until you tighten to bleeder back. (THIS IS IMPORTANT) If they let off the pedal with the bleeder open you'll suck air into the braking system which you'll have to bleed even more to get it all out.

Once the bleeder is tight they can release the pedal and repeat the process. Do each corner 2 or 3 times to get fresh brake fluid flowing through the line. Top off the master cylinder periodically throughout the process the keep it full.


7.2 If doing this procedure alone it will take a little longer and you'll have to get up and down a bunch but it is doable. This method is also a good idea on an older car since you are fully extending the master cylinder and older cars might not be able to take it potentially causing a master cylinder leak. So if you're cautious you can use this method as well.

Anyway, with the car off pump the pedal up til it is firm. Walk around and open the valve and allow the fluid to come out. Close....go pump up and pedal and do it again. In this case I would do each corner 3-5 times since you're getting less fluid per opening of the valve.


8.1 Repeat this process for all four corners working your way closer to the M/C. Once you finish at the front drivers corner you're all done. You might want to start the car before you put it down to check pedal pressure.


9. Put your wheels back on lower the car and you're all set.

Disclaimer it's not my fault if you do this wrong. If you got questions feel free to hit me up and finally sorry I don't have pics. This was a spur of the moment write up. Thanks!
2000 Solara SE V6 5 speed- driven for fun
1994 Mazda B3000 SE Cab Plus 2wd Auto- driven for everything else
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Postby nemoxfishy » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:12 pm

Very nice and detailed tutorial...
THX!!!
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Postby Chinky420 » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:13 am

nice...now i know what i need to do when i get around to installing SS brake lines
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Postby pbartosz » Sun May 03, 2009 9:06 am

thanks for posting this tutorial I followed it and would like to emphasize a few points.

the hose I used to attach to the bleeder valve was 3/16" fuel line that is pretty stretchable.

and dont let Brake fluid in reservoir get below Min. if it does you will be pumping air into the brake lines and will have to start over again from that passenger side rear wheel. (I learned the hard way, and I only had 2 jack stands)
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Postby solara90 » Sun May 03, 2009 1:18 pm

also don't reuse the old brake fluid you pump out into your container, even if its all clean!
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