See Figures 1 and 2
The purpose of bleeding the brakes is to expel air trapped in the hydraulic system. The system must be bled whenever the pedal feels spongy, indicating that compressible air has entered the system. It must also be bled whenever the system has been opened, repaired or the fluid appears dirty. You will need a helper for this job.
- The sequence for bleeding is right rear, left rear, right front and left front. If the car has power brakes, remove the vacuum by applying the brakes several times. Do not run the engine while bleeding the brakes.
- Clean all the bleeder screws. You may want to give each one a shot of penetrating solvent to loosen it; seizure is a common problem with bleeder screws, which then break off, sometimes requiring replacement of the part to which they are attached.
- Fill the master cylinder with good quality brake fluid.
Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. Don't leave the master cylinder or the fluid container uncovered any longer than necessary. Be careful handling the fluid; it eats paint. Check the level of the fluid often when bleeding and refill the reservoirs as necessary. Don't let them run dry or you will have to repeat the process.
- Attach a length of clear vinyl tubing to the bleeder screw on the wheel cylinder. Submerge the other end of the tube into a clear, clean jar half filled with brake fluid.
- Have your assistant slowly depress the brake pedal. As this is done, open the bleeder screw 3 / 4 of a turn and allow the fluid to run through the tube. Then close the bleeder screw before the pedal reaches the end of its travel. Have your assistant slowly release the pedal. Repeat this process until no air bubbles appear in the expelled fluid.
- Repeat the procedure on the other three brakes, checking the level of fluid in the master cylinder reservoir often.
- Upon completion, check the brake pedal for sponginess and the brake warning light for unbalanced pressure. If necessary, repeat the entire bleeding procedure.