Nissan Maxima 1993-1998 Repair Guide

Brake System Bleeding



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 or repaired. You will need a helper for this job.

Be careful! Brake fluid is extremely harmful to painted surfaces. Brake fluid picks up moisture from the air. Don't leave the master cylinder or the fluid container uncovered any longer than necessary. Never reuse brake fluid which has been bled from the brake system.

  1. The sequence for bleeding is as follows:

    Models not equipped with ABS: left rear wheel cylinder, right rear wheel cylinder, left front caliper, right front caliper.
    Model equipped with ABS: left rear caliper or wheel cylinder, right rear caliper or wheel cylinder, left front caliper, right front caliper, ABS actuator.


On models with ABS, be sure to turn the ignition OFF and unplug the actuator connector.

  1. Clean all the bleeder screws. You may want to give each one a shot of a penetrating lubricant to loosen it up; seizure is a common problem with bleeder screws, which then break off, usually requiring replacement of the part to which they are attached.
  3. Fill the master cylinder with DOT 3 brake fluid.

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.

  1. Attach a length of clear vinyl tubing to the bleeder screw on the wheel cylinder (or master cylinder). Insert the other end of the tube into a clear, clean jar half filled with brake fluid.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the rubber caps from the bleeder screws

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Attach the hose and jar to the bleeder screw

  1. Have you helper slowly depress the brake pedal. As this is done, open the bleeder screw 1 / 3 - 1 / 2 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 you assistant slowly release the pedal. Repeat this process until no air bubbles appear in the expelled fluid.

If the brake pedal is depressed too fast, small air bubbles will form in the brake fluid.

  1. Repeat the procedure on the other remaining bleeder screws, checking the level of fluid in the cylinder reservoirs often.
  3. When all the air has been bleed from the system, perform the following steps:
    1. If disconnected, reconnect the actuator.
    3. Pressurize the system and check for leaks.
    5. Check and fill the fluid reservoir.