Brakes are the most underrated parts of a vehicle. These components help to halt a car and avoid road carnage since the system work by pushing pressurized fluids.
The brake fluid should be free from air bubbles throughout. The brake systems with air bubbles do experience less pressure that causes spongy-feeling and long stoppage time.
Bleeding the brakes to eliminate air bubbles is highly recommended to prevent spongy feelings and long periods of stop. Do you have to bleed brakes after changing pads?
In short, Yes. you need to bleed brakes after changing pads because it helps to get rid of crud in the braking system. But this usually depends on how you deal with the system. Some people consider opening the bleeder valve and squeeze calipers to change the brake pads.
It would be best to note that opening the bleeder valve on the brake increases the risk of damaging the master cylinder. The best option is to hire a certified professional to undertake this task without ruining the brake master cylinder.
How to Bleed Brakes after Changing Pads?
Bleeding brakes is a no-brainer task and this can be undertaken by anyone. But the task involving the change of brake pads might need the service of a professional.
The purpose is to avoid damaging the brake master cylinder in the long run. Bleeding brakes after changing pads help to remove air bubbles in the lines and prevent the buildup of crud.
The service ensures that the brake systems work according to their standards. Besides that, it helps to prevent brake fluid leakage caused by worn-out pads. Below are steps of bleeding brakes after changing pads:
Locate the Bleed Valve
Most vehicles have a bleeder valve or screw for bleeding the brakes. It occurs at the bottom of the brake caliper assembly. Use your car manual to locate the bleed screw or valve.
Gather Necessary Tools
These vital tools are a flathead screwdriver for opening the bleeder valve, a pan for collecting used brake fluid, and a pressurized container for filling the brake system with new fluid. Drain the Used Fluid Remove the cap on the brake master cylinder and undo the bleed valve. Place the pan below and allow the used fluid to flow by gravity. You can also use a pressurized container to force the fluid out of the brake lines.
Refill the Brake System with New Fluid
Pour the new brake fluid into the master cylinder to the required level. Push the brake pedal enhances the distribution of fluid to the lines. Close the cap of the master cylinder and the bleeder valve by squeezing the calipers back after changing the pads.
Do You Need to Bleed All Four Brakes?
Most vehicles have unique braking systems due to the technological dynamics in the automotive industry. Ultimate care when bleeding the brakes is necessary to avoid further damages.
So, do you need to bleed all four brakes? Yes. It is the best practice to bleed all four brakes after opening one brake line. But if the brake line is independent, there is no need to bleed all four brakes.
The rule of thumb is to identify the brake line of your vehicle and follow the appropriate brake bleeding procedure to fix them. Be sure not to mix incompatible brake fluid into the system.
What Happens If You Don’t Bleed the Brake System?
When the air bubbles get in between the brake lines, the entire system becomes irresponsive. The chances of stopping a car will be futile and might lead to road carnage.
The driver will experience spongy-feeling and longer stopping distances. Bleeding the brake system with air bubbles is highly recommendable. Air bubbles are known for reducing hydraulic pressure and putting a damper on brake performance. Remember to exercise precautions when bleeding the brakes.
Why Are My Brakes Still Spongy after Bleeding?
Spongy brakes can be frustrating, especially after bleeding. Getting to the bottom of the issue is the best option when resolving the spongy feeling. So, why are my brakes still spongy after bleeding? The possible causes are contaminated brake fluid, system leaks, and improper bleeding techniques.
Remaining air bubbles between the brake lines could also be the potential reason behind the spongy feeling after bleeding the brakes. The best solution is to open the bleed nipple and push the caliper piston back into position. It helps to fit the brake pads in the appropriate position and allows the proper flow of air into the system.
Seeking assistance from a professional mechanic to perform this service is the best alternative. The technician will use a vacuum method to resolve the issue without bleeding the brakes again.
Can I Bleed Brakes with Tires on?
Yes. But if you can reach the bleed valve without any challenge. If this is your first time to bleed the brakes, I recommend hiring a certified professional. Taking off the tires makes it easy to reach the bleed nuts. The method is tedious and cumbersome for a beginner.
You are likely to take much time before bleeding the brake system. The advantage of taking off the tires helps to prevent staining them with brake fluid. Besides that, it reduces the risk of brake fluid spillage on the garage floor.
Do You Need to Bleed Brakes after Changing Calipers?
Not really. But if you have the three ABS systems on your vehicle, changing any of the front calipers will be ok to bleed brakes independently. Otherwise, there is no need to bleed the whole system out when changing one caliper. Be sure to use a pinch clamp to prevent the fluid from running out of the master cylinder.
I recommend hiring a certified technician to perform this service. Bleeding brakes after replacing calipers can be challenging for a single person.
Conclusion on Bleeding Brakes after Changing Pads
Bleeding all four brakes after changing the pads happens to be the best practice. Opening the brake lines may allow air to enter the system to cause some troubles. Bleeding the brakes after replacing brake pads helps to eliminate air bubbles from the fluid.
It allows brakes to have normal pressure and perform their function well. Be sure to seek assistance from professional technicians. Bleeding brakes at home is a tedious and cumbersome task for a single individual.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.