Introduction: Bleeding Brake Lines - Quick, Effective and Messy.

Picture of Bleeding Brake Lines - Quick, Effective and Messy.

I recently put a new oxygen sensor in my wife's car and now it's very zippy according to her words. Now the lackluster brakes performance is becoming a huge problem.

For her vehicle, bleeding the brakes lines is a 2 person job. For the first time in human history, she has relented to my plea of assistance to help me work on her vehicle brakes. Women have it hard in any relationship, they are the backbone of a successful one. Men however have it the worst when it comes to maintaining a woman's vehicle.

Step 1: Getting the Bleed Sequence Right.

Picture of Getting the Bleed Sequence Right.

The typical sequence for bleeding an abs brake system is farthest to nearest relative to the brake reservoir then for the not as long brake lines, far to near.

Therefore for her right hand drive vehicle it is, RL FR RR FL.

I didn't bother removing the tires. When dealing with a reluctant assistant, time is of the essence!

Step 2: Topping Up the Brake Reservoir.

Picture of Topping Up the Brake Reservoir.

It's important to have the brake reservoir full for this job. It will have to be monitored constantly during the bleeding process.

A fresh bottle of dot3 fluid was used. Never reuse an open bottle. This is why it is better to buy smaller bottles than large ones.

For this job I used an entire 250ml bottle.

Step 3: Accessing the Rear Bleed Screws.

Picture of Accessing the Rear Bleed Screws.

I crawled under the car to get to the rear bleed screws. A 10mm spanner was used.

Step 4: Accessing the Front Bleed Screws.

Picture of Accessing the Front Bleed Screws.

I used the car jack to lift the front. It actually wasn't necessary but it helped. I locked the steering onto the side I worked on.

Step 5: The Actual Bleeding.

Picture of The Actual Bleeding.

Here I had my Wife mash the brake pedal with the engine running and I loosened the bleed screw to allow fluid out. I closed the screw shut and kindly asked her to repeat the mash. For each brake I had her mash 4 times to get enough old fluid and air bubbles out.

It is important to monitor the level in the reservoir. I repeatedly top up after each brake line.

Step 6: Testing!

Picture of Testing!

Bleeding brake lines are all good and messy but driving the vehicle is important after the job. Right in the garage is fine to ensure the hydraulics are working.

With the engine running, the brake pedal is pumped several times, the fluid level checked and the car put into reverse or drive. My wife was shocked at how firm the brakes stopped the vehicle.

A short test drive in the neighborhood is recommended to really test the refreshed brake system.

Job successful done and no more yapping about soft brakes.


kevinchankersingh (author)2015-11-15

Excellent post...i will def try it if i can get my even more unwilling assistant help

Hahaha. Good one.

MadRiverSolo (author)2015-11-15

Great job explaining a task that we all should be doing ourselves. If you put a clear hose over the nipple of the bleeder valve, A- you can collect the break fluid in a container instead of the floor, B- watch the bubbles when you open the valve, when the bubbles are gone you know that all the air is out of the line..

Yup thanks. It's how I do it with my car. This case was different.

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Bio: As of April 2017 I have decided to no longer post on instructables. The fact that several of my published works have been removed without ... More »
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