Bleeding brakes helps restore your vehicle’s brake system to its original state. But in order to properly bleed brakes, you must first determine how long you should bleed them. So, how long does it take to bleed brakes?
Bleeding your brakes takes roughly 10 to 15 minutes for each wheel. Because there are 4 brake lines, bleeding your brakes for the entire vehicle will take about 30 minutes.
It’s simple to do, but you’ll need one person to help you because you’ll need someone to push the brake pedal while you’re doing it.
Read on to find out more about how long it takes to bleed brakes on your vehicle.
How Long Does It Take to Bleed Brakes? [Complete Guide]
Bleeding your brakes takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes for each wheel. Because there are four brake lines, bleeding your brakes for the entire vehicle will take around 30 minutes.
It’s crucial to bleed your brakes if you want your vehicle and brake pedal to work properly. It’s a fairly simple process that may be completed in less than 30 minutes. The steps to bleeding brakes are outlined here:
1. Prepare / Organize the Needed Materials
To bleed your vehicle’s brakes, you’ll need the following materials:
- A can of brake cleaner fluid
- 1 disposable bottle
- 1 clear plastic tubing
- Paper towels
- A bleed block
- 1 combination wrench
- Protective gear
- Bleed kit (including syringe and other materials)
- 4 jack stands or one car lift
- Proper brake cleaner
2. Wear Protective Gear
Because brake fluid is highly corrosive, always wear adequate protective gear, such as thick gloves and an apron. After bleeding, clean up any brake fluid residues, being careful not to get it on your hands or skin.
3. After Removing the Brake Pads, Insert the Bleed Block
Locate the bleeder screw behind each brake. You may use a creeper to make it more comfortable to lie down. To prevent the brake fluid from seeping onto your floor and causing damage, cover it with layers of newspapers.
4. Use a Suitable Wrench to Loosen the Screw
Carefully loosen the screw so that it does not break. Begin by working on the passenger rear brake. Then the driver rear brake, the passenger front brake, and finally the driver’s front brake.
After removing the brake pads, carefully insert the bleed block. Make sure that the bleed blocks are properly and securely inserted.
5. Connect the Syringes & Move the Fluid
Hook up the syringes to the lever and caliper, then transfer the fluid from the caliper to the lever syringe. When you’re using plastic tubing and a disposable bottle, remove the air bubbles in the same way by connecting the hose to the bleeder screw’s end.
Place the other end in a plastic bottle or another suitable container. Next, place the brake fluid to the end of the hose in the jar.
6. Pump the Brake Pedal
This is where you’ll need your friend’s assistance. Request that the person steps on the brake pedal slowly several times, saying whether the pedal is up or down. Open the bleeder screw when the person steps down on the pedal.
7. Air Bubbles & Brake Fluid Will Squirt Out
When you open the bleeder screw, be careful and prepared because brake fluid and air will come out. Remove the air bubbles from the brake fluid and place them in the jar, plastic bottle, or lever syringe. While you’re doing this, your assistant must not release the pedal brake.
When the brake fluid flowing out no longer contains air bubbles but purely brake fluid, you know you’ve removed all air. The hose can then be removed.
8. Close the Bleeder Screw and Tighten It
Close the bleeder screw tightly and properly. Then you can tell your assistant to let go of the brakes. Remove the syringe and wipe away any excess brake fluid.
9. Repeat the Process
Repeat the process until the brake fluid no longer contains any air. Make sure you have enough brake fluid by replenishing the volume that has been lost.
When the person is pressing down on the pedal, open the bleeder screw. Air bubbles will return to the container if your assistant releases the pedal before you can close it.
10. Work on the Rest of the Brake Lines
After bleeding each brake, make sure the fluid level in the master cylinder stays above the indicator line or indicates “full.”
After you’ve removed all the air from each brake line, your brake pedal should no longer feel spongy.
So, how long does it take to bleed brakes? When you become accustomed to the method, it may take you less than 30 minutes.
To learn how to bleed brakes, watch the video below:
When Should You Bleed Brakes?
When your brake lever feels spongy, it’s one of the first indicators that you need to bleed your brakes. If you don’t have a spongy brake lever before a year, you can bleed your brakes once a year.
If your brakes get spongy before the year is up, you must bleed them right away. Ignoring the spongy feel of your brakes could result in an accident.
Brakes Won’t Bleed for Different Reasons
If your brakes didn’t bleed due to faulty procedures, you’d have to spend a lot of time bleeding them. Some of the reasons why your brakes won’t bleed are listed below:
1. Flex Hose Fault
The braking fluid is delivered to the caliper via the flex hose. So, when it is broken, the fluid transfer is disrupted. Determine whether the hose is clogged, corrupted, or leaking. Look for internal hose damage as well.
2. Caliper Fault
Because your caliper is broken, your brakes will not bleed. Its seized sliding pins could be damaged, or the seals could be leaking already.
Since many calipers are free-floating, fixed pins could cause problems. When a caliper does not move when the piston is levered, you know it is fixed in place.
3. Bleed Screw Fault
Forcible pressure has the potential to damage the bleed screw. Use proper tools and proceed with caution when removing the screw. When a screw is damaged, air and moisture can easily get inside.
Corroded bleed screws can also draw air and water in, making bleeding difficult. They could be clogged or rusted as well. So, have a look at these things.
5. Faulty Bleeding Procedure
Double-check that you are bleeding correctly. If you’re unsure about the process, take your car to the nearest motor shop and have it serviced by certified mechanics.
So, how long does it take to bleed brakes? Bleeding the brakes takes roughly 10 to 15 minutes per wheel. Because there are four brake lines, bleeding the brakes for the entire car or truck would take roughly 30 minutes.
4. Incorrectly Fitted Caliper
When fitting calipers, double-check that the right and left calipers are fitted correctly. Problems may arise if you swap one for the other.
The bleed screws will be affected if the calipers are placed incorrectly. The marks on the calipers will tell you whether they are for the right or left. The left caliper is labeled L, while the right caliper is labeled R.
We’ve covered when to bleed brakes and how long it takes to bleed brakes, as well as the reasons why brakes won’t bleed. Let’s now have a look at some brake bleeding tips.
Bleeding Brakes Tips
If you do not know how to do it, bleeding brakes could be a difficult task. The following are some ideas that can help in carrying out your task properly:
1. Secure Your Vehicle Before Doing the Procedure
Place the vehicle in a safe location where it will not roll on the road or collapse. Use jack stands or a car lift to lift the vehicle. Do not remove the wheels so that they can support the car while you’re under it. If the vehicle falls, you don’t want it to pin you down.
2. Ensure That the Master Cylinder Is Full
Before bleeding your brakes, make sure the brake fluid in the master cylinder is full. If it’s not up to par and becomes dry, you’ll have to repeat the process for a longer period of time. Aside from the brake lines, you’ll need to bleed the master cylinder.
3. You Should Clean Up Right Away
Clean up immediately after bleeding each brake to prevent brake fluid from damaging other parts. Brake fluid is toxic, corrosive, and potentially combustible. It can make your machinery or materials more prone to wear and tear.
4. Bleed Each Brake after Pad Replacements
When you replace the brake pads or discs, you must bleed the brake. Some of the old brake fluid will be replaced because of this. You can also change the brake fluid at the same time, allowing you to complete two tasks at once.
5. You Need an Assistant to Bleed the Brakes
While you bleed the brakes, the other person’s job is to apply braking pressure inside the vehicle. You let out the air bubbles when the person hits the brake pedal. You can, however, also perform it on your own.
6. Tap to Dislodge Air Bubbles
The goal of brake bleeding is to remove air bubbles from the brake fluid. Did you know that pressing the caliper to remove trapped air bubbles can help?
Next time you bleed your brakes, give it a shot. However, make sure you tap the caliper with a suitable material firmly yet gently.
7. Pads Must Not Come in Contact with the Brake Fluid
When brake fluid comes into contact with the pads, they become ineffective. Therefore, don’t let this happen. Also, be cautious when changing your brake fluid near the pads. Many things it comes into contact with, including your vinyl flooring and carpets, can be damaged by the fluid.
8. You Can Use Paper Towels Around the Lever and Caliper
Because brake fluid is harmful, it should be cleaned as you go. Using paper towels, wipe the area immediately around and below the lever and the caliper. With each wipe, discard the old towel and replace it with a new one.
To protect your floor, use multiple layers of newspapers. Even a small amount of brake fluid can result in corrosion and damage.
9. Bleed Spongy Brakes
A spongy, mushy, or loose brake lever indicates that air is present in the braking fluid, and bleeding is required. Don’t wait since the damage to your vehicle may worsen.
10. Make Sure to Use the Right Brake Fluid
Make sure you’re using the right brake fluid for your car. Your master cylinder and brake lines would be destroyed if you used the wrong fluid. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s handbook or contact the dealership where you purchased it.
11. Try Gravity Bleeding
Although this process takes a bit longer, it allows you to bleed all four brake lines at the same time. You just have to fill the master cylinder, attach the four brake hoses, and four catch bottles at the same time. You don’t have to pump the brake pedals to start bleeding.
So, how long does it take to gravity bleed brakes? Gravity bleed brakes should take roughly 40 minutes. This procedure takes a little longer than standard brake bleeding.
12. Regularly Replace Brake Fluid (1-man Brake Bleeding)
Your braking fluid will become polluted with water, air, or dirt over time. Replacing it on a regular basis would extend the life of your vehicle. Even if all of the fluids are braking fluids, don’t mix them.
13. Bleed Without an Assistant
The concept is the same – just make sure the catch bottle is above the bleed pipe level. Before you open the bleed screw, make sure the bottle has at least 1/4 of fresh brake fluid in it. Then, press the pedal numerous times until the old brake fluid is completely emptied of air.
Conclusion – How Long Does It Take to Bleed Brakes? [Full Guide to Bleeding Brakes]
Bleeding your brakes should take roughly 10 to 15 minutes for each wheel. Because there are four wheels, bleeding the brakes on the entire vehicle will take about 30 minutes.
The procedure simply involves pressing the pedal, opening the bleeder screw to enable air to escape, closing the screw, releasing the pedal, and repeating the process until all air bubbles in the line brakes have been removed.
Bleeding your brakes will take less time once you’ve become accustomed to the procedure.