Most vehicle models come with unique hydraulic brake systems, which depend largely on regular maintenance to function optimally. Your vehicle needs proper brake fluid maintenance to ensure your brake system last longer.
Your car brake pads press on the rotor and slow down the car every time you push the brake pedal. If you have a well-functioning brake system, you can easily take control of your car even when moving at high speed.
Because of consistent movement, your brake fluid can absorb moisture and air from the atmosphere. It gets contaminated and begins to show some bubbles. The presence of a bubble in the brake fluid hinders the normal functioning of your car hydraulic brake system. When there is air in the brake fluid, your braking will not function more efficiently. Normal brake fluid should be incompressible to function well.
If you have contaminated brake fluid, you have to flush it out and replace it with a new one to boost your brake efficiency. Flushing your brake fluid removes out all the air bubbles improving its overall performance. You can easily tell that your brake fluid flushing was successful if it takes an effort to push the brake pedal.
What is Brake Bleeding?
Brake bleeding or brake purging is a procedure that you perform on your car hydraulic brake system to remove any contaminants and air bubbles in the brake fluid. You simply purge the hydraulic brake pipes and hoses to remove the bubbles.
Depending on your car braking system, usage, and needs, you may have to bleed your brakes regularly just to ensure you are always safe on the roads.
Because brake bleeding is something that vehicle owners do regularly, they are mostly worried about how much they are likely to spend when they opt for quality brake bleeding services.
Is Brake Bleeding that Important?
When you realize your brake pedals going all the way to the floor when you press them, or you realize that the car brake doesn’t work at all, it is a red flag that you should work on the brake fluids. You can simply save your car brake system by bleeding the brakes and replacing the old brake fluid with a new one.
Brake bleeding is a must for any vehicle with a hydraulic brake system. The presence of impurities, moisture, and air bubbles on the brake fluid can compromise the efficiency of your braking system.
The brake fluid should be incompressible to achieve maximum efficiency. However, it becomes compressible when there is a formation of an air bubble. So, yes, it is important to bleed your brakes regularly if you want them to function optimally.
Air finds its way into the brake fluid every time you open the brake fluid reservoir. When allowed there for some time, the air can cause significant damage to your car’s brake system.
You must always remove anything in your car brake fluid that can hinder its normal operation as soon as you notice any inefficiency in the brakes.
A steady and ready flow of brake fluid is necessary to ensure your car braking system is efficient. When you remove all the impurities in your brake fluid, you reduce all the damages to your hydraulic car system.
Ultimate Guide to Bleedinga Brake Fluid
Before you can get to know more about how much you are likely to spend on brake bleeding, you must understand the brake bleeding process. Only then can you figure out the amount of money that you should spend. Let’s jump straight to a step-by-step guide on bleeding car brakes.
Here are the items that you will need to bleed your car brakes properly. You may want to
- A combination wrench that can fit your car bleeder nozzle
- A can of brake fluids
- A cylinder glass jar to put the brake fluid
- Someone to help you with pressing the brake pads
How to Bleed your Car Brakes
- Locate your car’s brake bleeder nozzle. It is normally located behind the car brakes.
- Use a wrench to loosen the screws holding the brake bleeder nozzle.
- Place one end of the hose in the cylinder jar and the other side at the end of the screw.
- Invite your partner to help you pump the brake pedal.
- Open the bleeder screw after pumping the brake pedals for some time.
- Tighten the screws again before you can release the brake pedals. This way, you stop atmospheric air from entering inside the brake fluid again.
- Repeat the procedure as many times as possible until you cannot see any air bubble or impurities in the brake fluid.
Once you’ve removed all impurities and air bubbles, you can proceed to add new brake fluid on the master cylinder. Confirm that the brake fluid reaches the marked level.
You can repeat the above process with all your car brakes to remove all air bubbles and clean the hydraulic brake system. Once you are done with the brake bleeding, you can drive your car around for a mile and test if the brake pedals are working smoothly.
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Best Practices to keep your Vehicle Braking System in Good Shape
Well, it is needless to mention that when on the road, your car brake is very important if you want to arrive safely. It is always important to ensure that your car brake system is in perfect condition, especially if you are a regular road user.
Here are some tips to keep your car brake system efficient:
- Listen and watch all the warning signs that your brakes are giving you. For instance, if you hear any unusual noise or abnormal feeling when you press the brake pedals, it’s a warning sign that you should replace the brake fluid.
- Flush your brake fluid when it changes in color. You can only find out if your car brake fluid is still good by using a testing strip to check it. When you visit your mechanic for an oil change, you can ask them to check the brake fluid.
- Visit an expert automotive technician to replace your brake pads at least once in a year.
- Your car manufacturers provide a maintenance schedule for brake fluid. Follow it to ensure your car brake system works efficiently.
- Change your brake fluid once you cover a distance of at least 50,000 miles. Preferably, replace the brake fluids if you have been using it for the last three years.
- Only use brake fluid that your car manufacturer recommends for your car model.
- Always invest in a quality brake system. It may cost you tons of money, but as long as it lasts longer and requires minimal maintenance, you should not hesitate to have one installed on your vehicle.
- Avoid emergency braking. When driving, you should first slow down before you can apply the brakes. Keep some distance between you and the vehicle in front to avoid emergency braking. This will not only keep you safe on the road but also ensure your brake system last longer.
How much are you likely to spend to bleed your car brakes?
It is a bit challenging to specify the exact amount that you are likely to spend when you opt for bleeding car brakes. This is because there are different car models, and each car model uses a unique brake fluid.
However, you can always add the number of components you need to bleed your car brakes and get an estimated cost. Here is the cost of bleeding your car brakes based on the different components or items that you require.
A combination wrench
Bleeding car brakes require a special type of wrench. Although some motorists may decide to use a closed-hand wrench, it crucial that you get the right wrench for your car model. With a special combination wrench, you can easily get into tight locations when working on your brakes.
A quality combination wrench doesn’t slip off the bleeder when you are working on your brakes. Because you may not require a high-quality wrench, you are likely to part ways with at least $5 to buy one. Note that the type of wrench you use will depend on your car model. In most cases, a typical wrench will not exceed $7.
The second component you will need when bleeding your car brakes is quality and clean brake fluid. When choosing the best brake fluid, you should counter-check its sensitivity to temperature. The brake fluid should have a higher boiling point and a low freezing point. That means it should not boil easily or freeze easily.
Brake fluids are rated based on their composition; there is DOT3, DOT 4, and DOT 5. On average, the cost of brake fluid that you need for a one-time job is between $73 and $104.
How much you spend to fix your car will depend on your car brand and where you take your car for the repair. If you have some skills, you can opt for a DIY solution for brake bleeding.
However, if you visit a high-end mechanic shop, you are likely to spend more on labor. If you want the mechanic to work on-site, they will charge you more.
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How much you spend on bleeding your car brakes depends on many factors such as your car model and the cost of items like brake fluid and wrench, which are a must-have to ensure a successful job. Bleeding brakes is necessary if you want your car braking system to last longer.
Where you have the brake bleeding work done also contributes a lot to the amount you spend. If you have it done at home, you will only need to buy a wrench and some brake fluids, which will cost you between $78 and $111.
Alternatively, if you visit an automobile shop, you are likely to spend an average of $118-$130. Visiting a mechanic shop to repair your braking system is the right thing to do because it will save you on time.
Lastly, when you opt for DIY solutions for bleeding your car brakes, you must follow the car’s maintenance schedule as specified by your car manufacturer.