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How to Bleed Brakes

Following the brake maintenance recommendations in your Chevrolet maintenance schedule will maximize the lifespan of the braking system in your vehicle. Whether you schedule service at a Chevrolet service center near Gastonia or prefer to go the DIY route, learning when to replace brake pads and how to bleed brakes will help to keep you and your family safe on every Concord drive. Read the guide below from Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet for a step-by-step outline of how to bleed brakes.

What Does it Mean to Bleed the System?

Pressing the gas pedal in your Chevrolet vehicle sends brake fluid moving throughout the braking system, which applies pressure to the brake pads and slows your vehicle. However, brake fluid loses moisture resistance over time. Bleeding the system gets rid of trapped air and old fluid that could otherwise enter the braking system — and it’s an important part of brake maintenance. Bleeding your brakes regularly will help your brakes and brake pads to last longer, saving you money on Chevrolet service.

How to Bleed Brakes: Step-By-Step

Bleeding the brake system is one part of brake maintenance that’s best left to car owners with extensive auto maintenance experience. If you’re interested in learning how to bleed brakes yourself, here’s an outline of what to expect from the process:

  1. Refer to your owner’s manual for the type of brake fluid you need and how to bleed brakes for your particular Chevrolet vehicle. You will most likely need two or three cans of fluid.
  2. Your manual will also tell you the order in which you should bleed brakes, because the process won’t be effective unless it’s done in the proper sequence.
  3. Park your vehicle on level, solid ground. Raise your vehicle on four jack stands and remove all four wheels.
  4. Gently loosen the caliper bleeding screw at each wheel, but do not remove it. Retighten. If the screws resist retightening, strap with penetrating oil and wait 30 minutes before trying again. If the screws break, contact a certified service center near Rock Hill, SC to speak with a Chevrolet technician.
  5. Open the hood and check fluid levels in the brake master cylinder reservoir. Then unscrew the cap and leave it on top of the reservoir.
  6. For the first brake, first place a catch container above the height of the bleeder screw. Then fit a segment of ¼ inch clear tubing over the end of the bleeder screw. Direct the other end of the tubing in your catch container.
  7. Ask an assistant to pump the brake pedal and alert you when they feel resistance. At that point, they should maintain pressure on the pedal.
  8. With pressure maintained on the brake pedal, you can open the bleeder screw. The brake pedal will start to sink as you do so.
  9. You’ll need to bleed the brakes until just before the pedal reaches the floor. Your assistant will alert you so that you can close the bleeder screw immediately. Check the master cylinder reservoir fluid level once again and add fluid if needed.
  10. Repeating steps 6 through 9, bleed brakes the same way at each wheel. Be sure to watch for excessive air bubbles moving through the master cylinder reservoir.
  11. Double-check that your bleeder screws are properly tightened, and then reinstall your wheels.

Rely on Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet for Expert Brake Maintenance in Charlotte

In most cases, it’s best to allow a professional to bleed brakes on your vehicle. Simply schedule service at our service center near Rock Hill, SC! While you’re here, our expert technicians are happy to provide DIY car care tips for checking oil levels, oil change frequency, and more. Give us a call at 704-321-4151 today to learn more.

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