The worst nightmare when driving on a steep slope is brake failure. They can cause a fatal accident. Did you know that air can cause brake failure? The question that comes to people’s minds is how air gets to the brake system. When you take your car to get service, some air sneaks typically in. If your vehicle has some leaks, air can also sneak in. The same happens once the brakes are worn out. As the air increases, it is likely to cause brake damage. So, How To Gravity Bleed Brakes Alone?
You don’t have to risk anymore. You need to ensure that your brakes system is at its prime performance. You can achieve this by brakes bleeding. Gravity brakes’ breeding is a repair job that ensures that no air bubble remains in the brakes system. It is not a one-time job. Do it regularly for safety purposes.
Going to a mechanic now and then to remove air can be costly. You can decide to do it on your own and maybe with the help of a relative or friend. In some instances, you might find yourself alone, and there is no one to help you. That’s why it’s essential to know how to bleed your brakes by yourself. It’s not an impossible job. You require some tools which include masking tape, hammer, vise grips (small pair), plastic tubing (5 feet), and an open-end wrench, a quart of brake fluid, an empty quarter jar, four jack stands, and also an automotive jack. With these tools, you are good to start the job.
How To Gravity Bleed Brakes Alone
1. Raise Your Vehicle
You need to raise your vehicle slightly above the ground using an automotive jack. Let the car rest on the four jack stand. Ensure that it is evenly supported because the car can fall and suffer severe damage if you make a small mistake. Remove all wheels each at a time. Once you remove them, it will be easy to access the brake calipers. You can now gravity breeds your breaks starting with the passenger’s seat, then to the driver’s rear. You can finish with passengers and finally drivers front.
2. Check Brake Fluid Reservoir
Next to the brake caliper, check the brake fluid reservoir. Use the vise grip pliers to loosen the bleeder cap and the cover with a lot of caution. Tighten the caps if you see the breeder dripping the fluid.
3. Attach the Plastic Tubing
Take the plastic tubing and place one side over the breeder. Raise the other end above the fluid reservoir. Raising it higher allows optimal air cleaning. You can also secure the tube to the c-pillar using a masking tape. You can also roof the car. Use the option that you find fit.
4. Release the Air Bubble
Use an open-end wrench to open the breeder carefully. If you check the plastic tubing, you will see fluid rising in it. In the next 3-4 minutes it will rise up to the level of the brake fluid reservoir. The process can be slow but there is a way to speed it. Take a standard hammer and use its wood handle to tap the brake calipers. You can tap a few times to force the air to rise up. It will go through the tubing and you can stop once you realize that there is no air bubble moving out of the bleeder. Ensure that your brake fluid reservoir is correctly topped off.
5. Close the Bleeder
Only tighten the breeder once all the air is gone. To avoid fluid spillage, hold the jar while you pull the tubing off. Many people get confused at this stage, it’s simple; Take the jar and set it below the nipple. Close the breeder using a wrench. Pull off the plastic tube. Check if the reservoir’s brake fluid is at the right levels. If it is not, add fresh fluid to the required levels. To ensure that no air sneaks in during the process, ensure that the levels are full when breeding. A small mistake when doing this process will force you to start all over again. That’s why, you need a helping hand, and if there is none, be careful through the process.
6. Bleed the Rest Of The Brakes
Once you breed each brake, top-up reservoir fluid. Low levels will allow more air to enter. You might be asking, how long does it take to gravity bleed brakes? You can’t say with certainty that you take a specific time to bleed your brakes. Time keeps on varying since you have to wait for it to breed until all bubbles leaves the fluid. If you have someone to help you, you can take thirty minutes. If you are working alone, it may take more time. Finish breeding all the four sides. Use grip pliers to tighten the breeder cap at each wheel.
7. Test Drive
Go out for a test drive. Apply a little pressure on the pedals of the brake. You can only confirm that the gravity bleeds worked if it feels firm when you depress it. The brake pedal should be able to hold constant pressure and not drop. If the bleeding process fails to work, the pedals will be rocky hard. That’s a clear indication that the master cylinder has a lot of air. It could also be defective. In such a scenario, no need to repeat the process. Visit your mechanic to check what could be the problem.
Gravity bleeding should not be a one-time process. Do it regularly, especially once you suspect that your brakes systems have air bubbles. It’s essential to get someone to assist you since if you are not careful, you might repeat the process several. Worry less if there is no one to help you; you can do it on your own. It is good to know why air is getting into the system. Is it because of the service, much traveling, or the brakes have worn out? Before starting the process, confirm that you have all the tools that you require.