How to do a Complete Brake Flush and Bleed
100 Comments


Hey guys ChrisFix here today I’m gonna show you how to flush your brake fluid I’m putting brand new calipers on my truck because the old ones are going bad They’re leaking and I don’t want to flush the old brake fluid into the brand new calipers So I’m gonna flush the whole system with dot 3 brake fluid before I change out the brake calipers the other thing is this fluid Hasn’t been flushed for probably since the truck was brand new and this is a 2001 Mazda B 3000 Ford Ranger so in reality it should really be flushed anyway Brake fluid should be flushed every two to three years because its hygroscopic Meaning it likes to absorb water the problem with water in the brake fluid Is when water gets in here water has a really low boiling point? Compared to brake fluid brake fluid the boiling point could be four hundred degrees, but water boiling point is 212 degrees Fahrenheit So it’s not very high and the brakes get hot and they could easily exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit so if that happens And you have a lot of water in your brake fluid the water will vaporize it will evaporate it’ll boil Creating a void when you press on the brake that void is compressible So it’ll feel like you don’t have any brakes which is bad Not only will it feel like you don’t have any brakes you won’t have any brakes I’ll explain more about brake fluid and how water gets in and all that stuff in another video some people say oh You use dot 4 instead of dot 3 I’ll explain all that in another video It goes in-depth if you want to see that video the link will be in the description below but for this video We’re focusing on how to bleed the brakes Now there are two methods to use to bleed the brakes the first method is the two person method This is the most common method You need yourself and a buddy the buddy presses on the brakes you open the bleeder valve close the bleeder valve And that’s the most common way to do it and I’ll also show you the one-person method So you could do the job yourself so to do this job You need an open-ended Wrench check your owners manual for the brake fluid your car uses and if you want to use the one-person method you need some type of Small bottle like this and the hose that fits over the bleeder valve I’ll put a link in the description to a quick video on how to make a one-person bleeder It’s really fast and easy to do the other thing that is optional but it’s really helpful is if you have a turkey baster because the first thing we’re gonna do is remove as much brake fluid as We can out of the master cylinder You want to make sure you clean your master cylinder with a paper towel before you open up the cap make sure the cap is Cleaned off too, you don’t want any contaminants getting in? With that cleaned off we’ll open it up set the cap aside now. We have our can here I’m gonna suck out as much fluid as I can And put it right in here The reason why I want to do this first is cause when you’re flushing your brakes the brake fluid is coming from the reservoir then We’re pulling new clean fluid through the brake lines instead of the old dirty fluid and speaking of old dirty fluid look how dirty this Is new Brake fluid is gonna be clear and that’s practically black If you spill any brake fluid you want to immediately clean it up. Brake fluid is very caustic It’ll eat through paint. It’ll cause corrosion on metal. You really don’t want brake fluid touching anything Okay, so you don’t want to go too low on the master cylinder because you don’t want to get air in through the Master cylinder? So this is a pretty good amount taken out of the master cylinder You can see there’s still fluid in the master cylinder to prevent it from running dry so don’t get air into the system now I have my new brake fluid never buy this in bulk and always use it right away This doesn’t really store on the shelf very well. I’m gonna fill the master cylinder with the new fluid I’m gonna overfill it cuz when I bleed the brakes we’re gonna lose a lot of fluid as it bleeds out of each brake Make sure you always cap this right away. I try to get a seal on this and then we’ll cap this as well Now I poured that fluid nice and smoothly So hopefully the new fluid stays near the top and the old fluid stays near the bottom The good thing about emptying master cylinder first is now you have some brake fluid that you could use to prevent Air bubbles from getting in So just put your tube on here screw that in and Make sure that tube goes all the way down to the bottom so now any air bubbles that come out will get forced into the air up here and Any sucking back will be sucking back brake fluid I know it’s old brake fluid but it’s gonna get pushed out anyway So it’s not a big deal When you’re doing this I like to follow the rule that you’re supposed to do the farthest wheel From the master cylinder first and then go in order so the second furthest 3rd Farthest and fourth Furthest so in this case It’s going to go passenger side rear driver’s side rear passenger side front driver’s side front so we’re going to start at the passenger side rear that’s the furthest away the abs system sometimes makes it weird because if the abs System is in the rear then your furthest brake line is sometimes are the front ones But in general start from the rear move to the front the bleeder valve on drum Brakes is located usually at the top You look for the brake line that comes in and then it’s this little valve right here And you could use a wrench over the bleeder valve to open and close it, so this is the passenger rear the first method I’m going to show you is the two-person method with the two-person method All you need is a wrench in another person one person presses on the brake and the other one opens and closes the bleeder valve To bleed the brakes you really don’t need to remove the wheels I’m just doing it so I could easily show you guys and get in there and and have good camera Angles But if you really want to you could keep the wheels on so with the two-person method move the Wrench counterclockwise to open the Bleeder valve press the Brakes And I’m gonna close it Ok so I’m just telling the person to press the brakes and they’re gonna press down and I’m gonna open this press the brakes And I’m gonna close it Ok and when I say ok they can let go So we’re at the master cylinder, and you can see the brake fluid went down, but not a lot It’s only a little below the max so let’s continue flushing the brakes Make sure you check the master cylinder fluid about every 10 times you press the brake because you don’t want to run dry so now I’m going to add more brake fluid since we’ve been pressing them for a little bit now and While adding this fluid we can see that there’s no more old brake fluid left in the Master cylinder press the Brakes Ok press the brakes Ok as you can see this brake fluid is as clear as the new brake fluid we put in so that means this brake line Is flushed check out the difference between the brake fluid before? We did the flush press the brakes? So now that we’re done with this brake line I won’t tell the other person ok until I tighten the bleeder valve all the way and it’s closed after it’s closed They can let their foot off the brake you should also have them check to make sure the brake pedal is firm which indicates you Have no air in the system ok you can see this fluid is super clear, and I got a bunch of fluid out Let’s move on to the next one since we’re gonna bleed a new brake. Let’s add some more fluid Close that up Now let’s go to the driver side rear brake and I’ll show you how to use the one person method for the one person method You’ll be doing this on your own So you want to prevent air from getting in while you’re pressing the brake to do that we use our bottle system here We want to fill it up with some brake fluid and then have the hose beneath that brake fluid So if it sucks anything up its sucking a brake fluid not air We want this hose to go above our bleeder valve. You’d see our bleeder valve is here Just slide that over Make sure that zip tie is really tight around that nipple Here’s where the brake cylinder is with the bleeder valve And you can see it goes up because air travels upwards through the liquid it won’t get sucked back down It’ll be up there and forced out so now I’m just gonna crack this open a little bit more There you go, you can see brig fluid and air just came out So now I’m gonna go and press the brakes as I press the brakes watch your brake fluid Force the air out of the Tube You can see the bottle of brake fluid bubbling yet. No air flows back into the brake cylinder I’m just pressing the brakes to the floor smoothly and then letting off the brakes and then repeating I’ll fast-forward this and you’ll notice how The brake fluid goes from Dark to clear indicating the fluid has been flushed. Also notice… It doesn’t take as long as the first brake this is ’cause the one person method is faster, and because with the first brake you flushed all the remaining old fluid out of the Master Cylinder so now we’re just flushing the old fluid out of the brake line only so I just came out to check to make sure there’s No bubbles in the clear Tube. It’s actually getting a lot clearer. You can see that’s what it was before This is after so this is working great by myself now I’m gonna go and check the master cylinder, okay, the master cylinder is low It’s at this line down here, so I’m going to add more fluid We’ve used almost half of this which means that we’re almost halfway done This is 32 ounces almost 1 liter, and that’ll be just enough to get this brake flush done Let’s finish up on the driver’s side rear and move to the passenger side front brakes you can see that There are no air bubbles in the brake fluid by the bleeder valve which means that you can tighten it up And you won’t have to worry about any air in your brake system before we move on the one person bleeder is pretty much full So I’m gonna empty it a little more than halfway So now we’re going to the passenger side front brake on this car the front brakes are disc brakes It’s gonna be bled the same exact way. Here’s the bleeder valve It’s at the top you is Loosen It same exact thing so it doesn’t matter if you have drum breaks or if you have disc breaks the bleeding process is the same so now I just Bled this you don’t need to see it. It’s off-camera I’m gonna do the driver’s side And you’ll see that one just so you can see what it’s like to do disc brakes even though it’s the same but you don’t need to see this so I finished the Passenger front disc brakes let’s move to the driver front put a last break bleeding So we’re doing the same process as we’ve been doing get your clear hose slide it on there, just like that and then slide down your Zip tie so it looks exactly like that The brake Line still goes above the Bleeder valve to let air out So I’m going to just crack this open Now I’m Gonna go press on the brakes So if nothing is coming out like in this situation What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna unscrew this the whole way be prepared because break foods probably gonna come out put a bucket underneath just in case We get a lot of Brake fluid The reason why the brake fluid doesn’t come out of here is because it’s clogged. So we’re gonna unclog it So now is a good time to get a tool that has a pic on the end or a toothpick or something ready? Brake fluid is gonna start coming out and you can see there’s all rust and contaminants in here the actual Bleeder valve Has a hole in it, and that holes right there There you go you can see that thing was rusted shut In reality you should replace your bleeder valve like this if it’s like this, but I’m replacing the whole caliper I’m just trying to bleed all the contaminated fluid out first, so this isn’t a big deal But if I were you, and this is the situation, and you weren’t replacing the brake calipers I would totally get a new bleeder valve because this could just rust up again You’re getting your brake fluid contaminated And it’s just gonna cause you problems and eventually if this is rusting it’s Gonna just snap on you They asked me how I know about that. We got the whole working again got all that rust out Let’s see if it’ll work now all we’re gonna. Do is just close this up? And get our clear plastic hose back on this plus this time hopefully this will work now I’m Gonna go check by pressing on the brake oh man look at all that rust That is disgusting brake fluid thank God. We’re doing this that is all rusty brake fluid So we’re right here. We want to check our master cylinder, and you can see it’s low, so we want to fill it up Very fluid in there looks really clear compared to before and that is great Just gonna bleed this out a little bit more and then call it a day Fluid running pretty clear right now. That’s good. So now I’m gonna tighten this Good the brake pedal is nice and hard. I’m gonna remove this So there’s our finished product you got about one and a half of these Which is exactly a liter or 32 ounces. There’s gonna be just enough to fill this back up With brand new fluid so let’s do that now and we want to fill this to the correct level now because we’re done good that’s the correct level right to the max line, and we’ll make sure the cap is sealed on nice and tight and we Have brake fluid that is good for two to three years So that’s how you flush your own brake fluid hopefully this video was helpful If it was give it a thumbs up if you’re not a subscriber consider subscribing, I publish How-to videos weekly And I answer all the questions and comments you guys leave in the comment section below on the screen You’re gonna see a bunch of brake related videos the links to these videos on the screen are in the description as well also in Description below are going to be the links to my Chrisfix Facebook and Twitter pages if you use Facebook or Twitter go check it out I just drained out all the brake fluid and look at all that all the little pieces of metal and everything all the grit I’m glad we did that that was definitely something that needed to get done

100 thoughts on “How to do a Complete Brake Flush and Bleed

  1. Thanks for the inspiration and ideas dude!!

    Just wanted to add that you gotta be careful not to snap the bleeders, depending how bad the rust is. Wire brush first. Heat gun carefully avoiding rubber bits for a few min. Use an ice cold socket and let it sit on there for a bit before attempting to remove.

    Seeing how easy those bottles are to make…I'm gonna try to hook up 4 at a time ? 2 person actually seems the most difficult?? ✌?☝?❤

  2. I know this will be controversial, but I've been driving for 50 years and I've never flushed the brake fluid, transmission fluid or coolant in any of my cars and have had a single problem with any of them.

  3. Damn. The bleeder valve is exactly where Chris says to find it. The tube goes right over it. But that hose directly under is too close. And the top of the drum brake is too close (it rounds over it). I can't get a wrench in there. 🙁

  4. Hey Chris, I've got a question, it's a long shot you'll respond, but I should do it on my car and need a bit of info. Is it necessary to put the car up on jack stands, or can you go 1 wheel at a time?

  5. I have an issue with both rear drum brakes. There’s no fluid coming out the bleeder. I removed the entire bleeder and there was still no fluid coming out. Any ideas. The master cylinder is new.

  6. Chris you became my private mechanic, thanks for all your help, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that thinks this way. God Bless u brother

  7. After you close the bleeder valve, how do you keep the brake fluid in the tube from spilling all over when you remove it?

  8. I was taught to open the reservoir cap before bleeding the brakes so you don't have to replace the cap seal. Thank you for sharing!!

  9. Hey Chris!
    I hace BMW 318i. It's hard to move to 1st gear. Even most of the time when I put 1st gear it jumps back to neutral. If I changed the break fluid, will it help me? Or anything else I must do?

  10. Is this what gets rid of the "bubbles" that i was told about? You know. The mark on the white stripe coming. ack pink-ish

  11. Just finished doing this and now my new breaks are working like they should ….keep up all these great videos and teaching us new ways of doing it easier and right.

  12. Thank you. Did both methods. Only problem a stuck bleeder valve. Destroyed it and had to use crab wrench. All other 3 were unscrewed easily after wd 40 apply. From coke color liquid now trasperant!!! Much better braking now!

  13. I replaced my brake pads and rotors because it would vibrate when I braked. After doing it it still vibrates. Do you have any suggestions on what I should try next.

  14. I've watched about a dozen vids on 'how to bleed your brake lines' and this is by far the BEST. Great methodical process on both the one and two person method. Great tips and explanations as well. Thanks for sharing this!

  15. Another reason to replace your brake fluid regularly is because the water in your system will rot the brake lines and calipers inside to out

  16. Great job, man.

    I was afraid to flush my brakes when I needed to and wasn't unable to call a buddy.
    Now I know it's really possible and you can do it yourself.

    Thank you for your videos! I start to feel more and more confident about car maintaining (I've done several things like brake pads, but still sometimes had worries that I will do something wrong).

  17. You Sir, are an amazing instructor. I’ve been working on cars longer than you are alive, but I’m learning a lot from you.

  18. Might never see this with the video being older but I wonder if the process is different in my car where the clutch and breaks are the same system.

  19. Hey Chris, Quick question, how much clear hose did you use and diameter size of it?

    and how many times did you press on the brake for the one person method?

    Thanks in advance.

  20. On a different topic. I have a 1996 Ford F150 and the cruise
    control will not disengage. The brake switch was replaced by a local mechanic.
    The pressure release switch I replaced. My question is, does the master
    cylinder need to be bled and is so, is bleeding the brakes as you described the
    correct way to bleed the master cylinder to fix this problem?

    Buster Tacoma, WA

  21. I love your videos. Quick explanation of how a system works, inferences to why it breaks down, followed by high quality video and verbal explanation. Thank you so much

  22. Thank you so much , I didn't know one person can bleed the brakes , Wow Thank you again from Honolulu , Hawaii , Aloha … ?

  23. Hi Mate,
    Good Job. I am learning a lot from your videos.

    Last week, I bleed brakes with a pressure bleeder and Vizibleed One man brake bleeder. I did a few mistakes and I am worried about air in the brake circuit. After I finish the work, I did notice hissing noise (near pedal) when I pump the brake pedal when car is off. Brake feel normal and my Car is only 4 year old with 72k miles.

    Mistakes
    1. After removing old fluid from the brake reservoir, did not add new brake fluid. Instead, I poured a full 1-litre fluid in pressure bleeder.
    2. I did not pressurise the circuit enough. Skoda recommends bleeding brake at 2 bar pressure, whereas I did at 1 bar.
    3. Passenger left nipple I opened too much and brake fluid leaked via the gap around the nipple.

    What could be the issue? is it normal to hear the noise? Do I need to bleed brake fluid completely and re-fill?

    Please advice.

    Thanks..

  24. Did you notice the air bubbles coming past the threads, on the bleed screw when you pressed the brake pedal? Air goes back in the same way. It sometimes pays to seal the threads when you do this. Good video and was very informative.

  25. I only need to replace two calipers and the two hoses from each. Does anyone know if it's safe to just bleed and flush the brake fluid by only using the rear wheels and not doing the front at all?

  26. Hello sir, how are you. I'd like to know if you can help me with something, I have a 1993 Pontiac Grand Prix with 21000 miles on it when my mother gave it to me it had 12000 on it I've had people keep asking me can they buy it and I keep telling them it's not for sale I don't care how much you want to spend I'm not selling it because it's my mother's she gave it to me and I will not get rid of it. What I'd like to ask is can I change my calipers the same way and the routers to. Thank you so much for your video

  27. So I changed my driver side front brake Caliper yesterday and I tried bleeding it but I wasn’t getting any fluid through the new bleeder I took it out to see if there was a blockage but no fluid was coming through. What should I do?

  28. I never did the one person method because I was afraid of air being drawn in around the threads of the bleeder screw. Is this not a concern because of the positioning of the bottle and the line? The air would come in at the caliper or wheel cylinders and be in the system. If that is not the case I have been waisting my time with two people. I also have been pumping the brakes on the two person method and you didn’t do that which consumed more of my time.

  29. Let's say i bleed brakes which already have new fluid in them. Once the new fluid is flushed out, can i reuse it?

  30. Thanks man I'm gonna be doing this to the fiance's Buick tomorrow morning and this was so ideal.

    I assume this will work well for abs equipped brakes to flush the crud out of them.

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