DIY car maintenance: How to change brake fluid and bleed brakes

Nov 2, 2020 2 min read
DIY car maintenance: How to change brake fluid and bleed brakes

Changing car brake oil on your own can help you save a trip to the garage. And what is better than maintaining the car on your own.

Car manufacturers normally recommend to replace the brake fluid after every 40,000 kilometres or two years. And some of them do not mention the timeline to change the brake fluid. However, you can easily check and change car brake fluid as a part of your DIY car maintenance.

All you have to do is dip a test strip inside the brake fluid container and compare the fluid's color against the color on the brake fluid color chart present on its packaging. If the level is low or color is dark, then it is time to change car brake fluid.

Here is how.

Materials and tools required

Keep all the below mentioned things handy before opening the bonnet of your car.

  • Brake fluid
  • Baster (to suck out the old brake fluid)
  • Brake fluid test kit

How to change car brake fluid

You can not flush down the brake fluid of your completely. However, you can swap the brake fluid of your car to a large extent. The DIY procedure will not enable you to replace the entire old fluid with the new one but you can fill up enough fresh brake oil to ensure your brakes will not create any problem while driving.

Use baster to suck out old brake fluid and squirt it into a container. Now refill the brake fluid reservoir with fresh brake oil.

How to bleed car brakes

If you want to completely replace the brake fluid, you need to bleed brakes until old brake oil is completely is out of the system. Here is how to bleed brakes:

  • Jack up the vehicle to easily reach the small nozzle also known as brake bleeder screw
  • Loosen the screw with an appropriate wrench or socket
  • Connect a flexible hose with the bleeder to pour the old brake oil into a container
  • Take help of a friend or family member to slowly pump the brake pedal
  • After the brake pedal is pumped a few times, ask your friend to hold the pedal down and then open the bleeding screw
  • Now the brake oil will start coming out. Keep watching the color of the brake oil
  • Close the brake bleeder once you see fresh brake oil dripping out. While closing the screw, ask your friend to push the brake pedal completely
  • Again open the screw and allow some more oil to come out. If you see air bubbles in the oil then repeat the process 2-3 times until there are no more air bubbled in the brake fluid
  • Repeat this process with all the brakes of the car
  • Now open the brake fluid cylinder and add more brake fluid until the level reaches "Full" mark

Hope these steps will help you to easily change brake fluid of your car.

Happy driving!

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