How to Bleed Brakes

Proper BMW maintenance can boost your performance and prolong the lifespan of your vehicle, but what do you need to know to keep your braking system in check? Learning how to bleed brakes can save your system from corrosion, but not everyone around Corona has heard of this service. Let’s find out just how long do brakes last and how to keep your car in great shape with BMW of Murrieta.

What is Bleeding the System?

Your brake fluid moves throughout the braking system when you hit the pedal, applying pressure to the pads and helping you slow at a moment’s notice. But brake fluid doesn’t last forever, and it loses moisture resistance as it ages. This results in your system absorbing water, which can corrode your car and slow your performance. Bleeding the system gets rid of trapped air and old fluid in order to keep your brake pads in good condition.

How Do I Bleed Brakes?

Bleeding brakes is a challenging service task that only well experienced car owners should take on. If you plan to attempt it at home, here’s a general overview of what to expect from the process:

  1. Grab your owner’s manual. This will tell you what type of brake fluid you need and how to bleed brakes for your particular vehicle. You’ll need around two or three cans of fluid in total.
  2. Raise your vehicle and place it on four jack stands. Be sure the vehicle is on level, solid ground. Remove the wheels.
  3. Loosen your four caliper bleeding screws gently, but do not remove. Retighten. If the screws resist, spray with penetrating oil and allow it to soak in for 30 minutes and try again. If they break, schedule your service with a professional instead.
  4. Pop the hood and check the brake master cylinder reservoir for fluid level. Unscrew the cap, but leave it on top of the reservoir. This is a good time to check your owner’s manual for the correct brake bleeding order, since you must bleed brakes in the proper sequence to be effective.
  5. Put a piece of ¼ inch clear tubing on the end of the bleeder screw of your first brake. Put the other end of the tubing in your catch container. The catch container should be above the height of the bleeder screw.
  6. Get a helper to pump the brake pedal until they feel resistance. Once they alert you pressure is achieved, they should maintain pressure on the pedal.
  7. As your helper maintains pressure, you can open the bleeder screw. The brake pedal will start falling.
  8. Before the pedal hits the floor, your helper will alert you to stop. You will close the bleeder screw immediately. Check the master cylinder reservoir’s fluid level and add fluid if needed.
  9. Repeat the steps with the other bleeder screws until you have bled each brake.
  10. Ask your helper to apply full braking power and release quickly. Make sure you don’t notice any significant air bubbles move through the master cylinder reservoir, though some bubbles are fine.
  11. Double check your bleeder screws and reinstall your wheels.

Schedule Brake Service at BMW of Murrieta

While dedicated car owners in Riverside can learn how to bleed brakes at home, the team at BMW of Murrieta is here to make the process easier. If you’d like to have one of our expert technicians take care of this task for you in our service center, you can contact us to arrange an appointment. While you’re here, we can answer additional brake service questions you may have, like how to replace brakes or how to check brake fluid levels.

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