How to flush Brake Fluid

by Andrew Automoto21. November 2013 10:25

Flushing your brake fluid is not an easy job, it requires two people, and the right tools, and an understanding of vehicles. If you do not have all of these, please go see your nearest authorised mechanic.

If you have all three of these, then it’s time to get the items you will need :

  •          Spanner to fit the brake caliper bleed screw
  •          Length of clear plastic pipe which fits over the bleed screw nipple
  •          A couple of large clear bottle to catch the old brake fluid
  •          Methylated spirits
  •          Two clean lint free rags
  •          New bottle of brake fluid suitable for you vehicle
  •          Jack stands and wood blocks
  •          A friend who can follow instructions
  •          Hand pump or turkey baster

When you have all these items accumulated your ready to start.

Note: Each brake caliper has a correct sequence in which your brake fluid must be flushed.

On front or rear wheel drives where the hydraulic system is split diagonally, left front / rear right and right front / left rear, the correct bleed sequence is

  •         Right Rear, Left Front, Left Rear, Right Front

On rear wheel drive vehicles where the split is front/rear the correct bleed sequence is

  •        Left Rear, Right Rear, Left Front, Right Front.

The object is to begin with the wheel furthest away from the master cylinder and work towards the closest.

If you do not know which way your hydraulic system is split, do not go ahead with this brake flush and contact your closest authorised service centre.

 

 If you are aware of the kind of brake system your car has, your ready to begin finally!!!

  1. Clean the around the brake fluid reservoir with the methylated spirits and the clean rag. Do not remove the reservoir’s cover until the area is completely clean.
  2. Remove the reservoirs cap and draw out the old fluid, using the turkey baster, or hand pump, and fill the reservoir with new fluid and screw the cap back on. (put some of the fluid you have just removed into the clear bottles, so they’re about a quarter full, cap off the second bottle to use for later)
  3. Loosen the lug nuts on all for of your tyres. Don't unscrew them fully.
  4. Jack up your car and  place the jack stands in the appropriate place. Make sure you put the wood blocks under the tyres remaining on the ground.
  5. Now remove the first tyre (as per the correct sequence above e.g.: Right rear tyre first)
  6. Loosen the bleeder screw from the caliper with the spanner
  7. When the bleeder screw just breaks loose, stop and push the end of the clear hose onto the bleeder nipple. Immerse the other end of the hose into the clear bottle containing some of the fluid from the reservoir, and make sure it remains immersed for the rest of the procedure.
  8. Open the bleeder screw, so it is very loose. Do not remove it all the way.
  9. Have your friend push the brake pedal slowly and hold it down. When they’re pushing down make them say down.  Some of the brake fluid will transfer into the clear bottle.
  10. Lock off the bleeder screw when your friend tells you the pedal is down. Now they can release the brake pedal – Warning: Never release the brake pedal with the bleeder screw open as air and grit may get sucked back into the system.
  11. Wait five seconds, and repeat steps, 8 – 11, until you start to see clean brake fluid go into the bottle , or until almost all the Brake Fluid reservoir is emptied. (DO NOT empty it all the way)
  12. Now add new brake fluid up to the level mark on the reservoir. Do Not reuse old brake fluid.
  13. Now repeat steps 6 – 12 on all three remaining tyres in the above sequence, remembering to add new brake fluid to the reservoir before you do each brake.
  14. When you have done all four wheels, check that the fluid level in the Brake Fluid Reservoir is up to the level mark.
  15. Step on the brakes hard a couple of times, to make sure the brake fluid goes through the system, before taking your car for a test drive.  
  16. During the test drive, make sure you are in an isolated area away from pedestrians and brake hard form 25kmPh 4 -5 times just to make sure the brake fluid is pushed through the system and your brakes are working properly.

NOTE: Brake fluid is highly corrosive and very dangerous, so don’t tip in down the drain, or onto your lawn, or put it in your household garbage. Make sure you dispose of it properly at a waste disposal centre.

If you do not understand any of the above instructions, do not attempt to flush your brake fluid. You can find your closest authorised service centre at www.carservice.com.au/brake

 

For more information on Brake fluid see - Brake fluid - DOT-3, DOT-4 and DOT-5

 

 

‘The information provided in this article is for general advise only.  It is not intended for instructional use.  Use of the information is at your own risk.  We recommend you seek the advice of a trained professional.  ’