Do You Have to Bleed Brakes After Changing Pads? (Explained)

Do you have to bleed brakes after changing pads? Although it is not a necessity to bleed brakes after changing brake pads, it is highly recommended to carry out this car maintenance process.

When a mechanic opens the bleeder valve, bleeding the brakes becomes necessary. To bleed brakes usually cost an average of about $75 to $100. However, this is not a general price, and the price is usually determined by the age, brand, and model of the vehicle.

This article vividly explains how, why, and when to bleed the brakes. Furthermore, flushing and bleeding brakes mean different things, we will also get to know their differences.

Let’s get started!

Never forget that taking out the brake’s bleeder valve raises the possibility of getting the master cylinder damaged. The best thing to do is to employ the services of a qualified professional to battle this problem without causing damage to the brake’s master cylinder.

How to Bleed Brakes after Changing Pads

Bleeding brakes need no contemplation and may be done by anybody. But when it comes to changing brake pads, engaging a professional mechanic may be required.

The reason for this is to prevent the master cylinder of the brakes from getting damaged after a while. After removing pads, bleeding brakes usually assist in removing air bubbles that may be found in lines which prevent crud from building up.

Bleeding makes sure brake systems function at a standard that they ought to. Also, it does prevent brake oil leakage, which may occur if the pads are worn-out. Some tips to bleed brakes after removing pads are given below:

Step 1: Locate the Brake Bleeder Screwjack

Locate the brake bleeder screwjack up the vehicle and look at the back of the brake for a nozzle-like screw which is the bleeder screw.

Step 2: Loosen the screw with a socket or wrench

A particular type of wrench is required to remove the screw, known as the bleeder wrench. This is done to prevent the screw from getting damaged. When removing the screw becomes difficult, lubricant like the WD40 can be applied to the screw.

Step 3: Connect a hose to the bleeding screw

A small cable is required to be joined to the screw, while a small receiver is placed on the other side.

Step 4: Pump the brake pedal

Have someone by the side who will help to pump the brakes a few times. This effect is that leftover brake oil is squeezed out of the braking system.

Continue to pump the brakes as the screw the bleeder screw is being tightened. Stop pumping the brakes as soon as the screwing is complete.

Go through this procedure three to five times to confirm if bubbles are still released from the brake system.

Step 5: Locate the master cylinder and fill it up

Fill brake oil to the adequate level, then go through the above process of step 4 again.

Step 6: Fill up master cylinder and drive

After the procedure has been carried out on each tire, put oil in the master cylinder again, then drive the vehicle around to certify that the brakes work as they ought to.

Also Read: Brake Pedal Squeaking (6 Causes & Solutions by Expert)

Do You Need to Bleed All Four Brakes?

A lot of vehicles are built with distinct braking systems as a result of the technological distinctions in the automobile industry. Therefore, in bleeding brakes, serious caution should be observed to prevent causing any further damage.

Hence, is bleeding required for all four brakes? Definitely, after opening a brake line, it is advised to bleed each and every brake after. However, bleeding all the brakes may be unnecessary in a situation where a brake line stands alone.

It can be helpful to check the brake cable of the vehicle and go through the proper brake bleeding process to repair them. Make sure only compatible brake oil is poured into the braking system.

What is the Difference between Bleeding and Flushing your Brakes?

The major reason why bleeding brakes are necessary is to remove air from the braking system. However, doing this does not remove every brake oil drop from the system.

Brake flushing is a procedure where brake oil is changed and replaced with clean and fresh oil. Changing brake oil at least every two years to allow the components of the braking system last long is highly recommended.

What Happens If You Don’t Bleed the Brake System?

Air bubbles finding spaces between brake lines can cause the whole braking system not to respond. As a result, the effort put in bringing the vehicle to a stop will be wasted and might result in road disaster.

The driver of the vehicle usually experiences a feeling of softness, and the distance required to stop becomes longer. It is advised that a brake system having air bubbles in it requires bleeding. Air bubbles usually reduce hydraulic force and which reduces the overall brake performance. Do not forget to take caution during the bleeding procedure.

Why Are My Brakes Still Spongy after Bleeding?

Spongy brakes may frustrate a driver, particularly after bleeding. The best thing to do is to get to the root of the problem when trying to fix the spongy feeling on the brakes. A question as to why brakes remain soft after bleeding might pop up. What could possibly cause this is contaminated brake oil, not following the proper bleeding procedure and system leaks.

Air bubbles left in brake lines may possibly be the cause of the soft feeling after all the brakes have been worked on. The most preferred fix for this is resetting the calliper piston to where it is supposed to be after opening up the bleed nipple. This makes the brake pads fit in their proper position, which allows airflow through the system properly.

In the alternative, seek the help of a qualified mechanic to take charge of this task. A mechanic will apply a vacuum technique to fix the problem without having to bleed the brakes all over.

Do you Have to Bleed Brakes after Changing Pads

Do You Need to Bleed Brakes after Changing Calipers?

Not necessarily. However, if the vehicle has all three anti-lock brake systems, replacing either calliper at the front will make bleeding the brakes just fine without touching others. If this is not the case, then bleeding the entire braking system after replacing a calliper might be unnecessary. Ensure a pinch clamp is used to stop oil from leaking out.

Engaging the services of a professional mechanic to carry out this task is advisable. To bleed brakes after changing callipers might not be so easy for just one person.

Can I Bleed Brakes with Tires on?

Absolutely. However, this should be done if the bleed nipple can be reached without any compromise. Contacting a professional is highly recommended to bleed brakes for the first time. Removing the tires will make it less difficult to access the bleed screws. For a person doing it for the first time, this process can be pretty difficult and technical.

It will most likely take a lot of time to bleed the brakes. The benefit of removing the tires is that staining tires with brake oil are prevented. Also, the possibility of spilling brake oil on the floor of the workspace is reduced.

How much does it cost to bleed brakes?

Bleeding brakes can be done by the vehicle owner or a professional mechanic, although engaging the services of a professional may come at a bigger expense. To bleed brakes, the cost usually varies and depends on the vehicle and location. Nonetheless, the general price usually falls between $75 – $100. It may cost more for more expensive cars.

Also Read: Brakes Locking Up (Causes & Solutions)

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to bleed the brakes when changing pads?

In simple terms, Yes. Bleeding brakes after removing pads is necessary as it assists in removing crud that might be stuck in the entire braking system. Although, this will usually depend on the system being used. Some vehicle owners change brake pads by removing the bleeder valve and then inserting a calliper to remove brake pads.

What happens if you don’t bleed your brakes?

If air finds its way into the brake cables and bleeding the brake is not done, what is the effect? The simple effect is the brakes will not respond. The brakes become really soft.

How much does it cost to bleed your brakes?

On average, bleeding brakes cost about $81- $102. The cost of labor is estimated around $81- $102 too. This price range excludes fees and taxes, and the type of vehicle or location is not factored in this price range also. Other repairs relating to brakes may be necessary too.

Can brakes bleed themselves?

No, it is not possible. There are up to five ways to restore brakes back to normal. Any of these manual procedures can be followed. However, the brakes cannot bleed themselves on their own if no action is taken by the vehicle owner or some other person

Conclusion – Do you Have to Bleed Brakes after Changing Pads?

This article aimed to answer the question “Do you Have to Bleed Brakes after Changing Pads” We have come to understand that bleeding all the brakes after replacing the brake pads is a very good practice. Air can find its way into the braking system by taking out brake lines which can cause a few issues.

After changing brake pads, bleed the brakes to take out air bubbles that may have found their way into the oil. It will ensure the brakes function properly under normal pressure. Do not forget to seek help from professional mechanics. Also, note that bleeding brakes after changing callipers might not be easy for just one person.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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