Brakes are essential to avoid accidents and keep passengers safe. However, air in the brake lines affects how the brakes work. It can cause the brakes to stop slower or not at all. Bleeding the brakes can often solve the problem.
Here we provided a step-by-step guide to bleed that brakes without a bleeder valve and alternative methods to bleed the brakes without the bleeder valve in a pinch.
How to Bleed Brakes Without Bleeder Valve
Tools you need
- Work light
- Gloves (optional)
- Brake Fluid
- Can for bleeding
- Piece of Hose for bleeding
Before you start, jack up the car and make sure it is level and safely placed to avoid life-threatening injuries!
Step 1: Find the bleeder
After removing the wheel, locate the bleeder at the rear of the brakes.
Step 2: Connect using a hose and the can
Puncture a hole in the top of your can and place one end of the hose in the hole, placing the other end on the first bleeder’s edge. Make sure your can is leak-free.
The master cylinder is found at the rear of the tire, connect the hose and can near it. Get an excellent seal to prevent air from leaking in.
Step 3: Turn off the engine then begin pumping out the air
Before removing air from the brake line, you will have to turn the car off and keep it in park.
Now have someone push the brake to the floor and hold it while you open the bleeder screw.
Note: Do not do this with the car on!
Step 4: Carefully turn the bleeder to a half level on the right rear wheel
To let the fluid out, you will need to turn the bleeder to the half level. Your brake pusher will have to pump the brake continuously while you check the level to ensure it does not get too low.
Step 5: Repeat this step on all other wheels
Repeat steps 1–4 on all the other wheels, repeating the process at least three times to each wheel.
Step 6: Make sure to tighten the master cylinder cap
Check that you have securely tightened the master cylinder cap.
Step 7: Test run
Taking the car for a test run, make sure to use all the brakes to ensure they work well on all four tires.
If you have a problem or the brake is not working as it should, repeat the above process and retake your test drive.
Other Ways to Bleed Brakes Without Bleeder Valve
- Look for any line that can be opened towards the master cylinder
In the case of a snapped bleeder valve, you can find a line near the master cylinder that you can open and slowly drain a small amount of fluid.
It should be between where you have repaired it and the master reservoir.
You can try the inlet hose that goes to the caliper. Bleed it using gravity, snugging the line once the air is out.
Note: This will have to be done correctly in the next few days but this works well in an emergency.
- Where it goes into the caliper, crack open the brake line
Where the brake line goes into the caliper (or slave) cylinder, break open the line and bleed out the air. This is not as effective as the bleeder screw but works in a pinch.
- Have someone pump the brakes, then hold it down
The safest way is to have someone hold the brake pedal to the floor as you bleed each valve.
Once the air is out and the valve is screwed closed, have the pedal pusher release the brake.
- Loosen the hydraulic line as it enters the caliper
Bleeding the line from the valve is not as good as the traditional method, but it works.
Where the hydraulic line goes into the wheel cylinder/caliper, you can bleed it there, making sure to close it when you finish.
- You need to remove some fluid from the master to push the caliper pistons in, don’t overflowing the master
If your car has disc brakes, remove some fluid so you can push in the caliper piston and not overflow the master. While it is pressed in, remove it, and change out the brakes.
Then put it back on, refilling the master just a bit without sucking in air, and reapply the brake.
There is no reason to bleed the line as long as you have kept fluid in the system and not sucked in air.
- Automatic bleeder use
They make “automatic bleeders” that can be attached to bleeder screws (that are loosened), and you just pump the brake to bleed the line.
- Attaching a hose from the bleeder screw to a bottle full of brake fluid
If you are alone and need to bleed the line, you can attach a hose to a whole bottle of brake fluid (a bottle that you can see the fluid level is best) and attach the other end of the hose to the bleeder screw.
Keep the hose submerged in the brake fluid while you pump the brakes to ensure it sucks out the only fluid as you close the bleeder screw!
How Tight the Brake Bleeder Screws Should Be
Do Not tighten tighter than you can get with your hand. You can turn it until it stops then, just a bit snugger.
If you really can’t feel the tightness, you can use a torque wrench, but
use a small inch/pound wrench, and do not force it ever!
Why Can’t You Bleed the Brakes With the Car Running?
Brakes need to be bled without boost! When the engine runs, it gives the brakes a vacuum boost. The boost interferes with bleeding all the air from the system.
The only pump that should be running is the ABS pump if you are bleeding an antilock brake system, as opposed to doing it one wheel at a time.