Brake bleeding, as we all know, is a procedure performed on hydraulic brakes where the brake lines that include the pipes and hoses containing the brake fluid are purged to remove any air bubbles formed within them.
The methods used for the bleeding of the brakes are also called brake bleeding or brake purging. This is a necessary maintenance procedure and should be done regularly depending upon your car’s needs and usage.
Why is it important?
It’s important because the brake fluid is supposed to be an incompressible fluid. However, the formation of air bubbles within it makes it compressible. This can result in a great reduction into the hydraulic pressure that the brakes apply and hence they won’t work properly.
Every time you open the brake fluid reservoir, a little bit of air gets trapped within and gets into the hydraulic system. This air, as explained above, can cause great damage.
The car’s brake system strongly depends on the ready flow of the brake fluid and anything that hinders it must be removed. Every time you press the brake pedal, it signals the cylinder to compress each one of the caliper’s inner piston which in turn then squeezes the rotor which slows down or stops the car. Drum brakes even though function a little differently still depend on the flow of the brake fluid.
Now before we get down to how much brake bleeding cost, you need to know how it is done and what tools are required while bleeding the brakes and also how often does one need to do it because only then will we be able to get an idea about the cost. So first we will explain its method and materials required, and then we will get down to the break cost.
In order to properly bleed your brakes, you are going to need the following items:
- A wrench or a combination wrench that fits the bleeder nozzle on your car or vehicle.
- A new can of proper brake fluids so that you can replace the old one.
- A glass jar to put the brake fluid in so you can fill it in there later.
- And a person to help you with the pressing of the brake pads while you fill the brake fluid as it is a two men job.
How to bleed a brake step by step
- Find a little nozzle located right behind your car’s brakes. This nozzle is called brake bleeder nozzle.
- Loosen the screws using the wrench.
- Place a hose at the end of the screw and the other end in the jar.
- Have the person with you to pump the brake pedal.
- After they have done it a certain number of times, open the bleeder screw.
- Don’t release the brake pedal before you have tightened the screw again. Because if you do, it will suck air and it will again get infiltrated into the fluid.
- Keep repeating this procedure until no air comes out of the screw.
- Now add more brake fluid to the master cylinder until it reaches the level of the marked line.
- Repeat the same process with all the brakes.
- It is good to give your car a little drive around the block after you are done with the bleeding of the brakes.
How Much Does It Cost to Bleed Brakes?
The cost of the bleeding of brakes cannot be given as an exact number as it varies from car to car and model to model. However, using the steps to bleed brakes, we can estimate an approximate cost by adding the cost of all its separate components.
Wrench or combination wrench
The first component was a wrench or a combination wrench. Although you can probably perform the work with a closed-end hand wrench, there are special wrenches for bleeding brakes. They easily get into tight locations and are helpful because they are designed in a way so that they don’t slip off a bleeder while you are working on it. They are not a necessity, but if you are doing the work regularly, then they are definitely worth the $5 they cost on average.
There are many different types of wrenches available in the market at different costs. However, the cost may vary depending on the type of wrench that suits your car. On average they cost you around $5-7 and are worth investing in if you bleed your brakes on your own or own a garage.
Read Also: How to Bleed Brakes by Yourself
The second component was a good quality brake fluid. You must be asking yourself what a good quality brake fluid is and how you can tell the difference.
Well! Theoretically, even simple water could be used, but they are certain reasons why it’s not. And we will tell you what these reasons are.
The task of a braking system is to convert kinetic energy to friction to slow down the car or stop it. Now during this process, some parts of the braking system get very hot and reach a high temperature to about 1200-degree Fahrenheit. The heat is then transferred to the brake fluids, and their temperature might go as high at approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than the boiling point of water that is only 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, it is impractical to use water because it will convert to steam and then the fluid would be incompressible. Another problem with water is that it may freeze during winters.
Therefore, the best solution to this problem is using a fluid that is less sensitive to temperatures and doesn’t easily boil or freezes.
The different types of brake fluids are rated in terms of DOT3, DOT4, and DOT5. These ratings don’t address their boiling points just their composition that is the base compound they are made of and whether or not it is suitable for the braking system.
A problem with these fluids is that over time they absorb water and their boiling point reduces. This new boiling point is termed as “wet boiling point” and can cause trouble. Therefore, it is important to change brake fluids regularly.
Therefore, you can see that getting a good quality brake fluid is extremely important because we wouldn’t want to put our lives in danger by having our car’s brakes fail us. On the average the cost of the quantity of it required for a one-time usage is about $73-$104.
Cost of labor
Again, that also depends on many factors. One of them being the car you own. It also depends on the shop you go to, to get it done. Some companies even offer mobile employees that come to your mentioned address and do the work there. They might charge you on the distance they have to travel to get to the address.
Does it at home?
It is totally possible to get it done at home, but even then, you are going to need two things, a wrench and brake’s fluid. Therefore, on average cost would be $78-$111. However, if you get it done from an automobile shop, then it will cost you around $118-$130. But it will save time and energy. Also, most of these packages come with guarantees so you can rest assured about your brakes.
How often should you do it?
Routine car maintenance is one of the most effective methods to increase your vehicle’s safety and performance. Most car owners know the standard factory recommended car maintenance schedules which include changing all the fluids in one’s car, the tire rotations alignment, inspections of various parts, tune-ups, and much more. One of these vital routine car maintenance checks is brakes bleeding and should be done according to your vehicle’s maintenance needs which again is a variable factor.
You can get your car checked by a licensed mechanic forts to know if it needs brake bleeding or you can do it once you start feeling that your brakes are not working as hood as before. On the average, automobile experts suggest changing the brake’s fluid once every two or three years but you must remember that this is only a rough estimate and that it depends on the usage of your car.
An important point that must be kept in mind is that even though you can do it yourself at home. Still, it is a risky and dangerous job and that you should avoid it if you do not really know how to. The better option would be to get it done by an automobile shop or a mechanic.
With the above article, you now know what brake bleeding is, how it is done, and why is it so important to do it. You are also aware of the materials required for the process and their costs and how often it needs to be done. We hope that you got the information you were looking for, for the bleeding of your brakes.