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Brake Bleeder

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Brake Bleeder

Greg Hill
August 8, 2006

What is Brake Bleeding?

“Brake bleeding is the procedure performed on hydraulic brake systems whereby the brake lines (the pipes and hoses containing the brake fluid) are purged of any air bubbles. This is necessary because, while the brake fluid is an incompressible liquid, air bubbles are compressible gas and their presence in the brake system greatly reduces the hydraulic pressure that can be developed within the system.” - Wikipedia, Brake Bleeding, July 2006

To purge the brake lines, and all pipes and hoses associated with those lines, on any hydraulic brake system, you’ll need a good brake bleeder in order to get the job done. Brake bleeders can be used on most brake systems, including motorcycles. For brake lines to operate at their peak, and to be sure that every safety precaution has been taken, a good brake bleeder is a necessity. After all, you don’t want any air bubbles in your brake lines.

Rarely a system will not even need a brake bleeder used on the brake lines, so familiarize yourself with the system you’re working on and be sure that you need a brake bleeder prior to using one. Consult your owner’s manual to be sure about what you’re getting into before working on any brake system or engine.

Where to Find Brake Bleeders

Good brake bleeders can be found almost anywhere. Any automotive store should have some in stock, though mobile tool dealers will probably have the best selection of name brand brake bleeders. The largest selection of brake bleeders can be found online, available through the Internet for quick and easy purchase.

Be sure to do some shopping around when it comes to finding the best brake bleeder for you. Know your needs, know what you can spend, and know what’s available out there. Familiarize yourself with pricing before you buy, because you don’t want to buy the first brake bleeder you find and end up being sorry with your choice.

Once you start looking for brake bleeders, you’ll be amazed at the selection that you find. Take your time in buying the right one, because when it comes to your brakes nothing is more important. Safety has to come first, even over budget.

How to Use Brake Bleeders

Any brake bleeder you plan to use should come with an informative, step-by-step manual for you to follow. Most companies will have web sites featuring online support, should you have questions not covered in the standard paperwork that comes with your brake bleeder. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully, ensuring proper use of your brake bleeder. After all, if you aren’t using the brake bleeder properly then you aren’t doing yourself any good, and you certainly aren’t purging your brake lines the way you should be. Be careful when using your brake bleeder, and pay close attention to what you’re doing.

Brake Bleeders

When it comes to anything mechanical, but especially something as important as brake lines, it’s always best to consult a trained professional technician or service manual. If you are very unfamiliar with brake bleeders, you could actually do more harm than good in trying to purge your hydraulic brake lines on your own. Be sure you know what you are doing, or that you work with someone who does, when it comes to brake bleeders. You can never be too careful when it comes to brake safety, so be cautious when using a brake bleeder.

Club racer, high performance driving instructor, and driving enthusiast Greg Hill has been involved in motorsport for years. His driving experience and association with all things track and automotive related provides a wealth of information on the subject. Learn about affordable brake bleeder tools.



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