Brakes gone soft? Bleeding them is the only way out. In this article, we will talk about what size tubing for bleeding brakes should you use.
Bleeding is an important maintenance step for vehicles. If it is your first time bleeding brakes, do not do it alone. It is always good to have a helping hand. And, if you have been doing it for a while, let us know your thoughts about this article in the comments down below. Bleeding can be done in about 1 to 1 and a half hours. In this article, we will walk through the tubing required for bleeding brakes.
When To Bleed Brakes on My Car?
Do you find that your brakes are no longer as hard as they used to be? Your brake fluid might be contaminated with trapped moisture or air, causing your brakes to become spongy.
The brake fluid tends to absorb moisture over time and is responsible for the uncommon softness in the brakes. This trait eventually leads to corrosion in brake components. Bleeding is the process of getting rid of this moisture. And yes, not even new brake pads can save you from a soft brake pedal. The answer has to be bleeding.
If high-speed braking is frequent with your car, bleeding is certainly a good decision. Race Cars typically bleed after every track session.
Methods of Bleeding Brakes
There are many methods for bleeding brakes. However, if you are new to the concept of bleeding, then you must read about some of the most commonly used methods for bleeding brakes.
As the name suggests, this method employs a vacuum pump to extract the fluid until clear air bubbles.
The master cylinder is first pressurized by attaching a pressure pump. After that, you have to run out all the air bubbles from the brake fluid by opening the bleeder valves one after the other.
The fluid is forced into the master cylinder by using a pump. The air eventually rises in the liquid and moves out of your brakes.
Pump and Hold Method
The bleed screws are opened one at a time while pressing the brake pedal thus, allowing the air to escape. You must remember to close the bleed screw before releasing the pedal.
The Tubing and Jar Method
The Tubing and Jar Method is the one-person method or rather one-person bleeding hack. It can be carried out using ¼ inches vinyl tubing.
What Size Are Brake Bleeders?
5/16 inches x 3/8 inches is the perfect sized wrench for bleeding brakes. A wrench of a given size can be used for bleeding air from brake cylinders with bleeder screws.
However, the best wrench is that which is suitable for your car’s bleeder screws. An offset wrench works best for this; it allows room for maximum movement.
Do You Need a Hose To Bleed Brakes?
Yes, you can use a hose to bleed brakes. For this, you will need a length of hose that fits the nipple of the brake bleeder. Place a piece of flexible hose over the end of the bleeder screw and place the opposite end of the hose in the jar.
Fill the jar with brake fluid till the end of the hose. You can place a jar near the nozzle so any liquid spilled will land inside if the hose size is not appropriate for the bleeder screw. One can use a discarded beer or soda bottle to save you the trouble of cleaning the jar later.
What Size Plastic Tubing Should I Use for Bleeding Brakes?
If you wonder what size tubing should be used to bleed brakes, 3/16 x 5/16 inch vinyl tubing is typically best for bleeding car brakes.
What size tube to bleed motorcycle brakes?
3/16 inches x 5/16 inches is usually fine for bike brakes too.
How much PSI do I need to bleed my brakes?
You must slowly remove the pump cap to relieve pressure. Next, fill the pressure bleeder with up to 2 quarts of brake fluid and use around 15-16 PSI to pressurize it.
Make sure not to exceed 20 PSI whatsoever. Always double-check the fluid level in the master cylinder and the firmness of the pedal before test driving.
Points To Keep in Mind for Bleeding Brakes
We find it imperative for the reader to walk through the following points before bleeding their brakes independently.
Brake fluids are meant to last.
One must remember that brake fluids are expertly crafted to work properly for several years before needing any replacement. Good brake fluid can last anything between three to four years. The rule does not apply to racing cars. Bleeding on your own comes with both pros and cons, so weigh them both carefully.
Know the Brake Fluid well
Consult the manual to know which brake fluid does your vehicle need. One can also discuss this in the event of purchase to avoid any doubts in the future. Brake fluids such as DOT 4 are corrosive. In an event where the brake fluid spills on metal, you must immediately clean it.
Since brake fluid is a very harsh chemical, it is advisable to protect yourself with all the necessary precautions, such as gloves, when dealing with it at the close. You would also need a friend who can help you execute the bleeding well.
Last but not the least, if you still can’t figure out what and how to go on and hunt for bleeding kits that are easily available online and offline. They come with a detailed ‘how-to manual and would come in handy.
Please do your research well, and you should bleed brakes with help from a friend or partner. Collect all the necessary gear before hopping on to the process.
Tell us if you discovered something new here? If you did, give us a shoutout in the comments section. Also, should you have any doubts or article requests, do let us know. Also, share the same with friends and family.