[Q] How to bleed brake lines? - Nissan Versa Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-22-2012, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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[Q] How to bleed brake lines?

Hi all,

I looked through the how-to's for how to bleed brake lines and searched and had no luck. I'm changing brake pads and rotors soon and found a couple helpful threads, but should I also bleed the brake lines? If so, do you know any resources that would be useful? I see you can buy brake bleeding kits, but those range in the $60 and I would imagine this is something you can do with mom n' pop tools? I've googled too and not much luck. I did find you should bleed them front driver, passenge, rear driver, passenger. Thoughts?

-Brett

update: I'm driving an 07' Versa S, with 80,000 miles on it.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 05:56 PM
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Greetings from a fellow 07 Versa S driver (57,000 miles).

I have the original brakes on my Versa but will be checking them soon. When I do I will probably go ahead and bleed them for the first time. I have bled brakes on several other cars.

Always start at the corner farthest from the master cylinder, so this would be the rear passenger side.

Always use new fluid from a freshly opened can of brake fluid.

When doing it "yourself" without a fancy bleeder system, it will require two people. One to push on and release the brake pedal at the correct times, and the other to open/close the bleeder nut. I like to place a board under the brake pedal so it doesn't bottom out when pushed with the bleeder nut open. People claim pushing the pedal farther than normal can cause the piston seals within the master cylinder to develop a leak. Not sure if this is true but I have read it a number of times.

I start by opening the cap on the master cylinder and extracting most of the old fluid with a small syringe. While not necessary, why pump all of that old fluid through the system? Then refill the master cylinder with new fluid. Put cap back on master cylinder.

I also have a small piece of hose that fits over the bleeder valve at the brake I am working on, with that hose going into a small plastic cup with a lid that has some brake fluid in it. This way if the person operating the brake pedal accidently releases the pedal prior to you tightening the bleeder nut, you won't be sucking air back into the brake system. You can buy this little plastic cup thing with the proper size hose at an auto parts store for a few bucks.

With the proper size wrench (consider using a flare nut wrench) on the bleeder nut, tell the person operating the brake pedal to push on the brake. Crack open the bleeder nut and you will see some fluid running through the hose into the small reservoir. The first few times, you may see a few small air bubbles also. Tighten the nut and then tell the person to release the brake pedal. Do this a number of times until you see clean fluid. Obviously at the farthest corner from the master cylinder, it will take more times.

Very important: After every few turns of the nut; Stop and check the master cylinder. You do NOT want it to empty. Add new fluid to the master cylinder as needed. With the small reservoir I use to capture the old fluid, when it begins to fill up, I know it is time to empty it partly, and add new fluid to the master cylinder.

Repeat at each corner, starting at passenger rear, then driver's rear, passenger front, then drivers front side.

I usually buy a quart of the synthetic dot 3 or 4 brake fluid, and usually use most all of it. The used stuff goes to the proper recycle center.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 07:56 PM
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The "fancy" bleeder tool is worth it....we use ours a lot!

Motive Products Brake Power Bleeders and Accessories - JEGS
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-26-2012, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by frenchy chan View Post
The "fancy" bleeder tool is worth it....we use ours a lot!

Motive Products Brake Power Bleeders and Accessories - JEGS
That seems like it'd be great, but each model is for a set of cars (ford, imports, etc.) and I'm not sure I'll use it enough to warrant the purchase. Well....after watching a couple vids might buy it.

Sooner4x4, thanks so much for the detailed instructions, just what I need. Now if I follow your directions and screw up I can blame it on you, lol.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-26-2012, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by frenchy chan View Post
The "fancy" bleeder tool is worth it....we use ours a lot!

Motive Products Brake Power Bleeders and Accessories - JEGS
Thinking more seriously about the Motive power bleeder, but which model do you use for your versa frenchy? It recommends the 1101 universal fit for Nissans up to 05', which has mixed reviews, or the Ford 1107 for 3-pronged caps, but the versa has 2? Lastly, do you have any problems with getting it to seal?

Thanks!
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-26-2012, 12:46 PM
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Umm. Unless you remove the calipers you have no need to bleed the brakes. If you don't know how to bleed brakes it's best you dont try. Remember it's your life as well as everyone aropund you.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-26-2012, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jbeau View Post
Umm. Unless you remove the calipers you have no need to bleed the brakes.
I'm pretty sure they've never been bled and I'm sitting at 80,000 miles. Why not do it while changing the pads and rotors?

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Originally Posted by jbeau View Post
If you don't know how to bleed brakes it's best you dont try. Remember it's your life as well as everyone aropund you.
Very true. That's why I'm asking for tips and doing my research before just going into it. I can't afford to go to a mechanic. Lots of people probably don't ever get it done. I want to take preventative care with my vehicles to get the most longevity out of them and reduce costs - while still being safe.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-26-2012, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Biverson View Post
Thinking more seriously about the Motive power bleeder, but which model do you use for your versa frenchy? It recommends the 1101 universal fit for Nissans up to 05', which has mixed reviews, or the Ford 1107 for 3-pronged caps, but the versa has 2? Lastly, do you have any problems with getting it to seal?

Thanks!
My husband works for JEGs as a tech. Call him and talk Versas with him His name is Sean.

1-800-345-4545 ext 875
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-27-2012, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jbeau View Post
Umm. Unless you remove the calipers you have no need to bleed the brakes. If you don't know how to bleed brakes it's best you dont try. Remember it's your life as well as everyone aropund you.
A couple of good points. Someone should have a good idea of what they are doing when working on their brakes, no matter what service it is on the brake system. Technically you don't NEED to bleed brakes after a pad replacement, and what I described would be more accurately described as "flushing the brake system without using a commercial brake bleeding tool".

If someone has the experience of doing proper oil changes, tranny fluid changes, filter changes, brake work (pads, rotors, drums, shoes, etc.), then they would have no problem bleeding or flushing their brake lines. It is actually quite simple but it must be done correctly, you don't want to introduce air into the system. If you did, you can bleed it back out. It is a worthwhile DIY project that costs approx 5 bucks.

Flushing the old brake fluid every few years is a good idea and is specified by many auto makers including Subaru according my my Outback owners manual (I noticed you owned a Subaru in your sig).

I believe I provided enough info in my write-up to give someone enough information to make a decision whether to attempt the work or not. I have benefited from this type of sharing on other forums. Usually it is knowing that little trick or specific thing with a certain car that allows the DIY person to make a successful repair or perform maintenance work. If you believe there is additional information to provide a DIY person to complete this work successfully and safely, please share.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-09-2012, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Sooner4x4 thanks for the tips and right up. I have successfully changes the rotors, pads, and bled the system. I did it this last weekend (31st) and it went really well. I followed your instructions and did some more research to make sure I could get it down.

Quote:
If someone has the experience of doing proper oil changes, tranny fluid changes, filter changes, brake work (pads, rotors, drums, shoes, etc.), then they would have no problem bleeding or flushing their brake lines.
I've done quite a bit of all those (except brake work) and finding my way around wasn't all that difficult. I also followed a couple other how-to's on the forum and elsewhere.
https://www.nissanversaforums.com/how...sc-brakes.html

Quote:
My husband works for JEGs as a tech. Call him and talk Versas with him His name is Sean.

1-800-345-4545 ext 875
Thanks for the conneciton! I didn't end up going with the Power Bleeder and did it the old fashion way, but will give him a call if I ever need anything else! Hopefully not any time soon...
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