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Vacuum Bleeding Brakes

Techniques and Best Practices

Vacuum Bleeding Brakes

Techniques 

and Best Practices

 

What are the benefits?

Vacuum bleeding is a highly effective process that ensures that your brake system is in good working condition. The process involves the use of a vacuum pump to draw air and moisture from the brake lines. Many motorcycle owners and mechanics prefer using a vacuum pump over other methods. Here are some of the key benefits.
  1. Removes air and moisture from the brake system- Vacuum bleeding is a highly efficient method of removing air and old moisture laden brake fluid from the brake lines. Air and moisture can significantly reduce the performance of your brakes, making them less effective. By using a vacuum pump to remove air and old brake fluid, you can ensure that your brake system functions optimally, giving you better control over your bike.
  2. Saves time and effort- It is a quick and efficient process that saves time and effort. Unlike other methods that require you to manually pump the brakes with two people, vacuum bleeding brakes allows you to complete the process in a matter of minutes with one person. This means that you can get back on the road faster and spend less time worrying about your motorcycle's brakes.
  3. Prevents brake failure- Regular bleeding of brakes can prevent brake failure or loss of pressure. When air and moisture are present in the brake fluid, they can cause corrosion and damage the brake components. This can lead to brake failure, which can be dangerous and costly to repair. Vacuum bleeding regularly can help prevent this from happening, ensuring that your brakes are always in good working order.
  4. Improves brake performance- By removing air and moisture from the brake lines, you can significantly improve the performance of your brakes. This means that your brakes will be more responsive, allowing you to stop your bike more quickly and effectively. Improved brake performance increases your safety on the road, as it can help you avoid accidents and collisions.
Brake fluid: The first thing you'll need is brake fluid. Make sure you get the right type for your vehicle, as specified in the owner's manual. It's also advisable to get a fresh bottle of brake fluid or one that you know has been properly sealed to ensure optimal performance.
Fresh Brake Fluid is a key to bleed brakes by yourself
Brake Bleeder Kit: This kit is a must-have for bleeding brakes by yourself. It usually includes hoses, a plastic fluid reservoir, and a vacuum source, normally a hand or electric vacuum pump. The hoses connect the reservoir to the brake bleeder screw (sometimes called bleeder valve). There is another tube to connect the plastic reservoir to the vacuum source. The kit's reservoir catches the old brake fluid as it exits your brake system.
Great brake bleeder kit to bleed brakes by yourself
Wrench: You'll need an open end wrench to loosen and tighten the brake bleeder screw. The size of the wrench will depend on the make and model of your vehicle.
Jack and jack stands: To access the brake calipers, you'll need to jack up the car and put it on jack stands. This is so you can remove the wheels for easy access the caliper bleeder screw.
jack stands allow you to remove wheels so you can bleed brakes by yourself
Brake cleaner: Brake cleaner will help you clean up any spilled brake fluid or other debris that may have accumulated around the brake caliper.
Clean rags or towels: You'll also need clean rags or towels to wipe off any dirt or grease that may have accumulated around the brake caliper. You can also place a piece of cardboard under the brake caliper to soak up any drips.
pump the brake pedal to ensure it is firm after vacuum bleeding brakes
Vacuum bleeding brakes is a highly effective process that ensures that your brake system is in good working condition. The process involves the use of a vacuum pump to draw air and moisture from the brake lines. Many vehicle owners and mechanics prefer using a vacuum pump over other methods. Here are some of the key benefits.
  1. Removes air and moisture from the brake system- Vacuum bleeding brakes is a highly efficient method of removing air and old moisture laden brake fluid from the brake lines. Air and moisture can significantly reduce the performance of your brakes, making them less effective. By using a vacuum pump to remove air and old brake fluid, you can ensure that your brake system functions optimally, giving you better control over your vehicle.
  2. Saves time and effort- It is a quick and efficient process that saves time and effort. Unlike other methods that require you to manually pump the brakes with two people, it allows you to complete the process in a matter of minutes with one person. This means that you can get back on the road faster and spend less time worrying about your vehicle's brakes.
  3. Prevents brake failure- Regular vacuum bleeding of brakes can prevent brake failure or loss of pressure. When air and moisture are present in the brake fluid, they can cause corrosion and damage the brake components. This can lead to brake failure, which can be dangerous and costly to repair. Bleeding brakes regularly can help prevent this from happening, ensuring that your brakes are always in good working order.
  4. Improves brake performance- Removing air and moisture from the brake lines can significantly improve the performance of your brakes. This means that your brakes will be more responsive, allowing you to stop your vehicle more quickly and effectively. Improved brake performance increases your safety on the road, as it can help you avoid accidents and collisions.
pump the brake pedal

When it comes to vacuum bleeding your brakes, there are several techniques and best practices that you should follow to ensure a successful and effective process. Firstly, it is important to choose the right vacuum pump for your brake system. The vacuum pump should have enough suction power to pull fluid from the brake reservoir to the brake caliper. Additionally, a vacuum brake bleeder should be easy to use and maintain.


Another important best practice is to use the correct bleeding sequence. This involves starting with the brake caliper furthest from the master cylinder and working your way towards the closest one. This ensures that all the air and moisture is removed from the brake lines, preventing any potential issues or failures.


By following the best practices and bleeding techniques outlined above, you can enjoy the numerous benefits, including improved brake performance, increased safety, and a longer lifespan for your brake components.


How often should it be performed?

The recommended frequency  varies depending on several factors, including the make and model, driving conditions, and usage. However, as a general rule, it is recommended that you vacuum bleed your brakes at least once a year to maintain the effectiveness of your bike's braking system and replace your fluid every two years.
In addition to the annual bleeding, it is also essential to vacuum bleed your brakes whenever you replace any brake components such as the calipers, brake pads, or brake lines. This ensures that any air that may have entered the brake system during the replacement process is removed, resulting in optimal brake performance.
Some signs that your brakes need vacuum bleeding include a soft or spongy brake pedal, reduced braking effectiveness, or brake drag. If you notice any of these signs, it is crucial to investigate immediately to avoid potential brake failure or premature wear.

Are there any precautions to consider?

Yes, there are several precautions that should be considered. Vacuum bleeding is a method of bleeding brakes that utilizes a vacuum pump to draw air and fluid through the brake lines to remove any air bubbles or contaminants from the system. While this method can be simple and effective, it can also be dangerous or ineffective if proper care is not taken.
Great brake bleeder kit  from Air Zapper
  1. Firstly, it is essential to wear protective eyewear and gloves. This is because brake fluid is highly corrosive and can cause severe eye and skin damage if it comes into contact with them.
  2. Secondly, ensure that the brake fluid reservoir is filled to the recommended level before beginning the vacuum bleeding process and check it regularly during the bleed to ensure it does not run dry. This prevents air from entering the system from one end while you are removing air from the other and causing further problems.
Fresh Brake Fluid is a key to vacuum bleeding brakes
3. Thirdly, it is essential to have a proper vacuum pump and vacuum hoses that are in good condition. Worn or damaged hoses can cause the brake fluid to leak , leading to an ineffective bleed.
4. Fourthly, we recommend removing the bleeder screw and applying from Teflon tape to the threads (taking care not to cover the bleed hole) and replace the bleeder screw. This will prevent air from being drawn around the bleeder screw which can give a false indication of air in the brake lines when vacuum is applied.
Add teflon tape to bleeder screw for vacuum bleeding brakes
5. Finally, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Improper use of the vacuum pump can cause damage to the brake system, leading to costly repairs and potential safety hazards.

How often should it be performed?

The recommended frequency  varies depending on several factors, including the bike's make and model, riding conditions, and usage. However, as a general rule, it is recommended that you vacuum bleed your brakes at least once a year to maintain the effectiveness of your vehicle's braking system and replace your fluid every two years.
In addition to the annual bleeding, it is also essential to vacuum bleed your brakes whenever you replace any brake components such as the calipers, brake pads, or brake lines. This ensures that any air that may have entered the brake system during the replacement process is removed, resulting in optimal brake performance.
Some signs that your brakes need vacuum bleeding include a soft or spongy brake lever or pedal, reduced braking effectiveness, or brake drag. If you notice any of these signs, it is crucial to investigate immediately to avoid potential brake failure or premature wear.

Are there any precautions to consider?

Yes, there are several precautions that should be considered when vacuum bleeding brakes. Vacuum bleeding is a method of bleeding brakes that utilizes a vacuum pump to draw air and fluid through the brake lines to remove any air bubbles or contaminants from the system. While this method can be simple and effective, it can also be dangerous or ineffective if proper care is not taken.
  1. Firstly, it is essential to wear protective eyewear and gloves. This is because brake fluid is highly corrosive and can cause severe eye and skin damage if it comes into contact with them.
  2. Secondly, ensure that the brake fluid reservoir is filled to the recommended level before beginning the vacuum bleeding process and check it regularly during the bleed to ensure it does not run dry. This prevents air from entering the system from one end while you are removing air from the other and causing further problems.
  3. Thirdly, it is essential to have a proper vacuum pump and vacuum hoses that are in good condition. Worn or damaged hoses can cause the brake fluid to leak , leading to an ineffective bleed.
  4. Fourthly, we recommend removing the bleeder screw and applying from Teflon tape to the threads (taking care not to cover the bleed hole) and replace the bleeder screw. This will prevent air from being drawn around the bleeder screw which can give a false indication of air in the brake lines.
  5. Finally, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Improper use of the vacuum pump can cause damage to the brake system, leading to costly repairs and potential safety hazards.
Fresh Brake Fluid is a key to vacuum bleeding brakes
  1. Locate the brake bleeder screw on the caliper furthest from the vehicle brake fluid reservoir. The first step is to locate the brake bleeder screw, usually located at the caliper or the wheel cylinder. If you're not sure, refer to your vehicle's manual.
brake bleeder screw located on brake caliper
2. Attach the bleeder kit- Next, attach the bleeder screw adapter/ connector on the clear plastic tubing from the bleeder kit reservoir to the bleeder screw.
vacuum brake bleeder kit connected to brake bleeder screw
3. Loosen the brake bleeder screw- Using the wrench, loosen the bleeder screw. Do not remove it completely. Note: if you are just doing a quick bleed after maintenance skip to step 6. If you are completely changing out your brake fluid continue with Step 4 below.
4. Start the vacuum source- If you are using a manual vacuum pump, simply pump, or if you are using an electric vacuum pump turn it on.
5. Remove all fluid- Continue running the vacuum source until all fluid if removed from the brake line as indicated by all air coming from the bleeder screw.
6. Fill the vehicle brake fluid reservoir- Remove the lid and fill the brake fluid reservoir with fresh brake fluid to the max level line. Be sure to use the recommended type of brake fluid for your car.
adding fresh brake fluid to the reservoir | bleed brakes by yourself
7. Start the vacuum source- If you are using a manual vacuum pump, simply pump, or if you are using an electric vacuum pump turn it on.
8. Remove all air from the brake line- Continue bleeding until a solid column of fresh fluid is observed in the plastic tubing with no bubbles. Note: Keep an eye on the fluid level in the vehicle brake fluid reservoir and top up as necessary to avoid introducing more air into the system
9. Close the bleeder screw- With the vacuum still applied, close the bleeder screw and disconnect the brake bleeder from the bleeder screw. Stop the vacuum source by stopping manually pumping or turning the pump off. Wipe up any spilled brake fluid.
10. Repeat steps 1-3 and 6-9 for the remaining calipers beginning with the on the next furthest from the vehicle brake fluid reservoir. Note that fresh fluid will be indicated by a color change from dark to light.
11. Once you've bled all the calipers, tighten the bleeder screws and check the brake pedal for proper feel and response.
pump the brake pedal to ensure it is firm after bleeding brakes
Great brake bleeder kit to vacuum bleeding brakes
Add teflon tape to bleeder screw for vacuum bleeding brakes

What are the steps required?

  1. Locate the brake bleeder screw on the caliper furthest from the motorcycle's brake fluid reservoir. The first step is to locate the brake bleeder screw, usually located at the caliper or the wheel cylinder. If you're not sure, refer to your owner's manual.
Step 1: Prepare the Bike
Before starting the bleed, ensure the brake fluid is at the correct level and protect the paint of the bike from brake fluid spillage. A flattened cardboard box under the wheel will soak up any drip and protect your garage floor or driveway. It is also advisable to inspect the brake lines for any damage or leaks. 
brake bleeder screw located on brake caliper for vacuum bleeding brakes
Step 2: Connect the Vacuum Pump
You want to always start at the wheel, the furthest from the brake fluid reservoir (normally right rear). Attach the vacuum pump to the brake bleeder valve (screw) located on the brake caliper. fluidMost brake bleeder kits supply adapters for this purpose. Ensure that the pump is tightly connected to the valve (screw) to prevent air from entering the brake system. At this point you can start the vacuum pump.
jack stands allow you to remove wheels for vacuum bleeding brakes
Step 3: Open the Bleeder Screw
Open the bleeder screw (valve) on the brake caliper with a wrench by turning it slowly counterclockwise until you see air and/ or fluid flowing into the tubing. This allows air and old fluid to escape the system while new fluid is drawn in from the fluid reservoir.
vacuum brake bleeder kit connected to brake bleeder screw
Step 4: Perform the Bleed
Let the vacuum pump run until no more air bubbles escape the brake line. Depending on the amount of air in the system, this process may take a few minutes. During the process, be sure to monitor the brake fluid reservoir to ensure that it remains sufficiently full to prevent air from being inadvertently being drawn in.
Step 5: Close the Bleeder Screw
Once all the air bubbles are removed, close the bleeder screw by turning it clockwise. This will prevent air from entering the brake system. At this point you can stop the vacuum pump and remove the bleeder adapter from the bleeder screw.
Step 6: Refill the Brake Fluid
Top up the brake fluid reservoir with new brake fluid to the recommended level.
Step 7: Repeat Steps 2-6 for each brake caliper
Starting with the one next furthest from the master cylinder and working your way towards the closest one. This ensures that all the air and moisture is removed from the brake lines, preventing any potential issues or failures.

By following these steps, you can effectively vacuum bleed your brakes and ensure that your bike is safe to ride. It is important to note that some bikes may have different bleeding procedures, so it is always a good idea to consult your manual before attempting to bleed your brakes.
brake bleeder screw located on brake caliper for vacuum bleeding brakes
vacuum brake bleeder kit connected to brake bleeder screw
jack stands allow you to remove wheels for vacuum bleeding brakes

What are the steps for required?

  1. Locate the brake bleeder screw on the caliper furthest from the vehicle brake fluid reservoir. The first step is to locate the brake bleeder screw, usually located at the caliper or the wheel cylinder. If you're not sure, refer to your vehicle's manual.
Step 1: Prepare the Vehicle
Before starting the bleed, ensure the brake fluid is at the correct level and protect the paint of the vehicle from brake fluid spillage. A flattened cardboard box under the wheel will soak up any drip and protect your garage floor or driveway. It is also advisable to inspect the brake lines for any damage or leaks.
Step 2: Connect the Vacuum Pump
You want to always start at the wheel, the furthest from the vehicle brake fluid reservoir (normally right rear). Attach the vacuum pump to the brake bleeder valve (screw) located on the brake caliper.Most brake bleeder kits supply adapters for this purpose. Ensure that the pump is tightly connected to the valve (screw) to prevent air from entering the brake system. At this point you can start the vacuum pump.
Step 3: Open the Bleeder Screw
Open the bleeder screw (valve) on the brake caliper with a wrench by turning it slowly counterclockwise until you see air and/ or fluid flowing into the tubing. This allows air and old fluid to escape the system while new fluid is drawn in from the vehicle's reservoir.
Step 4: Perform the Bleed
Let the vacuum pump run until no more air bubbles escape the brake line. Depending on the amount of air in the system, this process may take a few minutes. During the process, be sure to monitor the bike's brake fluid reservoir to ensure that it remains sufficiently full to prevent air from being inadvertently being drawn in.
Step 5: Close the Bleeder Screw
Once all the air bubbles are removed, close the bleeder screw by turning it clockwise. This will prevent air from entering the brake system. At this point you can stop the vacuum pump and remove the bleeder adapter from the bleeder screw.
Step 6: Refill the Brake Fluid
Top up the brake fluid reservoir with new brake fluid to the recommended level.
Step 7: Repeat Steps 2-6 for each brake caliper
Starting with the one next furthest from the master cylinder and working your way towards the closest one. This ensures that all the air and moisture is removed from the brake lines, preventing any potential issues or failures.
By following these steps, you can effectively vacuum bleed your brakes and ensure that your motorcycle is safe to ride. It is important to note that some vehicles may have different bleeding procedures, so it is always a good idea to consult your bike's manual before attempting to bleed your brakes.

brake bleeder screw located on brake caliper
2. Attach the bleeder kit- Next, attach the bleeder screw adapter/ connector on the clear plastic tubing from the bleeder kit reservoir to the bleeder screw.
vacuum brake bleeder kit connected to brake bleeder screw
3. Loosen the brake bleeder screw- Using the wrench, loosen the bleeder screw. Do not remove it completely. Note: if you are just doing a quick bleed after maintenance skip to step 6. If you are completely changing out your brake fluid continue with Step 4 below.
4. Start the vacuum source- If you are using a manual vacuum pump, simply pump, or if you are using an electric vacuum pump turn it on.
5. Remove all fluid- Continue running the vacuum source until all fluid if removed from the brake line as indicated by all air coming from the bleeder screw.
6. Fill the vehicle brake fluid reservoir- Remove the lid and fill the brake fluid reservoir with fresh brake fluid to the max level line. Be sure to use the recommended type of brake fluid for your car.
adding fresh brake fluid to the reservoir | bleed brakes by yourself
7. Start the vacuum source- If you are using a manual vacuum pump, simply pump, or if you are using an electric vacuum pump turn it on.
8. Remove all air from the brake line- Continue bleeding until a solid column of fresh fluid is observed in the plastic tubing with no bubbles. Note: Keep an eye on the fluid level in the vehicle brake fluid reservoir and top up as necessary to avoid introducing more air into the system
9. Close the bleeder screw- With the vacuum still applied, close the bleeder screw and disconnect the brake bleeder from the bleeder screw. Stop the vacuum source by stopping manually pumping or turning the pump off. Wipe up any spilled brake fluid.
10. Repeat steps 1-3 and 6-9 for the remaining calipers beginning with the on the next furthest from the vehicle brake fluid reservoir. Note that fresh fluid will be indicated by a color change from dark to light.
11. Once you've bled all the calipers, tighten the bleeder screws and check the brake pedal for proper feel and response.
pump the brake pedal to ensure it is firm after bleeding brakes
In conclusion, vacuum bleeding brakes can be a safe and effective method of removing air from the brake system. By following these precautions, you can avoid potential accidents or injuries while maintaining your brake system in top condition.

Watch the vacuum bleeding demo and see. It's simple to bleed your brakes or completely change the fluid out the fluid! The hands-free operation allows you to refill the reservoir without stopping the bleed. Remove air from your brake system after you replace pads or do a complete fluid change. Click below to see how easy it is

Video
Air Zapper brake bleeders work great on most vehicles including cars and motorcycles. Also good for bleeding hydraulic clutch lines as well as brake lines. Check your vehicle service manual to make sure that vacuum bleeding is an acceptable method. Finally, always follow the procedures specified for your vehicle. 
Removing air from the line is an important part of brake maintenance. Periodic replenishment with fresh fluid makes sure your system stays clean and moisture free. These easy steps will help ensure that you maintain the optimum stopping power under all driving conditions
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