Ever taken your car to an auto repair shop and heard the mechanic say that you need to bleed your brakes? If your brake pedal feels soft, spongy, or mushy when depressed, it is likely that there are some air bubbles in your brake lines.
Bleeding the brakes simply means ridding the brake lines of any trapped air to return the brakes to tiptop condition. But why does air get into your brake system in the first place? While your auto brakes are designed to be airtight, air can infiltrate the system over time.
Here are some common reasons why this may happen.
Damaged Brake Lines
Because brake lines transfer brake fluid from the master cylinder to other parts of the brake system, it's important to keep them intact. Unfortunately, the brake lines can get broken, drawing air into the system while fluid escapes.
If you have broken brake lines, you need to remove and replace them before bleeding your brake system.
Worn-Out Brake Pads
The brake pads that clamp on the disc rotor during braking action wear down and become thinner and thinner over time. When this happens, they will have to travel a longer distance to make contact with the rotor disc.
The increased travel distance results in a decline in brake fluid level. In turn, this creates the opportunity for air to get in and fill the void. If your car has worn out brake pads, be sure to get them replaced before bleeding your brakes. You'll also need to ensure brake fluid is restored to the correct level to prevent further air infiltration into the brake system.
Brake Fluid Leaks
A significant loss of brake fluid, be it due to broken brake lines, deteriorated joints and seals, or problems with other parts of your brake system will leave the system vulnerable to air infiltration.
Before bleeding your brake system, you need to check for leaks and seal any leaks you may find within the system. Simply topping up the fluid level will do nothing to solve the problem.
Fully functioning brakes are a crucial part of the vehicle's safety on the road. Without them, you could get involved in an auto collision. While brake bleeding is a job you can tackle yourself if you have the right knowledge and tools, it can be quite time-consuming. Leaving the job to a qualified auto mechanic can save you time and take the hassle out of the job.
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