How Do You Gravity Bleed Your Brakes?

Gravity bleeding brakes involves attaching clear tubing to the vehicle's bleeders and manipulating the tubing to release trapped air bubbles in the braking system. The required supplies are an automotive jack, four jack stands, 1 quart of brake fluid, 5 feet of 3/16-inch tubing, an empty quart jar, a hammer, masking tape, vise grip pliers and an open-end wrench. This procedure takes about 30 minutes.

  1. Raise the vehicle

    Raise the vehicle with a jack, and rest it on four jack stands. Remove the wheels.

  2. Find the brake fluid reservoir

    Locate the brake fluid reservoir, and loosen its cover. Loosen the bleeder caps with the vise grip pliers. If the bleeders drip fluid, tighten their caps just enough to stop the leaking.

  3. Attach the plastic tubing

    Slide one end of the plastic tubing over a bleeder nipple, and raise the other end higher than the brake fluid reservoir. Secure the tube with masking tape.

  4. Open the nipple

    Open the nipple with an open-end wrench, and allow fluid to flow into the tubing.

  5. Release the air bubbles

    When the fluid in the tube stops rising, tap the tube with the handle of a hammer. Watch for escaping air bubbles. Tap on the tube until bubbles no longer emerge from the bleeder.

  6. Close the bleeder

    Set the jar below the nipple. Close the bleeder with the wrench, and pull the tube off of it. Catch the brake fluid in the jar.

  7. Replenish the brake fluid reservoir

    Check the level of brake fluid in the reservoir, and top it off with fresh fluid.

  8. Bleed the remaining brakes

    Bleed the remaining brakes in the same manner. Add more brake fluid to the reservoir after you bleed each brake.

  9. Tighten the caps

    Tighten the bleeders' caps with the vise grip pliers.

  10. Replace the wheels

    Replace the wheels, and lower the vehicle.