Do You Have to Bleed Brakes After Changing Pads?

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Have you recently got the pads of your vehicle changed and are wondering what else needs to get replaced? Well, various car components and their functioning is interlinked, and you must be aware that changing one part of the framework impacts the entire body. 

So, if you have recently changed your vehicle’s brake pads, it’s normal to wonder whether you should bleed the brakes. 

Well, bleeding the brakes isn’t compulsory for you every time you change your vehicle’s brake pads. In fact, only when changing the brake pads requires you to open the brake lines, it becomes necessary for you to bleed the brakes. 

We have put together a detailed guide for you to answer the question of whether you have to bleed the brakes after changing pads in detail. We will also explore multiple methods you can use for bleeding the brakes in this write-up. 


Is It Necessary to Bleed Brakes After Changing Pads? 

Getting the brake pads of the car changed is pretty normal, primarily if you use your car too frequently. But there are multiple ways in which the brake pads can be changed, and it totally depends on the brake construction your vehicle comes with. 

But no matter which method your mechanic has opted for, one question that will often confuse you is whether or not it’s compulsory to bleed the brakes right after changing the brake pads.

As mentioned above, it is not always necessary to bleed the brakes after changing the pads. It’s because sometimes the pads of a car can be replaced without opening the brake lines or the brake fluid reservoir. 

For example, at times, your mechanic only has to retrace the pads or the piston to change the brake pads. This will, in turn, push the brake fluid toward the master cylinder. Due to this, the pressure the person changing the brake pads has to endure greatly reduces. 

However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes changing the pads requires you to bleed the brakes, which is especially crucial when the brake lines are opened in the process of replacing or changing the pads. 


When To Bleed the Brakes After Changing Pads? 

At this point, you know that not all situations require you to bleed the brakes right after changing the brake pads. Here we have listed some scenarios requiring brake bleeding after replacing the pads. 

  • Damaged Brake Pads 

As discussed earlier, whether or not it’s crucial to bleed the brakes after changing the pads depends on your mechanic’s replacement method. If you haven’t replaced the brake pads for a long time, resulting in their wearing out, your mechanic will be left will no other option but to open the brake lines completely to change them. 

In this case, it gets crucial to bleed the brakes immediately after you are done with replacing the pads. 

Here is a quick YouTube tutorial:

  • Replacing Other Brake System Components 

Another situation that calls for immediate break bleeding after replacing the brake pads is when you replace some other brake system components as well. As all the brake system components are closely linked with each other, changing or replacing one of them will have a great impact on other parts. 

Though replacing the brake pads won’t necessarily demand you to bleed the brakes for greater efficiency, if you are changing more than one brake system component at once, it’s better to bleed the brakes to ensure that your brake system works fine in the future. 


Bleeding the Brakes 

Now that you have got your answer of whether or not it is necessary to bleed the brakes after changing pads let us move to the next part, i.e., bleeding the brakes. 

Let us start off by looking at the meaning of this expression, and we will then take you toward the process you have to go through for bleeding the brakes of your vehicle. 

What Is the Meaning of Bleeding the Brakes? 

Brake bleeding, simply put, is actually the process of getting rid of air bubbles from the brake lines. Usually, this process is done on vehicles featuring hydraulic brake systems. 

You usually need to bleed the brakes on your vehicle after changing some part of your brake system, for instance, replacing the pads or rotor. Additionally, experts also recommend bleeding the brakes after a long journey as this helps maintain the efficiency and responsiveness of the brake system. 

Methods to Bleed Brakes After Changing Pads 

If you are wondering how to bleed brakes after changing pads, our four simple methods will help you perform this task without much hassle. 

Method #1: Bleeding the Brakes Manually

Here are the steps you need to follow to bleed the brakes on your vehicle manually after changing the pads: 

  1. Put a reservoir under the drain screw of your vehicle. 
  2. Start squeezing and letting go of the brake pedal gradually. 
  3. Ensure that the air and liquid are released. 
  4. Handle the brakes smoothly not to gather any air bubbles, as this can contaminate the new brake fluid. 
  5. Be cautious of the fact that no foam is being produced by the liquid, as this also means the production of new air bubbles. 

Method #2: Via Gravity 

You can also bleed your vehicle’s brakes after replacing the pads via gravity. To do this, follow these steps: 

  1. Take out a container and place it under the drain screw. 
  2. Use a screwdriver to open the drain screw and let society do its work. 
  3. The old liquid will be sucked into the container via the screw. 
  4. During this entire process, be on your toes if you don’t want the new liquid to be filled with air bubbles. 

Method #3: Via Pressure

Following are the steps you need to follow for bleeding the brakes on your vehicle via pressure. 

  1. Put a large-sized container beneath the hemodialysis machine screw. 
  2. Open the screw and release the liquid.
  3. Now employ the pressurized brake fluid reservoir at the master cylinder. 
  4. Doing so with push the air and fluid via the pressure mechanism away from the reservoir. 

Method #4: Via Vaccum 

Here is what you need to go through to bleed the brakes via vacuum after changing the brake pads. 

  1. Open the vacuum screw of your vehicle’s braking system using a screwdriver. 
  2. Attach a vacuum cleaner at the opening. 
  3. The vacuum cleaner will suck out all the liquid and air from the brake system into the container. 



How Much Time Does Brake Bleeding Take? 

Bleeding your vehicle’s brakes typically takes around 30 to 40 minutes, and shorts for around 12 to 15 minutes for each wheel. However, you won’t be able to perform this process all on your own, so it’s best to ask someone to assist you. 

How Much Does Bleeding the Brakes Cost? 

If you are a beginner and don’t want to try bleeding the brakes on your own, you can also get this job done professionally. Though the cost of bleeding the brakes depends on many factors, including the car you own and your geographical location, typically, it will cost you around $75 to $100. 

Is It Necessary to Bleed all Four Brakes at Once? 

Yes, most of the time, this is the case. As with the advancement in technology, the brake systems in cars have significantly improved; it’s best to be extra cautious while bleeding the brakes to prevent any damage. 

Once you have opened the brake line, it’s recommended to bleed all four brakes at once, but if all of them feature separate brake lines, you are still better off bleeding all of them together to keep the new fluid from getting contaminated.  

Is It Safe to Drive Without Bleeding Brakes? 

Yes, it’s not dangerous to drive without bleeding the brakes, as not all situations require you to bleed them immediately. However, in some cases, like worn-out pads and rotors, it’s recommended to bleed the brakes as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to the brake system. 

Is It Possible to Bleed the Brakes with the Tires On? 

Yes, there is nothing wrong with bleeding the brakes with the tires on. However, if you haven’t bled your brakes before, it’s best to seek professional advice regarding this, as the situation varies from one vehicle to the other. 

Conclusion – Do You Have to Bleed Brakes After Changing Pads?

In this guide, we have tried to clear your confusion regarding the connection between brake bleeding and replacing the brake pads on a car. We have also explored the meaning of bleeding brakes and taken you through some methods you can use to bleed the brakes on your own. 

We hope that this guide has made it very clear to you about when is the right time to bleed the brakes and answered all the questions you might have regarding this. 


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