How to Bleed the Brakes with a 2nd Person

Find out how to bleed the brakes with two people, with one person at the brake pedal and one bleeding the brakes. We cover how to determine the order to bleed your brakes, what tools you’ll need, what each person will do, and more. You can apply these steps to many different vehicles. The main difference will be the location and size of the bleeder screws.

How to Bleed Brakes with a Helper

1A Auto mechanic reviewing how to bleed the brakes with a 2nd person

Tools Needed

  • Hose and Drain Pan or Brake Bleeder Kit
  • Brake Fluid
  • Cloth Rags
  • Set of Metric Wrenches
  • Help from an Assistant

Steps to breed the brakes with a 2nd person

  1. Clean the Brake Master Cylinder

    Wipe off any dirt or debris from the brake master cylinder before opening it so the brake fluid is not contaminated.

  2. Fill the Brake Master Cylinder with Manfacturer-Specified Brake Fluid

    Fill up the brake master cylinder with your vehicle’s manufacture-specified fluid. Replace the cap tight to prevent contaminants or moisture from entering the system. You don’t want the system to bleed down and allow air in, or else you’ll need to repeat the process.

  3. Find the Right Wheel to Start At to Determine the Order to Bleed the Brakes

    For the vast majority of vehicles, you’ll start at the wheel that’s furthest from the brake master cylinder, which is the passenger rear. Then you’ll bleed the driver side rear, the front passenger side, and lastly the front driver side. This will ensure any air in the system is flushed through the longest line, so there isn’t a trap as you approach the side closest to the brake master cylinder.

    The majority of ABS modules are located in the engine bay, but the vehicle in our example has an ABS module near the middle of the truck. Since it’s closer to the front, we’ll be bleeding the brakes in the typical order you would on most vehicles. For rear-mounted ABS modules, you’ll want to bleed the brakes in the opposite way of this example, and you’ll want to start bleeding the brakes at the front and ending at the rear.

    To confirm, take a look at the brake lines and see which one is the longest. If the ABS module is at the passenger rear, the line leading to the driver side front wheel will be the longest. If the ABS module is at the rear driver side, the line leading to the passenger side front wheel will be the longest.

    More on the correct order to bleed brakes

  4. Attach a Rubber Hose to the Bleeder Valve and Use a Container

    When bleeding the brakes with two people, have one person use a container to catch the fluid. You can place a rubber hose into a plastic bottle or drain pan, or you can use special brake bleeder kits. Brake fluid is caustic, so make sure not to leak it onto the ground where you’re working.

  5. Have the Helper Fully Pump the Brakes 3 Times and Hold the Pedal

    The person bleeding the brakes from the brake caliper should tell the assistant when to pump the brakes. The second person will slowly and completely press down the brake pedal three times. Then they’ll hold the brake pedal down.

  6. Open the Bleeder Valve with the Brake Pedal Down and Let the Fluid Run Out

    With the brake pedal down and the hose attached to the bleeder valve, open the bleeder valve and wait for the fluid to run out.

  7. After Fluid Has Run Out, Close the Bleeder Valve and Release the Brake Pedal

    Once the brake fluid runs out into the container, close the bleeder valve completely. Then let the person in the driver seat know they can lift their foot off the brake pedal.

  8. Per Wheel, Repeat Pumping and Holding the Brake Pedal and Releasing the Fluid 2-3 Times Until Air Is Out of the Lines

    Repeat this process 2-3 times until all the air is out of the brake lines. Then move on to the next wheel and repeat the procedure.

  9. After Removing All Air, Close the Last Line and Top Off the Brake Fluid

    With all of the air out of the system and the brake pedal firm, close the last line, remove the hose, and top off the brake fluid for your final time.

  10. Store and Dispose of Old Brake Fluid Properly

    Dispose of the brake fluid safely to prevent pollution. You can return brake fluid and other hazardous wastes from vehicles to local parts stores, a junkyard, or a dump. Until you dispose of the fluid, store it safely.

    More on how to store and dispose automotive fluids

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How to Bleed the Brakes with a 2nd Person - Expert Tips - 1A Auto
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How to Bleed the Brakes with a 2nd Person - Expert Tips - 1A Auto
Find out how to bleed the brakes with a 2nd person with these expert tips. The steps from our experienced mechanics in this article and video apply to many different vehicles
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1A Auto
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