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What Is the Gravity Brake Bleeding Method?

What Is the Gravity Brake Bleeding Method?

6th Aug 2021

When was the last time that you bled your vehicle's brakes? It's an essential form of maintenance that can improve your vehicle's braking performance while simultaneously protecting against it from premature failure. Most experts, in fact, recommend, doing it at least once every few years. While there are different ways to bleed your vehicle's brakes, one of the easiest is the gravity method.

Overview of the Gravity Method

The gravity method is a brake bleeding procedure that involves the use of gravity to remove brake fluid and, thus, air that's trapped inside of your vehicle's brake system. Like all brake bleeding methods, it's designed to remove trapped air. Your vehicle's brake system is sealed. There are instances, however, in which air can enter the brake system. When this occurs, air pockets can disrupt the flow of brake fluid, resulting in poor braking performance or even damage. You can use the gravity method to remove trapped air from your vehicle's brake system.

How to Perform the Gravity Brake Bleeding Method

To bleed your vehicle's brakes using the gravity method, start by lifting your vehicle with a jack. You should then check the master cylinder reservoir to ensure it's not low on brake fluid. If it's low on brake fluid, refill it with the appropriate amount.

With your vehicle lifted, locate the bleed screws on the corners of your vehicle's undercarriage. Before opening them,  it's recommended that you connect a hose to them. The hoses should run from the bleed screws to a bucket. The purpose of these hoses is to prevent spillage. The brake fluid will flow through the hoses and into a bucket rather than directly onto your driveway.

You can now open the bleed screws. Opening the bleed screws will cause the brake fluid to drain out of the master cylinder, after which it will travel down to the calipers before entering the hose. Gravity, of course, will force the brake fluid to drain, which is why it's called the "gravity brake bleeding method."

Keep in mind that you don't need to drain all of your vehicle's brake fluid; you just need to drain a small amount -- enough so that the trapped air will be removed. When finished, close the brake screws and top off the master cylinder reservoir. That's all it takes to perform the gravity brake bleeding method.