Follow along with our VW experts to see how to properly bleed your VW brakes. Bleeding your brake system is a necessity when replacing any hydraulic brake component and is a very crucial step that will usually require an assistant. If you do not feel comfortable or capable of bleeding your brakes, do not hesitate to take your car to a mechanic.


VW Tech Tips

Bleeding your brakes properly is very important for the safety of you and your VW. If you are not confident in your ability to bleed your brakes properly, PLEASE take your VW to someone who is. Take into consideration that it will also require the help of an assistant who doesn’t mind getting a good leg workout as they will have to pump the brake pedal over and over again.

With that said, for those of you left, let’s get started!

1. Jack the car up on all four stands in order to access the brake bleeder valve

Note: The wheels are only pulled off for visual assistance. You do not need to take them off for this procedure

2. Before starting the brake bleeding process:

  • Check in the trunk to make sure the brake fluid reservoir is full 
  • Drill a hole into the cap of a water bottle and pour in a small amount of brake fluid 

3. Starting from the right rear, the farthest away from the master cylinder, run a hose down from the right rear bleeder valve into the hole in the bottle, making sure the hose is submerged into the fluid

Note: It’s best to use a clear hose but anything that fits the bleeder valve is fine. You want to see any air bubbles that may be present in the line when bleeding the brakes

4. Make sure the hose is on the bleeder valve screw and use a 7 millimeter wrench (varies by screw size) to open and close the screw 

5. With the screw tightened, have an assistant pump the brake pedal about 5 or 6 times

6. Keeping the pedal held down, open or unscrew the valve about 1 quarter turn

Note: It is very important to keep the pedal down whenever the bleeder valve is open

7. With the pedal down and the bleeder valve open, leave the bleeder valve open for a couple of seconds

8. Tighten and have your assistant pump the brake pedal again

Note: Repeat the pump and hold step about 10 times to make sure there isn’t any air left in the right rear line before moving to the left rear wheel

9. In order to tell whether or not you’ve let all the air out, keep an eye on the fluid in the bottle:

  • If there is air in the lines, you will see bubbles coming from the hose

  • If there isn’t air, the fluid level will rise slightly

10. When switching between wheels, be sure to top off the brake fluid reservoir with fluid

Moving onto the left rear brakes followed by the front brakes, repeat the screw tightening/loosening and pedal pumping/holding process 

Remember to watch the bottle for air bubbles or rising levels and be sure to top off the brake reservoir with fluid in between each process

When it comes to the front brakes, the assistant will notice some resistance while pumping, this is mostly caused by excess air in the line and will only get easier the more the brakes are bled.

Before bleeding the last side of the front brakes, top off the brake fluid reservoir and put the cap back on

Once every line is bled, the pedal should be nice and firm

Congratulations on successfully bleeding the brakes in your classic VW. Your renewed braking system will reestablish normal pressure, decrease the chance of brake failure and is capable of stopping safely.

For more do it yourself videos, head on over to the JBugs YouTube channel and find everything from installation tips, product spotlights and complete restoration guides! If you need additional help with products or installation, give us a call at 1-800-231-1784. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

About the Author:

While relatively new to JBugs & the VW scene, Sarah Dixon is an all around classic car, off-road, & motorcycle enthusiast. She has shown great interest in learning more about classic VW culture.

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