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Bleeding your brakes, or changing the old fluid and getting out the air, can be a long, dirty, and difficult process. If you’re doing it the old fashioned way, you probably need to find a friend who doesn’t mind sitting in your vehicle being bored and pushing the pedal once in a while. If none of that sounds appealing, but you still know you need to do the job, we’ve got the solution. The best brake bleeder kits get you off the jack stands and back on the road as quickly, cleanly, and as easily as possible. And you won’t even need to pay back that buddy who helped you out, because they can stay at home.
Before we dive into our list of the best brake bleeder kits, you should know that properly bleeding your brakes is important to the safety of you and your vehicle. The process is designed to remove air bubbles in your braking system, so that brake pressure is efficiently sent to all four corners of your car. These kits allow you to bleed your brakes from the comforts of your garage or driveway, without the need of an extra pair of helping hands or feet.
For more information on the best brake bleeder kits, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. ARES Brake Fluid Bleeder
- 2. Motive Products Power Brake Bleeder
- 3. Mityvac Pneumatic Brake Bleeding Kit
- 4. OEMTOOLS Bleed-O-Matic Brake Bleeder Kit
- 5. Beduan 16-Piece Brake Bleeder Kit
- 6. ABN Manual Brake Bleeder
- 7. 8MILELAKE Pneumatic Air Pressure Bleeder
- 8. Phoenix Systems Brake Bleeder Kit
- 9. Allstar Performance Brake Bleeder Bottle
- 10. JQuad Do All Vacuum Brake Bleeding Kit
- How to Pick a Brake Bleeder
- Why Bleed Your Brakes?
- What is Brake Bleeding?
1. ARES Brake Fluid Bleeder
This brake bleeder from ARES uses workshop air at 113 psi max, meaning you don’t need to pump it to extract your brake fluid. The locking handle makes sure that you don’t need to hold the handle down the entire time either, just pull the trigger and watch the clear hose and large one-liter reservoir until you see that your brake fluid is coming out clean.
It lets you quickly and easily manage bleeding your brakes at all four corners by yourself, not needing to scramble to find a reliable helper. This system uses the pressurized air from the compressor to pull the old brake fluid out, attaching to the bleeder screws at the brakes instead of connecting to the master cylinder and requiring a second container to catch the old fluid—that saves you from pumping the pedal inside. Thanks to the locking trigger, you can walk back to the front of your vehicle to make sure the master cylinder doesn’t run dry.
2. Motive Products Power Brake Bleeder
This recommendation from Motive Products connects to your master cylinder instead of the brake bleeder. Pour the fresh fluid into the container, attach the adaptor to your master cylinder, pump up the pressure, and you’re ready. Because it’s forcing the brake fluid into the master cylinder, you shouldn’t need to worry about letting it run dry, an issue that can cause expensive repairs.
A two-quart fluid capacity should hold more than enough to thoroughly bleed and change your brake fluid. Once the pressure is on, you connect a hose and bottle to the brake bleeder valve and fluid is forced through into the bottle. It allows for less mess, easier cleanup, and single-person operation for all hydraulic brake systems. With multiple assistants, you could bleed all four brakes at the same time, but you probably don’t need to do that.
3. Mityvac Pneumatic Brake Bleeding Kit
The Mityvac is designed to bleed your hydraulic brakes or your hydraulic clutch system as quickly as possible. Designed for one-person brake bleeding operation, it comes with two main components. The first is the Mityvac compressed air bleeder, which uses your shop air to pull the old brake fluid out of your car’s brake lines. It can flow up to 2.1 liters of brake fluid a minute, which should be enough to clear your brakes in seconds.
The kit also comes with a clamp-on refill kit that’s designed to stop your master cylinder running dry. Instead of making you walk back to the front of your vehicle to check the fluid level, the refill kit clamps on to your master cylinder and gives it a supply of clean and fresh brake fluid. The refill kit is designed to work with most master cylinders and has a variable control thumb throttle to let you control the flow speed, has overflow protection, and offers a muffler to help keep shop noise at a minimum.
4. OEMTOOLS Bleed-O-Matic Brake Bleeder Kit
Most of us don’t change brake fluid often enough to justify spending hundreds of dollars on equipment. So change that fluid the way your father and grandfather did, with extra simplicity and more ingenuity. This simple bleeder has no moving parts, it’s just a bottle with a hose on the end, but that’s all you really need.
Pour a small amount of fluid in the bottle so that air doesn’t get into the lines, and use the magnet to hold it to the car. Put the tube on the caliper’s bleeder, open it, get in the car and push the pedal a few times. Get back out, check the fluid color, and tighten the bleeder screw when it’s clear. Yes, it’s a bit easier if you have a helper to push the pedal, but this cheap and easy bleeder doesn’t require that. Though it won’t add more fluid to the master cylinder, and it will only hold a few ounces of old fluid, it also won’t set you back big bucks and if you lose or break it, you’re not likely to care. Just pick up another one next time you need one.
5. Beduan 16-Piece Brake Bleeder Kit
Like some of the other kits on this list, this brake bleeder uses vacuum to help suck out the old brake fluid. Unlike other recommendations though, this kit doesn’t use shop air. Instead, it uses a hand pump to generate that vacuum. So you’ll need to pump the handle repeatedly to make enough pressure to bleed your brakes, but you won’t need to drag around an air hose or air lines to make it happen.
This kit includes multiple adaptors designed to fit the brake bleeder screw on nearly any vehicle, and a pressure gauge to ensure you don’t over pressurize the system. Along with two hoses to connect the brake fluid container, this kit comes with a blown plastic carrying case. That means that the next time you try and use it, all of the pieces will still be there—as long as you replaced them last time. When not handling brake fluid, you can use the hand-held vacuum pump to test other vacuum systems on your vehicle for more general automotive diagnoses.
6. ABN Manual Brake Bleeder
Another power bleeding option, the ABN manual brake bleeder takes away the need to balance your full container of brake fluid precariously (and dangerously) in the engine bay. Though you might need a bit more brake fluid, the three-foot hose makes the brake work easier and more convenient.
This model has a master cylinder cap that can attach to most brake systems, though others are available, and it uses a quick-release fitting to connect the brake fluid hose to the cap. That means quick and easy couplings, even if the fluid reservoir is still under pressure. Fill with fresh fluid, pump up the system using the attached gauge, and bleed away. The tank holds up to three liters of fluid for large brake systems. It also comes with a special wrench to make sure that you’re able to properly tighten and loosen the master cylinder cap, making sure no fluid is spilt.
7. 8MILELAKE Pneumatic Air Pressure Bleeder
Because sometimes the car isn’t close to the shop airline and you don’t want to do the pumping yourself, 8MILELAKE makes this portable pressure bleeder. It runs on compressed air from your compressor but works like a pressure tank. So fill the tank up to 40 psi, and you can take it to the garage, driveway, or even the race track.
The 17-foot hose lets you hook the tool up to your car or truck’s master cylinder from far away. While most kits come with just one connection, this kit offers multiple. So you pay a little bit more, but you don’t need to run to the parts store to get the right cap to seal your brake cylinder. A total of 16 different fittings should cover any commonly available car, and two of those are universal fits just in case. The kit also comes with a carrying and storage case so that you aren’t scrambling for a fitting when you move to a different vehicle.
8. Phoenix Systems Brake Bleeder Kit
While most of these kits, even the airline-connected ones, pull the brake fluid from the master cylinder down, this offering from Phoenix Systems works differently. It forces brake fluid from the bottom of the system to the top, from the brake bleeder screw back into the master cylinder. Why go that way? The company says that it’s the only way to bleed tough ABS units without a scan tool.
It’s also a great way to bleed a completely dry system, like if you had replaced a master cylinder and lines, or just big parts of the system. While you need to make sure the master cylinder doesn’t overflow, this bleeding can be done by one person. Brake fluid is pulled from the bottle through the bleeder and is then forced into the bleed screw on the brake caliper. That pushes the bubbles upward through the system, which the company says is more effective. It also comes with a DVD instructional film to make sure you can learn to properly use it.
9. Allstar Performance Brake Bleeder Bottle
Here’s another recommendation for the simplest type of brake bleeder, a bottle with a hose attached. The Allstar Performance version adds some simple tweaks that make this one a little more effective and a little more user friendly than some of the competitors.
First off, it’s available with either a magnet (as shown here) or a lanyard. The former lets you stick the bottle to the car’s body, a suspension component, or even the brake caliper. The latter lets you hook onto any convenient part like a bolt head or body panel, helpful if your vehicle is aluminum or another non-metallic material.
Secondly, it has a one-way check valve. While normal bleeder bottles use a tube that sits in the brake fluid, old fluid and even air can be sucked back into the system. With this check valve, nothing can backflow into your caliper, keeping that air and old brake fluid out. The 12-inch long hose is designed to fit over most brake bleeder valves, and it can be reconnected to the lid so that when it’s not in use, or being moved to the other wheels, brake fluid isn’t leaking everywhere.
10. JQuad Do All Vacuum Brake Bleeding Kit
This brake bleeder from JQuad is ideal for your brake lines, but also for bleeding a brand new master cylinder on the bench. A simple syringe, designed to be compatible with brake fluid, it can work in both directions. Use it to suck the brake fluid through the system from master to wheel and you don’t need to have someone in the car. But you can also use it to push fresh fluid through the system from the wheels up, which some argue is a better way to bleed your brakes.
This recommendation is also a good way to bench bleed a brake master cylinder, something that you need to do before you install that new component. Otherwise, you could spend hours of bleeding trying to get a firm brake pedal, wasting lots of time and money. As a low-cost brake bleed option, this tool could be invaluable and save you from installing a malfunctioning master to replace your already broken one.
How to Pick a Brake Bleeder
First off, you’ll need to look at your shop. Don’t buy one of the kits that need compressed air if you don’t have a compressor. Also, look at your vehicle fleet. If you’re only going to need to do this once every few years, a simple bottle kit is more affordable and while it’s slightly more effort, you’re not going to do it all that often. If you’re doing frequent brake work, like for friends and neighbors, if you have a fleet of older cars, or if your car does frequent track days, then the investment into a more professional kit is probably worthwhile.
Why Bleed Your Brakes?
Brake fluid is one of the most important fluids in your vehicle, but it’s also the one you probably think of the least. Automakers recommend changing brake fluid as often as every two years to maintain proper brake function. Because brake fluid absorbs water, its boiling point lowers over time. Since your brakes make lots of heat, that heat is transferred to the fluid. Boiling brake fluid won’t apply pressure to your brakes, and that means you can’t stop. Even before it reaches that point, you’ll get a soft brake pedal that is far from confidence-inspiring. To change it yourself, you’ll need a brake bleeder to get that old fluid out and fresh in.
Even if you aren’t changing the fluid, new parts like brake pads, calipers, master cylinders, and lines, all require you to bleed the brakes. Since you can’t just open the system and let it drain out, these best brake bleeders will help you get the job done quickly, cleanly, and easily.
What is Brake Bleeding?
Simply put, bleeding your brakes is the name for the process of pushing the old fluid and air out of your brake system and replacing it with new. Like an oil change, but you’re using the new fluid to push the old fluid out. Open a special screw on the brake caliper or in the drum, hook up the right fitting, and you can expel the old fluid from each one of your brakes. That makes the system work better, firms up the pedal, and makes sure you can stop confidently every time.
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