How to Clean Brake Lines

by Maxfield Carroll
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Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from

A brake fluid flush can make your vehicle safer to operate. Dirty brake lines can cause damage and contamination of other parts in your vehicle. The seals and parts in the master cylinder and anti-lock braking systems are especially vulnerable. Avoid using the fluid drain method that involves pressing down on the brake pedal during the operation. Draining the old fluid out by gravity or with a vacuum pump helps prevent contamination from finding its way back up to the master cylinder or other critical parts.

Step 1

Consult your repair manual for the sequence of detailed operations specific to your vehicle.

Step 2

Clean the bleeder valves at each wheel, and attach a plastic hose leading to a waste container.

Step 3

Mount a brake flush vacuum pump as directed by the manufacturer. Loosen the nipple at each bleeder valve to allow the old contaminated brake fluid to drain out.

Step 4

Open the brake fluid reservoir. Start the vacuum pump, and add fresh brake fluid to the reservoir as needed to maintain the level.

Step 5

When the fluid draining from each bleeder valve runs clear and clean, tighten the valve nipples and stop the vacuum pump. Add clean brake fluid to the reservoir until it reaches the correct range of the fill lines. Clean the reservoir cover, and put it back in place.

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