Thinking about purchasing a new car? Use our new Car Loan Calculator to estimate your monthly car payment!

How to Bleed the Brakes on a 2002 Chevrolet S-10

by TJ Hinton; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Shop rag

  • Delco Supreme 11 DOT 3 Brake Fluid or equivalent

  • Small container

  • Box-end wrench set

  • 1/4-inch inside diameter clear vinyl hose

Chevrolet offered the 2002 S10 pickup truck in the base and LS trim packages. Both sub-models came stock with a 2.2-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that produced 120 horsepower and 140 foot-pounds of torque. A 4.3-liter V-6 was available as an option. Rear-wheel drive came standard on all S-10 models, but both sub-models could be equipped with four-wheel drive.

Park the S10 on firm ground. Turn the ignition switch to the "Off" position and allow the brakes to cool completely. Pump the brake pedal until the pedal becomes firm, to release any residual booster pressure. Wipe the brake fluid reservoir cap, using a clean shop rag, then remove the cap and the diaphragm from the reservoir. Add fresh brake fluid until the fluid level in the reservoir reaches the "Full" mark.

Pour a small amount of fresh brake fluid in a small, clean container. Install a box-end wrench and a length of 1/4-inch I.D. clear tubing on the rear passenger-side brake bleeder nipple. Submerge the loose end of the hose in the container of fresh brake fluid.

Instruct your helper to apply and hold steady pressure on the brake pedal. Open the caliper bleeder valve approximately 1/2 turn until the brake pedal bottoms out. Observe the fluid stream in the clear tubing. Close the bleeder valve and instruct your helper to release the brake pedal and allow it to return to the full up position. Allow the system to rest for approximately 15 seconds. Repeat the bleeding procedure until the fluid stream is clear and free of bubbles. Check and top off the fluid level in the reservoir as necessary.

Repeat the bleeding procedure on the remaining calipers in the following order; driver-side rear, passenger-side front, then driver-side front. Top off the reservoir after each wheel. Double-check all four bleeder valves for tightness. Fill the reservoir to the "Full" mark. Install the reservoir diaphragm and cap. Wipe up any spilled brake fluid.

Push on the brake pedal to test the feel of the brakes. Repeat the bleeding procedure if the brakes still feel spongy. Check for leaks. Turn the ignition switch to the "On" position, but do not start the engine. Watch to make sure the brake warning lamp goes out. Have the vehicle scanned and repaired before operating it if the brake warning lamp remains illuminated.

Tips

Never allow the fluid level to go below 1/2 full in the reservoir during bleeding, or you will run the risk of introducing more air into the system. Do not shake or agitate the new brake fluid before adding it to the system. The fluid can hold air bubbles in suspension and will aggravate the spongy-brake feeling until it has been bled.

Warnings

Ensure that the brake pedal feel good and that the brakes operate correctly before entering traffic. It may be necessary to use a pressure-bleed system on the vehicle if the manual bleeding procedure is insufficient to remove the air from the system. Use the pressure-bleeder according to the manufacturer's instructions. Exercise caution when handling DOT 3 Brake Fluid. It can damage painted and plastic parts, and is hazardous to your health. Follow the manufacturer's safe handling recommendations.

About the Author

TJ Hinton trained as an auto mechanic at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and then later graduated from MMI as a certified motorcycle mechanic . He's also worked for 20+ years in home construction, remodeling and repair. His articles appear on InternetAutoGuide.com and TopSpeed.com.

More Articles