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Tired of trying to convince your friends to help bleed your brakes? With this tool, you’ll never have to again. 26 Spline Clutch
Bleeding brake fluid is a fairly straightforward maintenance procedure on most cars. The trouble is, you need two people to get the job done quickly. We understand that many Do-It-Yourselfers might not have someone at the ready to help them swap out fluid. That’s why I use a power bleeder instead.
The term “power bleeder” is a bit misleading, as most don’t use any electricity. “Pressure bleeder” might be a more accurate way to describe it. The tool itself is an airtight container with a pump on top that attaches to a car’s master cylinder via a clear tube. When the bleeder’s container is manually pressurized via the pump handle, it pressurizes the brake system in turn, simulating a friend who would pump the brake pedal for you while you bleed air out of the system. All you have to do is fill the power bleeder with a brake fluid of your choice, pressurize it to about 15 psi, then go and crack your caliper bleeder screw. The pressure is enough to push the old fluid out, no pedal pumping required. I like to repump it a few times per corner to get out as much fluid as possible. As with a normal bleeding procedure, once you see clear fluid, you’re done with that corner. Except instead of taking an hour, you’re done in minutes.
Power bleeders can also be used to bleed clutches on some cars. If your clutch master cylinder is shared with your brake master cylinder, or if your clutch master cylinder has the same style filler neck, you can bleed your clutch the same way you’d bleed your calipers. Just attach the tool, pressurize it, and crack the bleed screw on the slave cylinder. If you’ve done everything correctly, fluid should come out, no pedal pumping required.
Replacing your personal assistant with one of these power bleeders won’t cost you much either. We spoke with Kevin Hines, North America’s only McLaren F1 mechanic, about brake maintenance. He recommended using Motive Products’ manually pump-activated power-bleeder unit. You’d think that because he works on F1, Hines uses only the most expensive, high-tech tools. But Motive’s unit is refreshingly simple and affordable. It can currently be purchased on Amazon for just $54.95 and comes with the attachment needed to fit up to most European master cylinders. If you tend to work on Asian cars more, Motive also sells a version with the appropriate attachment, though it’s slightly more expensive.
Clutch Disc And Plate While it might seem frivolous to spend 50 bucks on a tool that does a job two people can accomplish for free, you’ll feel differently after using a power bleeder for the first time—I know I did. Nowadays, I won’t do any brake job without a power bleeder by my side.