Troubleshooting a Broken Bleed Valve

A bleed valve is used to release air from pressurized fluid in a motor vehicle. The procedure commonly known as bleeding the brakes allows brake pedals to work effectively. Bleed valves can easily break when carrying out repairs on different parts of the braking system. Also opening and closing the valve can bring about wear and tear and break the valve. Other cause of damage to the component includes driving and braking too forcefully.

Troubleshooting Bleed Valves

A common sign that there might be a problem in the braking system is when the brake pedal feels soft and spongy. For it to work effectively, it should be firm. In this case, take a look at the bleed valves to check if they are in good condition.

Remove the Bleed Valves

Determine which wheel has a problem with its bleed valve, loosen lug nuts and remove it from the tire iron. Use a jack to lift the vehicle and make sure it is well supported. Release the wheel by pulling the lug nuts and dismounting.

Pull the caliper out of the rotor and release the calipers. This should expose the bleed valve.

Inspect Bleed Valve

If the bleed valve is broken then it is necessary to replace it with a new one. Obtain a blowtorch and gently heat the valve for approximately 13 seconds. Pass the torch from one side to the other to heat it evenly.

Put the caliper in a bowl of cold water and leave it in for a few seconds. Use a screwdriver to loosen the bleed valve, and dislodge it from position. Replace it with a new one and make sure it has the correct fitting.

Correct Stripped Bleed Valve

A stripped bleed valve can bring about problems when replacing or installing brake pads and also affect tasks such as changing brake fluid. In this case, it is necessary to open up bleed valves when replacing break pads so as to prevent brake fluid from flowing back to the brake lines which can bring about serious damages.

Another reason why a bleed valve should be opened up is that it makes it easier to bleed brake lines and it allows the old fluid to flow out as it is required.

To correct the problem, locate the stripped bleed valve and heat it with a blow torch for about 13 seconds.  Immerse the whole caliper in a bucket of water and remove it after half a minute. Use a screw driver to gently remove the bleed valve from its position. Make sure that the new component has the correct fitting and quality.


Before driving the car, check the condition of the brakes by starting the engine and pumping the brakes. For the braking system to work effectively, they should feel firm.