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How To Bleed Brakes

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I've seen this covered a few times now, with different techniques mentioned and a lot of misinformation. I bled my brakes today so thought I'd take a few pics. Using Dot4 brake fluid and making sure to not spill any on the paintwork.


Crack the wheel nuts, jack the car up and place securely on axle stands. Then remove all four wheels for easy access. Top up the brake fluid reservoir, then starting with the front right caliper. (Subaru sequence - Front right/Rear left/Front left/Rear right)


Fit an 8mm ring spanner onto the bleeder valve. Then connect a length of preferably clear hose to the bleeder valve nipple, with the hose running into a clear jar or container. Clear hose is best because you can see any air bubbles easily. I also sit the jar above the bleeder valve so the bubbles have to travel up the hose:


Have an assistant put pressure on the brake pedal, holding it down. Then crack open the F/R bleeder valve for 1-2 seconds. Fluid and air bubbles will come out and the brake pedal will go to the floor.


Then close the bleeder valve and have the assistant slowly lift the brake pedal.

Wait approximately 3 seconds, then press the brake pedal down again and hold it.

Then crack the bleeder valve for 1-2 seconds, close it and then slowly lift the pedal again.

Keep repeating the above steps, (press/crack/close/lift). Until no more air bubbles are coming out.



Then top up the fluid reservoir and move onto the rear left wheel, 10mm spanner on the rears. Always keeping the brake pedal movements slow and steady:



Top up the fluid again and move to the front left:



Top the fluid up, then finally bleed the rear right brake caliper:



Top up the fluid, then get your assistant to hold the brake pedal down and check all four corners for leaks. Refit the wheels, drop the car and it's time for a test drive:



The above method is from the BH5D ABS Subaru workshop manual, starting on page 3294 in here:



Here's a page from an older non ABS Subaru workshop manual, showing the same FR/RL/FL/RR sequence. But says to give 3 pumps on the pedal before cracking the bleed valve open. Also that the entire system only holds 300ml as apposed to 500ml with ABS:


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  • 2 weeks later...

I read this on a post over at subyclub, something to consider

EDIT, we have been advised that it is not recommended to push the pedal all the way to the floor as it MAY cause damage to the cups inside the bore. Only push the pedal as far it would normally go when braking.

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Assuming they're referring to the master cylinder pistons. Which would only be an issue on an older car with heaps of crud built up around the pistons. Probably mean it's time to rebuild/clean out the master cylinder anyway.

 l2eeFer13 said:
Can someone please confirm bleeding order on a 96 V3 WRX STi, I was under the impression it changes between models

p.s google is no help cause audm and usdm etc

Still the same sequence, FR-RL-FL-RR.

Edited by Rosssub
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