What Happens if You Don’t Bleed Your Brakes?

What Happens if You Don't Bleed Your Brakes

Irrespective of the brake setup you have in your car, you have to maintain it in the very best way possible, and bleeding brakes are a huge part of maintaining your vehicle’s brake system.

Bleeding your brakes is paramount to the functionality of your brakes, as it will help clear the air in the brake lines that would have otherwise prevented the brake sharpness, or cause a spongy feeling when you are trying to apply your break.

As you well know, the major part of the health of a car is the brake, the ability to slow down the car or bring the car to a halt when it is necessary to avoid a collision. So, what happens if you don’t bleed your brakes?

If you don’t bleed your brakes, the residue of air bubbles will be trapped in between the brake lines and cause general brake inefficiency that can lead to brake failure.

Must You Bleed Your Brakes?

Yes, you must bleed your brakes, especially when you realize that your brakes are already getting spongy, becoming inefficient, or when it is already taking too long to respond. You just have to bleed your brakes because they won’t bleed themselves.

When you have just gotten your car, and you aren’t sure about the functions of the brakes, or how long ago the brakes have been bled, you must bleed them, especially when they are spongy or not effective, to avoid unsuspected brake failure.

Also, you must bleed your brakes after replacing the brake pads, however, this often depends on the system with which you used to change the brake pads.

Altogether, it is important that you bleed your brakes when you are getting signs like the spongy feeling as you press your brakes and when the brake is taking too long to respond.

You must also bleed your brakes when you find a brake fluid leak when you are changing your brake pads or rotor, or if it has been a long time since you last bled the brakes, say two to three years.

What Happens if You Don’t Bleed the Brakes?

Let us explain the function of bleeding brakes, so you can understand exactly what happens when you don’t do it.

Over time, as you use your brake pads, pressing it hundred times a day, air goes in and comes out of the brake system, as you use, and sometimes, air bubbles are trapped within the brake fluids, inside the brake system.

These air bubbles reduce the pressure which is the effect that your brake pad has when you press the brake. This pressure is called hydraulic pressure, it is reduced significantly when air bubbles are accumulated within the brake fluids.

And when this pressure is reduced significantly, the efficiency of the brakes also reduces, and your brakes begin to take more time to respond, or sometimes don’t even respond at all until you frantically push.

When brakes are bled, fluids are pushed through the brake system to get rid of all the air bubbles that reduce this hydraulic pressure. That is just one major function of bleeding brakes. To remove all air bubbles.

Therefore, when brakes aren’t bled, it considerably increases the possibility of a brake failure, as air bubbles are accumulated in the brake system, leading to a reduction in hydraulic pressure that helps the brake answer when you call to bring your car to a halt. This then increases the possibility of road accidents.

Do I Bleed the Brakes Before or After Changing the Pads?

You have to bleed the brakes of your vehicle after changing the brake pads. There are lots of reasons to change brake pads, the leading reason being that your brake pads are already old and are succumbing to wear.

During the process of changing your brake pads, air, sludge, and dirt would have escaped into the brake systems, as the systems have been exposed due to the change.

This is why, immediately after changing the brake pads, you must bleed your brakes, or else you run the risk of driving with a lot of dirt and air bubbles inside your brake system, which will invariably cause the brakes to fail.

Best Way to Bleed Brakes

There are several ways to bleed your brakes, and they are; the reverse brake bleeding method, bench brake bleeding method, pressure brake bleeding method, and vacuum bleeding method.

It is important to note, however, that the best way to bleed brakes is by using the reverse brake bleeding method.

With this method, the air trapped in the brake system is pushed up, exactly where it wants to go, and out. This method is said to release more air from the brake system than any other method known.

This method works by pushing the brake fluid from the bottom to the top. Fluids are injected at the low points and allow air to rise with the injected fluids.

Once fluids are inserted from the bottom, trapped air has no choice but to move upward, in the direction of the fluid.

With this method, every air in the master cylinder is released and the fluid inserted will occupy the cylinder instead.

Reasons Why You Must Bleed Your Brakes

There are a few reasons why you must bleed your brakes. Explained in this article are the most important reasons for bleeding your brakes.

1. To Prevent Brake Failure

This is the most important reason. The ultimate goal for brake bleeding. You don’t want your brakes to fail while you are driving in the middle of an express, and this is precisely what accumulated air bubbles can cause.

2. For Brake System Maintenance

People bleed their brakes to maintain the brake system. Even when you don’t feel the spongy feeling or the brakes appear to be functioning properly, once it is more than two years since you last bled your brakes, you should do it.

3. To Remove Air Bubbles

Brakes are bled to clear the master cylinder of whatever air bubbles must have been trapped in between the brake lines.

4. To Exchange Old Brake Fluid

In the process of bleeding brakes, the old brake fluids are exchanged with new brake fluids for more efficiency in using the brake pads. It is this new brake fluid that pushes out the old one along with the air bubble and dirt.


To have a hitch-free experience with your brake systems, it is important to bleed the brakes every two years, or at worst, three years.

Also, when you start to get a spongy feeling, or when your brakes take a longer time to respond, know that your vehicle is due for some brake bleeding.

The worst thing that can happen to a vehicle, and its occupants of the vehicle is for the brakes to fail while driving. To prevent that, you must maintain a very good brake system.