This is ridiculously easy and straight-forward. I did a search on brake fluid and noticed there were no how-to's w/images and a lot of silly questions from new people. Feel free to correct me on anything below and I'll make updates. This is the cheapest way I can figure out to do it.
What you'll need:
- New DOT4 brake fluid (duh)
- 8 mm box head wrench
- About 4 ft of 1/4" OD, clear plastic tubing that fits over the bleeder nipple.
- Needle nose pliers to stretch the plastic tubing out
- Container for the old brake fluid. My state allows us to mix brake fluid and oil together and take it to an auto parts store for recycling. It's separated at the recycling plant.
- Newspaper and masking tape
- Paper towels and a little bit of water in case you drip brake fluid
- Philips screw driver
1. Surround the brake fluid reservoir with newspaper and use masking tape or painter's tape to hold everything together. Brake fluid will strip the paint off your plastics. Keep a paper towel with water or glass cleaner nearby in case you spill.
2. Use a Philips screw driver to loosen the metal piece holding down the cap on the fluid reservoir and take the cap off. Place the removed cap and the reservoir bladder on some newspaper.
3. Remove the rubber cap over the bleeder nipple on the master cylinder.
4. Put the box head wrench on the bleeder screw. Attach the clear plastic tubing over the top of the bleeder screw to create a strong seal and put the other end in the collection container. If the tubing doesn't fit over the top of the screw, use a needle nose pliers to stretch the tubing out and try again. You're now ready to bleed.
5. Loosen the bleeder screw with the wrench, pull the brake lever all the way back to the grip, tighten the bleeder screw, and release the brake lever. You should see the nasty, old brake fluid start to come out.
Repeat this step until you start to see cleaner fluid coming out and don't see any air bubbles. Do not expect to see clear fluid coming through as you have to run brake fluid through your two front calipers.
NOTE: It is very important to keep an eye on the brake fluid reservoir. When it gets about half empty, pour clean brake fluid in up to the max line and continue to loosen/tighten the bleeder screw and compress the front brake lever.
6. Leave the bleeder screw on the master cylinder tight and remove the plastic tube. It's a good idea to have a piece of newspaper handy to catch any drip when the tubing is removed.
7. Repeat step 5 for the right front and
left front calipers. My pic below only shows doing the right side. Be extra careful to watch the brake fluid reservoir and make sure to keep it full.
8. After draining the fluid in the front from all 3 bleeder screws, I'll normally repeat this once more to make sure I'm getting clean brake fluid and no bubbles.
9. Make sure the brake fluid reservoir is filled to barely below the max level. Do not overfill the reservoir as the pressure in the reservoir/lines can change and push the fluid level above the max line.
10. Put the bladder and cap back on the brake fluid reservoir and put the rubber nipples on the brake bleeder screws. If the bladder is popped out, like in the picture, push it back in. Tighten the philips screw to secure the metal that holds the reservoir cap down for safety.
11. Squeeze the brakes and make sure they're tight.
This is much faster than the front as there is only one bleeder screw on the rear brake.
1. Loosen the philips screw holding the rear brake fluid reservoir just enough to move the reservoir and get the cap off.
2. Remove the cap from the reservoir and set it on some newspaper.
3. Remove the rubber nipple from the rear bleeder screw, attach the wrench, and then the clear plastic tube. Like before, if the plastic tube doesn't fit over the bleeder screw, use a needle nose pliers to stretch it out. Make sure the other end of the clear plastic tube is still in your old brake fluid container.
4. Loosen the bleeder screw, fully depress the rear brake lever, tighten the bleeder screw, and release the rear brake lever. Watch the nasty brake fluid come out.
***Same thing as before, always watch the rear brake fluid reservoir and don't let it go below about half way. Refill as needed. ***
5. Repeat step 4 until you see nothing but clear fluid coming through the clear plastic tube. There should be no air bubbles. Step 4 above is steps 2, 3, 4, and 5 in the image below.
6. Make sure the rear brake fluid reservoir is slightly below or at the max level. Do not overfill. Tighten the rear bleeder, remove the clear plastic hose, wipe up any drip, and put the rubber nipple back on the bleeder.
7. Make sure the rubber bladder is back to normal (see pic above), put the cap back on the rear brake fluid reservoir, tighten the cap, and tighten the philips screw if you loosened it to get the reservoir cap off.
8. Step on the rear brakes and make sure they're tight. If this is your first time doing this, go ride around your neighborhood slowly to make sure everything is good.
9. When you're sure everything is good, pour the remaining, good brake fluid in the collection container. You can't save this stuff.