NAPA Auto Parts Sterling, VA
45449 Severn Way
Sterling,  VA  20166-8918
(703) 378-6666
Reserve Online Participant
Store Hours
Mon-Fri:8:00 AM-6:00 PM
Sat:8:00 AM-3:00 PM
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Brake Bleeders

Part Types

Why Bleed Your Brakes?

Hydraulic brakes are reliable, responsive and much easier to maintain than their mechanical counterparts, which is why they are the gold standard for braking throughout the past 100 years. Rather than using complex, heavy cabling that applies intense amounts of heat to your brake pads, hydraulic brakes reduce friction without compromising brake performance.

Unlike air, you cannot compress fluid, which makes it the perfect medium for an act of force to transfer fluid into pressure. In a vehicle with hydraulic braking, any force that is applied at the pedal is immediately transferred to the caliper piston, which creates just enough friction between the brake pad and rotor to quickly halt the vehicle (in drum brake systems, the master cylinder exerts pressure from the brake shoe to the brake drum). By using pressurized liquid to disperse force evenly and rapidly, hydraulic brakes aren't as likely to succumb to excessive heat and fast deterioration. This simplifies maintenance, extends the lifespan of your brakes and makes for a happy driver and vehicle!

While automotive brakes have come a long way, modern systems still require routine maintenance. Beyond inspecting brake pads, rotors, clips and calipers, it's recommended to 'bleed your brakes' once a year to release any air trapped within your brake lines, which if neglected can seriously inhibit brake performance. The good news is that you can find a robust selection of brake bleeding tools and kits for the job on NAPAOnline.

Listening for That Maintenance Call

Consider taking your vehicle to an expert technician at a local NAPA AutoCare Center for qualified brake maintenance, because air can often find its way into your brake system during a caliper or hose replacement if not handled properly. Other ways trapped air can wreak havoc on your brake system include letting your brake pads wear down to the nub or letting a fluid leak go undetected and untreated. Aggressive driving also increases the temperature of your brake system, which can lead to brake fluid vaporization, another form of trapped air.

Pay close attention to the feel of your brake pedal, as well as the physical condition of your brake pads. Is the wear indicator noticeable? Do you feel a soft or sponge-like quality after applying pressure to the pedal? Is it taking you longer than normal to come to a full stop? These are all key signs that it's probably time to bleed your brakes.

Bleeding Your Brakes with NAPA

Because your brakes are a critical component of safety, ignoring any clear signs of poor brake performance can lead to dangerous driving and costly repairs. If you're comfortable handling your own brake maintenance or you're a shop owner who performs brake care, then save yourself some hassle by investing in a brake bleeder kit. Vacuum brake bleeders are affordable with little cleanup and do not require more than one person to be used efficiently and safely.

Another approach to releasing trapped air is through pressure brake bleeders, which use pressurized brake fluid to flush the system. Gravity, or self-bleeding, brake bleeders require an opened bleeder screw to slowly let the laws of physics release fluid (fluid cleanup is required, so make sure to stock up on microfiber towels if you plan to go this route). For auto shop use with multiple vehicle applications, check out NAPA's selection of brake bleeder adapters to get the most out of the tool.