Do You Bleed Brakes With Car On Or Off? (Explained)

Breaks enable you to control your vehicle if needed. It is also responsible for your safety and avoiding any accidents. 

So, do you bleed brakes with your car on or off? To bleed your brakes, you need to turn off your car first because you need to unscrew parts to bleed your brakes accurately.

The brake fluid is designed to work correctly for several years, and it also serves as the lifeblood of your car breaks. Over time as you use your car, brake fluid loses its moisture resistance, and it will begin to absorb a small amount of water. 

When your brake fluid starts to absorb water, it will slowly reduce the brake performance; it will also corrode some critical parts of the brakes. So replacing your brake fluids is essential to ensure that you’ll have a safe vehicle and avoid more expensive replacements. 

Moreover, bleeding the brake system is something anyone can do at home with proper knowledge. As long as you have tools for replacement or unscrewing things, you can accomplish the job alone. 

You can watch videos about the most efficient way to bleed your brakes, and you can follow them. This article will tell you that watching is the proper way to bleed your brakes. 

Do You Bleed Brakes With Car On Or Off

What Does It Mean To Bleed Brakes On A Car?

In bleeding the brakes on a car, it means that you observe that your brake system is not functioning well. If it is not functioning well, its brake fluids need to be replaced right away. 

The brakes from modern cars are made with hydraulic material. It works by pushing a pressurized fluid.

As you press down your brake pedal, it will pressure its brake lines. Next, you will apply pressure on your brake calipers, then turn to push the brake pads against its disc to slow down your car engine.

Does The Car Have To Be Running When You Bleed Brakes?

No, of course, this job needs your car at rest. You can’t do the job if your car is running. Hence it might result in an accident or death.

Your car should be at rest before you work on replacing your brake fluids. Also, your tools for replacement should be organized so that it will be easy for you to do the job. 

Can You Bleed Brakes With The Car Off?

Yes, you can bleed brakes. However, it is the most appropriate way to get the job. Most car issues are resolved while it is turned off. Whether the car problem is huge or small, you should turn off your car if the replacement continues.

Can You Bleed Brakes With The Car Running?

No, you can’t bleed brakes while your car is running. You won’t get your job done correctly if this happens. Even mechanics do their work while your car is at rest, and no mechanics will fix your car while it’s on the run. 

What Is The Correct Order To Bleed Brakes?

Let’s now see the correct order to bleed brakes.

1. Locate The Bleed Valve And Unscrew It

The bleed valve screw is located at the brake caliper’s bottom part. You can find its exact point by reading your owner’s manual or you can watch video tutorials on social media.

2. Organize The Tools You Need

Of course, if you want to finish your job on time, organize your tools. So if you need a particular tool, you don’t need to find them anywhere. 

3. Drain The Brake Fluid

It would help if you emptied your brake lines before replacing them with new brake fluid. You can remove the master cylinder caps then undo the bleed valves. And let the old brake fluid flow down.

4. Refill New Brake Fluid

Once all the old brake fluid has been forced out, it’s time to refill the system. While refilling, you need to top the brake lines up, pour the liquid into the brake’s master cylinder, and make sure it is under the line of its maximum level.

Once you fill it up, the brake fluid will start to bleed the valve as a constant stream, then push the brake pedal a few times while ensuring that the fluid is still at the right level.

Lastly, you can now close the valve when you finish.


In summary, the brake system deteriorates over time. It is why maintenance is essential to any car. Once you purchase a car, you should also think about how much maintenance it will cost you. 

The latest your car model, the higher the maintenance cost. Hence, it is already natural, so it is up to you to minimize your maintenance cost by taking good care of your car. 

Consult a mechanic right away when you see that your car is not acting right, such as your brakes.

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Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more