Today we’re bringing you another maintenance guide as part of our machine maintenance series. We’ve covered the 7 signs you need to change your brakes. But what about actually servicing your brakes?
Let’s face it—UTVs and ATVs aren’t the easiest machines to maintain. They require a lot of work to keep them functioning as they should. You may be someone who likes to take their rig to be serviced at a dealer. That’s perfectly fine, but it can be pretty costly depending on how you ride and the replacement parts you invest in.
Have you thought about servicing your rig yourself? It can save you a Benjamin or two, and it can get you back on the trail much quicker.
Today’s guide will help you to do just that—we’re going to review how you can bleed the breaks on your UTV or ATV yourself.
Hydraulic brake systems use brake fluid to transfer energy from the brake pedals to the brake calipers. There’s a piston inside the caliper that activates after the brake fluid puts pressure on it. Once the brake fluid puts pressure on the piston, the piston will then push against the brake pad which forces against the brake disc creating friction and making your wheels stop.
If you notice that it’s taking longer for your machine to stop, you find a leak, or you’re changing your brake pads then it’s probably time to bleed your brakes.
Well you see, it’s when your calipers pinch your brake pads so hard they start oozing tons of blood.
No, we’re only kidding.
Bleeding the brakes on your machine means letting out some of the brake fluid to remove trapped air or to replace the brake fluid altogether.
There are two ways to bleed your brakes: manually or by vacuuming. We’ll cover both and give you a step-by-step process so you can choose which way is best for you.
The master cylinder on a UTV or ATV is much smaller than what you would find on a car. Therefore, bleeding your brakes can be a little trickier. Due to their small size, the amount of fluid that is pushed every time you pump the brake is smaller. There may not be enough fluid to efficiently push the air out before you’d have to start the process all over again.
It’s not a quick process. It can take a while to completely flush the brake system, especially if you’re having trouble getting the air out of the line.
So, if the standard way doesn’t work? Then what?
If you don’t bleed your brakes, the brake fluid will eventually become more and more saturated with water because brake fluid has a hygroscopic nature, which means it absorbs water from its environment. Therefore, the amount of time it takes for your machine to stop after pressing your breaks will get longer and longer until your rig doesn’t stop at all.
And if you leave them unchecked for so long they can start to rust your brake rotors and your calipers.
We get it, there’s a lot to maintaining your ride, and some parts are harder to service than others. That’s why we’ve made it possible for you to bring a mechanic to your garage. Check out our virtual mechanic by appointment—all you have to do is select your appointment time, provide some information, and wait for us to call you.