Brakes Still Spongy After Brake Bleeding? Here’s a Tip

It’s pretty frustrating after bleeding/flushing your brakes only to find that they’re still spongy as last time.

So if you’re facing a similar issue, learn one quick tip here that might help improve your braking power and seal your brake lines for good.

Brake calipers

If you’ve got a bleeder screw that keeps leaking air bubbles after you’ve closed the threads, you can actually use a gasket sealer to seal the bleeder screws. I recommend this gasket sealer since it dries fast and works really well. 

fix spongy brake pedal after bleed or flush 01

In order to get this done correctly, you’ll first want to open the bleeder screw and put in a decent amount of gasket sealer. You’ll want to paste about 1/2 down the threads with gasket sealer.

Make sure not to go past halfway down the bleeder screw threads.
Check the images above and below.

do not fix spongy brake pedal after bleed or flush like this picture diagram

A quick story…

I used the same method for my own brake calipers since I was facing this exact same issue.

I was having issues with my old brake caliper bleeder screw since it was leaking air bubbles. So I decided to buy a brand new caliper. Yet, the brand new caliper was doing the exact same thing. 

I thought it couldn’t be the new caliper leaking; it had to be somewhere else in the brake system.

After spending 2 days bleeding the brakes and over $50 on bottles, I started to realize the new brake caliper was at fault.

brand new brake caliper leaking air bubbles

Alternative Options

At this point I could have uninstalled the new brake caliper and exchanged it for another new one at the store. But that would have cost me an Uber ride, and extra time I didn’t feel like spending uninstalling and reinstalling a new one.

Or I could have ordered some new bleeder screws at the parts store, but again I would have to pay for an Uber ride there and back. And I didn’t even realize they carry bleeder screws until now.

So instead I just used gasket sealer to pinch the bleeder screw threads since I had that lying around.

The Results

It’s been over 5 months now and my brakes are still working better than last time. The spongy brake pedal issue is gone and I’ve got good braking power now.

So if you’re ever in a pinch you can use this method to seal your bleeder screws.

CAUTION If you plan to go this route the next time you decide to bleed the brakes, you should replace the brake caliper entirely instead of bleeding it.

This is to ensure you keep your brake system clean of contaminants and prevent risk of injury or death the next time you drive your vehicle.

Final Steps

Once you’ve successfully sealed the bleeder screw, it’s time to bleed the brakes again. Check out this post to learn how to do that. Then fill up your master cylinder with the correct brake fluid.

The most common types of brake fluid are DOT 3 and DOT 4

You can easily locate which kind of brake fluid your vehicle takes by looking at the master cylinder cap. It will say ‘DOT‘ and show a number on there. The picture below shows what that will look like:

dot 3 or dot 4 brake fluid

Final Thoughts

Although this repair was a success, the next time I run into this issue I’ll make sure to have extra bleeder screws lying around.

It is a much better solution to this problem than using gasket sealer. And you can ask your parts store to find matching bleeder screws for your vehicle make and model. 

The store will take the guessing work out of the equation for you when deciding which bleeder screw out of hundreds of types match your caliper.

April 08, 2022