Bleeding Your Brake System
Whenever work is done on the Beetle brakes, such as after the replacement of any brake parts, the brake system must be carefully bled. The work is done after the brakes are adjusted.
You will need a container that is partly filled with new brake fluid. You will need tubing, 3/16" i.d. Also the following: a helper and a box wrench. This is usually 7mm but replacement brake cylinders may have 1/4" or 5/16" brake valves. So choose the appropriate wrench for your brake valves.
Take off the brake reservoir master cylinder cap. Check the brake fluid. If brake fluid is dirty it must be replaced with new brake fluid.
Loosen the bleeder valve first at the wheel cylinder that is the furthest away from the master cylinder. This will be the rear right or the rear left, depending on the location of the brake reservoir in your particular Beetle. Loosen this brake valve slightly in preparation so you know it is easily manipulated.
Apply the box wrench to the valve and put one tubing end over it. The other end of the tubing should be submerged in the container of brake fluid. It is best if this container is clear plastic or glass. Get a helper to pump the brakes slowly to pressurize the system and then have him or her push down on the brake pedal and hold it down.
Now open the bleeder valve slowly, to begin the flow of brake fluid. The brake pedal will lower and air bubbles should exit the tube. Tighten the brake valve and have the helper return the pedal to its regular position. Keep doing this until there are no more air bubbles in the container. Clean fluid should come out of the valve and then you can tighten the brake bleeder valve.
Repeat this at the other rear wheel and then the two front wheels. Check the fluid level in the master cylinder which should be refilled to the mark on the reservoir.
Other Brake Work Instructions
We offer a dvd on brake work which is quite thorough. Also listed are a couple of brake instruction booklets. Typical old fashioned Beetle owners might prefer the printed shop manuals to dvd's. There is no better information on brake work than is contained in the reprints of the original Beetle shop manuals. These are the "Bentley Manuals" and we list them in the 'books and literature' section.