What Causes A Broken Bleeder Valve? What To Do?

The braking system in a car is a critical component for safe driving. One of the key elements of the braking system is the bleeder valve.

The brake bleeder valve removes air bubbles and excess fluid from the brake lines, allowing the brake system to operate effectively.

When your car has a broken bleeder valve, it can cause the brake system to malfunction. This can be a serious safety hazard for drivers and other road users.

In this article, I will examine the common causes of this problem in a car, the signs and symptoms, and the steps to repair or replace this damaged part.

What Caused The Broken Bleeder Valve?

broken bleeder valve

A broken bleeder valve can be caused by factors such as wear and tear over time, corrosion, physical damage, improper installation or use, and manufacturing defects.

This problem can negatively affect the brake system operation, making it difficult or impossible to stop the vehicle.

Can I drive with a broken bleeder valve? Driving with a fractured bleeder valve is not recommended because of safety issues. Let’s find out more about each reason to prevent it.

Wear And Tear

I experienced my bleeder valves wear out over time due to frequent use or exposure to high pressure and temperature.

The rubber seals and components can deteriorate as it ages, leading to leaks, blockages, or complete failure.


Exposure to moisture, chemicals, or other corrosive agents can trigger the metal components of a bleeder valve to rust and weaken over time. This can lead to cracks, leaks, or breakage of the car part.

Physical Damage

Accidents or impacts can damage the bleeder valve, leaving cracks or fractures in the valve body or components.

Over-tightening the bleeder valve during maintenance or repair can also bring damage or breakage.

Improper Installation or Use

Incorrect installation, maintenance, or use of the bleeder valve causes it to malfunction or break down.

For instance, overtightening the valve, using the wrong type of valve for the system, or not following the manufacturer’s instructions will lead to failure.

Manufacturing Defects

Sometimes, the bleeder valve can be defective by the manufacturer due to issues such as poor quality materials or workmanship.

This could break down the valve to break down or make it fail prematurely.

Signs Of A Broken Bleeder Valve

drill out bleeder screw

Lack Of Pressure For Braking

A broken brake bleeder valve can trigger a reduction in the braking power of the vehicle.

If the brake pedal feels soft or spongy, it may indicate that air has entered the brake lines due to a broken bleed valve.

This situation made it difficult for me to apply enough pressure to stop my vehicle.

Thus, the problem can bring danger because it takes longer to come to a complete stop, or the vehicle may feel like it is drifting while braking.

Leakage Or Dripping

Brake fluid leaks can occur when there is a broken bleeder valve since it is a crucial component that regulates the flow of brake fluid through the brake system.

When the bleeder valve is broken, it can allow air and moisture to enter the brake lines, which can cause the fluid to become contaminated or less effective.

In this situation, you should dispose of the brake fluid.

Another reason broken bleeder valves can end up with brake fluid leaks is that the valve itself may have developed cracks or fractures, which allows brake fluid to leak out of the system.

The seals may also become worn or damaged over time, letting brake fluid seep out around the valve.

Unusual Sounds Or Smells

As mentioned, a broken bleeder is linked to reduced braking power, which accompanies unusual sounds or unusual sensations when applied.

For example, the brakes may make a grinding or squeaking noise, or you feel like the car is swaying or pulling to one side when the brakes are applied.

The damaged component can allow air to enter the brake lines.

Air in the brake lines can give off a spongy or less responsive braking feel, creating a noticeable difference in how the brakes function.

This issue enables moisture and other contaminants to enter the brake lines, contaminating the brake fluid. When the brakes are applied, this can create unusual smells, such as a burnt or acrid odor.

How To Remove Broken Bleeder Valve

can i drive with a broken bleeder valve

The broken bleeder valve removal task can be challenging, as I often make the valve stuck in place due to corrosion or other factors. Here are the general steps to remove a broken bleeder valve:

  • Loosen the bleeder valve: First, try to use a wrench. If the valve is not too badly damaged, it may come loose with some effort.
  • Apply penetrating oil: If the valve is stuck, apply penetrating oil to the component threads and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. This can help to loosen it by breaking down rust and corrosion.
  • Use heat: If the penetrating oil doesn’t work, you can try applying heat to the area around the bleeder valve using a heat gun or torch. Be careful not to overheat the area or damage any other components nearby.
  • Use a bolt extractor: If the valve is still stuck, you may need a bolt extractor to remove it. A bolt extractor is a special tool designed to grip the broken valve and turn it out of the brake caliper or wheel cylinder.
  • Replace the bleeder valve: Once you have removed the broken valve, replace it with a new one. Be sure to use a new crush washer as well to ensure a proper seal.

Note that removing a broken bleeder valve can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Suppose you are not experienced with brake system repairs.

In that case, it’s recommended that you seek the assistance of a qualified mechanic to avoid causing further damage or compromising the safety of your vehicle.


A broken bleeder valve can cause significant issues with a vehicle’s brake system. It can lead to brake fluid leaks, compromising the vehicle’s safety and reducing braking power.

Whenever you notice any signs of this problem, it’s important to address them immediately to ensure your vehicle’s safety and proper function.

Regular maintenance and inspection of the brake system can also help prevent issues like a broken bleeder valve from occurring in the first place, ensuring that your vehicle remains safe and reliable.

Leave a Comment