Bleed The Brake Fluid on a Nissan Juke
Brakes are one of the most important components of your vehicle, and it's important to ensure proper maintenance is kept to ensure reliable operation. You should change your brake fluid every 15-20,000 miles.
This procedure was carried out on a 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO, however the process is the same for all model year and trim levels of the Juke with the exception of the NISMO RS.
When bleeding the brake fluid, it's always best to start from the wheel furthest from the brake fluid reservoir - usually the rear passenger side. As such, we typically raise the rear wheels first, then lower the car and raise the front.
Lift the Rear Wheels
Juke owners employ a couple different strategies for getting the vehicle on jack stands. You can raise the car using the rear torsion beam (for FWD vehicles) or the rear differential (for AWD) vehicles according to the owner's manual, so we felt that was a safe choice for this job.
Once in the air, you'll have to locate the notches along the pinch welds that run the length of the frame between the front and rear wheels. There are two pairs of notches on each side of the car: one pair directly ahead of the rear wheels, and one pair behind the front wheels. You'll be placing your jack stands beneath these notches (but don't do that quite yet.)
Before the car is off the ground, be sure to use the breaker bar to loosen (but DO NOT REMOVE) the lug nuts on the rear wheels.
Place the jack under the rear torsion beam (for FWD) or differential (for AWD) and gently raise the car until your jack stands can be placed under the pinch welds on each side.
Make sure your jack stands have a spot for the pinch weld to settle on to. Most have a concave plastic piece that sits over the forks at the top of the jack stand. If you don't have those, consider using a small block of wood to prevent the pinch weld from deforming with the weight of the car.
Once both jack stands are in position and aligned, gently lower the car onto them. If the wheels are still in contact with the ground, you may have to further raise the car, adjust the height of the jack stands, and lower it back down onto them again.
Remove the lug nuts and pull each wheel off the wheel hubs and roll them out of the way.
Bleed the Rear Brakes
Before you begin the bleeding process, raise the hood of the car and open the cap of the brake fluid reservoir. The reservoir is located on the driver-side of the engine and just behind the battery.
Because of the length of the neck of the reservoir, we found it wasn't really feasible to preemptively drain the fluid. Instead, just ensure it's sufficiently topped off (you can fill beyond the MAX line, until it reaches the neck) by adding new brake fluid as necessary.
The brake reservoir fluid level can be frustratingly difficult to see. We found it helped to remove the engine cover (it's just a big plastic trim piece that pulls off) and peek through the gaps in the hoses at the left side.
The rear bleeder valve is located on the inboard side of the caliper, facing the rear of the car. Pull the rubber nub off the tip and thread the 8mm end of the bleeder wrench over the bleeder valve. Then take the end of the tubing from the bleeder bottle and thread it over the end of the valve nipple. Ensure the tubing is snug!
Now you're ready to bleed the brakes! Have your assistant sit in the driver's seat and coordinate opening/closing the bleeder valve with them depressing the brake pedal. You should work in the following sequence:
- Open the bleeder valve (you only need about a 30 degree turn)
- Your assistant depresses the brake pedal as far as they can
- Close the bleeder valve
- Your assistant releases the brake pedal (they may have to use their foot to fully extend the pedal back up)
Vocal communication is key! We found simply telling the assistant when to press/release the pedal was clear and concise.
Don't forget to top off new brake fluid in the reservoir periodically - usually after about 5-8 pumps of the pedal. If you let the fluid get too low you risk air entering the brake lines, which undermines everything you're doing and can be a major safety hazard.
If you're using a bleeder bottle with a check valve, the valve should keep brake fluid from re-entering the system when your assistant releases the pedal. Once the bottle is full about 1/2 an inch (enough to fully submerge the tip of the hose in the bottle) you can try to let your assistant pump and release the pedal without opening/closing the valve each time. Keep an eye on the fluid as you do this. If fluid is being drawn back into the brake line, you should stop immediately and open/close the valve each time instead.
Eventually the fluid leaving the bleeder valve will turn clearer, a sign that new brake fluid has made its way all the way to the caliper. Once the fluid is clearer and free of air bubbles, close and tighten the valve and carefully remove the bleeder hose.
Repeat this process for the other rear wheel.
Before getting to the front wheels, you'll have to reinstall the rear wheels and lower the car. Install each wheel and tighten the lug nuts by hand. Then use a powered impact driver (or a socket wrench) to tighten each nut. Don't torque them to spec yet - you'll do that when the wheels are on the ground.
Raise the vehicle using your preferred rear jack point, remove the jack stands, and gently lower the car. Once it's back on the ground, tighten each lug nut to 80 lb-ft of torque.
Bleed the Front Wheels
Before you lift the front, make sure you use the breaker bar to loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels. Again - you just want to loosen them, don't remove them!
Once again you can use your preferred method to raise the front of the car to position your jack stands. We found lifting by the front cross-member worked, and is an indicated jack point in the owner's manual.
Once the front of the car is on jack stands, remove the wheels using the same method as the rears.
Repeat the bleed process for the front brakes. The only difference is the size of the bleeder valve - 10mm instead of 8mm. The fluid leaving the bleeder valve will clear up much faster, since you're much closer to the brake fluid reservoir.
On the final wheel, pay special attention to the brake fluid level in the reservoir. Ensure the fluid is at the MAX line, or just below it, when you've finished the last of the four wheels.
Once the bleeder valves are closed and tightened, reinstall the front wheels and tighten the lug nuts with an impact wrench or socket wrench, but don't go too crazy. Raise the front again and remove the jack stands, then lower the car and finish tightening the lug nuts to 80 lb-ft.
Make one final check of the brake fluid to ensure it's not too low or overflowing, then replace the cap on the brake reservoir and replace the plastic engine cover if you removed it. Clean up the area around the reservoir to ensure no brake fluid is left on any surface. It can damage your paint!
Nice job. Start the car and give the brake pedal a few good pumps to make sure the brakes are fully operational. Take the car for a short test drive to ensure everything behaves properly.
- Wheel lug nuts: 21mm socket, tightened to 80 lb-ft of torque
- Front bleeder valves: 10mm socket, tightened to 5.75 lb-in of torque (you can probably just do this one by hand)
- Rear bleeder valves: 8mm socket
- Approximate volume of brake reservoir: Indeterminate, however we used approximately 18oz of brake fluid to complete the flush.