2007-2012 Rav4.3 How-To Bleed Brakes

This is a how-to for the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Toyota Rav4 (4.3).

Items/Tools Required:

  • 16 oz. of DOT3 or DOT4 Brake Fluid (I chose Red Line RL-600)
  • Brake fluid catch bottle (I chose this – but can be made using hose and a water bottle).
  • 8mm flare wrench
  • 21mm socket
  • Baster (optional)

First, get the car up in the air, the simplest IMO would be just getting the whole car up on stands. The wheels will come off with a 21mm socket.

Open the hood to locate the master cylinder, which is on the driver’s side near the firewall. Open the cap to add brake fluid. It may need an angled funnel do to the position of the master cylinder.

The next step is optional. I used a baster to remove as much of the brake fluid as I could from the master cylinder. This will make it faster to bleed new fluid through the brakes. After removing fluid, I replaced with the new brake fluid.

The order of the bleeding is the passenger rear, driver rear, passenger front, driver front. Typically, the order goes from furthest from the master cylinder to the closest. Remove the caps on each of the bleeder valves, break loose with the 8mm wrench, and attach the bleeder bottle hose to the valve. Have someone assist by pressing and holding on the brakes, while you open and close the valve. Once you close the valve back shut, they can release the brakes, and repeat. Continue doing this until new brake fluid comes out of each corner. Once that is complete, you are done! The brake pedal should feel nice and stiff. Overall, a fairly straightforward and simple process.

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