While replacing front brake pads, I (somehow) managed to brake the bleeder nozzle that goes in the top of my caliper. It's a 2007 Tacoma.

The threaded end is stuck inside the bolt socket and I was trying to get it out with a tap because, since it's a nozzle, it's hollow inside and I thought the tap would do it easily. However, the tap broke and the tip stayed inside, effectively plugging the hole.

My question is, is the broken tap tip a safe bet against the brake fluid leaking from the otherwise broken nozzle at least for a few days until I manage to find a solution to get it out and put a new bleeder in? Also, is there a better way to get it out?

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Here is the proper bleeder on the other front wheel:

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To determine if it's safe to drive:

  1. Start the car so you get brake-assist.
  2. Apply the brakes as hard as you can, several times. Literally, grab the steering wheel to brace yourself and lean on that mother.
  3. Turn the car off.
  4. Go look at your bleeder screw and at the floor under it, see if any fluid came out.

To get it out, you don't have any kind of grip on it. Either weld another bolt onto that one so you can wrench the bleeder off, or keep drilling.


Theoretically the broken bleeder valve should be still tight, it is the conical tip (deep inside the caliper) that seals the brake (Assuming the valve did not move when you broke it). As tlhIngan told: practice a pressure test, so you can see if the valve is still sealing.

I personally would not try to drill the valve as the tap is made of hardened steel, thereby preventing you from drilling it. I would suggest you to directly replace the caliper.

To prevent further frozen bleed screws you can place one/two layers of Teflon tape on the threads of the screw. Make sure that the Teflon tape neither gets at the tapered tip nor the bleed holes. Do not use excessive tape as the tapered seat must provide the sealing and not the threads.


Replace both left and right calipers on the vehicle to avoid a possible brake / steering imbalance situation that might cause your vehicle to wind up upside- down in the ditch. -MSC-

  • 2
    Welcome on this site. Can you point out why a brake/steering imbalance should/could occur? – Martin Oct 15 '16 at 23:08

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