I recently got my first bike with hydraulic brakes.

The brakes made some strange squealing sounds, so I took it apart to see what could have been the problem.

I took out the pads and cleaned them, since they were dirty. I was very curious about the bike, because it had a new braking system, so I decided to press the lever, but a bunch of oil spilled out. I put the bike back together, but now the bike does not stop.


I don't live near many bike repairers, and I really want to bike next week.

  • 5
    After "a bunch of oil spilled out" did you replace it, and bleed the brakes in the proper fashion? (Note that you need to find out what sort of fluid your brakes use -- there are several different ones -- and get yourself a bottle of the proper stuff.) Aug 21, 2016 at 22:39
  • What make and model of brakes? There is a lot of variation in how they work.
    – vclaw
    Aug 22, 2016 at 0:56
  • Avid juicy 3's.
    – TheChip
    Aug 22, 2016 at 5:46
  • It's a bit late now, but in the future, never press the brake lever when the pads are out of the caliper. It will push the cylinders out of their bores and you'll lose a lot of brake fluid. Also, getting brake fluid (or any other sort of oil) on the brake pads will ruin them, usually permanently, and they will need replacing. Aug 22, 2016 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


They need to be bled. Nothing else for it. To do it yourself, you need a bleed kit and new fluid for whatever brake system you have, along with some other miscellaneous tools. It's considered a relatively advanced job as bikes go.

If by "very squeaky" you mean the loud howl of an oil-contaminated brake pad, you should just get new pads, and degrease the rotor thoroughly with something that doesn't leave residue.

  • Do you have a link on how to bleed juicy 3s?I can't seem to find any.
    – TheChip
    Aug 22, 2016 at 6:30
  • Try parktool.com/blog/repair-help/… . Aug 22, 2016 at 6:38
  • I have another question.Since the fluid came out, does that mean I need to refill?I'm confused because the "tank" for the fluid is full.Is the fluid that came out just the fluid from the cable?If so, what do I do?I'm very new to hydraulic brakes, so don't judge me.
    – TheChip
    Aug 22, 2016 at 7:25
  • When the fluid came out, you released the brake lever and that sucked air into the system. This is why you need to "bleed" the brakes -- to get the air out. (Hydraulic brakes are not nearly as "idiot proof" as mechanical ones -- you need to study up on how they work and how to maintain them.) Aug 22, 2016 at 12:12
  • Yep, the bleed procedure will push new fluid through the system, and then work out whatever air bubbles remain. No judgment, this is not all that uncommon a situation. In fact at some point if you don't have them already you might want to procure some Juicy pad spacers, which are little plastic slabs that fit in between the brake pads to prevent this very thing from happening accidentally when the front wheel is out. Aug 22, 2016 at 14:37

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