Why the Brakes on Your ATV Do Not Work (8 Possible Causes)

Bleeding brakes is a very annoying thing that a lot of people do not know how to do.

In fact, bleeding brakes are a very common problem in ATVs, and a lot of people do not know why they are bleeding or how to fix it.

Due to this, I wrote this article. Today I will show you 8 possible reasons for bleeding brakes and how to fix them.

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1. Non-compatible brake handle installed

Another thing that many riders do is install the wrong brake handle.

This can cause the brakes to bleed therefore, it is very important to pay attention before installing a new brake handle and to make sure that it is suitable for the ATV.

2. There is air trapped inside the latch of the main brake line

This is very common and could be the reason why your brakes are not working.

To get the air out of the brake line, you have to hold the lever firmly and release the nuts and thus, let the air out.

3. Leakage in the brake system

Another problem that is very common in brakes is a leakage in the brake system.

In fact, the smallest leak can damage your ATV brakes therefore, it is very important to check the brake system and make sure there are no leaks. If there is a leak, I suggest taking the brakes to get repaired.

4. The master cylinder is bad

If it’s hard for you to get the liquid out of your brake lines, it means there’s a problem with your master cylinder.

If you find inside the cylinder plunger an o-ring that does not go well, you should also replace your main cylinder.

Luckily, there are a lot of sellers today that sell spare parts and rollers at a very low price. In fact, you can even buy excellent spare parts on Amazon.

5. A screw fell in the brake system

Another thing which is a very common problem in bleeding brakes is that one of the screws may have fallen when you have replaced it.

Because of that, it is very important to check the brake system to see if there is a screw that has fallen. If you can’t find the fallen screw you can buy a new one anywhere.

I usually recommend that you have alternative screws you will need in reserve.

6. Not enough fluids get into the main cylinder

Another thing that could be the reason your brakes are bleeding is that there is not enough fluid entering the main cylinder.

Usually, the reason for this is that the plunger inside is small, which greatly limits the amount of fluid entering into the main cylinder.

7. Too much weight on the brakes

Another reason why the brakes are bleeding could be that the amount of weight and gravity is too heavy on them.

In fact, this heaviness is mainly because of liquids in the way. To take out the liquid and reduce the weight on the brakes you need to do the following:

  • First of all, remove the brake fluid cover.
  • Put a pot or a lid underneath so that all the liquid falls into it.
  • Open the valves so that the liquid comes out of the brake fluid.
  • Leave it alone for 15 minutes to let the liquid drip out.
  • Add liquid to make the liquids drip faster.
  • And after that, you have to see if any more fluid is coming out.
  • After the liquid has stopped coming out, put everything back in place, and tighten the valves.
  • If no liquid is released this means that you do not have a problem of heavy load and weight on the brakes

8. Clogged brake line

If you have an ATV for many years, the chances are that your brake lines are blocked from waste and manure that has accumulated over the years.

You need to release the blockage to remove the waste from the valve.

To do this, try disconnecting the connector from the main cylinder head and pulling the brake so that the cylinder will work.

Why is it important to fix bleeding brakes?

It is very important to repair and replace bleeding brakes because if you ignore the problem and don’t replace them, it can cause huge damage to your brake system and even destroy it.

How to replace bleeding brakes

If one of the reasons I showed you is not the problem, it means you’ll have to buy new brakes and replace them instead.

But how do you replace the brakes?

Well, I’ll show you.

Before you start taking out your bleeding breaks, you’ll need this equipment;

  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • ATV stand

Step 1

First, put out the emergency lock so that your tires do not roll. The brake is located next to your handbrake. Just get it out of place.

Step 2

While your machine still sits on the ground you have to loosen all the nuts that are on the wheels. To do this, you need a wrench. It is essential not to loosen the nuts completely at this time.

Step 3

Now you have to lift the ATV from the ground using an ATV stand. Once your ATV is above the ground, you have to remove all the tires and screws so that you have access to the brake.

The caliper on most of the service models has a guard.

You will need to remove it so that you have full access to the clipper and to do so you need a wrench. To remove the clipper, you need to remove the two screws that hold it.

Step 4

After removing the brake, you need to remove the iron cover that is placed over the screws of the brake pads and the clip. To do this you will need a flat screwdriver.

The first thing to do is to remove the waste and then loosen the screws that secure the brake pads. It is very important to release two screws. Each brake must be removed completely.

Step 5

The next step is to carefully remove the steam pads.

Not everyone has to replace the brake pads however, if you see that the upholstery is worn and torn you should definitely replace them.

Step 6

And now to the last step, you will need to install your new brakes, which includes the brake pads and tires.

And that’s it. You end up successfully replacing your brakes.

More tips for stubborn brakes that do not bleed

If your brakes are not yet bleeding, there are two things you can do to try and save your brakes.

Leaving the brake lever engaged at night

The straightforward thing you can do to keep your brakes from bleeding is to tie a rubber tie on the handle to the  engaged position overnight.

If you are lucky, this is all you will have to do to let the air bubbles escape into the tank.

Pump the brakes with the master cylinder cover off

Another thing is to open the reservoir fluid retention buffer and start pumping the brakes slowly until you see the bubbles appear in the database.

Maintenance of ATV brakes

Maintenance and replacement of brakes in ATVs do not cost a lot of money.

In fact, the replacement of new brake pads and brake system is between $40 to $70 each side. although the price will likely be higher for well-known brands. In addition, replacing brake fluid costs $50.

How to add brake fluid to my ATV

To fill the brake fluid, you need to take the reservoir cover and release the two screws you see and start pouring the liquid into the reservoir. When full, simply return the two screws.


In summary, today I have shown you all the things you need to know about brake replacement, plus 8 possible causes of bleeding brakes.

It is very important to check all 8 possible causes that can affect the brakes of your ATV.

  • Non-compatible brake handle installed
  • There is air trapped inside the latch of the main brake line
  • Leakage in the brake system
  • The master cylinder is bad
  • A screw fell in the brake system
  • Not enough fluids get into the main cylinder
  • Too much weight of liquids on the brakes
  • Clogged brake line

I highly recommend taking your brakes to someone professional so that they can check your brakes and fix the problem.

Need ATV safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

Thank you for riding. Until the next time.


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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