Honda Civics use a power brake system to supply the stopping power. The power brakes operate the same on most every vehicle: A power booster uses a vacuum to increase the power of the brake pedal when engaging the master cylinder and hydraulic brake system. The brake system uses a fluid that becomes contaminated with age and use and requires periodic flushing. The job is a pretty simple one, though you will need an assistant.
Flush the Brake Lines
Remove the brake reservoir cap and siphon out any fluid using a turkey baster. Replace the fluid with clean DOT-3 brake fluid once empty.2
Place the jack beneath the axle and raise the Civic one wheel at a time. Remove the lug nuts from the tires using a lug wrench. Set the tires and lug nuts to the side. Place a jack stand beneath the axle or frame and remove the jack.3
Loosen all four bleed screws so that fluid runs out. The rear brakes are either drum or disc brakes. Locate the bleed screw on rear disc brakes on top of the caliper. The drum brake bleed screw sits on the back of the drum above the axle. Front disc brake bleed screws face the engine on the caliper.4
Have your assistant press the brake pedal firmly to the floor and hold it. Tighten each bleed screw and release the pedal. Check the fluid in the reservoir and refill as needed. Repeat the process until clean fluid is coming out of the bleed screws.
Bleed the Brakes
Bleed the passenger rear brake first. Start with the wheel furthest from the reservoir to ensure all trapped air is forced out. Bleed the driver rear brake second, the passenger front brake third, and the driver front brake last.6
Place one end of rubber tubing on the bleed screw and the other end submerged in DOT-3 brake fluid in a clear plastic container. Check the reservoir and fill as needed.7
Have the assistant press the brake pedal firmly to the floor and hold. Loosen the bleed screw and monitor the flow of fluid and air bubbles out of the tube. Tighten the bleed screw once the flow stops and release the pedal. Repeat the process until no air bubbles come out of the tube for at least three turns.8
Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until all the wheels are done as outlined in Step 1.9
Replace each tire and tighten the lug nuts. Raise the vehicle slightly at each wheel to remove the jack stand and lower to the ground. Tighten all the lug nuts with the lug wrench once all wheels are on the ground. Top off the brake reservoir and replace the cap.