Brake Fluid Change

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by GunnerSchenck, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. GunnerSchenck

    GunnerSchenck Full Access Member

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    Hi all,
    Newest question of the day.. how should one properly go about draining as much fluid as possible out of the brake system to change it, then properly bleed the system?
    Just finished a little brake work and decided when I was topping it off that at 200k it deserves some new fluid.. only ever topped off after working on it so likely still some of the OG fluid left..
    I'll probably start by taking as much out of the master cylinder as I can with a turkey baster.. then start from the closest wheel as drain the fluid..fill and bleed from the furthest away..
    Any other suggestions or help?? Anything is appreciated.. thank you
     
  2. JasonJ

    JasonJ Full Access Member

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    Without a pressurized tool to "power bleed" the fluid, the method you suggested is a good one: suck as much out of the reservoir as you can, then start bleeding the brakes in the normal fashion, keeping the res. full of new fluid.

    They make tools (and some have made their own versions) that connect to the reservoir cap and have a larger tank or supply of new fluid, the system is pressurized, bleeder screws opened and the whole thing pushes the crap fluid out and replaces with new fluid at the same time.

    When I worked at the local import dealership, BG products came in and demo'd such a device.. it was fast, and efficient. It took them probably 10 mins to do an early 2000s Grand Prix, all while explaining each step.

    200k is a long time on original fluid with just top offs! Sheesh... so much for every 2 years eh?
     
  3. CactusJacked

    CactusJacked Full Access Member

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    Always bleed from the furthest wheel to the closest; right rear-left rear-right front-left front. Open one bleeder at a time, remove the cap from the reservoir, and let the fluid gravity feed and don't let the fluid level go too low. Close the bleeder when clean fluid starts coming out and move to the next wheel. You can follow up with the pump and squirt method if you feel like it, but generally you shouldn't have any air in the lines. Just know that the conventional bleeding method doesn't get the fluid out of the ABS system.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  4. JasonJ

    JasonJ Full Access Member

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    Gravity bleeding is great, it just takes a while. That's why it's nice to have those rigs that pressurized at the cap, and push the fluid out. Plus you don't need to pump the pedal, risk operating the master cyl with low or no fluid, making things worse.

    Gravity bleeding where the pump and squirt method failed has saved me and others a TON of headache. It's the only method that got the front brakes working on my uncle's Kawasaki Vulcan.
     
  5. GunnerSchenck

    GunnerSchenck Full Access Member

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    Awesome info guys I appreciate it.. about to do it right now but just wanted to stop and thank you guys. Always feels better going in with confirmation beforehand..
    And jason, definitely is a long time.. the fluid I just pulled from the reservoir is almost the color of a natural sweat tea lol as opposed to the new clear stuff.. put some new and old into clear bottles just to have a good chuckle about the difference.
    As for that pressurized bleeding system you're talking about, that sounds pretty awesome.. talk about reassurance.
    Although for anyone reading later on, it's nothing to joke about with your own safety at hand..
    My fluid is the color it is because of the moisture and contaminants it's absorbed over the course of..well beyond too long.
    If your fluid looks like sweet tea..might want to get rid of that lol
     
  6. Scottybones

    Scottybones Full Access Member

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    Speed bleeders ftw. Used them for the first time and I was amazed at how easy it was.