Hey guys and gals, I am pulling my hair out over this. After doing some wheel bearings (front), my wife began complaining more than usual about her brakes. A shop did the passenger side, I did the driver side. I never opened the system. I thought she was full of it, but sure as heck, the brakes go to the floor. I tried bleeding them, the standard way, furthest to closest, it got better, but not much better. a few days later, back down to the floor. two yrs ago, I had changed both front hoses and calipers, so I figured those were good, and there are no fluid leaks in the system. Frustrated, I took it to a mechanic. He thought it was the rear brakes were bad, thus the extra travel. He fixed that. two days later, problem came back. He replaced the front drivers caliper and the master cylinder. two days later, problem shows again, pedal right back down to the floor. When I bleed the brakes, it always seems to be the front drivers side that has the air in it. I have never had to add any brake fluid, yet somehow I keep getting air into the system. Any ideas??? I must be missing something really simple. My next step is to try a new front hose. Some have told me to take it to the dealership and have them purge the abs. The mechanic put a vise grip on all of the hoses, and the pedal seems to stiffen, and as you remove one at a time, it gradually gets softer and softer. Nothing seems to stand out. Help!
Two thoughts. I would not use vice grips on brake hoses. Ever. And, I think you need to get the ABS bled by the dealer. I have a feeling there is a labyrinth in there that cannot be purged by manual bleeding. I think the drivers caliper is the closest to the ABS, and would get the 'gassified' brake fluid 1st.
Tell the "mechanic" that he owes you new hoses for damaging the inner liners with the vise grips. And an ABS system does require a pressure or vacum bleeder if there is air in the system or pump. Manual bleeding just wont do it any more these days. In AllData it shows this pattern: RR - LR - RF - LF.
thanks for the replies. I went over the hoses again late last night. I was able to get 3/4 of a turn out of the brake line/ brake hose connection on the front passenger side, other than that, they looked good. I bled them again, and they got better, but I am sure it is just a matter of time. One thing I forgot to mention, is that....according to my wife....this problem began after I did the drivers front wheel bearing. I used a "C" clamp to push the brake caliper back in just enough for it to slip back on the rotor without a fight. I did not open the bleeder, I just forced the fluid back. I didn't open the system. like I said, I have bled these brakes now, 6 times now. Do you think over time that the air will work itself out eventually, maybe after bleeding it a few more times? I guess I am worried that I would take it to the dealer, they bleed it by activating the abs, all to have it return again.
Make sure if you are trying to bleed that system manually that you are initally pumping the pedal hard like 15-20 times minimum. That will help stabalize the pressure in the ABS pump and give you a more accurate feel.