jadnashuanh
Posts: 4953
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Save money on your brake fluid, air filters and oil change by doing it yourself!

Thu May 28, 2020 10:26 am

The 'old' way of opening a bleeder and pushing the pedal to the floor, holding it while someone closes the bleeder is not the best way to do it in modern cars. You really do want to instead use a pressure bleeder system. If you push the pedal all the way to the floorboards, you'll be moving it beyond any normal range, and risk additional crud from getting in the system or seals that may then have issues. Typical day-to-day travel will keep the rods clean, but pushing it to the floorboards will likely try to push some crud in there.

FWIW, I bought a pressure bleeder from ECS Tuning awhile ago, but the cap they provide for my two BMWs would not make a good seal, and when the tank was pressurized, it leaked all out and on the vehicle...I do not know if they've changed the design. The bottle itself holds pressure fine, but it's the cap that you put on the reservoir that is (was?) the issue.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

flyboy320
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Save money on your brake fluid, air filters and oil change by doing it yourself!

Thu May 28, 2020 12:06 pm

jadnashuanh wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 10:26 am

FWIW, I bought a pressure bleeder from ECS Tuning awhile ago, but the cap they provide for my two BMWs would not make a good seal, and when the tank was pressurized, it leaked all out and on the vehicle...I do not know if they've changed the design. The bottle itself holds pressure fine, but it's the cap that you put on the reservoir that is (was?) the issue.
Mine did that as well until I realized you need the thick rubber gasket that goes into the cap so it seals between the cap and fluid reservoir.

Izzard
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:08 am

Re: Save money on your brake fluid, air filters and oil change by doing it yourself!

Thu May 28, 2020 1:17 pm

There are also bleed kits that work the other way around, by connecting to the bleed valve, generating a partial vacuum beyond the collection vessel and pulling the brake fluid down from the reservoir.

TOEd
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:15 am
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada

Re: Save money on your brake fluid, air filters and oil change by doing it yourself!

Thu May 28, 2020 1:49 pm

I have experimented with the gravity method, the two person brake pumping method and the vacuum pump method. All work ok. I prefer the two person method. We drive 20,000 to 30,000 km per year. A 3 year frequency is plenty for our style of driving. Bleeders seize after 3 years so are easily broken. Will try using silicone grease in the future as suggested by someone on this site. Never had an issue with ABS.
Last edited by TOEd on Fri May 29, 2020 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

alohart
Posts: 2046
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Save money on your brake fluid, air filters and oil change by doing it yourself!

Thu May 28, 2020 4:01 pm

TOEd wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 1:49 pm
We drive 20,000 to 30,000 km per year. A 3 year frequency is plenty for our style of driving.
Our 2014 i3 has been driven only 16k km total, yet its brake fluid has absorbed water from our typically humid air through the brake fluid reservoir cap's breather hole and maybe through the rubber walls of some of its brake lines. This would have occurred independent of the distance driven, so I question whether one's driving style affects the life of brake fluid with the exception of competition driving in which brake fluid could become quite hot.

Before the recommended 2-year replacement interval occurs, I plan to test the brake fluid to determine whether it has absorbed enough water to warrant being changed.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4953
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Save money on your brake fluid, air filters and oil change by doing it yourself!

Thu May 28, 2020 4:46 pm

There are brake fluid test strips you can purchase. They can be quite illuminating as to the condition of your brake fluid. You can't go by looks. 2-year intervals is the safer choice to change it out. A caliper, or worse, the ABS device are not cheap not counting the potential safety factor. Depending on where you live, especially with the regen braking, you may never overheat things on a downhill run, but in general, lowering the boiling point isn't a great idea, nor is starting to rust things from the inside out!
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

TOEd
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:15 am
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada

Re: Save money on your brake fluid, air filters and oil change by doing it yourself!

Thu May 28, 2020 6:13 pm

This topic has been discussed previously.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4999

TOEd
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:15 am
Location: Toronto Ontario Canada

Re: Save money on your brake fluid, air filters and oil change by doing it yourself!

Fri May 29, 2020 5:09 am

Our driving style is as follows: we are retired so avoid driving in the rain/snow; we rarely use brakes (regenerative braking is sufficient) so braking system doesn't heat up and cool ie "breath"; car is stored in a garage (ie out of the weather).

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4953
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Save money on your brake fluid, air filters and oil change by doing it yourself!

Fri May 29, 2020 1:06 pm

The humidity in Toronto in the summer can be quite oppressive, depending on which way the wind blows! That part of Canada is fairly flat, so boiling your brake fluid is not a likely issue. The rubber components in the system will allow moisture to get into the brake fluid. Now, given all of that, would three years be a major risk, probably not...but especially if you can do this yourself, why not do it at the manufacturer's recommended TIME interval.

Some things in a vehicle are distance related, some are time related...brake fluid is more time related so even if the car was not driven, but just sat somewhere, it would still be a good idea to change the fluid.

As I mentioned, there are brake fluid test strips you can buy that will give you an idea of the current state of your brake fluid. If after two years, it tests fine, yeah, extend it a bit.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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