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Can’t bleed brakes #5126596 06/06/19 02:36 AM
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cjolson140 Offline OP
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My 1999.5 mk4 TDI Jetta has had an intermittent dragging brake (passenger front), and I found I couldn’t fully retract the piston in the caliper with a C clamp. Today I installed a new caliper & rubber line, thinking that would take care of it.

When I went to bleed it, I was not able to get any fluid (or air) to come down from the master cylinder at all. Barely any came out when I removed the old rubber line either. When trying to bleed, there’s no air or fluid pressure no matter how much you pump.

When pumping the brake, I can hear gurgling from the master cylinder, and the fluid level doesn’t go down. It seems like air got trapped in the master somehow, even though I’m certain it never ran out of fluid.

Also, after disconnecting the old caliper & line, I was able to retract the piston no problem, leading me to believe the issue was in the master cylinder to begin with.

Has anyone else had a brake issue like this?

Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126604 06/06/19 03:22 AM
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Mad_Hatter Offline
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Have you tried a pressure or vacuum bleeder or raising the front to try and release any trapped air between the caliper and MC???

Last edited by Mad_Hatter; 06/06/19 03:24 AM.
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126605 06/06/19 03:31 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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I would have said to replace the hydraulic/rubber hose but you've already done this.

Often when you can't push in the caliper piston, there is typically an issue with the hydraulic hose being chaffed on the inside, causing this check valve like action. Fluid will travel one way(pressing on the brake pedal) but not the other way(pushing back the caliper piston). Unless for example, you crack open the bleeder valve or in your instance, disconnect the brake line as you did.

This still tells me that there is a restriction in that area that need more investigation.

Sorry that I don't have more info.


"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126606 06/06/19 03:34 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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Oh one more thing. Is it just this one brake caliper or the others as well?


"Retired"
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'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126622 06/06/19 04:25 AM
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CourierDriver Offline
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Take your autos to a professional brake place....how important is your family nowadays.


I'd still like to have my 67 Beetle back....life was easy then..imho 2 quarts of oil roughly ,lol
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126633 06/06/19 04:55 AM
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Lubener Offline
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I would crack open the connection where the hose meets the steel line and see if you can pump fluid out. If not, you have to work back towards the dist. block or ABS and find the restriction. Air will not hold back the fluid.

Last edited by Lubener; 06/06/19 04:58 AM.

The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: CourierDriver] #5126640 06/06/19 05:11 AM
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Ed_Flecko Offline
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Originally Posted by CourierDriver
Take your autos to a professional brake place....how important is your family nowadays.


I couldn't agree more! Think how catastrophic a brake failure could be.

Ed


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Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126655 06/06/19 05:45 AM
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vwmaniaman Offline
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Try stating the motor and then try to bleed it. Sometimes the ABS may have a stuck valve that would releaewhen you start it up. Had that on rear antilock on my Ford Ranger. Who knows maybe yours is similar.


Don't waste your time on a slipshod repair.
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: Ed_Flecko] #5126661 06/06/19 05:50 AM
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supton Offline
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Originally Posted by Ed_Flecko
Originally Posted by CourierDriver
Take your autos to a professional brake place....how important is your family nowadays.


I couldn't agree more! Think how catastrophic a brake failure could be.

Ed

What's a professional brake place? Midas?

I'm actually between shops (again), not sure who I'd trust for car work at the moment. Good mechanics are hard to come by. And aren't cheap, not that I hold that against them, but sometimes I wonder if shotgunning a bunch of parts instead of paying labor to replace only the bad part is net sum zero game.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 196k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 155k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 217k, his
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126671 06/06/19 05:58 AM
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dadto2 Offline
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I found with the S70 in my sig that I had to turn the key to the "run" position to bleed the brakes. I don't know why, but with no key in the ignition I had the same symptoms as you.


'16 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab 4.3
'15 Volvo S60 T5 AWD
'99 Volvo S70 2.4
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126677 06/06/19 06:03 AM
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HangFire Offline
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Clogged/pinched line or frozen ABS unit.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126697 06/06/19 06:24 AM
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atikovi Offline
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I'd take the correct line off the master cylinder and see if fluid flows out. If not, replace the MC. If so, continue down looking for the blockage.

Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: HangFire] #5126701 06/06/19 06:30 AM
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mk378 Offline
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Originally Posted by HangFire
Clogged/pinched line or frozen ABS unit.

Yes exactly. Elementary troubleshooting to locate the blockage. Working backward from the wheel toward the MC, start opening connections and see where you have free flow.

Last edited by mk378; 06/06/19 06:31 AM.
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: Ed_Flecko] #5126714 06/06/19 06:55 AM
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maxdustington Offline
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You should try getting the ABS to cycle and see if that changes anything. Either a scan tool or gravel road/parking lot.


99 Toyota Tercel CE 5EFE/C151
Re: Can’t bleed brakes [Re: cjolson140] #5126722 06/06/19 07:07 AM
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supton Offline
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I had a problem with replacing a rear caliper on my truck, bled and bled it, just would not give up whatever air bubble it was. In frustration I decided that I'd take it to the shop, but did a quick check to see if I could gently drive it or if I would need a tow. The brake held well enough, but once I let it roll a couple of feet, darn pedal came up to where it should have been all along! Took a spin, bled one more time, all was well.

When I mentioned it to my mechanic he said that sometimes occurs, some of them won't work properly until driven. shrug I've heard of some air bubbles being really hard to get out but not the idea of actually driving a bit.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 196k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 155k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 217k, his
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