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  • What Is That Clicking Sound?

    Dear Tom,
    My 2003 Chevy Cavalier makes a clicking sound in the front when I make a right turn. It doesn't do it when I turn left. Should I be concerned? What could cause this noise? Larry from Detroit

    My first thought, Larry... your car probably has a bad front CV joint. Get the vehicle into a shop and have them check the CV joint on the side of the car where the clicking occurs. Tom

    After I responded to Larry, I thought a little deeper about his problem and sent him a follow up e-mail. There are many possible conditions that would cause a clicking sound.

    Besides a bad CV joint, what else could cause clicking in the front end when turning?

    • Loose Brake Pads
    • Loose Brake Calipers
    • Bent Brake Backing Plates
    • A Loose or Cracked Wheel
    • A Rock Stuck in Between the Wheel and Brake Caliper
    • Loose Hub Caps

    (use our Repair Estimator to find out how much any repair should cost you)

    Loose Brake Pads
    The design of the brake pads assures that they are secured to the brake caliper seat. If they come loose then the pad is allowed to jump up and down when the brake is applied. This action produces a clicking sound when driving slowly or when braking while driving at a slow speed.

    Loose Brake Calipers
    Brake calipers are secured to their seat with bolts and guide pins that fit firmly through bushings. This design keeps the caliper suspended properly so that the brake pads make contact with the rotor, and the vehicle stops when they are applied. A loose caliper will flop around and make a clicking sound that emanates from that wheel.

    Bent Brake Backing Plates
    Each brake has a backing plate attached to the back of it. This plate protects the brake from road dirt and prevents damage from projectiles. If the plate is bent inward, it will rub against the rotor or caliper and cause a clicking sound.

    A Loose or Cracked Wheel
    A wheel with loose lug nuts will click and rub or grind. A wheel with a crack will click. This is more common with steel wheels.

    A Rock Stuck in Between the Wheel and Brake Caliper
    If a rock gets stuck in the tight area between the wheel and brake caliper, it can click or grind.

    Loose Hub Caps
    A loose hubcap will click at slow speeds when the wheel flexes as it turns.

  • Dodge recalls 121,603 examples of Dart for loss of brake assist

     
    Dodge  will recall 121,603 worldwide examples of the 2013-2014 Dart with the 2.0- and 2.4-liter engines because of possible loss of power brake assistance. The company reports two minor injuries and seven accidents potentially related to this problem. The affected models have build dates before Jan. 24, 2014. There are 105,458 of these vehicles in the US; 11,996 in Canada; 3,705 in Mexico; and 444 outside of NAFTA. This campaign doesn't affect Darts with the 1.4-liter engine.

    These vehicles' brake-booster vacuum tube routing can potentially allow oil to access and eventually to degrade the brake booster diaphragm. If this happens, then the vehicles could lose braking assist. The brakes themselves would continue to work, but the driver would experience longer stopping distances. A pop or similar sound of a vacuum leak sometimes precedes the problem, according to the automaker.

    Dealers will inspect the components and replace the vacuum tube. If technicians find oil in the tube, they'll also swap out the vacuum pump, brake booster, and master cylinder. Affected owners will receive notice from the company within the next 60 days.

    Statement: Vacuum-tube Assembly

    December 3, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC is voluntarily recalling an estimated 105,458 compact sedans in the U.S. to inspect and replace vacuum-tube assemblies and certain other components, as required.

    Some of the affected vehicles may be subject to oil migration that could affect their brake systems' power-assist feature. Foundation brake function is unaffected. However, if this condition occurs, the driver may notice hard pedal-feel on brake application, and longer distances may be required to stop the vehicle in emergency situations.

    An FCA US investigation identified certain model-year 2013-14 vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines, may have brake-booster vacuum-tube routing that inadvertently allows oil to reach the brake booster diaphragm, if ever the vacuum-pump check valve fails. Oil may degrade the diaphragm and lead to a loss of brake-assist – a feature that helps reduce stopping distances.

    FCA US is aware of two minor injuries and seven accidents that are or may be related to this condition.

    The recall is limited to model-year 2013-14 Dodge Dart sedans produced before Jan. 24, 2014. It also affects an estimated 11,996 cars in Canada; 3,705 in Mexico and 444 outside the NAFTA region.

    Vehicles equipped with 1.4-liter engines are excluded.

    Affected customers will be advised when they may schedule service, which will be performed at no cost.

    The condition may be preceded by a pop or a sound consistent with a vacuum leak. Customers who experience such events and/or hard pedal-feel are advised to contact their dealers.

    Service comprises an inspection and vacuum-tube replacement. If oil is found in the vacuum tube, dealers will also replace the vacuum pump, bake booster and master cylinder.

    Customers with additional questions may call the FCA US Customer Information Center at 1-800-853-1403.

  • Brake checking crash that went viral under investigation

    https://videos.vidible.tv/prod/2016-03/22/56f0a275e4b0e44adfce38fe_640x360_v1.mp4?NwUi1Zy_2GVy7BDGYl1cnsx2Gy4cPX9HPOQHLM8l3rn1UtPaIIB3AfYlxKfDa5Ju

    Video footage of a crash caused by a driver who suddenly hit the brakes in front of a car that was following too close caught the attention of police in Fox Valley, WI this week. The dashboard camera footage, shot on I-41 near Green Bay, was uploaded to YouTubeon March 10, Fox5 reports. Since appearing online, the crash has been viewed over three million times. It serves as an excellent illustration of what happens when you play power games on the freeway.

    The term brake checking refers to the act of momentarily tapping hard the brakes as a way of encouraging tailgating vehicles to back off. While following too close to a car is dangerous in its own right, so is brake checking other drivers. In the video, a driver in the left lane suddenly hits the brakes to try and shake off a driver that was following too close. When the vehicle suddenly braked, the tailgating SUV driver overcorrected to avoid a crash, sending their vehicle swerving across two lanes of traffic before settling in a ditch in the grassy median.

    No one comes off as a good guy in this situation, but the left-lane squatting, brake-checking driver proved to be the most dangerous driver in this instance. However, the driver who crashed is the only one who has so far been cited. Police are now searching for the driver who caused the crash and drove away. Fox Valley police told WFLA that they are continuing to investigate the incident.

    Related Video

  • Brake replacement & upgrade options

    What comes to mind when you hear the term "automotive performance?" Most people, auto enthusiast or not, will think of big crate engines, superchargers and turbos, flame throwing exhaust, and maybe even suspension components. But what about brakes? All of that extra "go" will be useless if you can't stop. Most of us will know it's time to replace our brakes when one of two things happen:

    • Your service mechanic tells you after completing an oil change, tire rotation, or similar job
    • As you approach a red light you hear that notorious squeal that announces to you and everyone in a 2 block radius that the time has come

    But the term "brake job" can mean many things depending on your vehicle, driving style, and how often you maintain your brakes. And just like the vast selection of air intakes, tuners, and other performance parts, there is a large variety of replacement and performance brake components.

    Replacement vs. Performance
    The first thing to determine is what you need. Are you looking to repair a commuter car or replace brakes on a non-modified vehicle? If so replacement brake parts will be a lower cost compared to performance parts and just as effective for normal driving. If your vehicle has some engine modifications, you like to drive on winding mountain roads, or you do a lot of towing, then you should possibly consider upgrading your brakes. In either case, the two main components will be the same: pads and rotors.

    Complete brake kit – Original Equipment

    Complete brake kit - Performance

    Brake Pads
    Brake pads are arguably the most important part of your vehicle braking system. As you apply your brake pedal they compress and create friction, causing your vehicle to stop. Whether your vehicle's brakes are disc or drum style, you should purchase new pads each time you service your brakes.

    Brake pads are categorized into 4 main groups:

    • Non-metallic - Generally the lowest cost option, these pads are quiet and have a "soft" feel when braking, but can wear quickly and create a lot of brake dust
    • Semi-metallic - Mid-range option as far as cost and durability. These pads will have a slightly harder feel and will be louder braking than the non-metallic, but will last longer and create less dust
    • Ceramic - These will be your upgrade or performance option for most passenger vehicles. Ceramic pads will provide more stopping power than the semi- and non-metallic while being extremely quiet with a "soft" feel. These pads do however have a higher cost and are more prone to overheating.
    • Fully metallic - Fully metallic brake pads are generally only used for race vehicles. They will have a "hard" feel, are loud, and will not be as effective in normal driving conditions as the others. These pads are made to withstand prolonged hard braking at high speeds. Vehicles used for daily driving or commuting should not use this style pad.

    Rotors
    Also known as "Discs" are the flat circular surface that you can sometimes see through your wheel. Disc style brakes are factory equipment in most cars today. If your vehicle is equipped with disc brakes, you have a few options for replacements. * Note: There are some vehicles that do not have rotors, and therefore you would not need to replace. These drum style brake systems are sometimes found in older vehicles and the rear axle of small economy cars*

    • OEM/ Factory style - These rotors will generally be your lowest cost option and what most economy vehicles are equipped with from the factory. They are commonly made of iron with aluminum centers. OEM style rotors will have a flat surface and can either come solid or vented (they look like 2 solid rotors with a space in the center). Vented rotors are generally used in the front of vehicles as they help to dissipate heat.
    • Slotted - Slotted, or "grooved" rotors have shallow channels on the surface of the rotor. These channels help to dissipate heat, water, brake dust, and friction gases off of the braking surface while still maintaining their structural integrity and a quiet ride. This makes them a good upgrade options for 4X4s and towing vehicles. Slotted rotors do, however, cause more pad wear and will require pad replacements more often.
    • Drilled - Drilled rotors are built for performance driving. These rotors have holes drilled through both sides of the rotor, maximizing heat and debris dissipation. Because of the intricacy of these parts, they are generally higher cost than the slotted and factory style options. Drilled rotors are not as strong as slotted or solid rotors and therefore are not good for heavy vehicles or driving styles that require abrupt stopping such as drifting or stunt driving.
    • Ceramic - Similar to the ceramic pads, ceramic rotors are considered your high-end upgrade or performance option. These rotors are corrosion resistant and increased friction efficiency. Ceramic rotors will be more expensive than most iron based options.


    Clockwise from top left: OEM/Factory style rotors; Slotted rotors; Drilled rotors; Ceramic rotors.

    Selecting the correct pads and rotors based off of your driving style and vehicle will increase brake life as well as your safety. It is important to understand how each of these components work separately as well as in tandem with one another. If you have questions it's advised that you seek the advice of a professional prior to purchasing replacements.

  • Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Master Cylinder

    The brake master cylinder is one of the most important components found on modern car braking systems. It serves as the main valve that pushes brake fluid through the brake lines so that the brake calipers can squeeze the pads against the rotors. It functions by pushing a metal rod through a cylinder to force fluid through the braking system to the wheels. One end of this rod is attached to the pedal and is actuated when the pedal is depressed. Usually a faulty brake master cylinder will produce a few symptoms that alert the driver that service may be required.

    1. Abnormal brake pedal behavior

    One of the first symptoms commonly associated with a bad or failing brake master cylinder is abnormal brake pedal behavior. The master cylinder is the component that generates all of the pressure for the braking system, and if it develops any sort of problems sealing or distributing pressure, this may be felt in the pedal. Over time, with constant use, the seals inside of the cylinder can wear out and form internal leaks. A bad brake master cylinder may result in a pedal that feels mushy, spongy, or that slowly sinks to the floorwhen depressed.

    2. Contaminated brake fluid

    Another symptom of a bad brake master cylinder is contaminated brake fluid. Brake master cylinders use rubber seals which can break down and wear out over time. When they do, they can contaminate the brake fluid and will turn it dark brown or black color. Aside from contaminating the fluid, a brake master cylinder with worn seals will also not be able to hold brake pressure as effectively and may also result in a mushy pedal or one that slowly sinks to the floor.

    3. Check Engine Light comes on

    Another symptom commonly seen for newer vehicles is an illuminated Check Engine Light. The braking systems on newer vehicles may have brake fluid level and pressure sensors installed in the master cylinder. These sensors are meant to detect any problem with the vehicle’s brake fluid pressure, which is generated by the master cylinder. If they detect that the pressure has dropped, it is possibly due to a problem with the master cylinder.

    As the brake master cylinder is essentially the heart of the braking system and vital to reliable brake operation, it is an important component to the handling and safety characteristics of the vehicle. A vehicle with a bad brake master cylinder will have inoperable or compromised brakes, and therefore will be unsafe to drive. For this reason, if you suspect that your brake master cylinder is having a problem, have the brake system diagnosed by a professional technician from YourMechanic to determine if it the car needs a brake master cylinder replacement.

  • Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Rotor/Disc

    The disc brake rotors are metal discs that work together with the brake pads and calipers to slow the vehicle. When the pedal is depressed, the calipers squeeze the brake pads against the spinning rotors to slow and stop the wheels and the vehicle. Since rotors work to slow the vehicle by using friction from direct contact with the brake pads, they do wear out over time and will eventually need to be replaced. Usually when rotors have a problem, they will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that they may require attention.

    1. Noisy brakes

    One of the first symptoms commonly associated with bad brake rotors is noise. If the rotors are warped or severely worn, they may produce squealing or squeaking sounds. Usually warped rotors will produce a squeak, while severely worn rotors will produce a scraping sound.

    2. Vibrations from the brakes

    Another symptom of bad brake rotors is excessive vibration coming from the brakes. Warped or excessively worn rotors may vibrate irregularly and cause vibrations that can be felt in the pedal, and sometimes through the vehicle’s chassis. Warped rotors may also produce a pulsating feel that will be felt in the pedal when the brakes are applied.

    3. Grooves or score marks on the rotor

    Another symptom of bad or failing rotors is visual scoring or grooves on the face of the rotor. Over time, grooves or scoring marks can develop on the rotor from repeated contact with the brake pads. Scoring and grooves in a rotor can take away from its capacity to slow the vehicle, as well as cause vibration and pulsation that can be felt in the pedal. Usually scored or grooved rotors will require replacement.

    The disc brake rotors are a very important part of the braking system, and as a result are critical to the overall safety and handling characteristics of the vehicle. If you suspect that your rotors may be worn or damaged, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if your car needs a brake rotor/disc replacement.

  • How To Change Brake Pads And Rotors | Autoblog Wrenched

    https://videos.vidible.tv/prod/2016-09/07/57d06488869ea956d99e20fe_416x234_v1.mp4?N4uzqNR8vrZQ3nQSTRvRT5GYKBxS2iCzmgpzgnDZybLj82VXNNV-R3YHs989006W

    Changing your brake pads and rotors can save you a couple hundred bucks and a trip to the mechanic. Find out how on this episode of Wrenched.

    Watch all of our Autoblog Wrenched videos for more tips on how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars from professional detailer Larry Kosilla. While you're at it, check out Larry's other car cleaning and maintenance video series Autoblog Details!

    Materials Used:

    • Brake Pads
    • Screwdriver
    • Socket Set
    • Brake Cleaner
    • Grease
    • Scotch-Brite Pad
    • Gloves
    • Zip Ties
    • Breaker Bar
    • Rotor
    • C-Clamp Piston Compressor
    • High Temp Grease
    [00:00:00] - [Narrator] Changing your brake pads and rotors can save you a couple hundred bucks and a trip to the mechanic shop. Here's what you'll need to complete the job: brake pads, screwdriver, socket set, brake cleaner, grease, Scotch-Brite pad, gloves, zip ties, breaker bar, rotor, C-clamp, and high temp grease. I'm Larry Kosilla, pro detailer and trainer for the last 15 years. But when it comes to what's under the hood, I'm the student. Follow me as experts teach me how to diagnose,

    [00:00:30] fix, and modify cars on autoblog's Wrenched. How often should you change brake pads and rotors? - Depends on the type of vehicle you drive, the pad material, and how hard you drive the car. Some of our race cars go through a set of brake pads in one day. - [Larry] Some of the procedures you're about to see will vary from vehicle to vehicle. Consult a shop manual or an online resource for your specific car. Brake pads have a squealer that tells the driver when replacement is necessary. Some are metal and make noise;

    [00:01:00] while some are electronic and trigger a warning light. Be sure you're replacement pads have this feature as this is vital to your safety. For step one, Joe turns the steering wheel to give me easy access to the front and back of the brakes. Then, we remove the slide pins, which hold the caliper on the rotors. This may require an alan key, torque, or other special socket, depending on your particular vehicle. If the pin happens to be rusty, you can use penetrative oil and a breaker bar, which is basically a longer ratchet,

    [00:01:30] giving you more leverage to easily loosen the bolt. Some calipers have a spring retention clip that may need to be popped off with a screwdriver. Next, remove the caliper, and use a screwdriver if needed, especially if its rusted. Then, slide the old brake pads out. It's a good idea to hook a zip tie through the caliper and connect it to the shock, so it's not resting solely on the brake lines, which will damage the rubber and cause it to leak.

    [00:02:00] In order to remove the rotor, you first need to completely remove the caliper holder with two rear bolts. Now, remove the rotor from the hub, but on some cars there's a screw holding it in place, like this one here. At this point of the rotor won't come off, and especially if you're not reusing it, you can gently hit it with a hammer to quickly remove it from the hub.

    [00:02:30] Afterwards, scrub the hub with a Scotch-Brite pad or a wire brush. So the new rotor can sit flush on the hat. Before installing the new rotor, wash it quickly with brake clean, to remove its protective coating applied from the factory to protect it in shipping. Then add a bit of high temp grease to prevent the rotor from sticking to the hub the next time we change them. Hand tighten a lug nut to hold the rotor in place, or in our case, a screw is used to hold the rotor on the hat. Next, clean the caliper holder quickly

    [00:03:00] with a Scotch-Brite pad, and add a little bit of grease to the areas where the outer metal shims touches the caliper and the piston. This is done to help minimize squeaking and potential seizing in the future. If you're using original equipment that came with the car, then your torque specs will be in your manual. However, if you're using aftermarket parts, the bolts and the type of threading may be different, so consult your manufacturer for specific torque specs.

    [00:03:30] Apply grease or high temp silicone to the slide pins to help them, well, slide in and out smoothly as the brakes are compressed and released. We'll need them in a minute, so put them close by. Now its time to put the new brake pads in the caliper. But since the new pads are thicker than the old pads, we need to compress the hydraulic piston back into the caliper, so they fit properly. You can do this in two different ways.

    [00:04:00] Any basic C clamp that fits in the bottom of the piston and simply twist, or this inexpensive piston compressor. Place the tool in the caliper, squeeze the handle, and compress the piston until it's flush against the housing. By doing this, we've created more room in the caliper for the new thicker brake pads to fit over the rotors. Before installing the new brake pads add grease to the back of each pad prior to placing it in the caliper for a smooth and squeak free movement.

    [00:04:30] The pad with the metal clip on the back, snaps into the piston connected to the caliper. And sometimes this can take a bit of force to clip in. Try to avoid touching the friction side of the pads with greasy hands. With the pads in place, snip the caliper zip tie, and hold the weight from tugging on the brake line. Carefully place the caliper over the rotor and the other pad. Once in place, install the
    slide pins we lubricated earlier and torque them down to your vehicle's spec.

    [00:05:00] This is an extremely important step, you don't want the bolts too loose or too tight. If you're unsure, call your local parts department for advice. Some, but not all calipers have an extra metal clip to secure the pads and the calipers in place. Likewise, if your car has an electronic brake pad sensor, like this modern car, clip them in now. Once you've finished all four corners, and reinstalled the wheels, be sure to gently apply the brakes at first when driving, known as betting the brakes.

    [00:05:30] To do this properly, get the car up to 35 miles an hour, and slowly apply the brakes until you get to about 10 miles an hour. Then, speed up to 35 again, and repeat the process a few more times. Avoid hard braking at first, to keep from glazing the pads and rotors. The goal here is to gradually build up heat in the rotors and the pad compound, which will lay down a thin layer of film on the rotors surface, for better performance, and ultimately smoother braking for the life of the pads. The brakes of any car are it's the most important feature

    [00:06:00] and should be given special care and attention to ensure the proper safety of its passengers and our fellow drivers on the road. For more how to car repairvideos, visit autoblog.com/wrenched. I'm Larry Kosilla from AmmoNYC.com as always, thanks for watching.
  • Tesla rolls out Model 3 braking update to tackle reviewer complaints

     

    Tesla is making good on its promise to improve the Model 3's braking through a firmware upgrade. Elon Musk has confirmed that a fix for the EV's inconsistent brake performance started reaching cars on May 25th. The update should reduce the braking distance by about 20 feet for "repeated heavy braking events," according to the exec. That's no doubt meant to help reviewers like those at Consumer Reports (whose less-than-flattering review prompted the update), but something tells us that drivers won't complain about anything that could help them avoid a collision.

    CR previously said it would take another look at the Model 3's braking performance once the upgrade was in place, and Tesla is no doubt hoping this will earn it a recommendation (or at least, a higher review score). It's mainly just a question of whether or not this will have any positive effects for braking performance as a whole, since few drivers will have to slam on the brakes more than once in a long while.

    Either way, this is an unusual solution in the automotive world. Car makers are no strangers to releasing firmware updates, but it's rare that they affect critical functionality like the brakes. This might be a hint at what driving will be like going forward – performance traits that once seemed set in stone can change with a quick patch.

    Ryan McCaffrey

    @DMC_Ryan

    Elon, might you be willing to answer 1 more thing about the brakes on Performance Model 3? I'm still hoping to get those red brake calipers you kindly said "maybe" to, but I'm also curious if the brakes are larger than on RWD. With all that power it'd seem like they need to be!

    Elon Musk

    @elonmusk

    Also, firmware fix for upgraded brake performance on standard Model 3 started rolling out yesterday. Should improve braking distance by ~20 ft for repeated heavy braking events. Thanks @ConsumerReports for excellent critical feedback!

    394 people are talking about this

  • 2019 BMW 3 Series already getting M Performance parts thrown at it

     
    • Image Credit: BMW
    BMW just showed us the 2019 BMW 3 Series at the Paris Motor Show, but now we get the lowdown on what M Performance parts you can tack onto it. The people over at BMW created a package of 10 items with true performance improvements.

    It starts with visual and aero changes using plenty of carbon fiber. An M Performance splitter, spoiler and rear diffuser work together to reduce lift. M-branded side sills, tailpipes and mirror caps round out the modifications you can see on the outside. The tailpipes are said to be especially resistant to corrosion as they're made out of titanium and carbon fiber.

    On the inside you get an M Performance steering wheel with carbon fiber shift paddles — BMW just told us the U.S. won't be getting a manual 330i or M340i. There will be even more carbon fiber trim throughout the interior with special M Performance floor mats as well. Moving on to the brakes, we get upsized rotors that are perforated and grooved. BMW's press release says they are 18-inch front rotors; that is obviously wrong (largest in the world are on the Lamborghini Urus at 17.3 inches). We contacted BMW and a spokesperson confirmed the mistake, but we're still waiting for official figures. Four-piston calipers made of aluminum and painted in red clamp down on those larger rotors. There are 18-inch or optional 20-inch wheels available too.

    BMW also included a data and video recorder to be used on the race track. Plug a stick into the OBD port and it'll record everything you might want for post-racing analysis. There's no pricing for this M Performance package yet, but the new 3 Series goes on sale in March 2019.

  • How to bleed your brakes | Autoblog Wrenched

    https://videos.vidible.tv/prod/2016-09/07/57d06224869ea956d99e20ed_416x234_v1.mp4?w1cinHj5CJBhezAo2E9VfaXrRNro9qZr4Zcc7mEHRruUFVn8K4UrKcVTdkNhSfJc
    In 10,000 miles of driving, you hit your brakes an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 times. Yet, brake fluid is widely considered the most overlooked fluid in your vehicle despite being vital to your safety. Replacing your brake fluid is a simple procedure you can do yourself. Here are the tools you'll need. Brake fluid, specific to your vehicle, brake bleed pump, catch bottle, gloves, rags, and safety glasses. I'm Larry Kosilla, pro detailer and trainer for the last fifteen years, but when it comes to what's under the hood, I'm the student. Follow me as experts teach me how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars on Autoblog Wrenched.

    How often should brake fluid be changed?

    It depends on the type of vehicle you drive, how you drive, and the climate is a really big factor on your brake fluid. - There are different types of brake fluid with different boiling points, so be sure to replace the old fluid with the same grade. Check your Owner's Manual for more information specific to your vehicle. In our case, we're using DOT 4, easily found at any auto parts store.

    Two ways to bleed brakes

    As I've come to learn, there are two main types of brake bleeding techniques. The two person method, known as "pedal bleeding," is when one person is pumping the brakes, and the other is bleeding the brake lines at the same time. But today, I will learn the faster and easier one person method known as "pressure bleeding." The goal when bleeding brake lines is to squeeze or push out the old fluid without allowing any air back into the system. If air does enter the system it can be a big problem.

    How brakes work and why bleeding brakes makes a difference

    Brakes are hydraulic, meaning when you step on the brake pedal, brake fluid which isn't easily compressed under this pressure, transfers the force of the pedal through the brake lines, to the calipers, which squeeze the rotors and stop the car. If air enters the system, either through a bad brake leak process or leaky brake lines, then the force of the pedal compresses air and not the fluid. That's why brakes can feel squishy sometimes and not stop as well as they should.

    How to get started

    Before opening the brake fluid cap, clean the surrounding area to avoid any dirt accidentally entering the system. Keep in mind that brake fluid will destroy paint on contact, so wear gloves, eye protection, and of course, cover the paint and avoid any drips. Now, unscrew the cap and use a turkey baster to remove the majority of the old fluid from the master cylinder. Do not remove all of the fluid. Leaving some fluid in the master cylinder will help prevent air bubbles from getting into the system.

    Next, use a tool called a power bleeder, this tool uses pressurized brake fluid to force air and the old fluid out of your brake lines. Just pour in your designated brake fluid to the pressure tank, attach the screw cap to the brake reservoir, and pressurize the system with the hand pump to about 15 pounds on the gauge. With the brake system pressurized, it's now time to move to a corner of the vehicle furthest away from the master cylinder. Attach the brake bleed catch bottle to the caliper lead valve, located on or near the caliper.

    Now you always start with the caliper furthest away from the master cylinder. In our case, it's the passenger side rear. Makeshift bottles can be created at home, but for ten to twelve dollars online, these bottle are airtight, have a magnet, and a safety line which is well worth the price. Depending on the style of wrench you're using it may need to be in place before connecting the hose. With the hose firmly attached, open the bleeder valve until you see the old brake fluid being pushed out of the system and into your catch bottle.

    Watch for clear fluid and air, and repeat

    Watch the brake fluid turn from on old brownish color, to a new or clearer color, indicating the line is full of new fluid. Then, close the valve, no need to over-tighten here, just snug. Make sure to check your power bleeder has enough pressure and brake fluid to continue. You'll most likely need to give it a few pumps to add more pressure up to the 15 pounds. Be sure to check your power bleeder after each corner, you want to avoid running out of brake fluid during the bleed as this will inadvertently add air to your system. Repeat this process on the driver's side rear, then the passenger side front, and finally the driver's side front closest to the master cylinder, in that order. Keep in mind that some high performance calipers have more than one bleeder valve attached, so contact the manufacturer for the recommended bleeding sequence or suggested tips. When you've done all four corners, test your pedal to make sure it feels firm before driving.

    If not, repeat the process until a solid pedal returns. Then, slowly release the pressure from the power bleeder, then unscrew the bleeder cap, top of the master cylinder reservoir with brake fluid and replace the cap. And remember, brake fluid contains polyethylene glycol, which is found in some paint solvents and it is extremely corrosive. Be sure to remove your gloves before getting in the car or touching the paint as you may have some old brake fluid left on them which would turn a quick brake flush, possibly into a full repaint. With the project done, we have all the used fluid that now needs to be disposed of. Make sure you do it properly. Check your local auto parts store to see if they recycle, or if they can direct you to a local collection facility. For more how-to car repair videos, visit autoblog.com/wrenched. I'm Larry Kosillo from ammonyc.com, as always, thanks for watching.

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