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Changing Brake Fluid

Product Review

By Jen Chau (aka mito)
Last Updated

Changing brake fluid (1997+) Safe Method:

Equipment

  • 10 mm socket wrench
  • 10 mm wrench
  • rubber hose
  • waste container
  • 2L of brake fluid (Ford DOT 3 is the best bang for the buck)

Procedure:

1.0 Preparation -

1.1 Loosen wheel lugs
1.2 Jack up the car (perform in order noted if you only have one jack)
1.2 Remove wheels
1.3 Remove rubber tip/cover from a "nipple" located on the top of the caliper (next to the bolt that secures the brake line)
1.4 Connect a rubber hose to the exposed nipple, but be sure to leave the screw uncovered (a hose is not absolutely necessary, but it'll be very messy without it)

2.0 Bleeding out old fluid with new fluid -

2.1 Top up brake fluid reservoir with new brake fluid to the max level (the reservoir is located under the hood, right infront of the steering wheel. White plastic container with a grey screw on lid).
2.2 Unscrew the nut securing the nipple a little bit note: fluid will squirt out - BE PREPARED!
2.3 Tighten the nut that secures the nipple
2.4 Have another person (this is important!) pump the brakes until the pedal is very stiff but never fully release the brake pedal
2.5 While the brake pedal is down, loosen the nut that secures the nipple (the brake pedal will slack)
2.6 Tighten the nut that secures the nipple
2.7 Top off brake fluid in reservoir if required to the max level (the max level is right below the neck of the container)
2.8 Repeat steps 2.4 to 2.7 until the fluid runs clean (this can take awhile)
2.9 Tighten the nut that secures the nipple (6.5 lb/ft torque)

3.1 Remove hose -

3.2 Put wheel back and secure by hand tightening the lugs
3.3 Lower jack
3.4 Tighten the lugs to specification (70 or 77 lb/ft torque - I can't remember)

Order of bleeding for calipers

  1. Driver Front
  2. Passenger Rear
  3. Passenger Front
  4. Driver Rear

Changing brake fluid (1997+) Fast Unorthodox Way (use at own discretion):

Equipment

  • 10 mm socket wrench
  • 10 mm wrench
  • rubber hose
  • waste container
  • 2L of brake fluid (Ford DOT 3 is the best bang for the buck)

Procedure:

1.0 Bleeding old fluid -

1.1 Loosen wheel lugs on all four tires
1.2 Jack up the whole car
1.2 Remove all four wheels
1.3 Remove bolts/plugs that secure the brake lines to all four calipers
1.4 Place a waste container at each caliper and place the brake line directly into or above the waste container
1.5 Fill reservoir with new brake fluid to the max level (the reservoir is located under the hood, right infront of the steering wheel. White plastic container with a grey screw on lid).
1.6 Pump the brakes
1.7 Repeat steps 1.5 to 1.6 until the fluid from the brake lines are clean
1.8 Place the plug/bolt back to original location and tighten the brake lines
Warning: These steps introduces a lot of air into the brake system

2.0 Degas the system -

2.1 Remove rubber tip/cover from a "nipple" located on the top of the caliper (next to the bolt that secures the brake line)
2.2 Connect a rubber hose to the exposed nipple, but be sure to leave the screw uncovered (a hose is not absolutely necessary, but it'll be very messy without it)
2.3 Top up brake fluid reservoir with new brake fluid to the max level
2.4 Unscrew the nut securing the nipple a little bit note: fluid will squirt out - BE PREPARED!
2.5 Tighten the nut that secures the nipple
2.6 Have another person (this is important!) pump the brakes until the pedal is very stiff but never fully release the brake pedal
2.7 While the brake pedal is down, loosen the nut that secures the nipple (the brake pedal will slack)
2.8 Tighten the nut that secures the nipple
2.9 Top off brake fluid in reservoir if required to the max level (the max level is right below the neck of the container)
2.10 Repeat steps 2.6 to 2.9 until the fluid runs clean (this can take awhile)
2.9 Tighten the nut that secures the nipple (6.5 lb/ft torque)

    Order for degassing the brake system
  1. Driver Front
  2. Passenger Rear
  3. Passenger Front
  4. Driver Rear

3.0 Clean-up -

3.1 Remove hoses
3.2 Put wheel back and secure by hand tightening the lugs
3.3 Lower jack
3.4 Tighten the lugs to specification (70 or 77 lb/ft torque - I can't remember)

4.0 Malfunction/Troubleshooting -

If there is a malfunctioning of the brakes the main reason is the air in the brake lines. Redo the degassing of the brakes to ensure there is no air in the system. If there is air, the brakes don't work and you can't stop the car!!

5.0 Cautions -

Be careful not to spill any brake fluid anywhere, especially on paint. The brake fluid eats through paint. If the brake fluid does have contact with the paint, wash off liberally and excessively with water. It is also good to pour water near the reservoir (with the reservoir lid closed!!) to ensure there isn't any brake fluid present there.