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A couple questions about exchanging brake fluid

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Taxi/Limo, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Taxi/Limo

    Taxi/Limo Active Member

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    Hello All
    I have a couple questions

    A Toyota Prius repair manual recommends starting in the front when draining brake fluid and moving to the back a recommended Youtube video says start in the back
    Does it matter if so which is best?

    I don't have a vacuum pump to get the fluid out of the reservoir or drain it from the lines like the video shows
    Is that a problem is there some other way?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. gliderman

    gliderman Active Member

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    Yes, the old fashioned way. Pump it out through the lines one at a time with the foot pedal. But it takes three people if you dont know how to do it with two, or by yourself.
     
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  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Presuming you're talking about @NutzAboutBolts video: yeah, he starts with the rears, and the Repair Manual says start with front/right, and go around counterclockwise. Either way you do them all. I figured why not follow the Repair Manual order; I know sometimes the sequence matters. It might in this case, not sure.

    Maybe @NutzAboutBolts can comment: maybe they just arbitrarily picked the rears first? Or?


    A mechanized vacuum source is not mandatory. The only "vacuum" I used was a largish syringe with a tube extension, and a very slim spigot on the end, for the intital siphoning out of (most of) the reservoir fluid. I put the car in invalid mode before even doing that, and I just got the level low, but left some. It's hard to get down to the bottom, due to the basket inside the reservoir. It has a little slit down the side, and the slim spigot was needed to fit through that slit, get a bit more fluid. Again, I don't think you want to go nuts on this, risk getting air in. Just get the majority out, then top up with fresh.

    For the actual bleeding, my equipment was:

    1.9 liter Kirkland Mayo Jar with lid (cleaned out :D), with a hole drilled through the middle of the lid
    Clear tubing, about 18", maybe 1/4" ID?
    Bleed bolt fitting.

    The latter is a rubber fitting that has a ball joint style cavity. You push it onto the end of the tubing, and the other end of the tube pushed through hole in mayo jar lid. Push the bleed bolt fitting onto the bleed bolt, and you're in business.

    With an assistant pushing the brake pedal, that's all you need. Watch the video carefully, especially the front brake technique. You really want to blip the front bleed bolts open/closed for just a split second, the time it takes for the brake pedal to drop to the floor.

    I've done it this way twice now, with my wife pushing the pedal as needed. I had the whole car up and wheels off. You could do it with the car on the ground, but it's more awkward.

    I purchased 2 pints of Toyota DOT 3 fluid. Before starting, I noted the level in the reservoir. When doing the bleeding I tried to use that fluid evenly, maybe a bit more on the rears. It's easier on the rears, and maybe with the lines being longer that's a good excuse to drain more.

    I aimed to wrap up the last brake with the reservoir level roughly as it was at the beginning, withjust an ounce or so left over new fluid, just in case I want to fine tune in the coming days. The couple of times I've done it I've been happy with the level as is, just left it.

    If you have left over: it doesn't store well, probably best to just add it to the rest of the drained fluid. Oil recycle places don't like to take the old fluid, at least around here. Dealership will probably take your old fluid though, for recycling.
     
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  4. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    When using the guided function in Autel, the system asks you to start with the rears. LR, then RR. The pump will discharge the fluid form the rear calipers very rapidly.

    Then the fronts get done - LF and RF. The fronts are done “conventionally.” Pressure bleeding them is the best way.

    When all of this is done, the accumulator will cycle 6 times. On the final time, you set the fluid level to the max mark when directed; when the last cycle is done, the fluid level should be about 2/3 of the way between min and max.

    Ideally, have the battery voltage maintained during this entire process, minimum 12.6v. I usually keep it at 13.5v.

    (I just did this on a 2014 Prius v earlier this week.)

    IMG_2062.JPG


    iPhone ? Pro
     
  5. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    It doesn’t matter which side to bleed first in my opinion since they’re all going to be bleed until there is clear fluids coming out. But if you want to follow the manual, you can too.
     
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  6. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I bought a vacuum brake bleeding gizmo and it works pretty poorly. Having a friend press the brake pedal works WAY WAY better.

    But two of these catch bottles is well worth it. Two, because you’ll fill the first, but you can make do with one just fine.

    Schwaben - 007481SCH01A - Brake Bleeder Catch Bottle
     
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I've heard lots of theory, that the end of drain tube should be in some fluid from the start, that the tube coming off the the bleed bolt should head up first (which happens naturally), then down to the bottle. The official bottles have a tube built-in to the cap, that extends almost to the bottom, and a second hole in the cap, for venting.

    All told, a 1.9 liter kirkland mayo jar worked fine. I think the main thing is to only have the bleed bolt open when there's pressure pushing the fluid out, and you'll be fine.
     
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  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Anyone tried speedbleeders on a prius?

    They're just replacement bleeder screws with an integrated locking one-way valve. If you unlock the valve it allows outflow only. If you lock the valve it cuts all flow completely. Available in lots of sizes, fits nearly anything.

    I helped a buddy put some on his Legacy and I was impressed by how quick and easy it made a subsequent bleed job, but I'm not sure it's worth the cost to the average car owner.
     
  9. elementnomore

    elementnomore Member

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    i have that bottle, 100% agreed
     
  10. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    To race on a track, you have to replace the brake fluid before the race, so this product makes sense for that. If you bleed every two years... not so useful, especially since you have to drain the fluid in order to install the new bleed screws.