Bleeding 05 Prius brakes the old fashion way

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by dmphilli, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. dmphilli

    dmphilli New Member

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    I rebuilt my calipers and the rear cylinders on my 05 Prius. Being I have worked on cars since I was 7, I feel I can do anything; a easy brake job; all new parts for 200 bucks. Until now, the Prius and their electric brakes, Wth. After reading post after post of having to tow it to the dealership. I was getting ready to tow it, and I was darned if I was gonna be beaten.
    Thinking I could simply bleed the brakes like a normal car, I was furious to find what I had done. The ABS/VSC and "!" lights were all on, and I had NO BRAKES. No pedal presure and lots of wierd sounds from the brake system I have never heard before.
    After reading the posts how to turn the warning lights off I did so. But no one made it easy so here it goes. Get a paper clip and cut it to make a perfect U. This is your speciality tool. Goto the OBD port, looking up at the port. The top row; from the left count 4 slots in, on the bottom row; from the right, count 4 slots in. Jumper these two slots. With the brake pedal depressed, push the POWER button to get the READY light. Within 5 seconds, depress the BRAKE pedal 8 or more times. Turn the POWER off and remove the paper clip. With your foot barely on the BRAKE pedal, just enough to POWER the vehicle onto READY, verify the lights are off. If not repeat the jumper procedure and get those lights off.
    Once you have verified that all the warning lights are off, DO NOT START, DO NOT POWER ON THE CAR AT ALL UNTIL YOU HAVE BLED ALL THE LINES. The electric pump for the brakes is now OPERATIONAL. The electric pump for the brakes works with nothing on. You will need two people at this point and you can bleed them like an old fashioned car.
    The system is back online, with all the warning lights off, the electric pump that pumps the brake fluid is AGAIN OPERATIONAL. This pump will pump fluid to whatever wheel you are bleeding. IE (Start with the RR, LR, RF and finally LF) Just an FYI, I was also using a generic vacum bleeder to assit in getting as much fluid and air from the bleeder valve with each activation of the pump. I'm sure it helped.
    When you press on the brke pedal the pump turns on pumping the brake fluid. The pump stays on for around 5 seconds, during this time you need to open the bleeder and close it before the pump stops. After you let up off the brakes and press the pedal again, nothing happens. Let off the pedal and depress the brakes again. The pump turns on for another 5 seconds. (The pump activates with every other pump) The system will do this for you until you have evacuated all the air from the system.
    I did this for about 30 minutes and have better brakes then I can remember, but hey, she has 165,000 miles on her other than replacing a few bulbs. This is the first wrench I have turned on her. An awesome ride, and I beat the hell out of this car. I am quite impressed again. Don't believe the hype of the Scantool. I was nearly fooled.
    Another thing, never removed any relays or fuses uring this entire procedure and everything operates as it did the day I bought her.
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Wow... That's awesome... Yet another example of $proprietary$control$ that's just not smart enough to be proprietary anymore! Thanks for freeing us from being overcharged by a stealership!

    HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO FIGURE OUT THIS FIX?
     
  3. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I was going to welcome you aboard but your way past that. Very strong first post.
     
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  4. dmphilli

    dmphilli New Member

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    Well, it was about 0100 hours when I discovered I had no pedal presure. I was reading the blogs about how I so so messed up. How I would be towing my car to Toyota, a fate worse than death. Then I found a link how to reset all the warning lights. At that point it was the next morning. I reset the lights and everything was happy with the car again. That's when I heard the brake motor start working again(barely pushing the pedal, which didn't allow the sensors to realize there was no line presure, hince no warning lights). I realized that the pump worked for 5 seconds. My theory was I had 5 seconds to open and close the lines, IE bleeding the brakes the old fashioned way, just with drive/brake by wire help. And what help, that pump can push some fluid, like getting a glass of water from the refrigerator door presure. My dad barely touched the pedal activating the pump. I went around to all the wheels like I was doing an oridnary car. The air was forced out and I have killer brakes.

    The thing I think had allot to do with the sucess was with the warning lights off, the pump re-activated. Then the car was shut off and was not powered back up until I was convinced that all the air was out. Worked like a champ.

    In my life I have lemoned three cars. An 2001 Acura CL, 2002 VW GTI and a 2004 Ford Excursion. The Prius was was the final replacement. What a hell of a car.
     
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  5. dmphilli

    dmphilli New Member

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    Thank you sir, I want to make sure everyone doesn't get ripped off by the dealership, 300 bucks to bleed brakes. That's straight up consumer rape. While I love this Toyota, I can't stand the dealers or the service advisors If anyone has difficulties understanding what I tried to make sense, I can talk anyone through it. It is actually easier than anyone realizes.
     
  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    LOL Just you saying that is not only funny but will inspire all us DIYers to not give up!
     
  7. dmphilli

    dmphilli New Member

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    I will never give up on this car. Steve has this Prius shop in Indiana. He is a great guy. I told him some tricks. But he is a good guy. Has always helped me out.
     
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  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I found a thread that lists some non-Toyota mechanics? I know of Avi's in LA and Luscious Garage in SF... And in the midwest there is autobeyours.com and do you have the contact info for the Indiana guy? Is so maybe you can add it to this thread! Independent Prius Mechanics? | PriusChat
     
  9. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Great post! So I imaging ideally one would
    1. turn car off
    2. remove two ABS motor relays
    3. work on brakes
    4. no warning lights or error codes since car remains off
    5. reinstall two relays
    6. bleed brakes as illustrated above (leaving car off, pressing brake pedal to activate brake fluid pump)
    7. turn car back on

    Do I understand this correctly?

    How much brake fluid is used in this process?

    Thanks!
     
  10. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    Steve is the Indiana guy. He is the owner of Autobeyours.com and... yes he is a great guy that is always willing to help if he can.

    dmp,
    I really appreciate the info. I always say "there's a way around everything" and this, once again, supports my claim.
     
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  11. dmphilli

    dmphilli New Member

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    I was at the stealership getting fluid for the tranny. Told them the trick I did. I got that look of "busted". The mechanic screamed at the service manager he found the Prius trick. That's just wrong. Though they still claim Not to change the transmission fluid.

    If I didn't beat the pee out of this car and I mean a serious daily beat down I'd leave it alone. But I'm changing it.
     
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  12. dmphilli

    dmphilli New Member

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  13. dmphilli

    dmphilli New Member

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    Thats him. One awesome dude. He has rebuilt batteries for 895 with a core. What a steal. My buddie paid 1800 for his rebuilt civic battery.
     
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  14. Alloosh

    Alloosh Junior Member

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    Hey Guys, just one small question, I have changed my brake pads recently(with the reservoir cap off) and everything is working as it was before , do I still need to bleed the system?
     
  15. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    No. Changing brake pads does not let air into the system. Dmphilli rebuilt his wheel cylinders which allowed air into the system.
     
  16. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    I always try to send business his way just because I know he knows his stuff and has a great rep.
     
  17. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    True... but...

    When one compresses the piston within the caliper, without opening the bleed nipple, they feed fluid backwards into the system. This can push crud into the lines.

    So... if you forgot to open the nipple to begin with, it's probably a good idea to bleed afterwards.
     
  18. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    This statement is without merit. Compressing the piston will not introduce any crud into the lines ever. The only way to introduce anything into the system is to somehow open the system to the environment (or unsealing a sealed system). Compressing the piston does not do this.
    Even if this were true (which its not), opening the bleed nipple would not do anything to prevent it.

    Alloosh, do not go back and unscrew the bleed nipples unless you want to make a lot more work for yourself. Your system is fine.
     
  19. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    You're assuming the seals in the caliper are perfect, as in better-than-brand-new perfect, as in absolutely-impervious-to-any-foreign-debris-whatsoever perfect.

    Please tell me where I can get a set of these seals so I can put them on all my cars! :)

    Opening the bleed nipple gives the fluid a lower path of resistance, so the fluid you displace by compressing the piston goes out the nipple instead of back up into the lines.

    Basic physics (and the years of experience of many auto mechanics) tells me this, and it makes sense. So why do you believe otherwise?

    I never said anything about the previous poster's system... nor should you, being that you've no idea what he did, how he did it, or what the previous history of the vehicle is...
     
  20. Alloosh

    Alloosh Junior Member

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    Hey Guys , thanks for sharing you're expertise and opinions , you're help is highly appreciated . I have changed the pads 3 weeks ago and I haven't noticed any up-normal behavior . I think I'm gonna skip the bleeding this time and will make sure to bleed it the next time I change the pads.

    I don't know the recommended fluid flush intervals, but it seems that we need to bleed and change the fluid as it becomes contaminated overtime , in this case the bleeding is necessary to keep the master cylinder and the brake system in good shape.
     
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