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Discussion Starter #1
In talking with a friend who also owns a 7th gen Accord, we got on the topic of brakes. He hasn't done any service to the brakes other than a brake fluid replacement at 40k. He now has just over 100k and I am advising him to have them done by the dealer, for safety's sake. I mean it's been about 60k and his reservoir is half full. And he has no idea as to the condition of his bleeder screws.

What sayeth you? Remove the remaining fluid and fill then gravity bleed each wheel in his garage, or leave it to the dealer to deal with?
 

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Nah you can bleed them DIY. It's not going to hurt anything like say a neglected high mileage trans.
 

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Gravity bleed with 2 jars on 2 wheels concurrently.

I gravity bled, which got more bubbles out than whatever the dealer did.

- Have a 32oz can ready. I use Valvoline from AutoZone
- "Hot lap" the car, brake many times before starting the job. This gets the brake fluid warm, easier to flow
- Use a syringe or turkey baster and suck out most of the old fluid from the reservoir
- Jack up the front end of the car and support front end, take off wheels... obviously
- Mason jar + clear hose that barely fits over the bleeder screw. I don't recall the size, I can get this when I get home. I use small zip ties that tie onto the end of the hose on the bleeder screw nipple so they don't pop off during bleeding. The hose does not need to be submerged in brake fluid already.
- Top off reservoir with new fluid. Leave the reservoir cap off and open up the bleeder screws at both front driver and front passenger side. 1/4 turn is enough unless you see nothing flowing then you need to take out the bleeder screw completely and clean up manually using a pin. Taking out the bleeder screws does not let air in, I know, I've done this.

** at any given time, do not touch the brake pedal **

- Let the fluid flow out slowly, you might think this takes forever, but this is the best bleeding method without introducing any air. Add new fluid into reservoir as you see old flows out into the jars. DO NOT LET THE RESERVOIR RUN DRY. Use a rubber mallet and tap the rear of the caliper, this helps getting additional trapped air bubbles out.
- You will see fluid in the clear hose turn from dark color to golden brown/orange. Close the bleeder screw. Do not over-tighten, but need to be rather snug. The way to tell whether it's completely closed with no leak is to roll up a small piece of paper towel and stick it into the nipple opening of the screw and see if you keep sucking fluid out.
- Move on to the rear wheels, same method. The rear will take a long while, but I let it flow for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Top off reservoir to the max line and close the reservoir cap.

total time is about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
 

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RacerRik
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172 Posts
Put a block of wood against the firewall so the pedal does not go all the way down and you can bleed then just fine.

If you do go to the dealer, they will likely skip this step and with an old master cylinder, it will mess up the seals going full stroke - but you won't find this out until at least a couple days later.

Then when you complain to the dealer that they ruined your master cylinder, they will say it is not their problem. They will claim coincidence since the master cylinder was working just fine after they worked on the brakes.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #5
Put a block of wood against the firewall so the pedal does not go all the way down and you can bleed then just fine.

If you do go to the dealer, they will likely skip this step and with an old master cylinder, it will mess up the seals going full stroke - but you won't find this out until at least a couple days later.

Then when you complain to the dealer that they ruined your master cylinder, they will say it is not their problem. They will claim coincidence since the master cylinder was working just fine after they worked on the brakes.
This is what I was most concerned with. It's easy for the dealer to cause the damage, claiming no responsibility, and hit him up for a nice additional fee. I like the idea of not touching the brake pedal even better. It's long since time he replaced his fluid.
 

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BRWNFLSH now
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Does he know enough about brakes, to do them himself? We don't know the answer to that question. He can clean the rust off the calipers, clean and re-lube the pins, lube the piston seal, do everything else right, and the piston could still seize up after pushing it back into the caliper. Could he change a caliper if that happens? You have to be prepared for anything when you start working on your brakes.
 

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Super Moderator
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You can do what RacerRik said. With that method, the tube needs to be submerged into the mason jar with brake fluid already. Pump steady and and don't go to the floor, the piece of wood stops pedal from travelling in unknown territory. The problem with doing this method yourself is that you can't see the fluid flow in action while pumping, you need another person. If you have another person, then might as well do the 2-person method, pump, open, close, lift, then repeat.
 

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Put a block of wood against the firewall so the pedal does not go all the way down and you can bleed then just fine.

If you do go to the dealer, they will likely skip this step and with an old master cylinder, it will mess up the seals going full stroke - but you won't find this out until at least a couple days later.

Then when you complain to the dealer that they ruined your master cylinder, they will say it is not their problem. They will claim coincidence since the master cylinder was working just fine after they worked on the brakes.
You really think the dealer sits there and pumps the brakes. Any good mechanic is gonna have a power bleeder. They are cheap and work great. I'll never pump a brake pedal again. I paid like $50 for my motiv power bleeder and I can do my brakes by myself in half the time it takes two people. Just sayin.
 

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The Motive power bleeder leaks air with their cap style, it does not create a good vacuum. The Honda brake reservoir cap is different than all the other ones. Unless Motive fixed this. I didn't get one because of this problem.

gravity bleeding is free, no special bleeder device required. Honda did vacuum bleeding years ago, let air in, just saying.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You can do what RacerRik said. With that method, the tube needs to be submerged into the mason jar with brake fluid already. Pump steady and and don't go to the floor, the piece of wood stops pedal from travelling in unknown territory. The problem with doing this method yourself is that you can't see the fluid flow in action while pumping, you need another person. If you have another person, then might as well do the 2-person method, pump, open, close, lift, then repeat.
This is the way I've bled my own brakes, by myself, using a square of 2x4 to keep it off the floor, (no full-stroke) and a cinder block to keep the brake pedal depressed. Open, close, remove block. And I have always kept the old brake fluid in the mayo jar to ensure no air finds it's way up.
 

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RacerRik
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You really think the dealer sits there and pumps the brakes. Any good mechanic is gonna have a power bleeder. They are cheap and work great. I'll never pump a brake pedal again. I paid like $50 for my motiv power bleeder and I can do my brakes by myself in half the time it takes two people. Just sayin.
I will just say that you must not be very picky about how soft your brakes are. You cannot get all the air out with any technique other then pressurizing the brake system and forcing fluid/air out. And I don't mean with a wimpy Motive bleeder that puts out a few psi.

Yes - this requires two people. But if you demand absolutely rock solid brake action, this is the only way to get it.

I have tried the other methods and when they have done the best they can do - I follow up using the pressurized method and still get more air bubbles out.

The pressurized method requires someone to step on the brakes hard (both feet) while the bleeder is closed. Then the other person quickly opens the bleeder and fluid forcefully ejects through the hose while pulling air bubbles with it. Then the bleeder is closed before the brake pedal pusher lets the pedal come back up.

Repeat and rinse until no more bubbles come out.
This is a race tested procedure that works 100% of the time. Just don't forget to use the wood block or you will be replacing the master cylinder.
 

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Elvira - the car
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Any thoughts on reverse bleeding procedure?

Basically push the new fluid from the bleeder TOWARD the reservoir.

Air wants to seek the highest point (open reservoir) so it should be more thorough. Yes/no?

Saw a youtube by Scotty Kilmer showing this procedure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0oUejw5Edc

I can't fathom a downside to this procedure.
 

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I will just say that you must not be very picky about how soft your brakes are. You cannot get all the air out with any technique other then pressurizing the brake system and forcing fluid/air out. And I don't mean with a wimpy Motive bleeder that puts out a few psi.

Yes - this requires two people. But if you demand absolutely rock solid brake action, this is the only way to get it.

I have tried the other methods and when they have done the best they can do - I follow up using the pressurized method and still get more air bubbles out.

The pressurized method requires someone to step on the brakes hard (both feet) while the bleeder is closed. Then the other person quickly opens the bleeder and fluid forcefully ejects through the hose while pulling air bubbles with it. Then the bleeder is closed before the brake pedal pusher lets the pedal come back up.

Repeat and rinse until no more bubbles come out.
This is a race tested procedure that works 100% of the time. Just don't forget to use the wood block or you will be replacing the master cylinder.
I'm very picky actually. Wimpy psi? I can get to 14 psi which is plenty. Sure the universal cap is finicky at best. Ditch the chain and use a clamp and that thing goes nowhere. My wife got tired of pumping the brake pedal so that's what I do.
 

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I met my friend at the local Honda dealer, Cramer of Venice. I explained what I would like them to NOT do, i.e. use the pedal to generate pressure. They assured me they were well aware of old MC's and the problems caused by full stroking the pedal. They had his car up, removed the old fluid (which they weren't going to do until I asked politely - they were gonna run that crap through the lines - SMH) used a bottle with new fluid to keep the MC full and vacuum bled the four wheels in 25 minutes. Total charge $70. Well worth it in my opinion.

On and by the way the brake pedal is much improved. Tech said there was a ton of sediment in the reservoir. And to think they wanted to pull that through the lines. Ugh.
 

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BRWNFLSH now
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Most times I use a mity-vac (now have a craftsman), to vacuum the brake fluid out through the bleeder at each wheel. I push the brake pedal down a little, just to get the fluid flowing. Letting up on the brake pedal doesn't suck any air in, as long as you keep vacuum pressure on it. A tight fitting hose is a must, but I can do this without any help. Yes, the vacuum pump will give your hands a workout, but what's wrong with that? If I have to change a caliper or replace a brake line, I will get my father to help with the two person pedal pumping method.
 

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Is there any reason not to open all 4 at once when using tr-d's gravity method?

Can I use the gravity drain method on the clutch as well?

Are you guys using DOT3 or DOT4?
 

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Super Moderator
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Is there any reason not to open all 4 at once when using tr-d's gravity method?

Can I use the gravity drain method on the clutch as well?

Are you guys using DOT3 or DOT4?
I don't see why you can't do all 4 at the same time if you have 2 sets of jack stands and aren't afraid of the front end moving if you can jack up and secure the rear end while the front end is already on jack stands, this is my biggest concern. I don't have a lift obviously. You need to be extra careful with the the fluid in the reservoir because it'll drop faster when all 4 are open at the same time.

Valvoline is DOT3/4, says on the bottle
 

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Elvira - the car
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Any thoughts on reverse bleeding procedure?

Basically push the new fluid from the bleeder TOWARD the reservoir.

Air wants to seek the highest point (open reservoir) so it should be more thorough. Yes/no?

Saw a youtube by Scotty Kilmer showing this procedure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0oUejw5Edc

I can't fathom a downside to this procedure.
No opinions on this at all?

This would keep the junk from being drawn through the lines like Accord_2003_ EX had in the reservoir.
 

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BRWNFLSH now
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I pull all the old brake fluid out of the reservoir, pull the little screen out and clean it, pour new brake fluid in, then vacuum it through to each caliper till it comes out clean. Doesn't take long to get clean fluid through.
 

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I would not do a back flush.

The reason I don't use a vacuum bleeder is because I actually called Mityvac years ago asking them about it. They told me that "you might have to modulate the ABS module to get the fluid out of the ABS unit." I thought the guy didn't know what he was talking about so I never went the vacuum route.

Then I did research on the Motive vacuum bleeder and discovered the vacuum seal problem with their cap design, so I didn't get that either.

I am single, living on my own, so gravity bleeding it is.
 
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