How do I bleed the brakes?

Tiny
CHANCE2112
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 FORD TAURUS
  • 3.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 140,000 MILES
Brakes are spongy but I am getting no air out of brake lines. Also, when brakes are pumped and held it takes a few seconds for brakes to hold the wheel from spinning.
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have the same problem?
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 11:07 AM

22 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good afternoon.

There is no special bleeding for the ABS. It is not like the GM that requires a scan tool.

Here is a video and guide below to help you bleed the brake system correctly.

https://youtu.be/w7gUsj2us0U

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-bleed-or-flush-a-car-brake-system

and

https://youtu.be/WDxvEQrMkBg

Please run down these guides and report back.I would suspect a master cylinder issue from your description.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-a-brake-master-cylinder

Four Wheel Anti-Lock Brake System (4WABS) Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU)

WARNING: Use of any other than approved DOT 3 brake fluid will cause permanent damage to brake components and will render the brakes inoperative. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.

WARNING: Brake fluid contains polyglycol ethers and polyglycols. Avoid contact with eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after handling. If brake fluid contacts eyes, flush eyes with running water for 15 minutes. Get medical attention if irritation persists. If taken internally, drink water and induce vomiting. Get medical attention immediately. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.

CAUTION: Brake fluid is harmful to painted or plastic surfaces. If brake fluid is spilled onto a painted or plastic surface, immediately wash it with water.

CAUTION: Do not allow the master cylinder to run dry during the bleeding operation. Keep the master cylinder reservoir filled with the specified brake fluid. Never reuse the brake fluid that has been drained from the hydraulic system.

NOTE: This procedure only needs to be carried out if a new 4-wheel anti-lock brake system (4WABS) hydraulic control unit (HCU) has been installed.

1. Clean the area then remove the brake master cylinder filler cap, and fill the brake master cylinder reservoir with the specified brake fluid.
2. Connect a clear drain tube to the RH rear bleeder screw and the other end in a container partially filled with the recommended DOT 3 motor vehicle brake fluid.
3. Have an assistant pump the brake pedal and then hold firm pressure on the brake pedal.
4. Loosen the RH rear bleeder screw until a stream of brake fluid comes out. While the assistant maintains pressure on the brake pedal, tighten the bleeder screw.
Repeat this step until clear, bubble-free fluid comes out.
Refill the brake master cylinder reservoir as necessary.
5. Tighten the bleeder screw.
Tighten to 15 Nm (11 ft. lbs.).
6. Repeat Steps 2 through 5 for the LH rear bleeder screw, the RH front bleeder screw and the LH front bleeder screw, in that order.
7. Connect the diagnostic tool adapter cable into the vehicle data link connector (DLC) under the dash, and follow the diagnostic tool instructions for bleeding.
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Monday, November 5th, 2018 AT 3:13 PM
Tiny
DCAPETTINI
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD TAURUS
6 months ago my brake light came on and it appeared that I was low on fluid. I added fluid and the light went off. A week later it came on again, but the fluid was full. Thinking that the pads were worn, I had them check on the next oil change, but they were fine. As a result of some shimmy when applying the brakes, I decided to get a brake job this week. They reported that a rear caliper was bad and they replaced it. They bled the lines with the engine off and the pedal is stiff & high. As soon as the engine is turned on, the pedal sinks to the floor. The tried to reset the ABS computer with a scanner without result. They don't know what to do.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JESSEJENNINGS
  • MEMBER
I am having the same problems I have replaced the master cylinder and the booster but still no brakes. Next step advised by the dealer is to replace the HCU.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DCAPETTINI
  • MEMBER
After 2 weeks of getting nowhere, they replaced the ABS/TC unit. Thye brake light went off and the Traction Control light is operable. The brakes are OK, but they are low to the floor. So I ended up with a brake job that cost $838 (junkyard ABS) and my wife mad at me for using her car for 2 1/2 weeks.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CMC2603
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD TAURUS
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 275,000 MILES
I recently changed rear brakes and had to change wheel cylinder on driver side. The passenger side fluid was coming through the line low and slow. I had brakes but they had to go half way to stop (do to time and money) I had to go with it for the moment. Two days ago the cylinder I just bought pushed out one side causing it to lock down, eat the brakes and put me trying to find something to stop the car. Now I'm back to square one. Little fluid is coming through the pass side line. Master seems fine as far as leaks. No pinched lines and my grandfather who has been working on cars most of is life helps me bleed them. (He just says ask someone I don't know much on Ford's) Now I have a limited amount of money and little time to fix this. Any ideas? Thanks.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good morning,

This sounds like low pressure from the master cylinder. The seals inside are most likely worn out.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-a-brake-master-cylinder

Roy
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CMC2603
  • MEMBER
I changed the gasket in the cap because it was faulty and swollen, it wouldn't fit inside the cap and I needed to anyway so there's new brakes and new cylinders. Now there's more pressure but the passenger side is still not pushing as much fluid out when I bleed them and the brakes are building while the car is off and I'm still getting pressure on the hubs from the brake, but when I crank the car up I lose all the pedal absolutely no pressure. Now that I've went back over the link you provided I believe I just need to replace the master. I bought the car used with no way of knowing if it has been replaced and it has 274,325 miles on it.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CMC2603
  • MEMBER
Update: I was recently told that it may be the ABS system but the ABS light hasn't came on and I was told that it may not matter if the light was on or not. Now I feel more confused.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
The fact that the gasket was swollen tells me someone put the wrong fluid in the system.

That means that every piece of rubber in the brake system has to be replaced and the system flushed.

This means master cylinder, ABS hydraulic unit, wheel cylinders, both of them, and all the brake hoses.

If you do not then the residual contaminated fluid will destroy all the seals on the replacement parts.

Roy
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CMC2603
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the help. I realized I was putting dot4 and it calls for dot3 in it. Originally I didn't realize the reservoir had a small crack around the seem also. Thanks again.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Mixing the dot 3 and 4 is okay.

Someone put power steering fluid or engine oil in the brake system. Petroleum is what causes the seals to swell like that.

Roy
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:50 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BSAUCKE
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD TAURUS
  • 132,000 MILES
Problem bleeding brakes after replacing left/right front calipers, lines and pads. I changed these items due to a "brake failure". I was able to pump the brakes to get the right front to grab but then had to "baby" it home where I changed the above items. When I try to bleed the brakes, the right front and the left aft bleed fine but the left front and right aft seem to have massive amounts of air with no associated "pedal-drop" when the bleed valve is opened with brake pedal pressure applied and held. I have disc brakes in the front and drums in the rear.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:51 AM (Merged)
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
I have attached the correct procedure though I am sure you are doing it correctly. Just want to make sure we are on the same page. Remember to bleed the brake farthest away first. Which is the passenger rear. Then the drivers rear, then the passenger front, then the drivers front.
Also, do you have a tube in a container to check for bubbles and able to see the flow? This ensures there is no blockage.
Are you sure brake fluid is even coming out or is it blocked.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:51 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CADIEMAN
  • MEMBER
Fill the master leave the top off. Open both bleeders. Let them drip untill u see no more bubbles coming out. Keep the master full whyll bleeding.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:51 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ALLIE101
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 FORD TAURUS
How do you bleed the rear wheel cylinder for disc brakes.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:51 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Clean dirt from master cylinder fluid reservoir filler cap area.
Fill reservoir with brake fluid.
If master cylinder is known or suspected to have air in bore, bleed master cylinder first. To bleed brake system, release vacuum from power unit by depressing brake pedal several times.
Install clear vinyl bleed hose onto first bleed valve to be serviced.
Place other end of hose in clean transparent container.
Partially fill container with clean brake fluid so end of hose is submerged in fluid.
Open bleed valve 1-2 turns.
Have an assistant slowly depress brake pedal through its full travel.
Close bleed valve and release pedal.
Pump pedal several times to push air toward wheel cylinders.
Repeat procedure until flow of brake fluid is clear and shows no sign of air bubbles.
Proceed to next bleed valve.
Check brake pedal for firmness.
If brake pedal feels spongy, repeat bleeding procedure.
Top off brake fluid reservoir.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:51 AM (Merged)
Tiny
STEVE877
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 FORD TAURUS
Just replaced the brake lines going to the rear axle (the old ones were rusted) and the Brake Load Sensor Proportioning Valve (ford part # e6dz-2b547-a) on a 95 Taurus sedan with ABS and 4 wheel disc brakes. I placed a load on the rear axle (so the proportion valve would allow brake fluid to reach the calipers) and can't get any brake fluid to bleed from the calipers. What else should I do?


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/328422_Brake_Load_Sensor_Proportioning_Valve1_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/328422_Brake_Load_Sensor_Proportioning_Valve2_1.jpg

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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JGAROFALO
  • MEMBER
As long as you have not introduced any air into the ABS unit, bleeding is as with any normal brake system. You may find that the flexible rubber lines at each rear wheel have become blocked. Try loosening the steel line, and see if you get fluid there.

If air has gotten into the antilock unit, you will need a special tool for bleeding.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 11:52 AM (Merged)
Tiny
1967THUNDERBIRD
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 FORD TAURUS
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 167,000 MILES
I installed a new master cylinder and wheel cylinders bleed the master and the entire brake system. I can pump the brakes with the car off and they get hard. But once I start it the pedal goes to the floor. I checked for leaks or bad rubber lines and nothing is leaking. No abs light or brake light on in the dash. Any ideas?
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 12:24 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome to 2CarPros.

I am going to provide the directions for bleeding the entire system. See if it is what you have already done. Also, what you are describing sounds like a bad master cylinder, but I realize you just replaced it. Is it a new unit or re-manufactured?

Brake System Bleeding
Manual

WARNING: Use of any other than approved DOT 3 brake fluid will cause permanent damage to brake components and will render the brakes inoperative. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.

WARNING: Brake fluid contains polyglycol ethers and polyglycols. Avoid contact with eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after handling. If brake fluid contacts eyes, flush eyes with running water for 15 minutes. Get medical attention if irritation persists. If taken internally, drink water and induce vomiting. Get medical attention immediately. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.

CAUTION: Brake fluid is harmful to painted and plastic surfaces. If brake fluid is spilled onto a painted or plastic surface, immediately wash it with water.

CAUTION: Do not allow the brake master cylinder to run dry during the bleeding operation. Keep the brake master cylinder reservoir filled with the specified brake fluid. Never reuse the brake fluid that has been drained from the hydraulic system.

NOTE: When any part of the hydraulic system has been disconnected for repair or installation, air can get into the system and cause spongy brake pedal action. This requires bleeding of the hydraulic system after it has been correctly connected. The hydraulic system can be bled manually or with pressure bleeding equipment.

All vehicles

1. Clean the area then remove the brake master cylinder filler cap and fill the brake master cylinder reservoir with the specified brake fluid.

Vehicles with rear drum brakes

2. Place a box-end wrench on the RH rear bleeder screw. Attach a rubber drain tube to the RH rear bleeder screw and submerge the free end of the tube in a container partially filled with clean DOT 3 motor vehicle brake fluid.

Vehicles with rear disc brakes

3. Place a box-end wrench on the RH rear bleeder screw. Attach a rubber drain tube to the RH rear bleeder screw and submerge the free end of the tube in a container partially filled with clean brake fluid.

All vehicles
4. Have an assistant pump, and then hold firm pressure on, the brake pedal.
5. Loosen the RH rear bleeder screw until a stream of brake fluid comes out. While an assistant maintains pressure on the brake pedal, tighten the RH rear bleeder screw.
Repeat until clear, bubble-free fluid comes out.
Refill the brake master cylinder reservoir as necessary.

Vehicles with rear drum brakes

6. Tighten the RH rear bleeder screw.

Vehicles with rear disc brakes

7. Tighten the RH rear bleeder screw.

All vehicles
8. Repeat Steps 2 through 7 for the LH rear bleeder screw.
9. Place a box-end wrench on the RH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw. Attach a rubber drain tube to the RH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw, and submerge the free end of the tube in a container partially filled with clean brake fluid.
10. Have an assistant pump, and then hold firm pressure on, the brake pedal.
11. Loosen the RH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw until a stream of brake fluid comes out. While an assistant maintains pressure on the brake pedal, tighten the RH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw.
Repeat until clear, bubble-free fluid comes out.
Refill the brake master cylinder reservoir as necessary.
12. Tighten the RH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw.
13. Repeat Steps 9 through 12 for the LH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw.

Pressure

WARNING: Use of any other than approved DOT 3 brake fluid will cause permanent damage to brake components and will render the brakes inoperative. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.

WARNING: Brake fluid contains polyglycol ethers and polyglycols. Avoid contact with eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after handling. If brake fluid contacts eyes, flush eyes with running water for 15 minutes. Get medical attention if irritation persists. If taken internally, drink water and induce vomiting. Get medical attention immediately. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.

CAUTION: Brake fluid is harmful to painted and plastic surfaces. If brake fluid is spilled onto a painted or plastic surface, immediately wash it with water.

CAUTION: Do not allow the brake master cylinder to run dry during the bleeding operation. Keep the brake master cylinder reservoir filled with the specified brake fluid. Never reuse the brake fluid that has been drained from the hydraulic system.

All vehicles

1. Clean the area then remove the brake master cylinder filler cap and fill the brake master cylinder reservoir with the specified brake fluid.

2. NOTE: Master cylinder pressure bleeder adapter tools are available from various manufacturers of pressure bleeding equipment. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer when installing the adapter.

Install the bleeder adapter to the brake master cylinder reservoir, and attach the bleeder tank hose to the fitting on the adapter.

Vehicles with rear drum brakes

3. NOTE: Bleed the longest line first. Make sure the bleeder tank contains enough specified brake fluid to complete the bleeding operation.

Place a box-end wrench on the RH rear bleeder screw. Attach a rubber drain tube to the RH rear bleeder screw, and submerge the free end of the tube in a container partially filled with clean brake fluid.

Vehicles with rear disc brakes

4. Place a box-end wrench on the RH rear bleeder screw. Attach a rubber drain tube to the RH rear bleeder screw, and submerge the free end of the tube in a container partially filled with clean brake fluid.

All vehicles
5. Open the valve on the bleeder tank.

Vehicles with rear drum brakes

6. Loosen the RH rear bleeder screw. Leave open until clear, bubble-free brake fluid flows, then tighten the RH rear bleeder screw and remove the rubber hose.

Vehicles with rear disc brakes

7. Loosen the RH rear bleeder screw. Leave open until clear, bubble-free brake fluid flows, then tighten the RH rear bleeder screw and remove the rubber hose.
8. Continue bleeding the rest of the system, going in order from the LH rear bleeder screw to the RH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw, ending with the LH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw.
9. Close the bleeder tank valve. Remove the tank hose from the adapter, and remove the adapter.

Check out the diagrams (Below). Please let us know what happens.
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Monday, April 5th, 2021 AT 12:24 PM (Merged)

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