How do I bleed the brakes?

Tiny
ANDYEHELER
  • MEMBER
  • 2010 FORD FOCUS
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 80,000 MILES
Hello again,

I've had an issue as so many have had with the ABS Module on the car listed above SE. The ABS valve(a) apparently get stuck open and cause a spongy pedal and problems braking. There is a recall for the same problem on Fusions and other models which use the same ABS Module, but Focus did not get the recall.

Anyway, I replaced the ABS Module and bled the brakes, the pedal was still very spongy. I re bled the brakes, still spongy. I got a scan tool and performed an ABS Service Bleed to each wheel about 10 times, still spongy. There was a lot of air in the system, but I can't seem to see any more bubbles coming out (unless they're very tiny bubbles, I'm not really sure - see video linked below.) I'm out of brake fluid now, so I'm going to go to the store and buy more. I am fairly certain the master cylinder did not run dry, but I will bleed it if I have to, but would like assistance in that.
Is there a way to easily diagnose where the air would be trapped by isolating the issue to a wheel, etc? I also would like some assistance in that if possible. Thanks.

https://youtu.be/TWMzwyARBtA
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Thursday, June 25th, 2020 AT 9:12 AM

13 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Looks like you pumped the brakes a number of times when you had the bleeder open as there were a few bursts of brake fluid. Did you open the bleeder and then push the pedal down and then let it up and push it down a couple more times and then go close the bleeder? If so, this could be your issue.

You need to have all bleeders closed and pump the pedal. Then hold the pedal down, and open the bleeder, then the pedal will drop to the floor and you hold it at the floor while you close the bleeder. Then you can let the pedal up.

Here is a video that shows this. If you were pumping the pedal with the bleeder open, most likely you are allowing air back in.

https://youtu.be/w7gUsj2us0U

Clearly your video did not show everything that was happening so if that did not happen then you most likely have a master cylinder issue or possible a brake line issue. Here is a guide that runs through this issue:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/brake-pedal-goes-to-the-floor

What I would do is cap off the master cylinder lines and press the pedal. If the lines are all capped off and the pedal is still spongy then the master cylinder has a leak. If not then you have an issue somewhere in the rest of the system. This is the easiest way to start cutting the system down. if the master cylinder is okay, then add the lines back in one at a times until the pedal gets spongy and then you know which leg it is.

Let me know if you have questions. Thanks
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Thursday, June 25th, 2020 AT 6:35 PM
Tiny
ANDYEHELER
  • MEMBER
To answer your question about pumping the brakes, I had the other end of the hose in a bottle with the hose submerged in brake fluid, so it would be sucking new fluid in. I didn't have a helper to pump and hold at the time. I'll look into trying to cap the master cylinder, I'll look for a video tutorial online. Thanks again.
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Friday, June 26th, 2020 AT 6:59 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Sure. Here is a video. Fast forward if you want to the 5:30 mark. All you need to do is get some bolts that are the same size and depth of the line nut so that it doesn't damage the master cylinder.

The rest of the video is pretty good if you want to watch that as well.

https://youtu.be/YStj8ORkNqY
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Friday, June 26th, 2020 AT 8:31 PM
Tiny
ANDYEHELER
  • MEMBER
Thanks again. Can you please help me find the correct brake bleeder screws for this 2010 Focus? All the screws that say they fit, according to AutoZone, O'Reilly, Advance Auto, etc. Websites don't thread into the caliper. The threads on the new screws look too coarse. Ford Parts website comes up with 0 results when I filter for bleeder. Thanks.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 6:22 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Unfortunately we are at the mercy of most of these stores. Here is a common parts site that offers these parts:

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/ford,2010,focus,2.0l+l4,1444693,brake+&+wheel+hub,brake+bleeder,1676

The only other possible solution would be to get a used caliper with the bleeder screws or replace the entire caliper. Clearly not a desirable solution but if they just don't fit, I suspect someone changed them.
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Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 AT 5:50 PM
Tiny
BRANDY0126656
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD FOCUS
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 72,000 MILES
There is a clear liquid leaking from under my car so I fixed the master but don't know how to bleed the system
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Monday, March 15th, 2021 AT 7:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
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.
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Monday, March 15th, 2021 AT 7:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRANDY0126656
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the reply. The video helped me fix it
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Monday, March 15th, 2021 AT 7:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
AYRECHRIS
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD FOCUS
  • 100,000 MILES
I can not get the air out of my front passenger brakes and my rear driver side but front driver side and rear passenger are ok
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Monday, March 15th, 2021 AT 7:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CEXPT
  • MEMBER
If it has an ABS unit-you bleed the master and then the ABS then the wheels-You might need a scantool for the ABS unit
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Monday, March 15th, 2021 AT 7:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CADIEMAN
  • MEMBER
Gravity bleed the system. Remove the cap on the master cylinder. Start in the r/r open the bleeder. Just let it drip youll see bubbles when you see constant dripping tighten the bleeder. Same with the others l/r then r/f then l/f. Make sure the master cylinder stays full. See ya
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Monday, March 15th, 2021 AT 7:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KENJOB
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD FOCUS
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 50,000 MILES
While bleeding sometimes is normal. Fluid and/or air comes out and the pedal goes to the floor, but sometimes nothing comes out and the pedal does not move. The bladders are unblocked (and new). What is wrong?
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Monday, March 15th, 2021 AT 7:22 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Whether you're bleeding with a helper or surprised by a sudden leak, pushing the brake pedal to the floor will usually damage the master cylinder. Crud and corrosion build up in the lower halves of the bores where the pistons don't normally travel. Running the pistons all the way down tears the rubber lip seals on that crud. Chunks can break off and intermittently block the fluid ports, and the torn seals will cause a low or slowly-sinking pedal. Torn seals won't push any brake fluid out either.

To prevent this, I only use gravity-bleeding. If you have to resort to pedal-bleeding, never push the pedal more than halfway to the floor. The exception is if the master cylinder is less than about a year old because it will not have developed that corrosion yet.
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Monday, March 15th, 2021 AT 7:22 PM (Merged)

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