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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is it OK to replace Brake fluid by just vacuuming the top reservoir, and filling it with new fluid... and repeating the process a week later.
(similar to doing ATF)
I read that's all many service places do!
I am asking because of health problems (sciatica) - I am in no shape to remove the wheels to bleed the nipples... thanks.
 

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It is ok in the sense that it is better than doing nothing and it certainly will cause no harm.
 

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Is it OK to replace Brake fluid by just vacuuming the top reservoir, and filling it with new fluid... and repeating the process a week later.
(similar to doing ATF)
I read that's all many service places do!
I am asking because of health problems (sciatica) - I am in no shape to remove the wheels to bleed the nipples... thanks.
As mentioned it won't do any harm, but it won't do much good either. The brake fluid does not circulate like engine oil or transmission fluid. The fluid in the calipers doesn't make it's way back to the reservoir. The fluid in and near the calipers it what does the work and is what needs to be replaced.

It doesn't take anything Honda specific to bleed each brake to get new fluid so any competent shop can do it at a reasonable price. Don't pay dealer rates for this.
 

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Will the ABS allow for gravity bleeding at the calipers?
 

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I just use the buddy method of pumping the pedal and bleeding. My wife has gotten really good at it. As was said, the brakes NEED to be bled every few years. Honda calls for every three years for a full brake fluid flush to be done, which is nothing more than bleeding every corner until clean, fresh fluid reaches the caliper. I recently did this for the third time on my wife's Accord when I was changing brake pads. It had been about 2.5 years since I last did it and the fluid was brown and nasty. The car brakes much more confidently now and there is less pedal travel. I'm going to be due to do the same thing on the truck in the spring. It's amazing how many people neglect the brake fluid when it's one of the most important fluids in a vehicle. Sure, oil keep your engine going and tranny fluid keeps your tranny going, but your brake fluid stops you from hitting large, heavy objects.
 

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Even if you need a shop to do it, do it!!!

Shop around for the best price, but in my experience it is normally around 50-60 bucks, give or take. Small price to maintain braking efficiency.
 

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I used this device = I did not remove the tires - awkward to open and close the rear bleeders.

http://www.harborfreight.com/automotive-motorcycle/brakes/brake-fluid-bleeder-92924.html
I am not satisfied with vacuum bleeding the brake system. It doesn't matter if I use my MityVac or my air compressor. I get so much air leakage around the threads that it slows the process considerably and the fluid exchange pace becomes glacial. Perhaps I need to take the suggestion to use plumbing tape on the bleeder screw threads to help with air leakage.

I'm not sure what my next attack vector is going to be on a brake fluid flush. Either a buddy system with someone holding the brake pedal down while I bleed... or splurge for some speedbleeders and try it that way. I normally do this solo so option 1 may not be practical.

Regardless, I don't know how you bleed the system without pulling the wheels off to get to the bleeder screws unless you're on a lift.
 

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I am not satisfied with vacuum bleeding the brake system. It doesn't matter if I use my MityVac or my air compressor. I get so much air leakage around the threads that it slows the process considerably and the fluid exchange pace becomes glacial. Perhaps I need to take the suggestion to use plumbing tape on the bleeder screw threads to help with air leakage.

I'm not sure what my next attack vector is going to be on a brake fluid flush. Either a buddy system with someone holding the brake pedal down while I bleed... or splurge for some speedbleeders and try it that way. I normally do this solo so option 1 may not be practical.

Regardless, I don't know how you bleed the system without pulling the wheels off to get to the bleeder screws unless you're on a lift.
Option number 1 is likely the oldest, but best way to bleed the brakes. It pushes everything out rather than it being artificially sucked out. I know you said you do this solo typically, but it may be very worth having a buddy over while you're doing it to be your helper. Anyone who is able to follow verbal instructions and has a foot, you're good to go.
 

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I am going to try gravity bleed the next time since I usually don't have the luxury of a helper but I do have plenty of time. The various devices don't appeal to me.
 

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I replace pads even rotors, but usually take it in for a bleed. It's reasonable, I only have to do it every 2 to 3 years, gives me a chance to talk to my mechanic, considering it's a Honda there are not too many of those opportunities. :)
 

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Anyone who is able to follow verbal instructions and has a foot, you're good to go.
Well I'm thinking that rules out teenagers then (at least on the part about following verbal instructions!). :D
 

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As long as they apply pressure to the pedal and don't let go of it before you close the bleeder screw again (which will suck air into the system), you're fine. Nonetheless, I would still trust an adult friend before most teenagers. :)
 

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As long as they apply pressure to the pedal and don't let go of it before you close the bleeder screw again (which will suck air into the system), you're fine. Nonetheless, I would still trust an adult friend before most teenagers. :)
And, if my sources are correct, the helper also needs to avoid pushing the brake pedal all the way to the floor.
 

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And, if my sources are correct, the helper also needs to avoid pushing the brake pedal all the way to the floor.
Haven't really heard that. When you crack the bleeder screw, the pedal just goes to the floor until you close the screw again. I typically have my wife pump the pedal twice before holding it on the third pump - then I crack the screw open. What have you heard are the negative effects of going to the floor with the pedal?
 

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There is no reason holding the pedal to the floor would hurt anything. In fact, pumping the brakes won't hurt either as long as your tubing doesn't lift out of the brake fluid container.
 

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Haven't really heard that. When you crack the bleeder screw, the pedal just goes to the floor until you close the screw again. I typically have my wife pump the pedal twice before holding it on the third pump - then I crack the screw open. What have you heard are the negative effects of going to the floor with the pedal?
I guess it runs the risk of messing up the master cylinder piston because it travels further than during normal use and can encounter built up corrosion which can screw it up. Some people put a block under the pedal so the helper can't push it all the way to the floor.

Edit: Here is one explanation

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101024164717AAbYaSI
 

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I guess it runs the risk of messing up the master cylinder piston because it travels further than during normal use and can encounter built up corrosion which can screw it up. Some people put a block under the pedal so the helper can't push it all the way to the floor.

Edit: Here is one explanation

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101024164717AAbYaSI
Ok, so if your master cylinder is old and on its way out, I can see how the added pressure of bleeding would make it worse. However, if a brake system is properly maintained, I really don't think one would ever see any negative effects from brake bleeding.
 

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Ok, so if your master cylinder is old and on its way out, I can see how the added pressure of bleeding would make it worse. However, if a brake system is properly maintained, I really don't think one would ever see any negative effects from brake bleeding.
I am a DIYer, and far from an expert, so the info was offered simply as something else to consider.
 

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the info is valid and IanRTL is correct.

This is typically an issue with an older vehicle, that hasn't had the best/any service. Corrosion AND wear in the master cylinder housing could damage the seals in the cylinder if pushed beyond it's normal travel.

In 35 years on/off the bench, I have never actually seen this. But it is possible.
Personally, I'd take the risk - because if ever in a panic situation I did manage to over apply the brake (or low fluid condition), I'd much prefer a failure during the bleeding process than in the driving one ;act028:
 
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