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Old 02-08-2011, 11:55 AM
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Default About to bleed brakes

I'm thinking about bleeding the brakes of the 95 Saturn SL1 I just got as the pedal seems to be travelling pretty low even though I still manage to stop the car. Or, will just adding more brake fluid in the master cylinder may help? I checked my Haynes manual and it says do not manually bleed the brakes myself if I have rear ABS. I don't think I have an ABS system but is there a way for me to confirm that, or should I just look up specs for 1995 Saturn SL1 somewhere?

Also, I checked old posts (as I always do before posting new ones) about brake bleeding and someone quoted their repair manual that the bleed order was rr, lf, lr, rf, at least for their 99 SL2. However, I thought you bleed from the point furthest from the master cylinder to the closest, which would then mean rr, lr, lf, rf, right? I thought you do the rear furthest first, the next rear, then the front furthest next, and so forth. I checked my Haynes manual and it said I only should bleed the brake at the point where I did work but doesn't it make sense to just bleed the whole system properly? Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:21 PM
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OceanArcher OceanArcher is offline
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The reason they suggest the "rr,lf,lr,rf" format is tricky, because the master cylinder is in reality two complete and distinct braking systems. One covers rr and lf, and the other covers lr and rf. This is done for safety sake should one of the two lines become damaged or inoperative ... so you see, they are, in fact, bleeding from furthest to closest
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:40 PM
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Because your car is a few years old, you should seriously consider "changing" the brake fluid especially if you have a soft pedal. Brake fluid by it's nature is hydroscopic. Over time it will absorb enough moisture to cause a soft pedal as well as rusted and damaged brake components. I have changed the fluid on all my vehicles and in each case have noticed a big difference! Last summer I changed it in my Corvette. This car has phenomenal brakes but the fluid looked dark so I changed it. The Corvette is only a couple of years old with 7000 miles. I noticed a much firmer pedal the first time I drove it. My point, even with low mileage, time will take it's toll on all fluids in your car.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:48 PM
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Ok, I just verified that my 95 SL1 does NOT have ABS. In addition to bleeding the brakes, I'm going to change the front brake pads. Let's say if it DID have ABS, a front brake pad replacement should not be of concern like some of you mentioned about bleeding brakes, i.e., it should be the same as doing the pad change as one without ABS, right?

Also, since I'm doing both brake bleeding and front pad change, should I do one or the other first? Any preferred or recommended order?
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:35 PM
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Do the pad change first. Then if you feel you have to, bleed the brakes. Why? If anything goes wrong or requires more work that may result in the loss of fluid for one reason or another, you would have to do the brake bleed thing anyway all over again to make sure that all repairs are done well.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:39 AM
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There speaks a man with logic on his brain ... well expressed, UnclJohn
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanArcher View Post
The reason they suggest the "rr,lf,lr,rf" format is tricky, because the master cylinder is in reality two complete and distinct braking systems. One covers rr and lf, and the other covers lr and rf. This is done for safety sake should one of the two lines become damaged or inoperative ... so you see, they are, in fact, bleeding from furthest to closest
That tells me that the master cylinder services each side, the right, then the left (or vice versa, depending on how you're facing the car). Is this unique for Saturns? You would figure if that be the case, you'd want the master cylinder to service the back in one system, then the front for the other system as far as a safety precaution, because if one side failed, would that resort to the car kind of spinning out because one side is locked while the other side is brakeless? Anyhow, I just keep seeing rr, lr, lf, rf published online for most non-ABS cars. I've done it this way previously, including most recently for my Honda Civic and my old Nissan pickup back then.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C6vette View Post
Because your car is a few years old, you should seriously consider "changing" the brake fluid especially if you have a soft pedal. Brake fluid by it's nature is hydroscopic. Over time it will absorb enough moisture to cause a soft pedal as well as rusted and damaged brake components. I have changed the fluid on all my vehicles and in each case have noticed a big difference! Last summer I changed it in my Corvette. This car has phenomenal brakes but the fluid looked dark so I changed it. The Corvette is only a couple of years old with 7000 miles. I noticed a much firmer pedal the first time I drove it. My point, even with low mileage, time will take it's toll on all fluids in your car.
I just bled the brakes on my 2000 Honda Civic, by mistake originally, as I was just going to change the front pads but accidentally unscrewed the brake line bolt at the caliper instead of the caliper bolt itself and let some brake fluid out and therefore some air in, so I had no choice but to bleed the whole system. I used one of those one-man pumps like I did for my pickup and it takes some patience and lots of brake fluid to make sure you get a good flow of bubble-less fluid while topping off the master cylinder. I was surprised at how much more stopping power I have now, I mean even before I accidentally lost fluid and let air in the system the brake travel seemed fine, but with the new fluid my foot doesn't have to travel as far down to get any stopping power, just a slight tap will slow down the car quite a bit. Don't know if I have too much fluid in the master cylinder but it says I'm right at the full line, so maybe I was just so used to how far the brake pedal used to travel down. But I'm more comfortable with it now as I feel I have more stopping power.

Now it's my Saturn's turn next...
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanArcher View Post
The reason they suggest the "rr,lf,lr,rf" format is tricky, because the master cylinder is in reality two complete and distinct braking systems. One covers rr and lf, and the other covers lr and rf. This is done for safety sake should one of the two lines become damaged or inoperative ... so you see, they are, in fact, bleeding from furthest to closest
Ok, got my Haynes Saturn manual finally and saw indeed you were right with this bleed order. Just different from what I'm used to with going to bleed the left-front after bleeding the right-rear, usually I bleed the left-rear next but anyhow, sorry I doubted you in the first place.

I did try to use the one-man brake bleeding hand-pump like I was able to successfully do in my Nissan pickup and Honda Civic, worked really well for those two vehicles. But for the Saturn, fluid would not suction out of the rear lines when I tried pumping it out, so I was compelled to press the brake pedal to get it going, but unfortunately got air into the system in the process because I didn't close the bleed valve before releasing the brake pedal, so I'm going to have to do the WHOLE process all over again. I did notice that the front brakes bled easier with the hand pump so I may still use it for the fronts, as I got good bubble-less flow so I won't be losing much fluid at the fronts in the bleeding process, but unfortunately I still have to do the process all over again for all four lines because there is still air in the system, and this time I'm gonna have my son help me with the pumping the brake pedal, at least for the rears, to get the air out while I open and close the bleed valve propely.

I don't have much time before the sun goes down after I get home from work, so I assume I can just bleed one or maybe two brakes and continue the rest in the proper order the next day, as long as I close the bleed valves properly and close the cap to the master cylinder to keep air from making it's way into the system until I'm ready to do the next wheel the next day? Or, is it best to try and get all four done in sequence in one day?
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:07 PM
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I re-did the whole bleeding process, in the correct sequence for my car, a 95 Saturn SL1, even with the two-man system with my son pumping the brake pedal. Now, I did notice the back brakes don't seem to get a good flow of brake fluid out as the front brakes, especially the right-rear drum brake, I seem to be getting contaminated fluid because it was real dirty at first, and then it got clear as the new fluid came through, but it is not filling the flow tube completely like the other lines do, and it seems to be mixed with water or something that doesn't seem like it's completely brake fluid, which is making me think is the whole culprit to the whole thing. A co-worker of mine suggested to turn on the car to get boost and full pressure in the system to blow whatever is restricting that line, if any, but not sure if that's a great idea. Does anyone have a clue? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:07 PM
 
 
 
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1995, 95, abs, bleed, bleeding, brake, brakes, change, changing, fluid, manually, rear, saturn, sl1, sli


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