Notices
Tech Talk Anything technically related to your vehicle should be posted here. If you're looking to have work done, try one of the Regional Forums.


Unable to bleed brakes

Old 03-24-2015, 05:51 AM
  #1  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Charlottesville
Posts: 774
cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24
Default Unable to bleed brakes

Hey guys,
I ran into a problem last night that I have not come across. The car is an 03 Kia Spectra non abs. My dad told me the car had spongy brakes, so we attempted to bleed them. I cracked the right rear bleeder open while he was pushing down on the pedal and some fluid came out, so we did the procedure a few more times. Then no fluid was coming out and the pedal was hard while the bleeder was open. So I switched to the left rear...same thing, a little bit of fluid the first few times then not much of anything and the pedal was hard even with the line open. *rears are drum brakes* So I moved the front (disc), and had the same results up front. But while up front if I left the bleeder open and we kept pressure on the brake pedal a little fluid would shoot out and then it would get hard again before the pedal got to the floor. Then I was out of time so I left. Anyway, the car is a 5 speed and the master cylinder goes to the clutch slave and the brakes. The clutch is working the way it should. Then after that there is really not much to it, the proportioning valve and then lines running to each corner. My next step was going to be taking one bleeder all the way out to just see if the fluid is so nice it will not come out of the little holes on the bleeders. I don't know any history on the car other than we bought it non running. Has anyone ever encountered this?
cardana24 is offline  
Old 03-24-2015, 06:00 AM
  #2  
Racetracks
 
Fabrik8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: How long is a piece of string?
Posts: 15,671
Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8
Default Re: Unable to bleed brakes

The clutch is on the same master cylinder? So if you press the brakes the clutch is actuated, and if you press the clutch pedal the brakes are actuated? Think about what you're saying, I think you're confused. There might be a booster that assists both of them, but there will be separate cylinders for the clutch and brakes.

It sounds like you've got debris or some sludge from incompatible fluid blocking the lines. The fact that it does it on all 4 corners could tell you everything, or nothing (helpful, I know). If it's a debris problem, it would be very unlikely to happen at all of the corners the same way, so it is likely at the master cylinder. If it's a fluid sludge problem, it could be in multiple lines/calipers at the same time, etc. I'm guessing it's a master cylinder problem.

So you were doing the standard procedure of:

Push pedal
Open bleeder
Bleed fluid
Close bleeder
Release pedal

???


Oh, actually I think I have an better idea. I bet you're triggering a safety valve (dual piston) because you're not bleeding them correctly. On some cars, if you have a failed (leaky/open) caliper the master cylinder will slide a secondary piston to divert fluid to the working caliper and bypass the non-working fluid circuit. Once the piston moves enough fluid and slides all the way to the other outlet port, the pedal will firm back up because you now have brake pressure on the working calipers. If you leave it alone, I think there is a return spring that will start to bypass fluid and return the piston toward the original position. So carefully examine how you're bleeding the brakes, because I think you're making that happen. You'll likely need to change amount of fluid that you're bleeding, and move around from corner to corner more. That would only work if you can verify that you have a master cylinder like that, and it is causing what's actually happening though.

You might also be causing the same type of behavior in the combination valve; you probably have one because it's a non-ABS car with drum brakes. Combo valves usually have the same type of sliding piston function built into them. The combo valve would only affect the rears though.

This is tough for me because I don't ever deal with drum brake cars, or street cars without factory ABS. The only non-ABS cars I work on are race cars. And never KIAs...



Also, KIA made cars without ABS in 2003? Wow. That's funny.

Last edited by Fabrik8; 03-24-2015 at 06:35 AM.
Fabrik8 is offline  
Old 03-24-2015, 06:23 AM
  #3  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Charlottesville
Posts: 774
cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24
Default Re: Unable to bleed brakes

Originally Posted by Fabrik8 View Post
The clutch is on the same master cylinder? So if you press the brakes the clutch is actuated, and if you press the clutch pedal the brakes are actuated? Think about what you're saying, I think you're confused. There might be a booster that assists both of them, but there will be separate cylinders for the clutch and brakes.

It sounds like you've got debris or some sludge from incompatible fluid blocking the lines. The fact that it does it on all 4 corners could tell you everything, or nothing (helpful, I know). If it's a debris problem, it would be very unlikely to happen at all of the corners the same way, so it is likely at the master cylinder. If it's a fluid sludge problem, it could be in multiple lines/calipers at the same time, etc.

So you were doing the standard procedure of:

Push pedal
Open bleeder
Bleed fluid
Close bleeder
Release pedal

???



Also, KIA made cars without ABS in 2003? Wow. That's funny.

Yeah, that was a bad description, they share a reservoir. The reason I mentioned this before was because my dad was having an issue with the slave cylinder rod going back into the cylinder (it was removed when I put another engine in the car) so I told him to crack the bleeder and push it back in, and when he did that plenty of fluid ran out so we had the bleed the clutch line. If it's a debris problem I was hoping that taking a bleeder screw all the way out could possibly clear that up. I only had 15 minutes to spare yesterday when working on this so I really was not able to do any trouble shooting. But when I have dealt with failing brake master cylinders they have always done the opposite, not able to hold pressure or generate the proper pressure.
cardana24 is offline  
Old 03-24-2015, 06:33 AM
  #4  
Racetracks
 
Fabrik8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: How long is a piece of string?
Posts: 15,671
Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8
Default Re: Unable to bleed brakes

Read my edits, I added a lot.
Fabrik8 is offline  
Old 03-24-2015, 06:42 AM
  #5  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Charlottesville
Posts: 774
cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24
Default Re: Unable to bleed brakes

Yes, I am trying to bleed them in the way you described. I'll need to double check the abs thing, I just assumed since it is a base model and abs was an option that year it did not have it, I did not even look for an abs distribution block in the engine bay.

If the car does have a combination valve in the master cylinder how are you supposed to bleed them (I'll google this too)? I have never dealt with this before.
cardana24 is offline  
Old 03-24-2015, 06:51 AM
  #6  
Racetracks
 
Fabrik8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: How long is a piece of string?
Posts: 15,671
Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8
Default Re: Unable to bleed brakes

Just limit the amount of fluid out of each wheel before moving to the next one, or don't fully open the bleeder to kept the pressure higher. You're trying to not move the secondary piston enough that it closes the low pressure (open bleeder) port off. If you limit the amount of fluid, the piston won't move very much. I'm trying to visualize how those systems work and it's a little fuzzy.

There should be a really easy way to get around the problem though, if its the piston system I'm talking about.

Last edited by Fabrik8; 03-24-2015 at 06:53 AM.
Fabrik8 is offline  
Old 03-24-2015, 08:45 AM
  #7  
LET THE HATE FLOW
 
Yardjass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 5,436
Yardjass Yardjass Yardjass Yardjass Yardjass Yardjass Yardjass Yardjass Yardjass Yardjass Yardjass
Default Re: Unable to bleed brakes

Get it bled to freshen up the fluid like fabrik8 said. I don't think that's going to solve your issue though. I'm guessing it has spongy brakes because it's an 03 Kia Spectra and it rolled off the assembly line that way.
Yardjass is offline  
Old 03-24-2015, 08:52 AM
  #8  
Racetracks
 
Fabrik8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: How long is a piece of string?
Posts: 15,671
Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8 Fabrik8
Default Re: Unable to bleed brakes

Originally Posted by Yardjass View Post
I'm guessing it has spongy brakes because it's an 03 Kia Spectra and it rolled off the assembly line that way.
They probably use the same components from the same manufacturers as everyone else did in the early '90s on base model cars with drum brakes, so shouldn't be too bad. Generic brake parts for low-end applications are made by the millions using the same tooling for decades. Worst case for the age of the car there are likely leaky calipers and cracked dust boots on the caliper pistons, and a lot of grime packed in everywhere.

And it probably hasn't had fresh fluid in a really long time... If you can't remember the last fluid change, you're way overdue.
Fabrik8 is offline  
Old 03-24-2015, 09:55 AM
  #9  
Registered Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Charlottesville
Posts: 774
cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24 cardana24
Default Re: Unable to bleed brakes

Originally Posted by Yardjass View Post
I'm guessing it has spongy brakes because it's an 03 Kia Spectra and it rolled off the assembly line that way.
There is a lot of truth in that. I had an engine/trans laying around and I was looking for a car to put it into. This car popped up...and here we are.

Originally Posted by Fabrik8 View Post
They probably use the same components from the same manufacturers as everyone else did in the early '90s on base model cars with drum brakes, so shouldn't be too bad. Generic brake parts for low-end applications are made by the millions using the same tooling for decades. Worst case for the age of the car there are likely leaky calipers and cracked dust boots on the caliper pistons, and a lot of grime packed in everywhere.

And it probably hasn't had fresh fluid in a really long time... If you can't remember the last fluid change, you're way overdue.
I'll try what you recommended when I have a little bit more time. I have no clue when the fluid was changed, by the looks of what came out it may have never been changed. It's a real gem.
cardana24 is offline  
Old 03-24-2015, 10:49 AM
  #10  
NAZI mod
 
BAN HAMMER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 1,218,294
BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER BAN HAMMER
Default Re: Unable to bleed brakes

take it to a dealer, pay the $89 and let them bleed it. It's way less headache.
BAN HAMMER is offline  

Quick Reply: Unable to bleed brakes


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: