I hate working on brakes

Illustration for article titled I hate working on brakes

Seriously. Why do I do this to myself? It has never gone smoothly.

Didn’t take any pictures, so you get gifs.

The Alfa’s rear flex hose was due for replacement, so I did that. Funny enough, looking at it it looked... fine? But I guess these can fail without any external indications so I went ahead and changed it anyway.


And then spent the next 8 years of my life bleeding brakes.

One thing to note is I don’t bleed brakes often, maybe once a year at most, and every time I do it is an ordeal. I thought buying a MightyVac would make it better, and it does... sort of, but overall the process is still a pain.


So anyway... here is how it went.

Put the car on ramps, tires on (stupid), and connected to the rear right bleed screw. Drew out all the old fluid and a ton of air, but never stopped getting air bubbles.


Shut the bleed screw. Still getting air bubbles.

Changed out the bleed fitting for a tighter one.

Still getting air bubbles.

Changed out the bleed fitting for an even tighter one.

No more air bubbles with the bleed screw closed!

Open bleed screw and get consistent, large air bubbles.

Gave up on that and switched to the rear left, but mostly got air.

Looked it up on the internets.

Remembered that bleed screws draw in air through the threads and therefore suck.. Removed both bleed screws, weeping fluid EVERYWHERE in the process, and re-inserted them with teflon tape.


MUCH BETTER BLEED, but still getting the occasional large air bubble. Unsure if it is real or coming through the fitting.

Switch to the front brakes. Pull the bleed screws and wrap them in teflon tape. Good, solid bleed with no bubbles. Hooray!


Changed the brake pads while I was there. Ripped the dust boots.


Check the internet. No way to get new calipers before Thursday. Internet seems to think this is a 1-2 year problem, not a 1-2 day. Sending it.

Finish with fronts.

Check the pedal. Immediately sinks to the floor.



Re-bleed the rears.

Rear right bleeds fine with no apparent air bubbles.

Rear left is covered in fluid, looks like the bleed screw might have been leaking. Go to bleed but I guess the teflon has weakened at this point because I’m back to getting consistent, medium air bubbles. Everything I read says they should be tiny and mine are like... 1/4" but very consistent. No idea if they’re “real” or not.


Close everything up and give up for the night.

Next morning drive the car off the ramps. Brakes work fine.

Check brake fluid and rear looks low like it might have been leaking.

Further despair.


Pull the rear left wheel off, COVER the bleed screw in grease after reading that can stop air leaks. Bleeds normally, but did have some air in it (maybe?).

Tighten bleed screw but leave wheel off to check for leaks.

2 liters of brake fluid later I think I might be done.


Fuck I hate working on brakes.

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