2013 Camry DIY Brake Fluid Replacement Experience

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Here's my write up. I had it in a PDF file with pictures, but I don't think the site allows attachment for that. Lemme know if otherwise. 2013 Camry 60K Service April 30, 2016 Note: Car is three years in May, and has reached 60,000 miles. ATF change was done in 2015 at 50,000 miles which has a separate write-up. This document is for brake services and a later date is scheduled for coolant change. 1.Brake Service a.Car has original brake pads, never touched. It has a shake when braking at high speed. I suspect it’s the rear brakes. Will see. b.Rear brake pads movement is very limited, so I took the calipers off, and cleaned, re-lubed the calipers, and the caliper pins. Brake pads still have about 5 mm material, so no need to change for now. When pads need to be changed, I will change the rotors as well. Rotor cooling vanes have rust flakes easily falling off. Pads are worn evenly. c.Only the bottom pin has a vinyl tape at the tip of the pin, it needs to be installed properly. d.Caliper mounting bracket bolt 17mm socket, torque is 79 ft-lbf for front, 46 ft-lbf for rear e.Caliper bolt torque: 20 ft-lbf for rear, 25 ft-lbf for front. Use 14mm socket. f.Rotor has two small holes to aid the removal, use M8x1.25 pitch screw 2.Brake fluid replacement a.Among four major methods (pressure, vacuum, back-push, gravity), I prefer vacuum method. It’s the safest approach, which also does not put more strains on the car. But I have struggled in the past for this approach. Challenges includes air bubbles passing thru bleeder screw thread and maintaining of the vacuum. I have had the best experience for this time after researching, and have solved the problems I had before. Relief! b.MityVac 7201. This is an evacuator/dispenser. Easy to use and maintains vacuum properly. c.Sealing the bleeder screw thread: I have two options. First (and preferred) is dielectric grease. It’s a thick and viscous silicone grease, and works! No petroleum based grease as it contaminates brake fluid if they come in contact. Second choice is Toyota lithium soap based glycol grease, which is also viscous, and is compatible with brake fluid. It is used for brake component assembly. It is also called for by Toyota manual for caliper pin lube and the rubber boot lube. Part# 08887-01206. pink color. d.Setup: The MityVac 7201 is mainly used for ATF, so I do not want to suck the brake fluid back into the container. I have a small catch cup from a Harbor Freight vacuum bleeder, 4 oz in capacity, perfect for the job because once it’s half full, I am reminded to refill the reservoir on the master cylinder. The tube runs from caliper to catch cup, and then to MityVac. e. Experience: The key is patience. Without the air bubbles, with only two strokes of the MityVac, the brake fluid starts to flow, and it fills the 4oz cup in just a few minutes. Do not need to over pump. Remember to replenish the master cylinder when the catch cup is half full! Bleeder screw only needs ¼ to ½ turn for the fluid to come out easily. I am amazed how well this has worked. Once the fluid becomes clear, tighten the screw, do not release the vacuum yet. Next step is to perform traditional two-person pedal bleed for 2-3 times. Use a 2x6 wood to under the brake pedal to prevent it from traveling too far (very important!). It’s nice to confirm with a solid column of fluid. Now remove the vinyl tube from bleeder. Since there is still vacuum in the line, not a drop of fluid is spilled. Tighten the bleeder to 73 in-lbf. The grease at the base of the screw can then be cleaned. But you can leave a film of grease there to prevent rust. Replace the bleeder cap, and you are done! f. After-thought on the amount of brake fluid to buy: I flushed 32oz bottle of Valvoline DOT3/4, pulled more from the rear brakes. 12oz for each of the rear brakes should be enough, and 8 oz for the front each would also be sufficient. This adds up to be 40oz fluid. OEM fluid usually comes in 12oz bottles, so 4 of them are good. Aftermarket has 32oz and 12oz bottles, so one of each gives 44oz. g. Camry has the ABS pump on passenger side, so the order of bleed is left-rear, right-rear, left front, and right front. 4. Other Notes: a.If any components of the brake system is removed, a much faster fluid flow might be needed to bleed the entire system. The bleeder screw has a tiny hole (0.6mm) which does not help. What I did before was a modified screw from direct fit OEM or after-market regular bleeder. First cut the sealing (bottom) end off, which gives you a ~5mm diameter passage, then use a soft rubber disc gasket to seal the modified screw against the caliper (add dielectric grease if you must). The rubber gasket needs to have a center hole small enough to make an air-tight fit. Then install the modified screw for a faster pull of the fluid. Regular bleeding does not need this due to complications of screw swapping. b.Pressure bleeding always worries me because the reservoir does not seem to be sturdy enough, and the attachment of the reservoir to the master cylinder is unknown to me. I do not want to have an exploding reservoir full of brake fluid when air pressure is applied. c.When servicing the caliper pins, push the pin all the way in (position corresponding to new pads), and attach and secure the bolts. I find that, due to the tight seals of the pin and the rubber sleeve, there is a vacuum which can help retract the caliper upon release of brake pressure. d.ABS bleed: it is not needed unless the unit itself and any upstream components are removed. Proper procedures need to be followed per service manual, and it usually involves using scan tools. e.For electronically controlled brakes (ECB, brake by wire), scan tools must be used to reset the brake state prior to any normal bleeding approaches. Examples include hybrid vehicles, cars with pre-collision readiness packages and self-brake capabilities. f.For certain Toyota vehicles including hybrid cars and SUVs, Techstream has an “air bleeding” utility. For regular cars, Techstream may not have that utility, but one can use the “active test” utility whose usage is outlined by the service manual. It usually starts with master cylinder bleed by covering the two outlet holes with fingers, and then proceeds to brake line bleeding with traditional 2-person pedal bleed, and then follows the on-vehicle “active test” of the ABS actuators. Each wheel has two, one is H-hold, and the other is R-release. The solenoids can only be run very briefly (2 seconds) with 20 seconds in between. After this, there is a system variant learning which calibrates the vehicle stability control (VSC) system. Any DTC that are triggered during testing must be cleared after everything is completed.
 
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JHZR2

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Thanks, very thorough. That's a lot of miles in not much time! I'm curious why didn't you go with a pressure bleeder setup instead?
 
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I just gravity bleed my Toyotas on all brake jobs then finish off with the pedal pump bleed. Never a problem. Never touch the ABS unit.
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Thanks, very thorough. That's a lot of miles in not much time! I'm curious why didn't you go with a pressure bleeder setup instead?
+1, I've bled many, many Toyotas with a pressure bleeder with no issues. Keep the pressure at 15-psi and you will be fine. The cap from AST tool is very good and will not cause a mess. http://www.asttool.com/detail_page.php?from_search=y&tool_number=TOY%2018B&total=41&offset=0&stype=advanced&manf=Toyota,Lexus
 

windeye

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Thanks much for the link. My memory apparently still stuck with the image of some early pressure bleeder caps which used a universal flat cap and a chain to "secure". I was so afraid of brake fluid spraying out under pressure. But the AST tool looks very well made. Thanks again. In terms of mileage, the wife sure gets around, for 20K a year.
Originally Posted By: The Critic
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Thanks, very thorough. That's a lot of miles in not much time! I'm curious why didn't you go with a pressure bleeder setup instead?
+1, I've bled many, many Toyotas with a pressure bleeder with no issues. Keep the pressure at 15-psi and you will be fine. The cap from AST tool is very good and will not cause a mess. http://www.asttool.com/detail_page.php?from_search=y&tool_number=TOY%2018B&total=41&offset=0&stype=advanced&manf=Toyota,Lexus
 
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The heavy silicone dialectic grease to seal the bleeder screw works for me too. Toyota calls that lower pin "vinyl tape" a bushing. You have to be careful what grease you use on the lower pins. I have found that all the Permatex goopy products they sell for brake grease will swell that pin bushing. Green,red, purple, they all swell that busing. I use SylGlyde and have never had a problem with it.3M silicone grease also works well in that application.
 
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I broke down and bought the Toyota red grease for my parent's fleet, Sil-Glyde works just as good. I've bled Toyotas with a Motive Products pressure bleeder, except for the [censored] cap, it works fine. The Prius gets taken into an independent Japanese garage for it's brake flushes - if I had the TIS Techstream I would do that as well since the brake-by-wire needs to be disabled.
 
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Huh, I like the idea of dielectric grease to seal the Mityvac nipple. I will try that next time. I need to do this again on my Toyota's. In at least my case, a Mityvac is useful for other things, while a pressure setup only does one thing, and plus the ones I've seen take up more shelf space. Plus I bought mine (barely) used, on the cheap. wink
 

windeye

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Kudos to you for sharing your experience on the Permatex product. I also use SylGlyde on other cars. NAPA stores have it.
Originally Posted By: HosteenJorje
The heavy silicone dialectic grease to seal the bleeder screw works for me too. Toyota calls that lower pin "vinyl tape" a bushing. You have to be careful what grease you use on the lower pins. I have found that all the Permatex goopy products they sell for brake grease will swell that pin bushing. Green,red, purple, they all swell that busing. I use SylGlyde and have never had a problem with it.3M silicone grease also works well in that application.
 
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Why you guys need to seal the bleeder screw ? Air does go through bleeder screw into Mityvac container, it is not possible for air to go through bleeder screw back into the brake system. I bleed brake systems many times and never had problem with air in the system with Mityvac 7201 after done.
 
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If I replace a caliper I'd prefer it to not have air coming out--Sure, just pull lots of fluid, and then pump the brakes to see if it feels well enough. But if I didn't have a stream of bubbles I might have a better clue when I'm done. Not that I replace calipers often. When just changing brake fluid I ignore the bubbles.
 

windeye

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Well, I get lots of bubbles even for a 1/2 turn of the screw. It's harder to maintain vacuum. Secondly, my experience tells me that there are some bubbles trapped in the screw if you don't make it air tight. I can see bubbles on the 1st pedal pressure right after finishing the vacuum bleed. Thats said, you don't have to seal the thread, as long as you do a pedal bleed after vacuum to get rid of all the bubbles. I suspect even you leave a few bubbles behind, you brake would still perform well, but I myself would not do that.
Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR
Why you guys need to seal the bleeder screw ? Air does go through bleeder screw into Mityvac container, it is not possible for air to go through bleeder screw back into the brake system. I bleed brake systems many times and never had problem with air in the system with Mityvac 7201 after done.
 
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Originally Posted By: windeye
Well, I get lots of bubbles even for a 1/2 turn of the screw. It's harder to maintain vacuum. Secondly, my experience tells me that there are some bubbles trapped in the screw if you don't make it air tight. I can see bubbles on the 1st pedal pressure right after finishing the vacuum bleed. Thats said, you don't have to seal the thread, as long as you do a pedal bleed after vacuum to get rid of all the bubbles. I suspect even you leave a few bubbles behind, you brake would still perform well, but I myself would not do that.
First, I never had any air in the system of all my cars after I finished the bleeding. I never tried to do a pedal bleed after the vacuum with Mityvac 7201. This is how I bleed the brake by the order: 1. Connect the hose to bleed screw and pump the Mityvac 4-5 times. 2. Loosen the bleed screw 1/2 to 1 turn. 3. Add brake fluid to reservoir as needed. 4. Tighten bleed screw while there is still vacuum in the line. 5. Disconnect the hose and go to next bleed screw and repeat steps 1-4. Note: There is a vacuum in the hose before bleed screw is loosen. Bleed screw was tighten while the Mityvac is still vacuuming therefore no air can get back into the system.
 
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Heh heh my bleeder is a 5 oz hot sauce bottle with enough BF to cover the hose end. and some old vacuum hose. I can't find he 3 foot length of clear tubing I bought for the job. grin2
 
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