Ever seen this? Elantra revival, air in the lines

Feb 20, 2007
A few of us decided to get together and revive an ‘11 Elantra that had been sitting for 3 years. the owner had left the gas tank full, but obviously the tires were flat, it was covered in so much crud, battery was dead, etc..

the owner was able to clean it, install a battery and pump up the tires. He called me to look at the brakes. Car has 134k on the odo.

1. Master cylinder was full of brake fluid, dark but not black. I’ve seen far worse.
2. Pedal fell straight to the floor
3. No wet spots anywhere in all the places

was highly suspect of the master cylinder, but decided to bleed and see.
1. Right rear. Fluid shows immediately upon cracking the valve, and then so much air. And more air. And air after that. And bubbly air fluid. All the bubbles. Until mostly no bubbles but some, and they don’t seem to stop for a long while. They mostly stop after a while.
2. Left rear. Good solid bleed.
3. Right front, good solid bleed.
4. Left front. fluid shows immediately upon cracking the valve. No matter what we do, we can’t get any fluid to come out. Pedal just falls to the floor. Then, I had my buddy “smack” the pedal instead of pressing it. Voilá! Fluid comes out, with very minor bubbling. NOW we have a pedal, and now it bleeds normally.
5. Re-did the right rear again. A couple more tiny bubbles. buttoned it up.

took it for a drive. Did panic stops. Two-footed the pedal to see if it would sink… and it just drove like a new car. No sinkage. Consistent braking. Firm pedal.

he took it for an oil change and a car wash, then we waxed it, changed coolant and AT fluid, sanded, polished and painted the headlights. Car is ready for a new owner in need.

question is…. How did air get into the brake system without fluid leaking out? And how did the “pedal smack” change the fluid flow at #4? remember, MC was full when I started, and I’m sure the owner didn’t add any, because he wasn’t even sure what it was.

Salt isn’t really a thing here, rust isn’t much of a problem. Algae and green funk eating away rubber stripping might be, and UV-type damage. He “drove it like he stole it” after we did all the work, basically as a shake-down - they are polished now!