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How do you flush brake fluid


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8 replies to this topic

#1 pwoens

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 10:15 AM

I did an hour worth of reading and searching this morning and never found an answer??? Im probably not searching correctly....so be patient with me. Does anyone have a writeup or link to a writeup on how to flush brake fluid on a 96 outback wagon?

Also, I did read that with ABS you have to flush/purge the brake fluid with the ignition on. Is this true?

#2 pwoens

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:10 AM

Well...I did find something about gravity bleeding. Im gonna try this but if anyone has any input, it would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks again

#3 Setright

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:27 AM

Gravity bleeding is probably not going to be very complete. I suggest pumping fluid out via the brake pedal. DON'T push the pedal all the way til it stops, only about half-way, to keep the piston seals happy.

Also, the ABS thing: Leave the ignition off. There will be some brake fluid in the ABS pump that does not get flushed. A quick drive in the rain, with a few ABS activating stops will mix the pump fluid with the new fluid in the rest of the system. In principle, you should then bleed the system again, but it's not strictly necessary. Make sure there is no one behind you when you brake!

I have no time to a full write-up, and I would strongly recommend reading the Haynes Manual for the Legacy before you begin bleeding. That way, you won't make any silly mistakes.
Also, have someone help you. Preferably someone you trust and who knows how to handle tools!

#4 slideways

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 12:10 PM

I reccommend using a high quality brake fluid like motul or super blue racing. It made a big difference for me in pedal feel. IMO, its $14 well spent.

#5 nickb21

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 10:50 PM

Flushed the fluid in my 2000 legacy a month or so ago, should have done a writeup, but alas, no camera. :(

You should be able to find a haynes/chiltons for a '96, it would be a big help. I decided to buy a mityvac vacuum bleeder, so I could do it myself, worked out very well. Picked it up for about 25 or 30$ at harbor freight, comes with all the hoses and stuff.

I believe the correct order is RF, LR, LF, RR, i'll double check though.

I pulled the bleeder screws and wrapped the bottom of the thread with some teflon tape, gave things a better seal.

Other than that, just go in order make sure the brake fluid reservoir stays full, and bleed until the fluid changes color, then tighten up the bleeder. I think the torque is ~8Nm, but i'll double check that too, my books are downstairs.

You might also take a look at these: http://www.speedbleeder.com/ pretty cool.

Hope that helps some.

#6 pwoens

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 10:51 AM

Well...I did the gravity bleed yesterday and things seem aok!! I removed the reservoir lid, used a syringe to remove most of the fluid in the reservoir, and then hooked clear tubes to all bleeders and placed the tubes in gatorade bottles so I wouldnt make a mess on the garage floor. I then filled the reservoir back up with new fluid and opened all bleeders and let gravity take its affect. It took about 1.5 hours total until I saw clear fluid in all canisters. About every 5-10 minutes I had to add new brake fluid to the reservoir (used 1 canister total). After this was complete I bled the brakes just to be double cautious. No air came out of any of the bleeders and my fluid looks great now.

I test drove the car and everything feels good. My wife drove it about 40 miles after the job and said everything felt just fine. So, it appears that everything went well.

If by some chance, I missed something or did something wrong, please let me know as this is my wifes car and we have two little ones that ride in it all the time. Plus we are heading 300 miles tomorrow. But, I personally feel confident that all went well and we should have no problems. Im gonna test the ABS part later today.

#7 pwoens

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 10:54 AM

I believe the correct order is RF, LR, LF, RR, i'll double check though.


what happens if you do a different order?? I was told by the mech in town to do LF (drivers front) first, then RR, RF, then LR??? It seems to be working fine but maybe I messed up something??? Anyone with a manual have the correct order or know what will happen if I bled them wrong??

#8 cookie

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 01:59 PM

if you are pumping it out with the brake pedal.

#9 rweddy

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 02:57 PM

what happens if you do a different order?? I was told by the mech in town to do LF (drivers front) first, then RR, RF, then LR??? It seems to be working fine but maybe I messed up something??? Anyone with a manual have the correct order or know what will happen if I bled them wrong??

You vehicle will spontaneously combust. :brow:

Kidding aside I always start with the wheel farthest away from Master Cylinder then worked my way in.
So order would be Rear Pass, Rear Driver, Front Pass, and Front Driver.




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