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Doing a brake job myself help please

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Bheuring, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. obrien28

    obrien28 Midnight Engineer

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    Do yourself a favor and either buy or make a pressure bleeder (I took the latter route), it is the tesla recommend way and it works a charm, no need for an assistant to pump the brake pedal in sync with you and you put less wear on the master cylinder. The order is LF-RF-RR-LR for reference, though I highly recommend you look at a copy of the service manual, you can either get it at service.teslamotors.com or in other less scrupulous places on the internet (there are some forum posts about that). I would recommend a 2 year change interval especially if you live in a winter climate where they salt the roads worse than cod. After two years my fluid was brown coming out of the calipers and dark yellow in the master, some get away with never touching it, but it's so easy and such cheap insurance.
     
  2. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    Second that for a pressure bleeder. You can bleed the brakes in minutes alone with one, and fluid changes become less than an hour job including clean-up.
     
  3. Lex

    Lex Member

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    Brakes are the #1 safety system, and anyone saying brakes are an easy job made for rookies probably has not worked on many heavy vehicles that have been driven on roads that are heavily salted for a wide swath of the year.

    I am keeping my Model S clean and free of salt as much as possible, and was hoping that the brake components would last for 200,000 km of service with just fluid change and inspections. I'll be watching the thread now though, and keeping the air tools maintained...
     
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  4. Lex

    Lex Member

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    I'd have a visual look at pad depth first (depending on your wheels you could try a camera with flash to try to capture without taking the wheels off) and if they look good try a few moderate to hard brake stops. My brakes make loud grinding noises against the rusted rotors until a couple of decent brake applications (as has been recommended on the forums by other members in the past).

    My pads and rotors appear in brand new shape after 50,000 kms, 18+ months of Canada all-year use (after a couple of moderate stops that is).

    With regen you may only be using a bit of actual brake and the noise generated after a rain can be quite loud under these conditions, eg. under light applications after a couple of idle days in wet conditions, it can be laughably loud for me.
     
  5. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    You should schedule your overnight charging to end close to when you leave in the morning. Charging warms the battery and allows for full regen when it's cold out.
     
    • Informative x 1
  6. The Duke

    The Duke Member

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    The most common mistake doing brake maintenance is with bleeding.

    The Brembo performance set up has to be bled on both sides of the disc. There are pistons and therefore bleeds inboard and outboard of the disc. i.e. 8 bleed points, 2 per wheel.

    The single piston setup will only have 4 bleed points, 1 per wheel.

    I have a full write up on how to swap rotors over at RB which is where I got my rotors. You could use that write up for a Camaro as well.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. bcsteeve

    bcsteeve Member

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  8. Live_Wire

    Live_Wire Member

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    Link for the write-up? I ordered the camaro rotors a while back and they did not fit as the offsets were wrong. Pads were the same as the Camaro SS though.
     
  9. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    I have a pressure bleeder and I have had cars that you could bleed without even removing the wheels.
     
  10. Don85D

    Don85D Member

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    I agree with bi-annual brake fluid change mostly to save expensive repair of the ABS system. I use a Mighty-Vac to extract fluid at each wheel while keeping the master cylinder topped up. It's fast and easy however it doesn't save callipers from corrosion. I recently had to replace callipers on 10 year old vehicles that were seized. The problem always starts on the driver side of the vehicle where the wheels take more spray of salt/brine during winter (my theory). As the pads wear the pistons are more exposed even though there is a rubber boot for some protection. Pushing the piston back into the cylinder becomes difficult and the caliber needs to be changed.

    The good news is that for older vehicles your original callipers can be rebuilt for about $65 each and they are then a perfect fit when replaced.

    Brakes in salt/brine environments of winter driving take a beating and eventually need to have components replaced. It's part of my maintenance plan.
     
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  11. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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  12. bcsteeve

    bcsteeve Member

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    So, a lot of you are talking about changing brake fluid every couple of years.

    I've been driving for 25-ish years. I've owned (hmm) 6 cars. The first two didn't last long (I was a bad driver out of the gate... highly recommend parents spring for proper driver's ed for your kids!) and I had one that was primarily for parts development so let's say 3 cars. I had one for 11 years, one for 8 years and the current one I've had for 7.

    I have never changed the brake fluid in any of my cars

    Further, I've never even had it recommended to me at service that the brake fluid be changed.

    Not once.

    So how is it you guys are all talking about every 2 years?

    But maybe its me, not you (like every g/f said) so I did some searching. The consensus? There is no consensus. There is no universal recommendation. Each manufacturer invents their own recommendation and some don't even make a recommendation.

    Given that I never died... never had a brake failure... never even had slight problems with braking... I'm inclined to think that the manufacturers that suggest quick changes (Mercedes is an example) are the ones that make a whole lot of money off service (Mercedes is an example).

    This is the answer I got from this Cars.com article:
    My personal conclusion isn't that my experience was the right experience and everyone should ignore it. Actually, quite the opposite. I'm a little freaked out that it never came up. I never gave it a thought and I never read that you should do it regularly until this very thread (and I'm in the automotive industry! Albeit on the electronics side, but still). And it bugs me that manufacturers can't be bothered to provide a real answer. It is clear to me that it isn't THAT big of a deal and 2 years is probably vast overkill... but leaving it completely up to the owner to figure out on their own isn't right either.

    I'm probably going to go change the fluid this week and set a Google Calendar reminder for 5 years :)
     
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  13. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Like I have said before: most likely the majority of cars on the road still have the same brake fluid in them that they came with from the factory. All of the EVs I have owned (Leaf, i3, and Model S) have all recommended changing the brake fluid every two years.
     
  14. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    The danger is that brake fluid absorbs water, and the boiling point of the fluid decreases when it is saturated. Hot brakes with old fluid is dangerous. Dirty fluid causes increased wear on pistons and master cylinders.
     
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  15. u00mem9

    u00mem9 Member

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    Basic auto maintenance is something I feel a responsibility to teach my children. If your parents didn't feel the same duty, rather than spreading fear, set a goal to learn.
     
  16. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Yep, and most cars on the road have "old" fluid.
     
  17. Don85D

    Don85D Member

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    Kelowna is a Canadian desert and very dry so you may have survived without absorbing much water into the brake fluid. It's a simple process to change the fluid and if it reduces corrosion of internal parts, the process has value. I keep cars for the long haul and have repaired many brake systems so that may influence my thinking.
     
  18. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Weee!

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    You *should* be able to look to the automobile manufacturer for proper information on this... unfortunately it's just not the case. However, if you are going to look for a good, educated answer, then look to the companies that are in the hydraulics business, and not the companies putting pieces together to sell a car business.

    I would be a vastly more relaxed person if everyone had good quality tires, rotors, pads, and brake fluid. I'd feel just a bit more confident that they could avoid hitting me in an emergency situation. Unfortunately, as already pointed out, the vast majority of cars on the road have the original brake fluid, along with the cheapest tires they could find, gouged rotors, and cheap pads.

    Take a look at the color of new brake fluid verses 10 year old fluid. There's a whole lotta bad going on inside there. You have contaminates, molecular breakdown, and depleted characteristic specs. This all leads to reduced braking in an emergency situation, or in a repetitive heavy braking situation.

    Truly, you could probably put vegetable oil in there and be alright for a little bit, but that doesn't make it proper. o_O
     
  19. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    I do the change every two or three years. It's been scheduled as a two year interval on many cars I've owned. Since the supplies are cheap and the job is simple I treat it as an easy way to justify doing a physical inspection of the braking system.
     
  20. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    I like the way brakes feel after changing the fluid. Much firmer (less spongy). Dissolved water in the fluid makes the fluid more "compessable" so the brakes will be less strong with old fluid. Sure, the brakes will still work, but not as well.
     

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