Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need to bleed my 05 2WD MT EX w/ABS. I understand the principles and have bled brakes before. What I would like is clarification on the ABS piece.

What options do I have to address the ABS during the bleed (sounds like there are scan tools)? Does Honda recommend anything special? Do dealers do anything special?

Having used the search function, I spent about an hour reading to found quite a bit of good info, but nothing specific enough to rely on:
bleed in Maintenance and Service

While some suggest doing nothing special at all for ABS, there are multiple threads containing various strategies or procedures for dealing with the ABS issue. On a tangent, my MB E350 requires a Star (MB service program) routine to be run during the bleed. Of course, unfortunately it’s basically impossible for the E350 brake bleed to be a DIY project. I hate spending for this. My local MB dealer quoted like $195 for the bleed. Good thing I know a good inde’. But, you have to respect MB’s thoroughness. Back on topic….

One of the reasons I want to address the ABS is that I want to switch to Valvoline Synthetic. I think it’s best not to mix fluids/brands. So, I’d like to get all the old fluid out including what’s in the ABS. I could just use Honda again to prevent the mixing problem, but I would be left with the original problem of probable ordinary water contamination in the fluid which can lead to premature MC, ABS controller, brake piston, and muffler bearing failure (just kidding about the muffler bearing—it’ll do just fine for at least another year).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
All I see in the service manual is a normal system bleed. I hate doing brake fluid and choose to pay someone else to do it personaly. I went somewhere other than a dealer because I dident have one near my house that I trusted. Now I do so next time I'm going to the dealer for the honda brake fluid. I would just do the same if I were you or just use the honda fluid if you want to do it yourself. I've never heard of any problems with the honda brake fluid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
It sounds like you're flushing, not just bleeding. Bleeding strategy doesn't normally differ with ABS (especially if you already know where the air is located).
You need to find out if there is a specific procedure from Honda. I'm unsure as to whether or not you have to have a scan tool to move solenoids and other components into position. I'm also not sure if you need to charge the accumulator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
I've had very good luck/results with performing a normal bleed, then taking a short ride and "activating" the ABS on a slippery surface (big, heavy boot method), and then re-bleeding. A good bleeding of the system, performed frequently (about every other year), seems to dramatically reduce brake fluid contamination issues.

FWIW, the Valvoline Synpower (they call is "Synthetic" now) is good stuff, but will work fine with the existing Honda fluid. (It is DOT3-4 compatable, and isn't "synthetic" in the traditional sense...it is still hydroscopic....thus prone to the same problems as the factory fluid and all DOT3-4 compatable stuff)

Or are you switching to a "true synthetic" brake fluid aka DOT 5.1? I don't know if Valvoline still has that available. If that is the case you will need to get every bit of Honda fluid (DOT 3) out of the system, and disassembly is prolly required.

Good luck, have fun.

Will
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It sounds like you're flushing, not just bleeding. Bleeding strategy doesn't normally differ with ABS (especially if you already know where the air is located).
You need to find out if there is a specific procedure from Honda. I'm unsure as to whether or not you have to have a scan tool to move solenoids and other components into position. I'm also not sure if you need to charge the accumulator.
AT,
Thanks for the input. AFAIK, there is no air in the lines. If there is, it's nominal. I'm just doing routine maintenance. While I generally do not try to out-think Honda (I just stick to the owners manual service requirements), I like to bleed hydraulics every two years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I've had very good luck/results with performing a normal bleed, then taking a short ride and "activating" the ABS on a slippery surface (big, heavy boot method), and then re-bleeding. A good bleeding of the system, performed frequently (about every other year), seems to dramatically reduce brake fluid contamination issues.
OK. I guess I'll just use this method. So, the steps are:

1) Bleed.
2) Big, heavy boot method
3) Re-bleed

FWIW, the Valvoline Synpower (they call is "Synthetic" now) is good stuff, but will work fine with the existing Honda fluid. (It is DOT3-4 compatable, and isn't "synthetic" in the traditional sense...it is still hydroscopic....thus prone to the same problems as the factory fluid and all DOT3-4 compatable stuff)
Synpower is gone. Valvoline Synthetic has replaced it. Of course, there are arguments wether it's as good as Synpower. The data sheet is no quite as good, but some have speculated that the new product is the same as old but with accurate numbers. Dunno. Anyway, arguably its our best choice for an easy, off the shelf option.

Or are you switching to a "true synthetic" brake fluid aka DOT 5.1? I don't know if Valvoline still has that available. If that is the case you will need to get every bit of Honda fluid (DOT 3) out of the system, and disassembly is prolly required.
That would be a hell no. I might be stupid, but I'm not crazy. No DOT 5.1 for me. There is a DOT 4 Plus out there (in fact my other vehicle specifies it), but I'm not messing with it.

Thanks for you input. I really appreciate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
Woops....I made a big mistake in my post above. DOT 5.1 is the "DOT 4 Plus" or "Super DOT 4" which is Glycol based, DOT 5 is Silicone Based. That'll cause some confusion....sorry. :oops:

You could use the 5.1 in your DOT3 vehicle, but it would be kinda expensive. Avoid the DOT 5, unless you're sticking it in a H-D or classic car that gets little use and the moisture thing is a major problem.


Back on topic, I'm sure a good bleeding every 2years will keep your brake system in fine shape, no matter which fluid you use or what procedure you use for the ABS (if any). Like you, I like doing mine every 2 years (my bikes get done every February or March) and have always had great "luck" w/ calipers, wheel cylinders, master cylinders, and ABS systems.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top