1) Is it normal to see an air pocket in the clear tubing?
Yes, it is. In the tubing from the bleeder tank, the fluid tends to flow down the sides of the tube and typically the air that is seen is the air displaced out of the master cylinder or residing in the hose when the bleeder is pressurized. As the pressure increases you will see the air pocket shrink as it is compressed. If you look carefully you'll see brake fluid flowing past the air pocket to the brake reservoir. As long as there is fluid in the brake reservoir all is well. If there is a bend in the tubing from the tank to the hose the air pocket will be at the highest point in the tubing. However, if you see a stream of bubbles coming from where the bleeder tubing is connected to the tank that is a sign that the hose clamp should be crimped a bit tighter.
2) I can't 1107/1117 cap onto my reservoir. What do I do?
1107/1117 (caps that come with the 0107 and 0117 bleeders) caps can be difficult to connect. You must do the following:
If you still can't get it on - remove the installed o-ring and see if it will fit (it will not seal or hold pressure without the o-ring). If you can install it without the installed o-ring swap out the installed o-ring for the spare that was in the original packaging. The "spare" is actually a slightly smaller o-ring specifically for use with reservoirs that have thinner throats. We have found there is a high degree of variability in the inner diameter of the brake reservoir. The installed o-ring will work on the majority of cars, the thinner one should work on the rest.
3) Where are the instructions?
On older bleeders made prior to May 2015, The instructions are printed on the back of the tank. Now instructions are shipped with every bleeder. You can also find them here -- INSTRUCTIONS
4) Does the POWER BLEEDER work with all types of cars?
We manufacture adapters for most cars. Please refer to our application guide for additional information.
5) Why do I need to bleed my brakes?
Brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs water from the atmosphere, lowering its boiling point and causing corrosion. Particulate contamination--microscopic particles of rust and rubber--hastens the wear of moving components. This is why manufacturers and mechanics recommend fully flushing hydraulic fluid annually. In addition, whenever the hydraulic system has been opened (e.g. when a hydraulic system component is changed), the system must be bled of air.
6) Why should I pressure bleed?
Pressure bleeding provides a safe and effective way to flush brake fluid in its natural direction and remove trapped air and other contaminants from the hydraulic system. A Motive Products POWER BLEEDER is easy to pressurize and holds enough fluid for a complete system flush. This is contrary to reverse bleeding where you hook a pressurized line to the bleeder valves on the calipers can force contaminants into critical parts of the ABS system and master cylinder. Also, the typical method of pumping the brake pedal while a helper opens and closes the bleed valve can damage your master cylinder. By pushing the pedal past the normal travel distance the master cylinder seals on the piston can be ripped or gouged by areas in the master cylinder bore that are rusted due to severely contaminated brake fluid or worn.
7) How does the POWER BLEEDER work?
The POWER BLEEDER works just like professional pressure bleeders. A tank containing hydraulic fluid is attached to the hydraulic system via a special adapter. The tank is then pressurized. When one of the bleed valves is opened, old or contaminated fluid is expelled as new fluid from the pressure tank is added. For more information, please click here.
8) How do I use and maintain my POWER BLEEDER?
The POWER BLEEDER is very easy to use and maintain. For instructions on how to use the unit please see the support page. To clean the POWER BLEEDER after use pours denatured alcohol into the tank and into the tube. Dispose of the dirty alcohol. Allow the unit to air dry. Store in a cool, dry, dark area with the hose wrapped loosely around the unit without any kinks in the hose. DO NOT USE BRAKE CLEANER ON ANY PART OF THE UNIT. If denatured alcohol can not be found a mild dishwashing detergent or Simple Green may be used. However, insure all soap is rinsed out prior to air drying the unit and that unit is completely dry prior to the next use. We highly recommend replacing the hose every 3-4 years or if the inspection shows any damage to the hose. p/n 0409 on our spares page is the correct replacement hose.
9) Is the POWER BLEEDER guaranteed?
All POWER BLEEDERS are guaranteed for 1 year from the date of purchase. Should your POWER BLEEDER need service or repair during the warranty period, just send it back and we will repair or replace the unit free of charge. All POWER BLEEDERS can be returned within 30 days for any reason. Returned bleeders must be unused and include all original packaging and fittings. Unfortunately, Motive Products does not pay for return shipping.
10) It's hard to get the 1105/1115 Rectangular Adapter to seal. Is there some other way to get it to seal then using the chains?
In 2011 we started to make the 1105 and 1115 out of cast aluminum. We received the following tip from users that work on their classic Corvettes. We like the tip so much we're passing it on to you. Use a c-clamp to hold the adapter in place. It works great and is much faster to use than the chains. Also if you are using the chains and j-hooks with wing nuts feel free to use a set of pliers on the wingnuts if needed to obtain a tight seal. We recommend bleeding pressures between 10-15psi for the 1105 and 1115.
11) The brass fittings leak no matter how tight I make them.
The quick and simple solution is to use a piece of Teflon tape on the threads.
12) It's hard to get the 1101 Round Universal Adapter to seal. Is there some other way to get it to seal then using the chains?
1101 takes some patience to set up properly. It's really intended for use only with Toyotas and Hondas. The vast majority of Toyotas use a push-on reservoir cap. Hondas use a locking cap, however, the reservoirs are very thin and when pressurized expand enough to cause leaks with every locking cap we have tried. Therefore both Hondas and Toyotas need to use the 1101 adapter. The key to using the 1101 is to have some patience and easy access to the reservoir, if the reservoir is hidden under a cowl it will be very hard to use the 1101 or 1119 as you need to be able to get your hands under the reservoir. Always set it up without any fluid in the Motive Products Power Bleeder Tank. This allows you to pressure test the cap without making a mess.
First - take the gasket and place it inside the adapter cap.
Second - set up the cap with the j-hooks threaded thru the cap and with the wingnuts installed. Fish the chain ideally underneath the metal master cylinder but on some cars, you have to just run it under the reservoir as the master cylinder may not be accessible.
Third - tighten down the wingnuts. Pressurize the Power Bleeder - if you are lucky the cap will hold pressure - but usually, there will be a leak - most time you can hear it and tell from which side the leak is coming. Tighten down the wingnut nearest the leak until you stop the leak. Pressurize again and look/listen for leaks. This may take a few iterations until you have it to the point where it will hold 10-15psi. Once you are satisfied it holds pressure then depressurize the tank, fill it with fluid, and then re-pressurize.
Similar to the c-clamp trick used on 1105 some customers have been able to use clamps on 1101. Here are some pictures of a Honda CRV.
13) What's the difference between a Black label versus Red Label Power Bleeder Kit or adapter?
Red label kits and adapters use either injection molded or machined hard plastic reservoir cap. The total length of the hose with a Red label kit including the hose on the tank is three feet. A Black label cap uses a CNC machined metal cap; the total hose length for the bleeder kit is six feet. Also, Black label kits that use a female threaded cap also have a swivel fitting on the cap that allows the cap to be threaded onto the reservoir without kinking the hose
14) Converting a PowerBleeder to a PowerFill or PowerExtractor
We really discourage this idea. Not because we want to sell you another tool but from a safety perspective you'd be taking a huge risk. While a bit of brake fluid in your tranny or diff probably won't cause a failure, brake seals in calipers, master cylinders, and abs units are very sensitive to things other than brake fluid. Mixing a bit of ATF into your brake system is probably not a great idea. While you may do a great job in attempting to clean your power bleeder after using it for gear or motor oil why risk it?
15) Pump troubleshooting
A rule of thumb is that in an empty half-gallon tank 20 pumps should give you a 5psi increase in pressure so to 15 psi about 60 strokes. A tank with fluid in it will require less pumping as there is less air to compress.
5 things to check
1) Make sure there is a flapper valve at the pump's bottom. It looks like a rubber plug, it covers 4 holes that allow air to go out of the pump but doesn't allow air to go back into the pump.
2) Remove and make sure there isn't any dirt or debris in the flapper valve. Replace it and try the pump again. Occasionally the pumps are over-greased internally and you will see some blue grease between the flapper valve and the bottom of the pump shaft. Clean out the excess grease.
3) If that doesn't work remove the pump cylinder by giving it a quick sharp tug while holding the handle, the cylinder should come off and you should see a white piston on the end of a metal shaft. The circumference of the piston should be covered in blue grease. If it isn't please evenly distribute the grease and re-assemble the pump. Also, make sure the piston is actually threaded onto the metal shaft. We've had a few pumps escape recently where the assembly person forgot to grease the piston. Any thick grease should work as the fluid doesn't get into the pump unless the flapper valve is missing or bad. We prefer caliper assembly grease.
4) There is a rubber o-ring at the top of the pump cap. Sometimes they get a bit dry and don't seal well. Just put a bit of grease or brake fluid on it to make it seal better. We've also seen some pumps that shipped with an undersized o-ring. The inner diameter of the O-ring should be about ~2" when removed from the pump shaft. The undersized o-rings were ~1.75" inner diameter.
5) Check the top of the tank neck to make sure there is no damage to the neck that may prevent the o-ring in step 4 above from sealing properly.
If none of the above works please contact us at email@example.com
16) Do I have to bench bleed my master cylinder if I use the PowerBleeder?
If it's a new M/C and it's out of the car I always recommend doing a bench bleed - but normally you don't need to.
If you're having problems with a new m/c installed in a car try these in order
1) Make sure the m/c is level compared to the ground - if the m/c is not level air bubbles can be trapped at one end.
2) Use a brick or rig the brake pedal so that is partially depressed about 1/3-1/2 stroke.
3) Finally if you need to crack open the fittings on the m/c and let it force fluid out of the m/c - put some rags underneath to catch the fluid and have some water handy to clean off any mess.
17) 1108 or 1118 holds pressure up to 7-10 psi then leaks. It's very easy to only engage 2 of the 3 caps on the adapter, it will hold to around 7-10 psi and then start to leak. The best way to see if you have it on correctly is to make sure the cap looks level. You might need to lean down and look at the adapter edge to make sure it is level and try and look to see if all 3 tabs are engaged correctly.
18) My brakes bleed really slowly when at 15psi Rear brakes will always be a bit slower than fronts as there is a bit of a pressure drop over the distance from the m/c to the rear brakes. Typically 5 minutes is the most you will need per caliper if your brake system is in good condition. Usually, the real problem with slowly bleeding brakes is the soft lines. Are they original? If your soft lines have never been changed there is a good chance they are somewhat swelled shut which limits flow and can also affect the pedal feel. It can also cause a piston not to release fully and drag a brake. The rubber in the lines swells over time. Should be replaced every 10 years or so - more frequently where salt is used on the roads. Most brake problems not directly related to worn pads on older vehicles are due to old brake lines. The below video shows the difference between new and old hoses.