As I mentioned the other day, I had to replace a frozen rear caliper on the W8. Anytime you open the brake system from “down under”, you will be introducing air into the system. Air tends to compress quite a bit more than brake fluid, which means you’ll be able to push the pedal to the floor, and still not stop. The fix? You have to bleed the brakes, which is a procedure that will remove air from these lines. Additionally, if you wanted to flush the brake fluid (for track day, or as part of your regular car PMCS schedule) you would essentially be doing the same thing. It took about 2 hours of painful stupidity on my part, and patience on my lovely wife’s part, trying to bleed them the conventional way, before I remembered how easy power bleeders complete the job. When I couldn’t find my power bleeder, I hopped on over to one of our local mechanics.
With my VW Passat W8 (or most any other VW or ABS equipped car), one MUST use a pressurized brake bleeder to pressurize the brake system. Using a MityVac Power Bleeder or a Motive Power Bleeder, these systems will pressurize your fluid reservoir to about 15-25 ft. # to push fluid through the ABS system. Without a power bleeder, all you’ll see is the bottom of the car, while opening and closing the caliper bleed screw, while yelling “pump and hold” to a person in your car.
The bonus is, when you use one of these, you do not have to have a second person in the car pumping the brakes…
I have no idea where my MityVac is, so I finally decided to enliste the help of a great mechanic here locally, Steve Newnam, at Anything Mechanical in Westfield. I’ve known him for about 28 years, he actually rebuilt my first Rabbit’s engine back in 1988 or 1989, and has always been my go-to for non-dealer related maintenance or repairs.
He was able to get me right in, and was able to quickly fix the issue within about an hour. This is not really a “commercial” for Steve, but here’s his contact info, if you wanted to use him for your service:
17922 Springmill Rd
Westfield, IN 46074
And, by all means, get yourself a MityVac or a Motive Power Bleeder. I haven’t messed with bleeding brakes in quite some time, but if I can’t find my power bleeder, I’ll end up getting another, and I promise I’ll have the best feeling brakes on my whole block…