Saturday, April 23, 2022

Sprinter Maintenance: One-man Brake Fluid Flush

The MB Sprinter owner's manual suggests changing the brake fluid every two years. The brake fluid flush is easier than you think with the right tool.

Parts purchased from Amazon

 Orion Motor Tech Brake Pressure Bleeder, European Brake Bleeder with Hand Pump, 2.5L Pressure Brake Bleeder with Hose and European Adapter
(Needs 2 quarts)

Tools needed:
  • 7/16 spanner
  • Empty plastic container/jug
  • 1/4" ID. clear plastic tubing (about 4 feet long)
  • Low profile creeper/ a carboard/ old blanket or anything you can lay down on
  • Gloves, rugs, degreaser or cleaner for cleaning brake fluid drips
The first step is to insert the clear vinyl hose end into the empty container. Simply drill a hole in the container cap and insert the end of the clear hose, making sure to drill a vent hole if the container is airtight.
You don't need the brass barb connector, but I happened to have some on hand, so I used it.

Next, empty the brake fluid reservoir, making sure to clean around the reservoir mouth before opening to prevent dirt from entering the container when it is opened.

To empty the reservoir, use a large Asepto syringe with attached hose or something similar. My 10-year-old Mityvac Fluid Evacuator, which I use for oil changes, was the perfect tool for the job.

After emptying the reservoir, refill it with fresh brake fluid and screw-in the pressure bleeder adapter.

Pour in the remaining brake fluids into the pressure bleeder reservoir.

Connect the pressure bleeder pump to the adapter and pump it up to about 10 to 15 psi. Check for leaks around the brake fluid reservoir and the tubing/pump connections.

Starting from the farthest (rear passenger wheel), locate the brake bleeder screw and attached the clear vinyl tubing while slowly opening the bleeder screw with an open spanner.

***Reaching the bleeder screws will be easier if you jack up the vehicle and/or removing the wheel. If you’re going to crawl underneath, lay down an old blanket or a carboard. I used a low-profile creeper and was able to slide underneath the van, though it was a tight squeeze with little room to maneuver.

The old brake fluid was brownish in color, whereas the new brake fluid was almost clear to yellowish.
You work your way from the rear passenger brake >rear driver side brake> front passenger brake> then lastly the front driver side brake.

When the new clearer brake fluid began to flow into the clear tubing, I stopped the flush and move on to the next brake. Maintain a pressure bleeder pump pressure of 10-15 psi and re-pump the bleeder as needed. When finished, make sure to tighten the bleeder screw but not too much.

***Make sure to regularly check the pressure bleeder pump brake fluid level, you don't want to be pumping air into the brake system.

Image of the front passenger brake, taken behind the wheel and facing the front of the vehicle. I turned the steering wheel all the way to the left and was able to reach in behind the wheel and blindly feel the brake bleeder, remove the rubber cap, connect the hose, and loosen the bleeder screw. For the driver side brake, I turned the wheel all the way to the right to reach the bleeder screw.

Different shot angle of the front passenger brake. When you're finished, pat yourself on the back; you deserve it 😊.

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