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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, everyone, the Googles seem to have some conflicting information on which order I should bleed the brakes on my 2014 Pilot EX-L. From what I can tell, this will be the first full brake fluid flush on this vehicle, with just above 70k miles (just bought it a couple weeks ago!). Planning on using a pressure bleeder system for the first time, and I'm pretty psyched about it.

Long story, short: Does anyone know the correct order I should flush the brakes?
 

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70K and you're worried about it being the 1st brake flush?
Nice.

You don't want to hear about my vehicles brake fluids then.

You're doing the right thing, and NG has posted up the correct order.
I'm really not sure how much it really matters, but yes, there is an order.

Funny how there is NO BLEEDER on the Master Cylinder itself?
My motorcycles have one?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
70K and you're worried about it being the 1st brake flush?
Nice.
Let's just say that all my other vehicles are cursing me from the grave. I'm trying to amend my ways when it comes to servicing brake fluid!
 

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This is a different order. Hmmm.
Did you miss the part where it says flushing the system? 😁

That may be the difference. Since I don't drive like a bat out of [email protected]!! it is generally about time to flush and fill the brake fluid when I do a brake job.
 

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Did you miss the part where it says flushing the system? That may be the difference. Since I don't drive like a bat out of [email protected]!! it is generally about time to flush and fill the brake fluid when I do a brake job.
Brake bleeding is flushing the system. The pattern is either or and is important. I've been using the pattern I posted for years. I need/want clarification. Maybe a change as @aggrex suggested.
 

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Brake bleeding is flushing the system. The pattern is either or and is important. I've been using the pattern I posted for years. I need/want clarification. Maybe a change as @aggrex suggested.
Well yes, but as you know, they consider flushing when your pushing more out the bleeder until the color changes to near clear again. If you're doing it right, this also 'bleeds' the brakes.
But you knew that.
 

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Brake bleeding is flushing the system. The pattern is either or and is important. I've been using the pattern I posted for years. I need/want clarification. Maybe a change as @aggrex suggested.
I would disagree. To me bleeding is just that, bleeding the system of air. Flushing is removing all of the old brake fluid and replacing it with all new fluid. Flushing involved all new fluid as well as bleeding the system of air.

I believe that it has been discussed before on the forum that Honda has a different order than most other manufacturers. Either way, what I posted was Honda's recommended order for what ever reason they suggest this.
 

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I would disagree. To me bleeding is just that, bleeding the system of air. Flushing is removing all of the old brake fluid and replacing it with all new fluid. Flushing involved all new fluid as well as bleeding the system of air.

I believe that it has been discussed before on the forum that Honda has a different order than most other manufacturers. Either way, what I posted was Honda's recommended order for what ever reason they suggest this.
If your bleeding the brakes your flushing out old fluid. Just because you did it more until you saw clear fluid is irrelevant. The pattern is relevant in either case. Air bubbles can travel up the line. Get the pattern right and the discussion is over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
See, this is why I asked the question! Google had a bunch of different answers for which order we should use for flushing the break system. I’ll probably go with Honda Tech Training order that @Daltongang posted.

The good/bad news is that daycare just called this morning to let me know that my kid was exposed to the ‘Vid by one of their teachers, so I won’t be going in to work for two weeks - might as well do some planned maintenance to the fleet while I’m out!
 

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A couple things to think about...

For the OP, who is going to use a pressure bleeder, the order is not important. Use a turkey baster or similar to grab as much old fluid as you can out of the reservoir. Fill most of the way with new fluid. Connect your pressure bleeder, add a little pressure and verify no leaks. A little more (no more than 10PSI or so) may be needed to get flow through the ABS unit.

The biggest risk when flushing/bleeding is running the reservoir out of fluid. With the pressure bleeder, air will get pushed in and wreak havoc with your efforts until you get it ALL out. The ABS unit is a bit of a challenge to get cleared of fugitive air. Fair warning given! Just check the reservoir level regularly as you flush/bleed and you'll be golden.

For others using the pedal to manually flush and replace, the order becomes more critical. In ancient times with single-circuit brakes, you'd bleed starting at the farthest wheel and work your way towards the master cylinder. For Us LHD cars, RR->LR->RF->LF would be correct.

With dual-circuit master cylinders, the order gets muddled a bit because you need to bleed the rear section of the MC (front wheels) before the front section. So on our Pilots, RF->LF, then RR->LR, just as shown on the Honda diagram that Daltongang shares above. Again, this requirement is for manual or pedal-pushing bleeding, and is not needed if you are pressure- or power-bleeding. Or vacuum-bleeding, if you go that way.

----

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it tends to absorb moisture from the air. Moisture affects the boiling point of the fluid, such that a couple hard stops with damp fluid present a risk of steam bubbles in the fluid, and loss of pedal and braking. The moisture also promotes corrosion in the system, so even if you never think you'll boil the fluid, you will get rust in critical metal surfaces like caliper bores, the ABS unit, and sometimes even in the insides of hard brake lines. Hydraulic systems will literally last forever if you keep clean dry fluid in them. Honda has a recommendation of something like two year fluid change intervals IIRC. It's something you will want to keep track of if you are DIY'ing your maintenance. Else remind your dealer service salesman, as the MM doesn't have a calendar to trigger an alert for you.

Other cars in the fleet here have tighter recommendations. The German cars need annual changes, and any HPDE events get fresh fluid if it's been more than a few months since new. The exact requirements depend on the group sanctioning the driver's ed sessions; none are greater than six months. The Pilot and K's 4-runner get annual fluid swaps because it so easy to do all of them once I get set up to do the others. In the spring when wheels are off for post-winter undercarriage scrubbing, it's way easy to connect the power bleeder and grab some clear bleeder hose and just get it done. Everything is so nice and clean then, so a good chance to take care of all the undercar stuff at once.
 

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A couple things to think about...

For the OP, who is going to use a pressure bleeder, the order is not important. Use a turkey baster or similar to grab as much old fluid as you can out of the reservoir. Fill most of the way with new fluid. Connect your pressure bleeder, add a little pressure and verify no leaks. A little more (no more than 10PSI or so) may be needed to get flow through the ABS unit.

The biggest risk when flushing/bleeding is running the reservoir out of fluid. With the pressure bleeder, air will get pushed in and wreak havoc with your efforts until you get it ALL out. The ABS unit is a bit of a challenge to get cleared of fugitive air. Fair warning given! Just check the reservoir level regularly as you flush/bleed and you'll be golden.

For others using the pedal to manually flush and replace, the order becomes more critical. In ancient times with single-circuit brakes, you'd bleed starting at the farthest wheel and work your way towards the master cylinder. For Us LHD cars, RR->LR->RF->LF would be correct.

With dual-circuit master cylinders, the order gets muddled a bit because you need to bleed the rear section of the MC (front wheels) before the front section. So on our Pilots, RF->LF, then RR->LR, just as shown on the Honda diagram that Daltongang shares above. Again, this requirement is for manual or pedal-pushing bleeding, and is not needed if you are pressure- or power-bleeding. Or vacuum-bleeding, if you go that way.

----

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it tends to absorb moisture from the air. Moisture affects the boiling point of the fluid, such that a couple hard stops with damp fluid present a risk of steam bubbles in the fluid, and loss of pedal and braking. The moisture also promotes corrosion in the system, so even if you never think you'll boil the fluid, you will get rust in critical metal surfaces like caliper bores, the ABS unit, and sometimes even in the insides of hard brake lines. Hydraulic systems will literally last forever if you keep clean dry fluid in them. Honda has a recommendation of something like two year fluid change intervals IIRC. It's something you will want to keep track of if you are DIY'ing your maintenance. Else remind your dealer service salesman, as the MM doesn't have a calendar to trigger an alert for you.

Other cars in the fleet here have tighter recommendations. The German cars need annual changes, and any HPDE events get fresh fluid if it's been more than a few months since new. The exact requirements depend on the group sanctioning the driver's ed sessions; none are greater than six months. The Pilot and K's 4-runner get annual fluid swaps because it so easy to do all of them once I get set up to do the others. In the spring when wheels are off for post-winter undercarriage scrubbing, it's way easy to connect the power bleeder and grab some clear bleeder hose and just get it done. Everything is so nice and clean then, so a good chance to take care of all the undercar stuff at once.
If your alone I guess the pressure bleeder is the only way to go. Mrs Nail Greese knows how to pump brakes for me. It usually cost me dinner 😊.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If your alone I guess the pressure bleeder is the only way to go. Mrs Nail Greese knows how to pump brakes for me. It usually cost me dinner 😊.
I’ve pumped so many brakes in the garage as a kid, unfortunately both of my kids are under 3, so they’re no help! The wife, well, I’m trying to spare her the experience, hahah
 

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Honda has a recommendation of something like two year fluid change intervals IIRC. It's something you will want to keep track of if you are DIY'ing your maintenance. Else remind your dealer service salesman, as the MM doesn't have a calendar to trigger an alert for you.

Other cars in the fleet here have tighter recommendations. The German cars need annual changes, and any HPDE events get fresh fluid if it's been more than a few months since new.
Pilot is every 3 years. My BMW is every 2.
 

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A couple things to think about...

For the OP, who is going to use a pressure bleeder, the order is not important. Use a turkey baster or similar to grab as much old fluid as you can out of the reservoir. Fill most of the way with new fluid. Connect your pressure bleeder, add a little pressure and verify no leaks. A little more (no more than 10PSI or so) may be needed to get flow through the ABS unit.
This come in real handy when vacuum bleeding brakes by your self. Hook it to the brake reservoir and fill with fluid. With a vacuum pump order really doesn't matter either and pull fluid through until you have no air coming out and repeat every three more times. When you are done close off the funnel so no more fluid flows out, take a turkey baster to draw the reservoir down to the proper level and you are done. Never had a problem with this method. My hand gets tired since I use a hand pumped vacuum, but I can live with it.
 

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This come in real handy when vacuum bleeding brakes by your self. Hook it to the brake reservoir and fill with fluid. With a vacuum pump order really doesn't matter either and pull fluid through until you have no air coming out and repeat every three more times. When you are done close off the funnel so no more fluid flows out, take a turkey baster to draw the reservoir down to the proper level and you are done. Never had a problem with this method. My hand gets tired since I use a hand pumped vacuum, but I can live with it.
You know Harbor Freight has a vacuum bleeder that works great. It does need a compressor but compared to most it’s cheap and works great. I’ve had this thing for close to 15 years now.

 

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You know Harbor Freight has a vacuum bleeder that works great. It does need a compressor but compared to most it’s cheap and works great. I’ve had this thing for close to 15 years now.

I've seen those and hear they work well. I have a dislike for single takers though. I have a kit just like this one.

It works great for bleeding brakes, checking vacuum lines for leaks and other tasks. I got it as a package deal a few years ago with this>

Both have come in handy on many occasions.
 
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