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AudiDoc
AudiDoc, Independent Audi Shop Owner
Category: Audi
Satisfied Customers: 6457
Experience:  I've been working on Audis since I was 18 and own an independent Audi repair and performance shop
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Audi A4 Avant quattro: I bled my brakes but forgot to remove

This answer was rated:

I bled my brakes but forgot to remove the calipers before doing so and now they are locked.. How do I correct this error?

AudiDoc :

Hello, I'm Jason. I will do my best to answer your question quickly and accurately using the information you have provided.

AudiDoc :

Actually, brake bleeding needs to be done with calipers and pads in place.

AudiDoc :

how exactly did you perform the brake bleed?

Customer:

well I put the bleeder tool in the hole by the caliper and let it suck all the fluid out and now the claiper is clamped down on the rotor

AudiDoc :

Well, each caliper has a bleed screw that fluid flows through.

Customer:

I might have also mashed the brake pedal

Customer:

right.. both the back ones are locked down

AudiDoc :

what bleeder tool did you use? A vacuum bleeder? Did you continue to fill the master cylinder reservoir during this process?

AudiDoc :

meaning the rear bleeder screws were frozen in the calipers?

Customer:

Oh no.. The screws came out.. It was one of those tools where you stick the little hose in the a holes for the bleeder screws and it sucks out the fluid via natural 'non-mechanical vacuum'

Customer:

I did not fill the fluid as I was draining it though

AudiDoc :

Ok, so we've got a few problems here

AudiDoc :

1) you've got a LOT of air in the system due to not refilling as you went

AudiDoc :

2) an as of yet undiagnosed locked caliper

AudiDoc :

both rears are now locked down, correct?

Customer:

Yeah I knew I was forgetting something.. I was thinking that maybe the caliper is locked due to something electrical?

Customer:

Yes

AudiDoc :

definitely not electrical, on a 2000

AudiDoc :

rear calipers get locked for 3 reasons

Customer:

Which are?

AudiDoc :

1) parking brake cable or lever is stuck
2) sliders are corroded
3) caliper piston is stuck, which will require another special tool to determine

AudiDoc :

also, with the pedal application "mashing the pedal" during this process....

Customer:

Aaaaaaah! I think I did have the parking brake still engaged before I started!

AudiDoc :

well, I'd gently suggest that possibly a tow to a shop would be the quickest and most cost-effective solution here

AudiDoc :

however, I'll do my best to help out

Customer:

Let me run and check.. Be back in 30 seconds

AudiDoc :

however, please understand the limitations of doing this through the computer screen

AudiDoc :

and when you get back, even if you find the parking brake locked, you still likely have air in the system

AudiDoc :

and it will need to be bled out properly

Customer:

YTeah the brake was on

AudiDoc :

ok, that was easy enough

AudiDoc :

now, is there still fluid in the reservoir?

Customer:

I could still feel the brakes are locked down

Customer:

Yes there is still some fluid left in the reservoir

AudiDoc :

ok, that's good.

AudiDoc :

sounds like you're out of the woods

AudiDoc :

but fill the reservoir!

AudiDoc :

so you don't get air into the system

Customer:

Well there's not a lot of fluid left in the reservoir but there is a little

AudiDoc :

ok, fill it with DOT4 fluid

Customer:

What should I do after that?

AudiDoc :

well, if you've bled out the fluid properly, and the pedal feels ok, you're done

Customer:

THe brakes will just unlock then?

AudiDoc :

well, I thought you said the e-brake was on?

Customer:

Yeah it was I took it off but I stuck my hand in the wheel basin to feel the brakes and they are still locked down

AudiDoc :

feel the brakes? Can you physically turn the rotor?

Customer:

nope

AudiDoc :

ok, is the emergency brake lever on the inside of the caliper resting against its stop?

Customer:

Let me go look real quick

AudiDoc :

alrighty

Customer:

That's the white nub right?

Customer:

Everything looks as it did before I started bleeding the brakes except for the pads are pressed against the rotor so that it can't move

AudiDoc :

The pads always look like they're pressed against the rotor. Try this. Throw a wheel on, screw in a bolt, try to spin the wheel. There will be some resistance, due to it being a Quattro, but if you can spin it without a lot of effort, everything is ok

Customer:

ok.. Hold on a sec

AudiDoc :

no problem

Customer:

Yeah I can spin it

AudiDoc :

it's fine. There's always a bit of friction between the pads and rotor on any car

AudiDoc :

it takes more effort to try to spin the rotor without the weight of the wheel/tire assisting

Customer:

So all I have to do now is just bleed it again and remember to put fluid in as I do so ?

AudiDoc :

why bleed it again?

AudiDoc :

if there was still fluid in the reservoir, and the pedal feels good, I'd suggest not

Customer:

WEll I have to get the air out of the system right?

AudiDoc :

I assumed you ran the reservoir dry

AudiDoc :

if the pedal feels good, with engine running, there is no air

Customer:

No there was about an half inch of fluid left..

AudiDoc :

yes, I understand that

Customer:

Hold on a sec..

AudiDoc :

ok, but I do need to sign off shortly

Customer:

Ok so the brake pedal goes all the way down with ease

AudiDoc :

Ok, it needs a proper bleed, and that means not using the tool you're trying to use

AudiDoc :

which also means 2 people need to be involved

AudiDoc :

I'm sure the pedal mash didn't help

Customer:

Yeah I imagine not

Customer:

Ok cool thanks for all your help

AudiDoc :

Bookmark this for future reference

AudiDoc :

http://www.justanswer.com/car/expert-eurodoc/

AudiDoc :

and let me know when you're preparing to tackle a job on an Audi

AudiDoc :

Now, two person brake bleeding

Customer:

Will do

AudiDoc :

let me link you to a video

AudiDoc :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPwM2vn3bT0

AudiDoc and 2 other Audi Specialists are ready to help you