29: Bleeding Brakes

After the wheel cylinder was replaced TD announced it was time to bleed the brakes. I take this news in stride. Being married for 30+ years to a car guy, I've helped bleed brakes on every single vehicle TD has worked on; Abbey, is no different.

It is boring, and I'm not sure why I hate it because I'm always the one sitting comfortably inside the vehicle mashing the pedal while TD is the one under it.

So THAT's what the little hole in the floor was for!

For those who have never enjoyed this *bonding* experience, the dialogue goes like this:

TD: "Down, down, slow, slow..."

me: "Okay, down."

TD: "Hold that," silence for a second, then "Okay, up slow..."

me: "Okay, up."

TD: "Hold that."

Repeat all of the above several times until there is no more air in the lines and you get a cramp in your foot.

Bleeding brakes is very important. Air is leaving the brake lines while all this lack of dialogue occurs-and-air in the brake lines means poor working brakes.
One can see why this is an important exercise.

Anyone who has assisted someone bleeding brakes knows not to say anything and just do what they are told. I also suggest everyone be in a good mood before you begin this task. I cannot stress that enough. It's also quite common to be sitting inside the vehicle and suddenly think of a thousand questions to ask the person under the vehicle about brake bleeding. As your council, I advise against this practice.
You also can't be interrupted. So let the dog out, feed the kids, and do whatever else you need to do ahead of time, because if you jump off the pedal in the middle of the process and leave, you will NEVER hear the end of it. (I'm using the word never here.)
People bleed brakes differently, and this guy's write up was amusing.
It starts like this:
If the term "brake bleeding" conjures up images of a clean, contented person stepping on a brake pedal while another grumpy, dirty, frustrated person yells, "Push down!" from under the car, your image would be correct.
Don't recycle all of your empty jars people.
You'll need them in the garage.  
The article discusses the importance of double-checking to make sure you have everything on your tool checklist in your immediate workspace before beginning this task. 
I agree.
I also just want to add that whoever is actually under the car getting grungy and watching for air bubbles should not be doing this on an empty stomach, so attacking this job after lunch is advisable.

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