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493 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
These instructions are for a '10 F07 but I'm pretty sure most models will be the same or very similar. There are a few ways of doing this from using a vacuum method, pressure bleeder containing fluid or the way I did it below which is using a pressure bleeder only to apply pressure with all fluids being only inside the reservoir. This method is cleaner and there's a lower chance of fluid being spilled.
This is, conservatively, a 1 - 1.5 hour process and pretty simple. I found that you don't need to remove any of the wheels which saved alot of time.
Although I haven't priced what an indy or dealership will charge for bleeding your brakes, I'm assuming it'll be at least ~$200.
It's recommended that brake fluid be changed every 2 years because being that it's hygroscopic (fancy word for a material that likes to absorb water), ultimately brake fluid will absorb moisture inside the lines and become less efficient and your braking will be less powerful.

Materials I used:

1. Schwaben 3L pressure bleeder/for European cars= $50
2. Schwaben catch bottle= $9
3. Pentosin super dot 4 brake fluid/ 1L (apparently, I was told this is rebranded for BMW, MB, etc.)= $12
4. Turkey baster= $3
5. 11mm open end wrench
6. 6 pack of your favorite brewsky

Total= $74

I chose Schwaben over Motive because it comes with a quick disconnect to the fluid reservoir adapter which was helpful because you'll fill your reservoir around 4 times throughout the process.
The process will be done from farthest to closest corner so bleeding will go in this order:
1. Right rear wheel
2. Left rear wheel
3. Right front wheel
4. Left front wheel

1. Materials

2. Remove the reservoir cover inside hood (or bonnet as they say in those strange countries) on driver's side. This is attached by 2 push pins. Use a small flathead screwdriver and pull these out. Notice in the pictures below that the cover is held on by 2 tabs by the wiper and a round-ish clip on the other end.

3. Jack your car up on the rear. I just jacked up the car in the center rear to get both rear wheels off the ground. Safety first, so make sure you use jack stands, etc. because you'll be crawling underneath each corner for this.
4. Go back to the reservoir and clean around the cap and surrounding area to prevent dirt from entering the system. Open the the reservoir cap and put the cap+tube inside a zip lock bag or something clean and put aside. Make sure you put a towel or something on the car because brake fluid is very caustic and will damage the paint.
5. Aspirate the old fluid using the turkey baster. You'll remove quite a bit of fluid. Try to aspirate as much as you can from the reservoir.

6. Fill the reservoir to the 'Max' line with the new brake fluid.
7. Screw in the pressure bleeder reservoir adapter and attach the pressure bleeder line. Be careful when screwing in the adapter because mine had a tendency to cross thread.

8. Go back to rear corner and find the bleeder nipple/screw on your caliper. It will be covered by a rubber cap. Remove the cap and place your 11mm open ended wrench on (I used the closed, circular side of the wrench). Attach the bleeder catch bottle tube on the nipple.

9. Go back to the front and pump the pressure bleeder to 10-12 psi.

10. Go back to the bleeder nipple/screw and use the wrench to turn counter-clockwise about 120 degrees. You should see the old brake fluid come down the line into the catch bottle. For a 3-series, it'll take around 0.1L to flush out the line but since our cars are much larger, I waited until I had 0.2L in my catch bottle. When the pressure goes down, simply pump it back up to ~12 psi. IMPORTANT: Periodically check to make sure you have enough brake fluid in your reservoir because if it becomes empty, you may introduce air into your lines which will be a major headache. I've found that each fill to the 'Max' line in the reservoir will bleed 1 corner. The volume will get close to 'Min' but won't empty out (just my experience but make sure by always checking).
11. When you see the old fluid at ~0.2L in the catch bottle, turn the wrench clockwise to tighten. Unplug the catch bottle tube and put the rubber plug back on the nipple. Now you're done with the first corner.

12. Go back to the reservoir, release pressure in the bleeder and remove the quick disconnect. Open the bleed adapter and refill the reservoir to 'Max' again. Repeat the bleed with the other 3 corners.
13. Left rear and Right front.

14. For the fronts, I just jacked up the car per side. Again, safety first so I placed my jack stands underneath the exposed metal area and underneath the lower control arm.

15. After completion, reset the brake fluid service indicator:
1. Start car without pressing brake pedal (just electronics are on).
2. Hold odometer reset button on left side of instrument gauge for 2-3 seconds.
3. This will bring you into the service reset menu.
4. Press odo reset button to toggle through different services.
5. Stop when you get to the symbol that looks like a circle with fluid inside.
6. Press and hold button which will give you a 'reset?' message.
7. Press and hold button again and the car will do the reset.

16. My favorite part of the day. Reward yourself for all the hard work or in my case, just another excuse to drink.

418 Posts
^ damn..... another project that I can totally handle on the GT, my Porsche (and soon my Audi). Man, I love my indy but I need to start doing this stuff myself....I cant tell you how many times I have had my guy change/bleed the dot blue in my Porsche before every track wknd.....

thanks for the great write up and pics!

2,480 Posts
My dealer charges $80 to do this, so, in the scheme of things, not too bad if you don't want to take the time yourself or buy the tools. Course, your next one will be cheaper, since you'd only need new fluid.
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