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This may be another dumb question, sorry, but how does moisture get into the fluid in the first place? I mean, isn't it a sealed system devoid of air?
And if so, we can't blame temperature changes for the moisture can we?
I can understand the need to change the fluid because of contaminants, corrosion perhaps etc, but it's the moisture thing that makes me wonder? ;)
No, that is a good question that I really can't answer. I believe like most fluids over time it gets contaminated and acidic causing issues with the braking system. That's why I change it.



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This may be another dumb question, sorry, but how does moisture get into the fluid in the first place? I mean, isn't it a sealed system devoid of air?
And if so, we can't blame temperature changes for the moisture can we?
I can understand the need to change the fluid because of contaminants, corrosion perhaps etc, but it's the moisture thing that makes me wonder? ;)
Expansion and contraction due to temperature changes needs to vent somewhere.

Water is absorbed through the rubber brake lines over time.
 

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First a single reservoir in the master cylinder, than a dual one, front brakes were separated from the rears. Currently using diagonals, so rr, fl, then rl fr is the proper sequence.

Have to those reservoirs full, with ABS, if air gets into the vanes, you really will have problems. Best way with ABS was to hot wire the ABS pump motor, with it running, just open the bleeder, into a collector of course, would only take seconds. Not so nice guys at GM want us to buy a way overpriced scanner now to do the same thing, don't give a dam about maintenance. Pressure bleeding is out of the question was to easy to put air in the system.

Vacuum bleeding is best, but should remove each bleeder first and coat the threads with Permatex non-hardening gasket maker, hardly no fluid will leak out, and this way you are pumping out fluid instead of air. Clear tube is necessary so you can vacuum until it comes out clean. I use a Mason jar, punched two 1/4" holes in it and soldered 1/4" tubing into the lid just to the bottom of the lid, no deeper.

Pumping the brake pedal will put those two O'Rings in a territory they haven't been in for years, may find you need a new master cylinder, can't buy those square O'rings anymore. Want to sell you a new cylinder for only $$$$$$.

Those steel clips are a PITA on the pad brackets, if in a road salt area trap salt, corrosion, expansion, and jam the pads so they cannot return to the home position. This is the first step, remove the brackets wire brush them clean and coat with anti-seize, should be able to replace the pads with your fingers. Can't do this without removing the wheel, also a good time to bleed the brakes.
 

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Sorry NickD, I appreciate your help but I'm not really good when it comes to mechanics. Honestly I'm going to sound pretty dumb but I did'nt understand much of what you said :( , are you trying to say that following this method is not actually good for my cruze?
 

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BMW says brake fluid should be replaced once per year, feel three years is good enough. Major problem is ABS, other problem is brake fluid is hygroscopic, in English, it absorbs moisture, forms a gum that can block ABS valves from closing. And if they stay closed, no brakes at all.

All the fluid has to pass through the ABS pump that uses a vane type of impeller that serves better as an air trap, and with air in the system, brake pedal can go clear to the floor. Not making this stuff up, this is the way it is.

To save a couple of bucks, using the rear two valves in a pulse mode to eliminate the proportioning valves, restrict rear brake pressure by about 80% that is required to prevent skids.

The more you know about this crap, the more paranoid you become. So maybe better off not to know anything about what's going on. Traction control, really a bad joke, doesn't know the difference between a real skid or a wheel slipping on ice, so when one wheel slips on ice, nature is certainly not uniform, stupid thing kills the engine and even a lot worse than those weak ignitions system locks.

Each wheel had a speed sensor, with wiring exposed to road salt, more problems. But yet some professor with a nice grant from congress says ABS is 14% safer and with idiots in congress, made ABS law.

Can you believe they want 770 bucks for this piece of plastic crap?



And this is only one part of this system. Cruze has one of the worse ABS systems I have ever encountered, should pulse a wheel at 10 pulses per second, this POS is more like one pulse per second, and sounds like the front end of the vehicle is falling apart. And pulsing the brakes is suppose to make a vehicle stop quicker on glare ice? Somebody is smoking crack.
 

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I'm about to do this myself, but unlike suggested, I just use a cheap oilpump, and empty the brake fluid container. Fill it up with new brake fluid; run around with it for a bit, and change it again in a couple of weeks.

It'll definitely improve the brake oil from what it is (my first brake oil was changed after 5 years, this one is in there for 2.5 years).

It'll not get rid of all the contaminants, but it's way cheaper, faster, cleaner, and easier to do!
I'm also sure there won't be any air bubbles introduced in the system this way.

And, I can do it all by myself.
No need for someone to be pumping inside the car, afraid the oil will miss the container, or the container overflows.
 

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OK, so brake fluid change was a success.

The $30 pump I originally bought for engine oil, was successful at draining the reservoir with the plastic suction hose connected to it.
The plastic hose fitted through the tiny hole in the reservoir, and bent itself just fine all the way to the back to suck out the remaining oil.
The pumping process was rather quick; a matter of a few seconds.

The reservoir holds about 6oz (roughly estimated) of brake fluid, and there should be about 32oz of brake fluid in the entire vehicle; thus replacing the liquid of only the reservoir, improves the fluid quality by about 20%, as the dirty fluid will just circulate back in the reservoir, and the clean fluid will find its way to the pads with each pump on the brake pedal.

By changing the brake fluid like this every 6 months, I will end up spending a little more on brake fluid, but saving on the cost of bringing the car in, with a mechanic (since I'm not allowed to do a full flush myself out or on my property; darn association rules).

A bottle should last me about 2 years, costing me $16 and less than 30 minutes overall work (in 2 years), as opposed to $75-100 every 2-4 years for a full flush.

As far as gunk and corrosion residue, it seems to find its way in the reservoir.
The stuff I pumped out, looked like tea with some smaller specks floating in.

I think this solution will be acceptable, and do a full brake flush every 100k miles, with the change of the brake pads.
 

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Does anyone know the part number for the rear bleeder screws on models with drum brakes? I'm only finding them where compatibility is listed for rear discs. The closest I found is ACDelco #13304908 for the Sonic, but not sure they have the same wheel cylinder as the Cruze.
 

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Does anyone know the part number for the rear bleeder screws on models with drum brakes? I'm only finding them where compatibility is listed for rear discs. The closest I found is ACDelco #13304908 for the Sonic, but not sure they have the same wheel cylinder as the Cruze.
Did you make any progress on this?

I got the same hit at Oreilly for the rear bleeders searching for both the LS/drum and the LT/disk brakes. Not sure if their data is telling me the truth, that both types use the same bleeder, or if their data doesn't actually include drum bleeder info.

That said, bleeders tend to be somewhat generic. You should be able to take your broken one (or the good one from the other side) to the parts counter at just about any parts store and get something that will fit.

Doug

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Did you make any progress on this?

I got the same hit at Oreilly for the rear bleeders searching for both the LS/drum and the LT/disk brakes. Not sure if their data is telling me the truth, that both types use the same bleeder, or if their data doesn't actually include drum bleeder info.

That said, bleeders tend to be somewhat generic. You should be able to take your broken one (or the good one from the other side) to the parts counter at just about any parts store and get something that will fit.
I found the same issue online with AutoZone, NAPA, and even RockAuto. The only bleeders that return in a search for the LS are for the Rear Disc configuration, which I didn’t think was even an option on the LS models…

After more research, I’m almost certain 13304908 is the correct rear bleeder. It’s listed for other vehicles (Sonic, Aveo, etc.) that have the same drum brakes (J93) as the Cruze. Only found a few places online that sell it and looks like it’s a special-order part, but hopefully it will arrive this week. My rear driver’s side bleeder is heavily corroded and seized; haven’t rounded or snapped the head off, but wanted a spare that definitely fits in case that happens. I’ll confirm that 13304908 works, and I also have spares for the front that I’ll test in the rear to see if they're interchangeable.

Aveo J93 Drum Brake:
Text Auto part Line art Vehicle brake Diagram
 

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2016 LT 95K
I like amsoil products and will likely switch.

guess I'm really old school. in the years I've been driving have never replaced fluid unless doing brake cylinder work. heard and believe hydrophobic fluid stuff. went on line and bought a brake fluid tester. 2 prongs in fluid indicate (leds) 0 to 4+% moisture in fluid. $12.00... [tested the tester outside of system and it works] tested fluid in system and 0% water. that was maybe 3rd time cap was off reservoir. road miles so not much fluid ever replaced.

sidebar. this all started when the Subaru dealer told my wife her Outback needed brake fluid flushed every 30k miles service department charge $159.95. Outback tested 0.0% and we're still alive at 65k
 

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I did this this weekend. Upgraded to some Bosch brake fluid, supposed to be compatible with dot 3, 4, and 5.1 and had good reviews on Amazon.

The old stuff looked like black coffee so I'm glad I did it.

I don't know how you were able to do this with the car on the ground and the tires mounted. I had to take all 4 off. Even turning the front wheel didn't give me enough room.
PITA taking them off, but made the rest of the job easier.

Thanks to the OP for the guide. It was quite helpful, as this was my first time doing this. I will definitely be keeping up with this on any vehicles I own!
 

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I'm curious. Since this thread gets revived every couple years.

Op says open bleeder and pump the pedal.
So open bleeder and push pedal down. You get fluid out. What happens when the pedal goes up? Doesn't it suck in air?

The correct procedure to slowly pump the pedal 2 times and press firmly then open bleeder. Doesn't apply anymore?

And is the procedure correct?

My Colorado requires rr. Lf. Lr. Rf. And a scanner to activate the abs pump while bleeding.

On another not. A motive pressure bleeder was recommended in place of the pedal method. $60. I'm looking for a pneumatic bleeder though. I have no desire to pump the handle 5 million times to pressurize the bottle.
 
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