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Problem Bleeding Brakes on 08 Dodge Avenger

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here Problem Bleeding Brakes on 08 Dodge Avenger

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  • #452392

      Let me say first, Eric the car guy rules! His videos on youtube and this site has been a great help to me many times! Thank you all! To the problem…

      This weekend I took off my brothers calipers on his 08 Dodge Avenger to paint them – Mission completed there. However, bleeding the brakes is a different story (I’ve never had such a problem bleeding brakes before) – I’ll list everything we’ve done so far.

      I reinstalled both of them, first the passenger side (I Did NOT have to depress the caliper to fit over the pads and rotor). I then moved to the drive-side and reinstalled its caliper (I HAD to depress the caliper to fit over the pads and rotor). Next I filled the brake reservoir with fluid (it had leaked out almost all of its fluid; its even with me keeping the lines elevated under the car and screw in them): So that’s refilled and I knew we would have to bleed.

      So my brother sat in the driver site and pumped the brakes 4 time(held on 4th) as I watch to fluid exit the pastic tube which was attached to the bleed on the passenger side (a good amount of bulbs came out) Next I went over to the drive side and did the same process. The pedal became hard but wasn’t back to normal. So I repeated the process 2 more complete cycles, (pass, drive, pass drive) – after each time making sure fluid was full. Pedal was now hard and good to go.

      However, after putting wheels on and starting the car and pumping the brakes to get pressure back…the pressure never returned – still had a very soft pedal which when pushed went to the floor. So wheels came back off and process started again. After 2 complete cycles (pass, drive, pass, driver) and no noticeable air out the pedal was hard again. Tires went back on and engine started once again soft pedal to the floor. Even pumped the brakes 20 times to no avail. Next I had my brother role drive up and drive back in about a 20ft path in the driveway pressing the brake often and slamming on the brake a view times. This seemed to help so he took it down the road nice and slow and had to use the e-brake to stop (along with dropped it in neutral). So off car the tires and a few call to friends…

      They told me since we had the calipers all the way off there would be ALOT of air. At this point though we had used almost 1qt of brake fluid and still soft pedal when the car starts. We however repeated bleeding the brakes with 10 pumps (held on tenth) on each side for one cycle (pass, drive) – no noticeable bubbles coming out. Got hard pedal with the car off again, started the car and pedal went soft again.

      I have bleed many brakes before, but can’t understand why I cant get the air out of the unit. Below is symptoms of what I hear, see, and feel (above is my process)

      – When brakes are bleed now, No air is spotted exiting the bleeder through the hose.
      – When car is OFF pedal gets hard (with or without a cycle of bleeding).
      – When car is ON pedal goes back to soft and all the way to the floor when pushed down.
      – When car is ON and pedal is pushed it sounds like air is being sucked in through somewhere(by listening sounds like the reservoir or master cylinder – I think it might be the extra air moving through the system.

      This bleeding on this 08 Avenger is just driving me crazy! We’ve used 1qt of brake fluid so far along with over 5 hours of thinking, bleeding, testing -when the process is suppose to take only 10-15 minutes and little fluid loss.

      Thank you all for any help you can provide!

      PS: I hope, Eric The Car Guy sees this post (crossing my fingers)

    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
    • Author
    • #452395

        I called a fellow mechanic of mine when I get the job done and he said to gravity bleed the system also. I understand the concept. But should I have both the front left and front right bleeder open while it bleeds itself for awhile? or just one at a time? Also should I have the ignition to the “On” position when doing so to cycle the ABS system and cylinder? (I forgot if he said to do so or not when gravity bleeding).

        Thank you all

        Third GearThird Gear

          PB Blaster works pretty good. An 08 and they already rusted bad? Well, to minimize your chances of killing the bleeder get a wrench or socket that is a hex, no 12 points. A hex is mandatory if you are trying to break something loose or using a lot of force. A little heat might help break it loose as well, just be careful because penetrating oils are very flammable. You can find replacement bleeders if necessary, but sometimes it might take some detective work.

          Okay scratch that, I had some suspicions about the ABS unit interfering with a traditional bleed – so I looked around on Google and someone said that you need a special too to hold open the ABS hydraulic control valve or else you will never get the air out of the system and only the dealers have this tool. So, unfortunately you might end up taking the car to dealer to have the system bled properly.


            Thanks Third Gear! I’m going to try the gravity bleed on the front end first. If that does not work I’ll move to the back end and bleed normal cycle from farthest to nearest the reservoir. If it comes down to it I’ll drive the car to my mechanic who owns a shop late at night and he can give it a shoot tomorrow. I hope to bleeding your brakes does not require a trip to a dealership (cars nowadays tisk, tisk). Either way the lack of brakes would make it a hazard driving anywhere with stop lights.

            Third GearThird Gear

              Sure, no problem, happy to help. Some things I know, some I don’t, but that’s what ETCG is all about, sharing and learning.

              I would recommend you find a friend that has Auto Club or similar and use one of their tows. Brakes are the most important thing on a car. I wonder if you can get a better pedal if you cycle the ignition on/off while doing a traditional bleed? Good luck, keep us posted.


                I wonder if having the engine running while bleeding would help.. hhmm…


                  [quote]Quoted From Trcustoms719:
                  I would try pressure bleeding the system.
                  Heres how:

                  [*]Attach the pressure bleeding equipment to the Master Cylinder.
                  [*]Attach a clear plastic hose to the bleeder screw and feed the hose into a clear jar containing enough fresh brake fluid to submerge the end of the hose.
                  [*]Open the bleeder screw at least one full turn or more to obtain a steady stream of brake fluid.
                  [*]After approximately 4


                    Does the vehicle have ABS?

                    When bleeding brakes on front wheel drive vehicles, you have to bleed the rear brakes also due to the hydraulic system being diagonally split. There is a specific sequence to bleeding diagonally split braking systems. That sequence is right rear, left front, left rear and right font.

                    There is some vacuum assisted equipment out there such as a Motive Power bleeder that is a very handy tool.

                    Third GearThird Gear

                      Chris, do you make it clear to the person helping you NOT to lift the brake pedal until you tighten the bleeder and you give them the OK?

                      Did you bleed the rear brakes as well? It seems like the master went completely dry – so you need to do the whole system. Start with wheel furthest from the master cylinder, usually passenger rear, then driver rear, passenger front, driver front.


                        Thank you for the quick response!

                        Yes, he was told to keep the pedal pushed to the floor until I tighted the bleeder and was then told to lift his foot of the brake.

                        After having trouble bleeding the front I went to bleed the back (thinking that might help) but the bleeders are well rusted and WD40 (heard maybe use PB Blaster?) didn’t work well enough to loosen them – My wrench was going to strip them.

                        My friends said the air should travle to the highest point (and I knew that) – the car was jacked up in the front. So, I’m mean theory says the air should be in the front highest point, but I might have to try and get those rear bleeders off on the back. I just don’t want to stripped those rear bleeders or forbid break off.

                        What do you think?

                        Thank you!


                          Great info hernadz9. I am in agreement with dreamer2355 with regards to bleeding the brakes. Make sure to bleed all four at the bleeder valves. Hopefully the rear bleeders will “give” so that you can finally bleed the rear brake lines. Good luck and keep us posted.


                            Hey everyone, thank you for your responses so far! I still haven’t fixed the problem (shacking my head).

                            I did get the rear bleeders off with PB Blaster and was able to bleed the back end – both rear right and rear left had a great deal of air in the line as it came out. I however went in a different sequence than what dreamer2355 said to do (did not see your post until now) – I did pass rear, drive rear, pass front, driver front. However it still did not fix my problem. I also gravity bleed the front end for just over an hour before doing the manual bleeing as I stated above^^^. Heres what we did…

                            – Gravity bleed brake (No change)
                            – Bleed back end by process stated above (could this affect results?)
                            – Made sure brake fluid was topped off.
                            – Since rear end bleeding didn’t help I did a 3 cycle front end bleeding.
                            – Didn’t improve much so I try with the car ON position (not running); mechanic friend said that might help cycle the ABS system – Didn’t help.

                            So now I still have a darn soft pedal after going through 70oz of brake fluid and hours of work. My brother and I where going to drive the car to the mechanic late during the night last night, but its just to unsafe to drive.

                            Here are a few key things I’m finding out…
                            1) When car is off and manual bleeding is showing no air in the front lines.
                            2) After bleeders are sealed and car off pedal testing give hard pedal every time.
                            3) When cars on pedal goes soft again (all the way to the floor)
                            4) Testing braking in short distance… If pedal pushed often and in fast intervals car stops as should. If foot left off pedal for any short distance (ie 5ft) pedals soft and cant stop car.
                            5) I also see when car lifted and wheels off and car in Drive and brake pushed to the ground drive side front wheel doesnt spin, but passenger side does. Also even if brake is not pushed driver side does not spin wheel at all; while pass side spins fine.

                            response to posts…
                            Trcustoms719 – I wish I had a pressure bleeder. It would have made this much easier. Also tried running the engine while bleeding as you said, no big improvement.
                            Dreamer2355 – This 08 Avenger does have ABS. I did not see your post until now and last night I bleed them by doing (right rear, left rear, right front, left front). Do you think this could have cause my No results?
                            BigC – Thank you. I’m trying to provide (remember everything) I can to you guys. I did get those rear bleeders finally off enough to bleed (thank you PB Blaster)

                            Thank you all for your continued help!
                            Chris (hernadz9)


                              Hello, not sure if this might be your problem but i bleed my brakes all around, i got abs also, and when car was off pedal was hard, when car on pedal went to floor, Well after a long time trying to figure out why, i peeled back the rubber boot on rear wheel cylinder and there was a small pinhole leaking fluid out, Check your wheel cylinders in rear if u have drum brakes…hope this helps….


                                I just finished doing some research about your problem. every site I checked said the same thing… you need a scan tool to bleed the brakes on this car. the scan tool needs to operate the abs proportioning valve in order to remove the air. with out the tool you just can’t get the air out you might check the scan tools sold at parts stores to see if they sell one with this capability. I bought mine at pep boys ( an innova scan tool ) works well but not sure if it has the abs capability. hope this info helps.


                                  I’m glad the vehicle is fixed!

                                  It did make me laugh about the caliper being on the wrong side but again, many of us have made some silly and embarrassing mistakes so dont feel bad!

                                  Third GearThird Gear

                                    It would probably cost too much for hernadz9 to buy a tool that has the ability to turn off & on such functions. The scanners out there only do generic things. The actuating of the ABS valve is very vehicle specific programming that probably only the dealers have. It would probably be a lot cheaper to have the dealer bleed the brakes and be done with it.

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