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 13 replies - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
    • Author
    • #452411

        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.


            I was wondering if there was a way to cheat and make the ABS valve actuate without the scan tool, maybe with the wheel lifted and the car in neutral you could have someone turn one wheel only while another person lightly applies the brakes you could trick the ABS into activating? Doesn’t the ABS look for difference in wheel spin?


              I want to thank everyone for their help on this problem I’ve been dealing with. Well I had the car towed to a friends dad who has his own shop and he finally found the problem after scratching his head a little also.

              (drum roll)…

              The front calipers where on the wrong side. The bleeders where upside down and hence would not bleed correctly.

              I can’t believe it lol. During painting and reassemble the calipers must have been switched on accident. And being patient but frustrated about them not bleeding right I didn’t think off starting at square one (where the bleeders mounted right side up).

              Shows me still and I hope reminds you all, if something is not working the way it should and everything and everyone is telling you your doing it right, check to make sure everything is assemble correctly and in order.

              Thank you all for your help during this process!
              Chris (hernadz9)

              EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

                Yea someone already mentioned this but I believe you will need a scan tool to bleed the brakes out on that car. Given the effort that you have put into it already I would say that it’s not something that your doing but rather something your NOT doing like using a scanner to bleed the brakes. Sorry to bring bad news but I believe that’s what your going to have to do. Good luck.


                  Glad you were able to get this problem solved. just have one question… did the mechanic who fixed it have the proper scan tool to get the brakes bleed or was he able to do it with out using a scan tool ? if he managed to bleed them w/o the scan tool there are a lot of dodge people who would love to know how. let us know please.


                    Quoted From 619DioFan:

                    Glad you were able to get this problem solved. just have one question… did the mechanic who fixed it have the proper scan tool to get the brakes bleed or was he able to do it with out using a scan tool ? if he managed to bleed them w/o the scan tool there are a lot of dodge people who would love to know how. let us know please.

                    I didn’t ask him if he had to use a scan tool or not. I was told by him over the phone and in person (of course with some laughs) that the only problem was the calipers where on the wrong side (D’oh! lol). He said once the calipers where switch and on the correct side he bleed the brakes normally and brakes are perfect now.

                    Thank you all for your help!


                      I know this is an older car but see if you have a similar problem, good luck.


                        not sure if link is working but go to and check the break bleed job on the general lee. I know it is older but might be a similar problem.

                        EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy

                          Sorry but I don’t believe there is a way around it, your not just trying to get the ABS to activate but also to move the fluid through the system and I believe a scan tool is the only way to do that sorry.


                            To bleed brakes and activate the ABS module, does the scan tool have to be an OEM scanner or would some generic scan tools offer that functionality? Some newer scan tools offer ABS functionality, but it sounds like you actually need a tool that can activate a device, rather than just show data coming from it.


                              It will need to be a bi-directional scan tool that has the ability to activate the ABS system (dumps valves and so forth).


                                I think the scan tool is used only if your going to bleed the abs unit itself and not the brake lines. If your just doing the brake system then you can do it in the conventional manner. Oh. and when bleeding, try to bleed according to how the system works.

                              Viewing 13 replies - 16 through 28 (of 28 total)
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