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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know the procedure for changing the brake fluid? On traditional cars it is a simple process of pressing the brake pedal. But on my previous hybrid (Toyota Prius) you had to first disengage regenerative braking through a obscure procedure. I imagine it is something similar on the Insight.
 

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I'm interested in this too!

I'm looking into getting a pressure bleeder to work with the Insight. It's safer than using the brake pedal method and only requires one person. This is the one I got for my European car: (most brands use the same cap)


Currently, it's unavailable, but there are similar models like the one from Motive. Honda has several different brake fluid caps. I'm waiting on an eBay order to test out the pressure with a cap I bought which came with a different pressure connector.

I'm considering using this Bosch 3-year brake fluid: (DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 compatible)


It's working well in my other car.

The videos I've watched for Honda show starting at the driver's side front wheel and going clockwise (looking downward). This is different from my other car where you start at the wheel furthest from the reservoir and finish at the closest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
This is perfect. Thanks for the printout! I'm surprised there is no special procedure outside of making sure the car is on. With the Prius it involved pulling a relay and using jumpers.

I'll try using a pressure bleeder. In the past I've used this thing called a W.I.F.E., but a pressure bleeder sounds like a lot less hassle.

Edit: I just re-read the instructions. I guess there is something special. If the car is ON the bleeding occurs between the Tandem Motor Cylinder and the caliper. If the car is OFF the bleeding occurs between the Pedal Feel Simulator and the caliper. From the instructions you have to bleed each wheel twice starting at the front driver ->front passenger->rear passenger->rear driver.
 

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Thanks for sharing @WorldThatHeSees!

Good catch, @PacketPaul! Interesting that it takes two passes for the Insight. I wonder if the current Civic is the same or it's necessary because of the engineering for regenerative braking. The videos I've watched on YouTube only do one pass. Some mention that if you have a diagnostic tool for the USB port you can also do an ABS bleed which is the only way to get that systems brake fluid refreshed.

I'm a little hesitant on the pressure bleeding for the Insight. The reason is that the reservoir cap closes in a quarter turn. On my other vehicle it is a regular screw top, so little chance of it coming off, even when I went up to 25 psi last time to clear some air. The air was from incorrectly bleeding using the pedal method, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would love to find a brake diagram to see where the pedal feel simulator sits relative to the caliper. I’m confused as to why I need to bleed the simulator four times, once for each wheel.
 

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I found this equivalent for the Accord Hybrid:


Not a full diagram, just some of the related parts. It looks like it's a hybrid motor only item, so the additional bleeding pass is probably specific to these models. It will likely require more brake fluid too.

Has anyone got the bleeding procedure done at the dealer? I'd guess they will charge more than for a standard bleed, such as on a Civic.
 

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Has anyone got the bleeding procedure done at the dealer? I'd guess they will charge more than for a standard bleed, such as on a Civic.
My dealership charged me the same flat rate of $90 for a brake fluid change last month.
 

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My dealership charged me the same flat rate of $90 for a brake fluid change last month.
I normally do my own maintenance, but brake fluid changes is probably something I'd leave to the dealer. After a very bad experience bleeding brakes on a 1973 MGB, I'v e sworn to never attempt it again. With that said, how can one be assured that the dealer actually DID the work? I'm not saying every dealer is crooked, but I would like to be able to verify.

Thanks!
 

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My experience at dealers has mostly been good. That being said, I have a friend who was a master mechanic, now retired at 71. I do most of my maintenance with him. He has told me lots of horror stories about things he saw when he worked at dealerships.

The brake bleeding is pretty straightforward with a pressure bleeder. As long as you have enough fluid, there's little chance of introducing air into the system, unless you open the bleeder screw too much. Usually it just takes 1/5 of a turn to get the fluid flowing.

@andrew28, did you check that they followed the double-pass bleed for the Insight? $90 seems too inexpensive to me for that.
 

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With that said, how can one be assured that the dealer actually DID the work? I'm not saying every dealer is crooked, but I would like to be able to verify.
The only thing I can verify is the brake fluid color. Otherwise you're going to have to trust your dealership.

@andrew28, did you check that they followed the double-pass bleed for the Insight? $90 seems too inexpensive to me for that.
No, didn't realize until now that was necessary. Even if I did the service advisor would just say yes and I would never know. Just have to trust them and I do trust my local dealership since I've been servicing there for more than 10 years including my previous Civic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Mechanics are incentivized to cut corners. Most mechanics are paid per-job, not per-hour. The quicker they can get the job done, the more money they make. You as a shade-tree mechanic are incentivized to perform the work correct. As long as you have basic mechanical skills and the shop manual, you can do a better job.

Every time I've taken my car in for work, I found places where they cut corners. A biggie is mechanics almost never use torque wrenches for precise torque of bolts. They are always overtightening gaskets. That is why after you take a car in for work, frequently you end up with a leak. Another is failure to re-install all the little plastic covers, especially underneath the engine.

My first car after college was a Honda Civic. The Civic requires a valve adjustment every 15k miles. Sure enough around 10k miles the valves started rattling. I took it in for the 15k service. No change. Went to another dealership and complained ... paid to do it again .... came out worse and now the valve cover was leaking oil. At 30k miles I decided to do it myself and purchased the shop manual. First thing I learned was the valves must be dead cold to perform the adjustment. The engine needs to sit overnight before the adjustment made. This requires the service center leave your car overnight in the bay, so it is ready the next morning. Both times, I dropped the car off in the morning and picked it up a few hours later. There is no way they let it sit the required time. Then I discovered the valve cover was torqued WAY to hard and the spark plugs were full of oil. They torqued the bolts so hard it deformed the gasket and caused the leak. It turned out every valve was way out of spec. So much so I was worried I was performing the work incorrect. The procedure is complex as you need to find top-dead-center for each cylinder. I put her back together using a new valve cover gasket, applied sealant at the required corners and torqued the bolts to specification. The leaks and rattling stopped. I had the car for 300k miles, and did all of my own maintenance work. Thing ran forever. One thing I learned over the years is the valves rarely need major adjusting. Maybe one or two would be slightly off. But never like I saw that first time. My guess is the first shop never adjusted the valves at all per the 15k mile maintenance schedule. The second shop, because I took it in explicitly for the adjustment, had to attempt the adjustment but did it wrong. I am really skeptical anybody's valves are being adjusted as part of the 15k service. It is so easy to skip and almost impossible to check.

As for brake fluid replacement. It is possible the mechanic will drain each wheel twice and torqued the bleeder valve to the exact correct tension. It is also possible they will use a turkey baster to suck the brake fluid out of the reservoir, fill so it looks new and moved to the next customer. You hope they have the integrity to do it right, but they are incentivized to do the latter.
 

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This is perfect. Thanks for the printout! I'm surprised there is no special procedure outside of making sure the car is on. With the Prius it involved pulling a relay and using jumpers.

I'll try using a pressure bleeder. In the past I've used this thing called a W.I.F.E., but a pressure bleeder sounds like a lot less hassle.

Edit: I just re-read the instructions. I guess there is something special. If the car is ON the bleeding occurs between the Tandem Motor Cylinder and the caliper. If the car is OFF the bleeding occurs between the Pedal Feel Simulator and the caliper. From the instructions you have to bleed each wheel twice starting at the front driver ->front passenger->rear passenger->rear driver.
Hey do you finally did the break fluid change? I would like to know the process.
 

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My dealership charged me the same flat rate of $90 for a brake fluid change last month.
Hey where's the dealership located. I went to my dealership today and they wanted to charge me $190, kind of expensive, I didn't do it anyway.
 

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Hey where's the dealership located. I went to my dealership today and they wanted to charge me $190, kind of expensive, I didn't do it anyway.
Everett, MA.
 

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The service department at my dealer quoted $182 when I got the oil changed in April. I checked with another person on a second visit for the fuel pump recall and got the same quote. It does seem expensive, but they have to do the bleed twice. I'm surprised at the $90 price Andrew got. Two people required and my guess is the procedure is rated at 1 hour.
 
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