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Old 11-02-2017, 09:04 PM   #1
bpriest1215
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Default 2003 Saturn VUE

Hello All!
I am new here and I am trying to fix my late grandmothers 2003 Saturn VUE AWD 3.0 V6. It began with frozen front brakes so I replaced both calipers and brackets pads and rotors. Bleed the brakes still frozen. So I replaced both front hoses. Bleed the brakes again now I have no pressure at all the pedal went straight to the floor with no brakes. So I replaced the master cylinder. Bench bleed the cylinder installed it and then bleed all 4 brakes. I only have a small amount of braking at the very end of pushing the brake pedal. Every time Iíve bleed the brakes thereís barely any air coming out. There are no leaks that I can see and the master is full of fluid.

Iíve run out of ideas any thoughts

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Old 11-03-2017, 05:44 AM   #2
waiter21
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

There should be no air..

This is how I do it...

Put a clear hose on the bleeder, place the other end in a small container. Use a small wrench to open and close the bleeder. During the blleding, the bleeder must be snugged up so it doesn't suck or leak.

Also keep an eye on the fluid level. If it sucks air, you need to start all over again.

1) Press down on the pedal and hold.

2) Open, then close the bleeder. The pedal will go to the floor.

3) release the pedal.

4) repeat this until clean fluid and no bubbles in the hose.

...
2003 Vue - 2.2L with Manual Trans. (Swapped)
Originally had 2.2L and Auto trans.

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Old 11-03-2017, 06:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

Sorry that was a poor choice of words. I know there shouldnít be any air what I meant was I have good steady streams coming out of all the bleeders meaning there appears to be no air in the system. My apologies.

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Old 11-03-2017, 08:16 AM   #4
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

If it has ABS there may be another procedure (though I am not sure). On some vehicles you need to activate the ABS pump with a scan tool

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Old 11-03-2017, 12:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

Incorrect. ABS does not create or have air in its system for one reason - abs standbys when driving. ABS is off when engine is off, on standby when engine's running and driving. This effectively means air will never enter the abs system. All flushing and bleeding procedures are always performed with the engine off. Every vehicle came from the factory setup this way.

The only way to introduce air into the abs system would be incorrect flushing or bleeding procedures where air is inadvertently drawn into a line or lines and an emergency braking event occurred where abs activated (the foot massage from high speed abs operation of its motor and valves braking and releasing one or more brakes). An incorrectly serviced brake system can allow air into the abs system, requiring a trip to GM to correct it. Brake shops may be correct air in abs systems - GM's scantool is used to exercise the abs motor and valves in a special procedure to bleed air from abs. No one without GM's scantool can bleed abs systems. No one.

As long as brake flushing/bleeding is performed with engine off, this ensures the abs and power assist brake vacuum boost unit isn't interfering with flooding/bleeding procedures.

ABS activates only when uneven surfaces creates the condition where braking will result in one or more wheels locking up otherwise abs is invisible to normal braking. The entire abs unit with its valves are all closed, effectively invisible to the brake hydraulic system in everyday braking conditions. Brake fluid within the abs system remains free of air. As soon as a braking event requires abs, electronics already detected uneven braking and immediately turns on the abs motor, pressurizing brake fluid, closing off all four brake lines and begins the high speed task of controlling each brake by applying brake pressure until just before wheel lockup occurs then release pressure to prevent wheel lockup - cycling pressure on and off at high speed results in the feedback into the brake pedal as a foot massage. ABS relies on the driver to keep the brake pedal pressed down hard in order to allow abs to take over braking. All a driver can do is steer and hope to avoid a collision while abs attempts to slow the car down to a stop. Releasing the brake pedal turns off abs to return to standby status.

Blaming the abs system for having air is from lack of understanding of how abs is separate from everyday brake service. No one should ever have to think about air in the abs system. If air ever entered into abs systems, braking fails. The most likely event in this extreme case, if it ever occurs might be failure of abs braking with the abs light turning on and staying on, indicating its failure and remaining off. When the abs light turns on and remains on, it detected an internal failure and disables itself from interfering with braking. Braking remains as if abs were never installed - locking brakes in hard stops as they always did before abs was invented.

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Old 11-03-2017, 01:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

So is it safe to say the majority thinks there is still air in the system?

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Old 11-03-2017, 01:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

No one here can tell you there's air in your brake system based on your descriptions. Unfortunately, not everyone follows procedures on brake service. My self included. Describe in detail how you bleed brakes.

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Old 11-03-2017, 03:35 PM   #8
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

Sure sounds like it...

...
2003 Vue - 2.2L with Manual Trans. (Swapped)
Originally had 2.2L and Auto trans.

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Old 11-03-2017, 09:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

I fill the master cylinder. Have a friend pump the brakes and then hold the pedal. I then crack the bleeder let any air or fluid come out then close it. Repeat the process until finished. The car isnít running during this process and I start the furthest wheel from the master cylinder.

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Old 11-03-2017, 09:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

Under most circumstances, about a pint of brake fluid is used to bleed a system. A quart may be used when a master cylinder is replaced. Master cylinders are bled on a bench or on the car but bled at the outlets first to ensure the master cylinder is free of air before pumping fresh fluid thru a system to bleed out all air in the lines, calipers and wheel cylinders. Once half a brake system is bled, pedal travel should decrease since one line is bled completely and allows the master to travel less - the piston working half the brake lines doesn't compress any air while the other half still needs bleeding. You should be able to feel improvement in pedal effort and travel unless a step was overlooked. In any case, if you go thru more than two quarts of brake fluid, something is wrong and perhaps its time to bring/tow the car to a brake shop to have more eyes on the problem.

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Old 11-03-2017, 10:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

So should I try to bleed the brakes again?

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Old 11-04-2017, 01:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

Bleeding brakes is your call, not mine as I or anyone else saw what you went thru and whether or not your descriptions are accurate and not leaving a little detail out that may have caused this problem to continue. If you went thru two quarts of brake fluid and still cannot have a firm pedal, its time to give in and take the vehicle to a brake shop. No one is perfect and all knowing. Accepting limits is part of life.

I nursed a 50+ year old combination boiler for hot water and zone heating system, a regular 40 gallon boiler. It finally failed and I went with a licensed plumber to replace it with a tankless combi unit costing some money. When all was said and done, the money was well spent as the new system is completely different from the old one. It took two 12hr days to remove the old and plumb in a new system. There was no way I could do that kind of work installing a new system from scratch. Parts replacement isn't difficult but I have to learn all the nuances of how shutoff valves are used to isolate faulty parts and figure out how to purge a system. There's always a plumber to call when its over my head. I don't know everything but I can learn when shown.

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Old 11-04-2017, 07:46 AM   #13
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2003 Saturn VUE

Quote:
I fill the master cylinder. Have a friend pump the brakes and then hold the pedal. I then crack the bleeder let any air or fluid come out then close it. Repeat the process until finished. The car isnít running during this process and I start the furthest wheel from the master cylinder.
Exactly... He needs to hold the pedal down when you open/close the bleeder, it will sink to the floor when you open/close the bleeder. Use a small wrench to open/close the bleeder, as finger tight will leak. He should only release the pedal after you finished with the open/close of bleeder.

You should call out DOWN then UP at the appropriate times.

Check the level in the reservoir after a few cycles, if the level goes low and it sucks air, you'll need to start all over again..

...
2003 Vue - 2.2L with Manual Trans. (Swapped)
Originally had 2.2L and Auto trans.

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