SteveMat
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:23 pm

2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:40 am

We have owned this 2012 FFE for about 3-4 years now and have really done 0 maintenance to it (pop the hood and see there is coolant is where it needs to be and rotate the tires). Was looking at bleeding the brakes and swapping the coolant. Bleeding the brakes looks pretty standard with a pressure bleeder but it mentions that once done, to go through the "Regenerative Brake System Calibration routine".

For the swapping of the coolant, seems a little more involved than a traditional cooling system, service manual mentions hooking it up and having the computer open the valves to 50% and running the 3 pumps.

There is also mention of a Coolant Filter.

Questions:
1) Is running through "Regenerative Brake System Calibration routine" required? If so:
Is there a way to run through the "Regenerative Brake System Calibration routine" without going to the dealer?
If maybe, is there a way to know ahead of time?
2) Anyway for a DIYer to get the crack the valves and run the pumps when doing a Coolant Flush? ForSCAN?
Assuming no, thoughts on
Emptying the radiator
Filling with new coolant
Drive car for a week
Repeat for 3-4 weeks
(I haven't done the math but seems like that would swap "most" of the fluid)
3) This coolant filter, it need to be replaced/cleaned? Seems if you pull it, it will drain and get air in the system?
4) Seems like the Orange Coolant has been replaced by the Yellow. If I did my pseudo coolant swap, that a problem mixing?

Anyone gone through these yet, guess not too many folks have as the Coolant is this 10 year/100K miles stuff. Had a little time so thought would get ahead of this.

Anti_Climax
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Location: The Valley of the Sun

Re: 2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:09 am

There is a shop manual out there in HTML that should have the process for draining the coolant and possibly the Regen braking calibration. I know I was able to find it but it was quite a while ago.

The filter is really just there to keep large debris from getting into the battery loop and blocking it (though when it catches stuff it ends up blocking it, guess how I know). Usually that's plastic from a pump impeller falling apart.

If the coolant doesn't look contaminated and you're not seeing indications of a filter blockage I'd leave it as is. Compared to an ICE, our coolant lives a pretty sedate life - much like the brakes.

Speaking of, that's another that I wouldn't recommend with good reason. If you haven't had to crack the lines for some other reason and you're not experiencing any indications of misbehavior like a spongy brake pedal, I'd maybe pull the wheels to check the pad thickness and leave it be if they don't need to be changed.
2012 Candy Blue FFE
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kalel14
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Re: 2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:42 pm

Ditto above. Do not change the brake fluid. Hydraulic fluid in a sealed system does not "wear out." The coolant recommended change is 10 years or 150,000 miles. That one you may be closing in on.
And I've seen some recommendations to go with the new orange fluid, but I'd get the dealer's blessing so I could blame them if it screws up.

SteveMat
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:23 pm

Re: 2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:26 pm

Yeah, I read the Shop Manual, that is where I got the information that you need to plug a computer up to have it open 3 valves and turn on the coolant pump while cycling out the old coolant. Without being able force the valves open and enable the pump, you are basically clearing out the radiator but not the rest.

With regard to the brake fluid, that in general is confusing. I think most modern cars don't have anything about bleeding the brakes. It seems like they are 99% sealed except on the reservoir tank, the cap as a breather hole? Is it still considered sealed and not need to be changed? All brake fluid that I have seen seems to turn dark after a couple years? Is that OK?

Anti_Climax
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Re: 2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:42 pm

The command for the pumps is probably in the Ford software (IDS?) It's a CAN command but probably not one that's published. If someone sniffed the CAN traffic when the pumps are turning on normally, they could probably isolate the CAN frame and figure out the data it's encoding to send your own. Not difficult, but tedious. Easier if you have a chance to sniff the actual command being run by IDS.

When dealing with bleeding brakes the concern is air in the hydraulic lines. Unless the reservoir ran all the way down to let air into the master cylinder, air won't get in that way. And if it ever did you would REALLY know it. You'd basically have to have low fluid AND have worn every pad to nothing to have it pull air in that way. I'd imagine the discoloration is probably fine suspended particles of rubber that have rubbed off various seals over time. Not unexpected and swapping the fluid is pretty much just cosmetic if it's not otherwise misbehaving.
2012 Candy Blue FFE
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SteveMat
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:23 pm

Re: 2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:01 am

Interesting, I suppose what you are saying is that brake fluid is a lifetime fluid? Playing the devil's advocate, isn't Lifetime generally described as 10 years so it should be changed at some point?

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to do unneeded work if I don't have to. Brakes feels fine, only have 29K miles on the ODO so pretty sure the pads are fine. Just seems like a long-time for a fluid that absorbs water.

I guess I am struggling with what changed over the past couple years, our 2006 Honda Odyssey Owners Manual states to change every 3 years - yet no mention of bleeding brakes on 2007 Dodge RAM, 2012 Ford Mustang, 2017 Jeep Wrangler.

To add to it, seems like Mercedes still calls for "Brake Fluid Exchange" every 2 years/20K miles
https://www.mbusa.com/en/owners/service-maintenance

And even weirder
2015 GMC - Every 150K or 10 years
https://my.gmc.com/content/dam/gmownerc ... owners.pdf

2016 GM - Every 3 years
https://my.gm.com/content/dam/gmownerce ... do1500.pdf

2017 Chevrolet - No mention in the Maintenance Interval but Owners Manual says every 5 years
https://my.chevrolet.com/content/dam/gm ... hedule.pdf

Regardless, whole thing gives me a headache :D

Anti_Climax
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Re: 2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:30 pm

Not thinking of it as a lifetime fluid, just noting that it doesn't have some pre-determined finite lifespan. If anything the various intervals you see speak to that fact. Almost any service interval you see is a "it's time to check this even if there isn't a problem right now and expect that it might need to be changed"

I can't conceive that a Mercedes is doing something so fundamentally different that a brake fluid exchange is a guaranteed necessity at 2 years. You're not wrong that glycol fluids can absorb water and there is likely some point where that will necessitate a change and 10 years isn't unreasonable.

I think we might have been thinking of different things at first. When you noted bleeding the brakes, that's a very specific thing separate from a fluid change. You'd bleed them after changing it, but bleeding in it's own wouldn't be something you would be doing on an interval without reason.

But if you want to swap it, it should be about the same as any other car - crack the bleeder valve, pump the brakes to push fluid out, close it and repeat while topping up the reservoir. Do it for all four calipers and stop when each runs clear. Easier with two people but there is a little one-way valve tool that will let you pump and fill without opening and closing each time.

For the coolant, there is a hose at the very bottom of the car where coolant returns through the battery loop and I'd imagine most of it would drain if you opened it there, but I'm sure you'd have to babysit it for quite a while as air bubbles out of the system. I wouldn't worry too much about massive air pockets since the pumps will be pushing things through pretty well when it runs.

Other than that, consider just taking it to the dealer and have them do it. The coolant system on this was not designed with self service in mind.
2012 Candy Blue FFE
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Heima
Posts: 150
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Re: 2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:24 pm

Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but Mercedes Benz has made some unscrupulous policy decisions in the past. For example, for both the smart fortwo electric and the B250e have an HV battery desiccant bag. Why? Well, Tesla designed the battery pack for the B250e and no Tesla's have a desiccant bag for the battery pack. The dessicant bag is a nuisance service. Mercedes Benz requires that the desiccant bag be replaced every year. And while that service is free of charge, the bag must be replaced within a 2 month window each year, and failure to have the bag replaced voids the battery warranty. So, you mistakenly miss the interval to have a near useless part replaced, and your warranty is voided. The majority of used fortwo electrics and B250es have voided battery warrantees because the previous owners were not aware that they needed to have this annual service done. Does Tesla have such a situation? Does Ford? Does Nissan? Does Toyota? Does Mitusbishi? Does Chevy? I don't think so.

So when Mercedes has the Brake Fluid Exhange program that is to be performed every 20k miles or two years, you can bet they will use "the lack of factory specified service at the proper intervals" as a means of denying any warranty coverage for the braking system.

Anti_Climax
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Re: 2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:15 pm

I figured about the same but didn't want to go too far off the rails.

In that vein, do it when it's needed, not when they say it's needed - unless it's required for warranty or something like that. But that's not the case here.
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triangles
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Re: 2012 Bleeding Brakes and Coolant Flush?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:08 pm

I feel the need to dispel some misinformation. You absolutely should bleed the brakes!!! The brake system is NOT sealed and DOT 3 or 4 (whatever the FFE uses) is highly hygroscopic. IIRC the owners manual says to do it every 2 years which IMHO is overly conservative. 5 years is the interval I use. Sure you could probably go 8-10 years before it absorbs enough moisture to destroy seals and corrode your braking system to failure. I suppose more or less dependent on your environment.

I screwed up and did not properly bleed them. I forgot this car has ABS, this is my first vehicle with ABS. I did the old school 2 person method of one person cracking the nipple and the other pumping the brake pedal. Boy did that piss off the ABS. Threw a bunch of DTCs. They all were easily cleared with forescan.

Coolant filter is for the battery. The coolant passages in the battery are practically microscopic. Someone said on the fb group that the filters are like $150 a pop! That seems a little ridiculous. A few minutes googling and it looks like it may be part# CM58-8A424-AC that sells for $30-$50 but the pictures don't look right... This spring I am going to do my coolant after 6.5 years even though the manual says 10 years. Since the coolant system is sealed I see no reason to replace the filter and I'll try to do what the workshop manual says.

I was also contemplating changing the ATF as well. I had initially planned to do that after driving a few thousand miles to flush out all the break in metal shavings from the gears. Hopefully the magnets have been securing these particles.
2014 Blue Candy FFE
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