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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Changed Brake Fluid with Motive Power Bleeder

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      10-15-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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Changed Brake Fluid with Motive Power Bleeder

I finally had the time to change out my brake fluid this past weekend. It's been about two years since it was last changed for free by BMW. I decided to do it myself this time around after seeing how easy it was.

I purchased the Motive power bleeder/catch bottle set and 3 bottles of BMW brake fluid from ECS Tuning. The power bleeder makes this a very easy DIY that one person can handle. For me, the longest part of the whole process was removing the wheels. Now that I have the bleeder I will probably do this on an annual basis. This job should not take any longer than two hours with the power bleeder.

There are a few precautions you should take. First, you never want the brake fluid reservoir to run dry. After each wheel, I'd recommend checking the reservoir to make sure there is fluid in there. Second, be careful when handling the brake fluid. You do NOT want to drip any on your paint. Third, make sure you do not overtorque the bleed valves.

I'm not going to write a complete DIY because I think there are several good DIYs that can be found via google and youtube, but here are the quick and dirty steps.

Supplies Needed:

Motive power bleeder and catch bottle set
2-3 bottles of BMW brake fluid
Turkey baster/syringe
Jack stands
Breaker bar, 17" socket, torque wrench (all for the wheels)
Box end wrench for front calipers (forgot size)
Box end wrench for rear calipers (forgot size)

Support the car on jack stands and remove the wheels.

Remove as much fluid out of the brake fluid reservoir as possible so you are not pumping excess dirty fluid into the system. You can do this with a turkey baster, syringe, etc.

Fill the brake fluid reservoir to the MAX line with new fluid.

Fill the Motive power bleeder with the remainder of the fluid.

Attach the Motive power bleeder to the brake fluid reservoir.

Pump the bleeder to 10psi. Make sure there are no leaks.

Starting with the passenger rear, attach your catch bottle to the nipple on the caliper and open the bleed valve with your box end wrench (sorry, I forgot the sizes). Continue bleeding until the fluid turns from dark to light and no bubbles pass through. Close bleed valve. Repeat steps in the following order: driver side rear, passenger side front, driver side front.

Release pressure from the Motive power bleeder and remove.

Top off the brake fluid in the reservoir.

Put wheels back on and torque to spec.

Old fluid:

New fluid:
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      10-16-2012, 03:27 PM   #2
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Nice work! Also harbor freight has a cheap pneumatic suction bleeder that I used, was around $20 as I recall. The motive system is much nicer though :-)
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      05-21-2016, 05:41 PM   #3

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2011 BMW 535i  [0.00]
If anyone is referencing this thread for the basic steps to change fluid, the wrench sizes are 9mm rear, 11mm front. At least on my 325i, anyway.
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      06-01-2016, 05:58 AM   #4

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I'll add... using a power bleeder is a must when bleeding the clutch.
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      06-01-2016, 02:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
I'll add... using a power bleeder is a must when bleeding the clutch.
LOL, hell yes to this.

Did it the old fashioned way on my e36 and re-priming the clutch pedal was a PITA.
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