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leaking rear caliper?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by JUS3IN, May 16, 2013.

  1. JUS3IN
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    JUS3IN silver sleeper

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    [May 16, 2013]
    Hey all after my warning light the other day I know have no brakes! My rear caliper is soaked in fluid, any common faults back there??
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  3. JUS3IN
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    JUS3IN silver sleeper

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    [May 16, 2013]
    bit more of an explaination, the other day the low brake fluid light came on so i topped it up then i came on again so i topped it up to have a lookj the weekend, i was off to a british hotrod assosiation car meet this evening and after standing for a few days the car has lost all of its fluid it seems!? my pedal went to the floor and wouldnt pump up! had a quick scan and the rear passenger caliper is soaked and theres a patch on my shingle drive where it was parked... anyway jumped in my mates merc and went out... now im back!-) does anyone have a clue whats its likely to be? split pipe loose connection? broken caliper? ive done no work on the rear other than fitting my alloys so i dont think its anything ive done, i was suspecting the drivers wheel arch as i had all that area of while fitting the v3 mani.... also any pointers on bleeding, will i have to do all four calipers and will the abs be a pain?

    bit gutting as i was due to do some logging and fit my scorpion exhaust saturday now im may be grounded and driving the missus suzuki jimny lol!
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  4. Lewis583
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    Lewis583 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 16, 2013]
    Well if the caliper is wet then there is only 4 places it can be coming from.

    1. Bleed nipple
    2. Brake hose
    3. Caliper piston seal
    4. Handbrake mech seal

    The next step is to establish where the fluid is leaking from.
    Jack the offending corner up and remove the wheel.
    Attack the caliper with some brake cleaner and get the caliper as dry as possible while there is no fluid in it.
    Then top the brake fluid back up and maybe have someone pump the pedal slowly while you watch the caliper/hose to find the culprit.

    Once the cause of fluid loss is found then obviously next step is to repair. If it is a leaking hose then it would be a good excuse to upgrade to braided hoses, if you have the spare cash. If it is a caliper seal gone (I'm guessing seal as you haven't touched either bleed nipple or hose union recently?) then you have 2 options:

    1. Have your caliper refurbished by someone like Bigg Red (The only reputable company I know of that refurbs calipers) or you could see if you can get your hands on the seals and attempt yourself.
    2. Get an exchange caliper from the likes of GSF/ECP/Andrew Page etc. This option offers the least amount of down time for you car.

    Bleeding is a case of fitting an easy bleed and working your way around all bleed nipples on the car, starting from furthest away and working towards the master cylinder, not forgetting to bleed the master cylinder too. You may also have to cycle the ABS pump via VCDS to get any air out that may have accumulated in there.
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  5. TwinCamMan
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    TwinCamMan Member

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    [May 17, 2013]
    If it dumped all its fluid overnight while the car wasn't being used it's more than likely a brake hose. As Lewis said put some fluid in the reservoir and get someone to press the brake pedal, and wear safety glasses - brake fluid is bad enough on the skin nevermind your eyes, it's should be fairly evident where it's coming from.

    Is there a seal kit available for the rear calipers of an 8L S3? Just found that both my rear pistons wont wind back and the handbrake lever on the back of the caliper is pretty much solid. The dealers said that there isn't a kit for it, and an exchange unit setup works out expensive as carriage to and from Ireland works out quite a lot. I'd have no problem putting the seals in myself and the car being parked up isn't a problem for me.
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  6. JUS3IN
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    JUS3IN silver sleeper

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    [May 17, 2013]
    Cheers ppl and thanks lewis that's exactly what I was after, I'll have a look in the morning and update.
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  7. JUS3IN
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    JUS3IN silver sleeper

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    [May 17, 2013]
    hey, im thinking cheap quick fix with a breakers visit, are the rear brake discs on all mk4 golf, seat leon, a3's the same? if not which particular models are? as finding an s3 local is pretty slim!
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  8. JUS3IN
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    JUS3IN silver sleeper

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    [May 18, 2013]
    ggrrrrrrr, drivers side bleed nipple has shredded inside the caliper.... need a new caliper, what a sod!!!! was giving it one last bleed and was nearly there after bleeding the master cylinder... also found i had to bleed with the engine running...

    the offending part on the passenger rear was the bolt holding the brake pipe on, cleaned and instant gasketed it for a short term fix and it was holding....
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