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Self servicing - oil and brake questions

nick4501 Aug 20, 2010

  1. nick4501

    nick4501 Member

    Hi guys.

    Just a few quick questions...

    Firstly, my brakes have seemed spongey ever since I bought my A3 (2001 1.8T AUM) and they certainly don't stop me as well as they should! The discs and pads look Ok, so I assume they simply need bleeding. How is this done? Will I be forced to change the fluid? Does it involve using VAGCOM?

    And secondly... I am obviously going to be changing the oil and filter during my service, but I don't know what oil to use. I have read a lot on here about people using Quantum Platinum from the dealers, but I rang my local Audi dealer and it's seriously expensive. They quoted me £62 + vat for 5L! I have read other posts about people getting it for £14.99 + vat (I given gave Audi the exact same product reference code!). I'm guessing that a Castrol 5w30 will be alright? (My car has done 65k).

    Finally, I was also planning to replace my front ARB bushes. I gave the guy at Audi my chassis code, and he told me that they were 19mm diameter, but every other place I've checked seems to just stock them in 21mm - Is the information from Audi DEFINITELY correct?!

  2. Welly

    Welly VX220 SC Driver :)

    OK. For openers, Google is your friend: How to Bleed Brakes - Tips on Bleeding Brakes - Popular Mechanics.

    Bleeding brakes not too bad to be honest. You will need to get hold of a brake bleed kit. Two common types available. 1) Draper One Handed Universal Brake Bleeding Bleed Kit on eBay (end time 12-Sep-10 16:59:32 BST). With this you will need an assistant to pump the brake pedal for you. 2) GUNSONS EEZIBLEED CLUTCH & BRAKE BLEED KIT on eBay (end time 24-Aug-10 13:19:45 BST). This connects to one of your tires and uses the pressure to force the fluid through.

    Bleeding is done one wheel at a time. The "old timers" (like me) will tell you to start with the wheel furthest from the master cylinder and work your way closer. Typically, this would mean RR, LR, RF, then LF. However, it doesn't really matter if you start with the front or rear wheels, since they are on separate circuits on modern cars with ABS and stability control systems to be honest.

    At 65K, you might as well bleed all the fluid out and replace with new, however you don't HAVE to. After 65K it will have absorbed a reasonable amount of moisture.

    BEAR IN MIND, brakes are important. Very important. If you are at all unsure about the above - take it to a garage.

    EDIT: You won't need VAG COM to bleed brakes - VAG COM connects to the car's ECU for diagnostic purposes.

    I have historically used Total Quartz 5w30. Available for good money on the Bay here: 5 x 1 Litre QUARTZ INEO 504-507 5W30 for VW vehicles on eBay (end time 11-Sep-10 11:11:38 BST). Filter, get from a local motor factors, and I'd recommend replacing the fuel filter also.

    Most likely to be honest - I've not known Audi to be wrong about that sort of thing. They will get that info from the Audi ETKA system.

    I'd go with what they say. I got mine from Audi when I did then, and they were only £2 each or there abouts. If they're wrong, they'll take them back.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  3. rossbrownlee

    rossbrownlee Ross_S4

    Alright mate, to be honest with you I would take your car to the dealer for the brakes. They do a fixed price job for £49 to do a brake fluid change. This will be done using the correct kit by trained techs. By the time you buy a bleeder and brake fluid you will be quids out, not to mention the value of your time (saves you a job!)

    As for your oil and filter try opie oils for a service pack such as here : Opie Oils - car oil and motorbike oil sales and recommendations

    you could try asda mate for oil. I got 5 litres Mobil 1 5w-30 at a good price, can't remember how much but it was better than i had seen elsewhere.
    Castrol 5w-30 will be fine if that is what you are looking for.

    good call from Welly about changing your fuel filter if you don't know if or when it has been done in the past.
  4. nick4501

    nick4501 Member

    Awesome. Thanks for that guys. I thought it'd be a lot more expensive to bleed my brakes at the dealers! Might be tempted to give them and a ring and let them take care of it! Good call on the fuel filter - maybe it's the cause of my shocking MPG!
  5. Matt82

    Matt82 Active Member

    £50 for new fluid at the dealer

    £15 for a bleeder and £10 for fluid.

    half price does not = quids out

    as for oil, id stick with 5w40 tbh.
  6. rossbrownlee

    rossbrownlee Ross_S4


    No offence meant at all to the OP however, your brakes are what you use to stop yourself. either to stop or to stop you hitting something. If you aren't sure how to do it and do it properly then don't IMHO.
    £49 seems to me to be a very small price to pay to sort out a safety critical system, and for peace of mind.

    but hey, as always in the forums, it's your own car mate, suit yourself!

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