This is a how-to for all 2007-2013 Mini Coopers (R56) to bleed/flush the brake fluid. We used a Motive pressure bleeder & an brake fluid catch bottle. This will catch the old brake fluid. May seem like a lot of money for a specialized tool, but considering dealerships and other shops charge anywhere from $100-$125 for this service, I’d say it was well worth the money.The only other tool you need is a 11mm wrench to open the bleeder valve.
Admittedly the pictures I took weren’t fantastic, so I will be as detailed as possible until the next time I do this fluid change.
- Brake fluid bleeder
- Brake fluid bleeder bottle
- 11mm wrench
- 1-1.5qts of brake fluid (3-4 bottles of Red Line DOT4 Brake Fluid)
Step 1. Car up, wheels off.
Step 2. Locate the brake fluid reservoir, which is on the driver’s side
Step 3. Remove the white filter located inside the brake reservoir, then twist on the the adapter cap.
Step 4 (no pics). Pour brake fluid into your pressure bleeder. I would say go ahead and put 3 bottles of fluid in there. Close it up, connect it to the adapter above, and pressurize to ~20psi.
Step 5. Each brake caliper will have a plastic cap covering the nipple you want to attach the bleeder bottle hose to. The 11mm hex bolt under that nipple is how you open and close the valve. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.
Step 6. Attach the hose to the nipple. Bleed the brakes by turning the valve left to open it, and fluid will automatically come out. Do this from farthest to nearest – for the MINI’s case, that would be: pass rear, driver rear, pass front, driver front.
Step 7. Open the valve, and watch the brake fluid come through. Hopefully the color difference between fluids will be noticeable enough. Once the new fluid is coming through, tighten the valve, and that’s it! Repeat for each corner. Be sure there is fluid and pressure in the pressure bleeder as you go through. No air bubbles should be coming through the fluid – check your set up if this is happening.
It’s as simple as that! Make sure you’ve got enough fluid in the reservoir after bleeding the brakes. Test the pedal feel and brakes to make sure everything is working properly. I did my brake fluid after about 7,000 miles and 120 or so autox runs. The pedal feel is marginally improved on the street, just from changing fluids. I will give it a proper test on the autox course this weekend!
2 Notes: One, you can use a turkey baster to siphon out the current brake fluid before starting the process, which will help bleed the brakes faster. Two, theoretically to get all the brake fluid you should activate the ABS at some point, and rebleed. I wasn’t interested in doing this bit – for me, it’s unnecessary, and whatever’s in there will be cycled through and out at the next change.
Comment or contact me for any questions/comments! Do all maintenance at your own risk.