To Vacuum or not to Vacuum

To Vacuum or not to Vacuum

This is the type of call I get from time to time on my tech help line. The story begins like this. Dave calls from New Jersey, complaining to me that after trying one of the many vacuum bleeders on the market, he has come to the conclusion that vacuum bleeders won’t fix his “soft brake pedal” problem. Dave read all the hype about the “rock hard pedal” Phoenix Bleeder’s provide and believes his problems are solved. He buys the Phoenix bleeder.

What happens next?

Dave is now telling me that he’s sorry he bought the Phoenix bleeder, “it’s no different than any other vacuum bleeder and I still have a soft pedal”. Dave explains that when he used the Phoenix bleeder he was still getting air from around the bleed screw and was unable to get a firm pedal as promised. I then realize that Dave was only vacuum bleeding his brakes, instead of combining that with reverse or pressure bleeding. I asked Dave, “why are you using the tool only as a vacuum bleeder when it can do so much more?” Dave’s response … “It’s the only way I know how.

Please read the instructions

I then explain to Dave the difference between vacuum, reverse and pressure bleeding and that reverse bleeding is the most effective bleeding method since air want to go up. I tell Dave that a combination of bleeding techniques, such as reverse and pressure or reverse and vacuum, will deliver the “rock hard” pedal he is looking for and that vacuum bleeding alone is not very effective (as he already discovered). I also explain how to preload the bleeder with brake fluid using our patented priming system. Next, I ask Dave to take just a few minutes and watch the short training videos included with his tool and read at least the Quick Start portion of the user’s manual. If Dave really does watches and reads, he will learn how the Phoenix Bleeder can perform every known method of hydraulic bleeding to solve any brake or clutch bleeding problems. I also ask him to check out the Phoenix System website at , click on “media” and watch the demos. Dave called later that day to tell me the news of his “rock hard pedal” success using a combination of reverse and vacuum bleeding and made the comment “I didn’t know you could bleed brakes that way.”
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