Brake bleeders keep leaking

I have an 06 Honda Element. I recently replaced the entire break system except the master, booster and brake lines. I replaced all of it with “store-house” brand products, rotors, pads and calipers. The vehicle has had a soft pedal issue ever since. I finally found the source of the problem. My issue is this. I cannot get two calipers to stop leaking around the bleeder screw. I have tried everything, new bleeders…new oem bleeders and they still leak. I have replaced the caliper twice and it still leaks. I have used a trorque wrench and torqued it to the factory specification. I have tried tightening tighter then spec and it still leaks. I have tried tightening a little bit each time until the bleeder won’t tighen up any more. Nothing has worked. Is there any other issue that could cause a bleeder to leak other then crappy calipers and bleeder screws? The calipers are remanufactured units with the exception of one. The box said “new unit”. I am down to my last straw and about to buy new OEM calipers and or speed bleeders. Any advice? This is driving me nuts.

What brand of caliper are you using? It sounds like they may be doing a poor job of machining the threads for the bleeder screws…

I also normally add a small amount of blue loctite to the bleeder screws to ensure a leak-free installation; just be sure to use the blue stuff not the red stuff.

If someone came into my shop, and I saw Locktite on the bleeders?

I’d tell the owner, “Get outta here!”



Return them for a refund or credit towards calipers that work right. Set it up before you remove them. You’d be angry if they refused to take them, but it would be much worse if you had them on the counter when they refused.

Blue loctite is not the sealing loctite nor does a bleeder seal on the threads! The bleeder seals of the taper machined onto the bleed screw and into the caliper. The best blue loctite can do is keep the threads from corroding and the least it can do is really tick off the next mechanic that works on it!


I had rather not say what brand it is other then its a store brand nationwide. I don’t want to bash anyone. However, I will say it’s not nappa. The front and rear driver is leaking. I have replaced the front once already due to a seized piston. I do not know if it was leaking around the bleeder but its replacement is. I have also replaced the rear driver twice due to leaking around the bleeder. The first one was remanufactured and this one was a new unit.

Unfortunately they will not do either. They only want to replace, which I have tried xxxxxxx times.

I can’t imagine any mysterious ways that fluid could leak at a caliper bleeder. An incorrect bleeder screw, a burr on the bleeder or in the caliper orifice or a crack in the caliper are about all there could be to cause the problem and a close inspection of the bleeder screw and orifice should make the defect obvious. And if there is a burr or crack involved on repeated calipers I would feel somewhat certain that the problem was the result of over tightening… But what do I know?

I had this happen from AutoZone. I had three or four caliper tries before I got some that didn’t leak. I am 100% sure it was not installation error. I think I got into a bad batch. They had no problem replacing them till I got good ones.

Yeah. I am sure that its not installation error. I am thinking about just going with oem as I am tired of taking them off and on.

Overtightening? Logical but impossible in this case as I started out barely tightening them and increasing incrementally up to a point that I felt comfortable with. That is not to say that the caliper might have had a crack before the reman process which might have been missed by inspection, but I did not notice anything abnormal on either core or bleeder. One shop tried to b.s. me and say its a brake line causing it but I find that almost impossible. I would think the caliper piston would not retract if that were the case.

You do realize Honda doesn’t make the brake components that goes into their vehicles?

They’re supplied by vendor.

Car makers out-source these type of components/systems because it’s cheaper to purchase them from someone who has the experience in designing, manufacturing, and testing these components.

Why reinvent the wheel?


Yup. I also realize that Honda has higher standards and tolerances then most companies. Not only that, but they are new. Not remanufactured. My other honda cr-v has like 230xxx. I’ve bled them several times without an issue. Advics, summitomo and nissin make their pads. I have no idea who makes their calipers but I gurantee it’s not the same junk from store-house brands. I get you though…

One time the store was giving me a hard time on returning a radiator that was not the correct fit and was also leaking-long story- but I told the guy, if the second one is like the first one, I will charge them my hourly flat rate :slight_smile: They refunded me immediately.

I would get a better brand of calipers for all 4 wheels, replace them, and then fight out the return. I would replace all 4 because even though the other two aren’t leaking, they were made by the same company with the same manufacturing skill, and I wouldn’t trust them not to have other problems. We aren’t talking about floor mats here. Get brakes wrong and people can die.

I think if the bleeder screws are really leaking the store absolutely owes you a return, and if they refused to grant it and I had paid with a credit card, I’d open a dispute.

To be clear, you should not expect (nor did I mean to imply that you should use) blue Loctite to stop a previously-leaking bleeder screw. I only meant that I use it as a little extra peace of mind that the bleeder screw is not going to loosen of its own accord.

In my experience, a small dab of blue loctite does not significantly increase the difficulty for removing fasteners…the red loctite, on the other hand, does. However, it’s a moot point, since I’m the only one that ever touches my brakes. Is there a different Loctite color you would recommend using?

Edit: I might try the purple stuff next time around: It’s also interesting that they claim it as an anaerobic adhesive; thus, the adhesive hardens in the absence of oxygen. To me, this would strongly suggest that it provides at least mild sealing properties - if oxygen can’t get in, liquid certainly wouldn’t be able to get out…

The green Loctite products are for bearing retention and some are good at sealing as well.

I can only find a high strength version (620). I thought there was a medium strength version I used in a project at work but it seems no longer available (or I used the 620, don’t remember)

243 - Blue Loctite, is probably as good as anything but since the bleeder threads get somewhat flooded with brake fluid when bleeding, I’m not sure it would perform as intended. Per Loctite’s own site;

“Proven to tolerate minor contamination by industrial oils, e.g. motor oils, corrosion prevention oils and cutting fluids”

BTW All the threadlockers and retention products are anaerobic. Allows them to be applied and sit waiting for assembly without drying. They make a dry-coating that can be applied to threaded fasteners for manufacturing operations - Process engineers HATE free liquids and greases in assembly operations, always ends up where they don’t want it.

Does anyone realize that a hydraulic brake system can produce 1,200 PSI?

I wonder if that’s the reason flare fittings are used, and not gaskets/sealants?


Yup! A few posts ago.

So if the bleeder is leaking at its seat, do you think any kind of sealant/thread locker applied to the threads is going to stop the leak?


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