Brake bleeders keep leaking

Nope I do not!

From the same post.

And this;

I personally don’t think locktite is a good idea for bleeder screws. But my biggest anxiety about doing brake lines on older vehicles is whether or not I can get screws loose for bleeding. Up untill this thread I’ve never thought about treating bleeders with something like antisieze. Why wouldn’t that be a good idea?

Thanks…I opened a case this morning. I have decided to try the new oem calipers that Honda offers. In the end I guess the old cliche still rings true. You get what you pay for.

I have to agree with Mustang man in that it would not stop the leak, and even if it did it would probably be short lived as brake fluid is pretty powerfull and would probably eat the coating off. I was looking at the dry-coated speed bleeders as a fix, but in the end I think it would just be a band-aid for something that needs surgical replacement. I was hoping to avoid spending more money for calipers but as someone said people get hurt or killed when brakes are involved. Thanks to all who contributed to the post.

I like speed bleeders a lot, but I think you’re right - replacing the bleeders with speed bleeders in this case might well not work, because the leak could be caused by bad machining on the caliper side rather than the bleeder screw.

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I’ve never experienced that problem. I’d guess it is just some sort of manufacturing or rebuilding process and testing problem where the calipers were made. I wouldn’t solve this with speed bleeders. Just take the leaking calipers back and get another set from the same place, or another parts place, or from a Honda dealership parts department. There’s quite a bit of shoddy parts these days, as diy’ers tend to choose the lowest cost option available. So the manufacturers are scrimping and saving every which way possible to get sales. In the past 10 years I’ve purchased two aftermarket starter motors that failed right out of the box. I was in the hardware store today looking for primer paint. They had 8 different versions, from good to best, increasing in price from $10 / gallon to $40/gallon. All of the $10/gallon product was sold, bare shelves, plenty of stock on all the rest.

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Am I the only one that uses a couple turns of Teflon pipe thread tape on the bleeders?

Teflon tape is like kissing your sister.


While I have never been faced with a leaking brake bleeder I do understand that there could be a manufacturing problem such as a chipped or dulled bit that may have failed to properly machine dozens of calipers before being recognized and replaced but that would of course limit the problem to a single source.

Long ago at a government motor pool I ran across a plague of charging problems on Dodge trucks that had resulted in repeated replacements of alternators and voltage regulators and various other components. I pulled the battery, alternator and regulator off the most troubling pickup and took them to a rebuild shop with a bench tester and found that the regulator was the problem and found that the fleet shop stocked regulators so I took all their stock and tested them and all failed. I seem to recall they were Niehoff brand but that was 40+ years ago so I can’t be certain but it did teach me that ‘brand new’ doesn’t equal ‘known good.’ And normal text book testing of the charging system indicated no problem so it was a nightmare to deal with.

And BTW, I charged the fleet a small fortune for the diagnosis and they didn’t complain when they paid the bill.

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I’m a big fan of Honda OEM quality but in this case I’d try an auto recycler for used OEM. At the same time I can understand being tired of messing around, and springing for new, and being fully confident (almost!) going forward.

Good luck and please keep us informed.


I saw a problem like that back in the 60’s. A company I drove for had a lot of big gas burning international truck’s. I don’t remember what the brand was but they stocked spark plug’s by the case the plug’s was not for the international & every truck they put them in ran good for a few hundred miles then the plugs were burned up.I know it was a good 6 or 7 month’s before they found out the problem was, but they used them all up before they used the right one’s.

OEM Honda on 2006 Element seems to be $151 a piece MSRP :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I had good luck ordering OEM parts at, could not find OEM any cheaper, but even there it is $100 a pop

It looks like recycled OEM might be a more reasonable alternative, installing new rubber pieces in the same time

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Another option: If OP still has the original calipers, those can usually be diy’er rebuilt using a caliper rebuild kit and some inexpensive specialty tools & brake hones. OP already knows the original calipers didn’t leak.

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Well good news on one front. The auto parts store has agreed to a refund instead of replace until I get a good one. Now, its just a matter of which way to go from here. I had planed on buying new oem…not so sure now. I would rebuild the old ones but I turned them in as cores so thats not gonna happen. I feel like my only two options are buy recycled oem calipers and rebuild them as neccesary or buy new oem. Thanks to everyone for their input.

Speaking of spark plugs…I almost got scammed by buying plugs on ebay. They were almost perfect counterfeit ngk. I returned them and bought replacements at my local auto store…

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Good Lord it sounds like a nightmare. It seems to have gotten worse, at least to me. I have returned countless “new” or reconditioned items and I’m just an average diyer.

Glad you made out like a bandit, sounds like you deserved every penny.

Quick question if you don’t mind. Let’s say I choose to rebuild some recycled calipers. Would there be a need to hone the cylinder if the piston rides on the square cut seal, as I believe it does? Assuming the cylinder bore isn’t rusty of course…

As DIY-er, I rebuilt few sets and did not need to hone it ever, but I was already scolded by Mr. @Tester on the similar “caliper rebuild” topic here: Use silicone grease (Sil Glyde) to protect caliper boots and guide pin boots----a good idea?

Once, I encountered a caliper with a small rust spot, which I polished out with 2000 grit sandpaper, and I did not see any ill effects of that.

On recycled parts, I would check if it is possible to push the piston in with pressure not exceeding “reasonable”, just to make sure it is not seized.

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Personally I have never seen this happen before. You should remove the bleeder bolt and look at the tip of the bolt as well as where the tapered end of the bleeder seats in the caliper. There is something wrong with the caliper most likely…or there is a piece of debris at the bottom of the bleeder hole in the caliper.

Using new bleeders with a fouled caliper bleeder hole will produce the same results. Perhaps there is a piece of steel at the bottom of the hole? Or something of that nature.

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There may be debris in the bleeder holes, but why should the OP be responsible for cleaning them out? Shouldn’t that have been done before assembly at the factory?

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