I need to change the front brake pads on my 2011 Mini Cooper. I have a Haynes Manual, which tells me to clamp off the flexible brake fluid hose to the caliper. But the hose isn’t that flexible and doesn’t look to me like it would pinch closed without damaging it. Any opinions on this?
I’ve never had to do that when changing brake pads. I don’t know if there is some specific reason though, that only affects this particular brake design on the Mini. I agree with you that it seems bad practice to clamp the flexible lines as it could possibly damage or weaken them. Does it explain the motivation to clamp off that line?
It seems like all you should have to do is remove the old pads and retract the caliper piston enough to install the new pads. There is a twist if you have ABS, you should open the brake bleeding screw before retracting the piston, as you don’t want to force fluid backwards through the ABS unit.
That said, the proper way to replace pads on any vehicle is by following the factory service manual procedure.
Like George said - does it then have you disconnect the caliper from the hose? I don’t do that. Let us know what comes after clamping off the hose. Maybe you’re looking at the caliper replacement instructions, instead of just the brake pad replacement.
But I don’t know if Mini’s are special.
No, it doesn’t say to remove the hose. And it does say to open the bleeding valve. Maybe they think clamping the hose is extra protection for the ABS system? I don’t know and they don’t give the reason.
Sounds like they don’t want any possibility of brake fluid being forced back towards the master cylinder when you retract the caliper piston. But “clamping” the flex line presents another set of problems, like damaging the line and causing it’s failure…Today’s electronicly controled, ABS equipped cars present a whole new set of ground rules to the DIY mechanic…
Maybe there’s an issue with retracting the pads pushing brake fluid back through the ABS system, like you said. You might post this on a Mini forum, bet there are folks that know.
You need to check with someone. You can call the service dept. at the Mini Cooper dealership and ask them. Pinching the flex hose just seems 100% wrong.
“I have a Haynes manual.”
There’s your first problem.
Here’s a MUCH better manual:
Hey, thanks for that info. Sure I’ll need it in future, although I decided to let a mechanic I trust take care of the brake pads.
Figured you got it resolve after 5 years. Just for the record, what I do is loosen the bleeder valve while pushing the piston back in and catching the brake fluid in a container, the closing the valve again. Discard the old fluid and add new as needed. Works for GM anyway but don’t know what they do across the pond.