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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Brakes go spongy when engine running.

I am flushing fluid on 03 Ody 61k. Valvoline Synthetic two person method. I have bled brakes 3 times LF, RF, RR, LR. Each time I finish there is no air in lines and the brake pedal is high and firm.
When I start the engine the pedal goes lower and is soft and spongy. What am I doing wrong? Am I supposed to be bleeding with the engine running?
TIA.
Jeff

I have done several searches but have not run across this problem.
 

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Did you bleed the brakes in the order you put down? Your supposed to start from the farthest wheel from the master cylinder to the closet. Usually RR, LR, RF then LF.
 

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The sequence 01sport listed is the sequence listed in the Honda OEM manual...
 

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Does the pedal feel different than before you did the flush with the engine on?

The pedal feel is always going to be different (softer) with the engine running due to the power assist, but if it feels different than before you did the flush then you still have air in the line. If it felt "soft and spongy" before the flush, then you have other issues like maybe a bad master cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
vpp,
Thanks for the reply. Before I started the fluid flush, the brakes were great. Pedal high and very firm (engine on). I have flushed fluid once before on my other car (no abs) after rebuilding calipers.
I used blocks of wood under the pedal to save the master cylinder. I may have let air into the line while doing RF. Maybe there is air trapped in abs module? Any ideas?
 

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This happened to me last week!!!

Take a PLASTIC mallet and go through each caliper and BANJO fitting and tap it to "vibrate" the air bubbles loose.

Make sure it's a PLASTIC mallet.

Follow the order that you have listed correctly from the manual for bleeding, but this time WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING!

My "hypothesis", is the vacuum booster pushes the brake fluid out faster and can scour out any air bubbles. I assume you have the bleed tube up in the air before it goes back down to a bottle.

Oh, and that mallet, make sure it's PLASTIC...

After I did the above I got a firm pedal.

Remember that mallet -- make sure its PLASTIC...

If that doesn't work you now have a situation where you have air caught in the banjo fitting. Now go through the process again, but instead of bleeding through the bleeder screws, you'll break open the BANJO fitting. Pump, hold, crack open fitting until fluid starts to leak and tightent. Repeat process two times.

Plastic = Mallet
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Sloppy,
All I have is a rubber mallet. Where are the banjo fittings you are refering to? Are they on the calipers? Do they use crush washers?I am nowhere near the car so I cannot go look?
 

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It's the round metal thing at the end of the brake hose with the bolt that goes through it into the brake caliper.

The brake fluid runs from the hose, to the banjo fitting, through the bolt and into the caliper.

Yes, there is a crush washer on both sides of the fitting (should be one time use -- each time it's used it needs to be torqued down a few pounds more to seal properly).

But, if you didn't rebuild your calipers then you shouldn't need to crack these open. First try the Plastic Tap and Engine Running method.
 
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