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I am working on a Toyota Camry 2007 and one of the front brake bleeder screws is rusted and stuck badly.

There are many videos on YouTube that suggest the use of torch and apply excess heat to the caliper area around the bleeder screw.

In this car model the the bleeder screw is close to the brake fluid hose I am I am concerned about possible damages.

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I wanted to consult here see if the torch technique is too extreme?

Is there any spray better that WD40 for this situation?

  • I'd try PB Blaster first, before heat, and make sure you're using a flare nut wrench - a standard wrench may destroy the fitting. – PeteCon May 9 '16 at 2:10
  • @Pete, do you think that a flare nut wrench works better that a box-end wrench here? – Allan Xu May 9 '16 at 2:43
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    instead of a flare wrench you should use a 1/4" 8mm or 10mm deep socket. less chance of slipping. – Ben May 9 '16 at 11:21
  • +1 on the deep socket. It either breaks loose or breaks off, so make sure you do everything you can to loosen it. Flare wrenches are for hoses. – I have no idea what I'm doing May 9 '16 at 12:08
  • @Allan Both will work for getting it loose, but when you're doing the actual bleeding, a flare nut wrench is the best tool, as you can get it around the tubing easier, so I always reach for it immediately. – PeteCon May 9 '16 at 15:25
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I've had the same problem on a 2006 Toyota Camry. In my particular case, the problem was made worse because the last person to have bled the brakes over-tightened the valve so far that he or she rounded the nut portion of the bleeder valve. I couldn't get a wrench on it reliably as a result. Never use a 12-sided box wrench or gear wrench or open wrench on a brake valve. I use a good quality 6-sided box wrench.

In my case, I first made sure I purchased replacement bleeder valves and then used a locking wrench (Vice-grip) and used brute force to completely remove the bleeder valve and replace it with a new one. Fortunately, the caliper itself was not damaged by the previous gorilla.

In my case, heat was not necessary, but if it had been, I'd have placed a heat shield between the brake line and valve and aimed the flame away from the brake line and toward the brake valve to the extent possible.

If you have any doubt about being able to do so successfully, I'd recommend simply removing the line and removing the whole brake assembly from the wheel until you can loosen the valve. This will, of course, introduce air into the system, but you were going to bleed the brakes anyway, and it's preferable to having to also replace a singed brake line.

  • The concern I have is that if the brute force method does not work the bleeder will break off and then it will take careful drilling to get it out. – Fred Wilson May 9 '16 at 5:39
  • For the bleeder valve to break off, the bond between the threaded portion and the cylinder assembly would have to be stronger than the material strength of the bleeder valve itself. If it's that rusted, I'd be concerned also about how well the cylinders are moving. The entire assembly can be purchased for less than $300 if it comes to that. – Edward May 9 '16 at 12:00
  • I like the idea of removing the brake assembly. Is it an easy job? What would are good search keywords to see it on Youtube? – Allan Xu May 9 '16 at 14:54
  • It's quite easy. I found this video which shows it fairly well, although you'd additionally need to remove the brake line from the caliper assembly. While it's out, check the cylinders to make sure that they move freely and that the seals are intact. – Edward May 9 '16 at 15:09
  • Thank you, Edward for help. The video does not remove the complete brake assembly. The part that he is taking out in video does not contain the Bleeder. Is that what how you suggested in your post? – Allan Xu May 9 '16 at 15:36
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Ok, I managed to open the Brake Bleeder Screw and replace them.

I decided to try the penetrating oils before the heat option.

I found the following data from this link.

Penetrating oil ..... Average load

None ..................... 516 pounds

WD-40 .................. 238 pounds

PB Blaster ............. 214 pounds

Liquid Wrench ..... 127 pounds

Kano Kroil ............ 106 pounds

ATF-Acetone mix....53 pounds

All over the internet are referring to above data. Still not sure it myth or fact? Regardless, I decided to give "Liquid Wrench" a try since it is available everywhere.

I sprayed, waited 20 min - and retried 3 times. After the 3rd time, I managed to open the Brake Bleeder Screw.

I thought I should share the experience here.

I should thank @Pete since his "PB Blaster" suggestion gave me the idea that I should research penetrating oils other than W40.

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40 WD wouldn't sound good so it's labelled WD40. It's 40 weight oil With Distilants. Take a squirt bottle, 6-8 ounces pump gas, teaspoon of any frikin oil. Your off

  • As "WD" actually stands for Water Displacement, then perhaps you should correct your answer. Also it does not appear to answer the original question. – Solar Mike Apr 28 at 11:03

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