After attempting to replace the rear discs and pads on my Mk6 2012 VW Golf 1.6 TDI, I've encountered a stuck piston on the off-side rear (the car is right hand drive).

I'm at the point where I'm going to pull the caliper off the car and rebuild it on the bench. however, when I come to refit it to the car, I'm aware that the vehicle is fitted with anti-lock brakes, hill hold and electronic stability control, all of which do "funky things" with the rear brakes.

When I bleed the brakes, are the any specific things I need to be aware of or do I just bleed as normal? A the car has a hydraulic clutch, I assume that needs bleeding along with the brake lines.

NOTE: As the car is a Mk6, it has a mechanical handrbrake. I guess it would be useful for answers to indicate if any special considerations are required for vehicles equipped with electronic e-brakes.

1 Answer 1


Nope, no special concerns - on cars with a mechanical handbrake all the brake witchcraft other than hill hold is controlled electronically so you need to be careful of the wheel speed sensor etc. when you're taking the caliper off (and refitting it!). The hill hold on the manual handbrake cars is the old ball-bearing-in-the-brake line variety I believe so you want the car level when you do it but who bleeds their brakes with the car on a slope?

Not sure about electronic handbrakes actually.. they are done with an electric motor in the caliper so that might complicate things. I'll let you know if I ever have to do mine!

While you didn't mention it in the question it's worth a mention that Mk6 Golfs are a bit picky about bleeding them in the right order and they do it "backwards" to conventional wisdom, starting with the wheel closest to the master cylinder so: O/S-F, N/S-F, O/S-R then N/S-R on a RHD car.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that with the ABS you need to activate the ABS when test driving the car after bleeding just to flush the fluid through the pump.

  • Some cars neede to have the front jacked up high to get trapped air out of the master cylinder - would that count as a slope?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 19:42
  • @SolarMike I don't think you need to on those.. not sure how much angle would engage the hill hold to be honest. If it did engage the working the clutch pedal should release it. Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 21:43
  • Job done, bled from front to rear in the order shown without issue. Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 9:43

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