What Did I Just Do To My Brakes?

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What Did I Just Do To My Brakes?
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Posted: May 11, 2021 at 12:08 Quote
Hydraulic Tektro brakes on brand new bike, only ridden three times on trails. The rotor on my front brakes was rubbing against one of the brake pads, so I watched a tutorial that suggested loosening the caliper, pressing on the brake to center the caliper, then re-screwing the caliper to keep it centered. Well, when I loosened one of the screws, liquid came out and now my brake is extremely loose (or spongy, I guess). What caused this, and what can I do to fix the problem?

Posted: May 11, 2021 at 12:27 Quote
You loosened the wrong screw, it sounds like!

There are 2 big screws that hold the caliper (brake) to the front fork. If you loosen those a bit, the caliper is free to jiggle side to side and you can centre it. There are other screws/bolts on a brake caliper that do other things: one bolt keeps the brake fluid inside the brake, and opening that lets your bleed the brakes (this is probably the one you loosened by accident). Most brakes also have a pair of screws holding the 2 halves of the brakes together. Loosening either of those and squeezing the brakes would also be bad.

Posted: May 11, 2021 at 12:29 Quote
You need to bleed the brake now to refill it with brake fluid and get out 100% of the air bubbles that are now inside. This can be done by a home mechanic, but you need the brake fluid and the right tools. For you, I would strongly recommend getting a shop to bleed the brakes. Maybe you can find a mobile guy that will come to your house.

Posted: May 11, 2021 at 15:22 Quote
Just to confirm, bishopsmike is right and you will need to bleed your brake. Next time make sure you unscrew the right ones Wink

Posted: May 11, 2021 at 16:03 Quote
TibZ wrote:
Just to confirm, bishopsmike is right and you will need to bleed your brake. Next time make sure you unscrew the right ones Wink

Very likely need new brake pads, if even a trace amount of the brake fluid is on your rotor or pads, they must be replaced.

You can clean the rotor with isopropyl alcohol thoroughly but the pads are toast if they are contaminated.

Posted: May 12, 2021 at 3:44 Quote
If you watched a tutorial, how did you unscrew the wrong bolt? The bolts that hold a caliper together and the bolts that hold a caliper onto the bike are in opposite orientations.

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