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Discussion Starter #1
Would anyone know what you actually have to do to change the brake fluid on a Zoe yourself?

I have read everything that I can on the subject and became more than a bit lost by the Brake Fluid debate thread...

So far, it appears that the traction battery needs to be disconnected. I haven't looked for a thread on doing that yet.

Someone also mentioned using CLIP to do the brake fluid. I don't know what that is exactly and if you really need to use it. I don't understand why you can't pump new fluid through everything from the master reservoir like you can with a normal car. (Connect tubing to bleed nipples and pump the brakes until clear while ensuring the master reservoir remains topped up).

The EV Nick video said that there are extra bleed points somewhere as well as at the brakes. Any idea where they would be and how to flush them?

Kelly
 

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Renault ZOE R135 ZE50 GTLine July 2020 (Sold: R90 ZE40 i Dynamic Nav June 2017)
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Would anyone know what you actually have to do to change the brake fluid on a Zoe yourself?

I have read everything that I can on the subject and became more than a bit lost by the Brake Fluid debate thread...

So far, it appears that the traction battery needs to be disconnected. I haven't looked for a thread on doing that yet.

Someone also mentioned using CLIP to do the brake fluid. I don't know what that is exactly and if you really need to use it. I don't understand why you can't pump new fluid through everything from the master reservoir like you can with a normal car. (Connect tubing to bleed nipples and pump the brakes until clear while ensuring the master reservoir remains topped up).

The EV Nick video said that there are extra bleed points somewhere as well as at the brakes. Any idea where they would be and how to flush them?

Kelly
CLIP is the Renault software tool to interface to the car, just like any other manufacturer's software. My understanding is:
  • Bleeding is similar to a normal system, but there is at least one additional bleed point at an additional unit where the electronics intervene to apply the friction brakes when regen is not sufficient.
  • That unit has to be activated to fully bleed the brakes and is not directly activated by the brake pedal. So it is activated to bleed the brakes using the CLIP software.
  • The only reason that the HV battery has to be isolated seems to be poor layout. Some of the things that need to be accessed (the bleed point on the additional unit?) are deemed to be too close to HV cables and components for safety. I'm not sure how any HV in any location is not well enough protected that someone can't safely work close to it ...
 

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You may also need a pressure bleeder, if you don't have one but then you start off trying to do it yourself you will be in a pickle as you will have to call a haulage truck out to get you to a repair shop
 

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Most 'normal' cars also have, for example, an ABS module that contains brake fluid that won't be changed by a simple brake bleeding.
There are two solutions, one factory, one 'quick and dirty'!
 

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Or maybe just test your brake fluid first to see if it needs to be done?
What he said ;)
I check mine every few months with an electronic tested from ebay, cost a couple of quid. Car is 5 years old and still has less than 1% water which is fine.

Knowing you need to use the CLIP tool to get it to do everything I have thought about doing the "normal" side of the brakes which is exactly the same as any other car. Even just draining the reservoir and putting clean new fluid in is going to be a step in the right direction.
The only thing to be aware of is that if your car is under the extended warranty and later the fancy brake module fails and the reason was down to lack of scheduled maintenance then they won't pay up leaving you with a big bill.

I understand fully that for the average non mechanically minded person following fluid changing advice is sound but as I have worked on cars for the last 30+ years it is very clear that all manufacturers err massively on the side of caution in fear of being sued.
It does annoy me that people seem to think that a tiny bit of water in the brake fluid is bad. I'm sure if you ride your brakes then you will get brake fade, I've done it myself and it isn't pleasant going in to a corner at speed when the pedal goes long, for our cars the brakes hardly get used, the only point that is bad over significant periods of time is corrosion but even that is a really long time issue.

As a passing note the Renault charge isn't the worst I've seen. On my Fireblade with ABS the quoted time to properly change the brake fluid is 6 hours !! They do wedge the system in. It is a pain to do that as half the bike needs pulling apart.
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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Calling @freddym and @Badger in Black

Personally (and I think I can claim not to be the faintest of heart), I would not fiddle with the brakes myself. One massive panic stop from 80 mph leaving me only inches from the traffic jam was more than enough. Testing the fluid only tests what's in the reservoir, and that is exactly the bit that is supposedly never used. It's not exactly like the brake fluid is pumped around. I fully see the logic that water would probably creep in at the reservoir first, but who knows what's going on deep down in the lines.

If I remember correctly (I could be wrong, it could have been about the 12v battery), our trusted friend @Badger in Black has made a video about the why-when-how-much. It should be posted here somewhere but I am in a time crunch right now.
 

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Testing the fluid only tests what's in the reservoir
Unless you take it from the bleed nipple on a caliper. ;) But again you have to know what your doing. (y)

I rebuilt and bled the brakes on my mini and my Fiat, but I probably wouldn't consider it on an EV, mainly because they don't really get hot brakes/coolant like ICE so unlikely to suck up moisture in the same way.
 
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CLIP is the Renault software tool to interface to the car, just like any other manufacturer's software. My understanding is:
  • Bleeding is similar to a normal system, but there is at least one additional bleed point at an additional unit where the electronics intervene to apply the friction brakes when regen is not sufficient.
  • That unit has to be activated to fully bleed the brakes and is not directly activated by the brake pedal. So it is activated to bleed the brakes using the CLIP software.
  • The only reason that the HV battery has to be isolated seems to be poor layout. Some of the things that need to be accessed (the bleed point on the additional unit?) are deemed to be too close to HV cables and components for safety. I'm not sure how any HV in any location is not well enough protected that someone can't safely work close to it ...
So called HV is 400V DC. Industrial precautions for this class of voltage are well documented. Get yourself a copy of 3rd rail rail system safe methods of working.
 

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I purchased a test kit called Brakestrip £7.00 ( I have not used it yet )


135320


Found this information too :
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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I rebuilt and bled the brakes on my mini and my Fiat
So did I, when I was young and stupid, on one of my 2CV's (uh huh, took two from almost gone to definately ready for the shredder, in a time span of 4 years. One definately had Fred Flintstone propulsion if you cared to lift the rubber mat, the other I got the engine out to replace the clutch plates. Without an engine lift of course.). Ah, memories.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Or maybe just test your brake fluid first to see if it needs to be done?
That is reasonable but it only helps for so long. Eventually one will have to change the brake fluid so the question remains: How can one do it themselves?

A brake fluid change at my two local dealers costs £341 or £400. That is pretty steep for £10 of fluid. I would like to know how to do it myself.

  • Bleeding is similar to a normal system, but there is at least one additional bleed point at an additional unit where the electronics intervene to apply the friction brakes when regen is not sufficient.


  • Thanks @cDy. I would be interested to know where those additional bleed points are.

    [*]That unit has to be activated to fully bleed the brakes and is not directly activated by the brake pedal. So it is activated to bleed the brakes using the CLIP software.
    Is there an alternative? For example, by using a pressure bleeder?

    The only reason that the HV battery has to be isolated seems to be poor layout. Some of the things that need to be accessed (the bleed point on the additional unit?) are deemed to be too close to HV cables and components for safety. I'm not sure how any HV in any location is not well enough protected that someone can't safely work close to it ...
I would definitely agree with you @cDy!
 

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A brake fluid change at my two local dealers costs £341 or £400. That is pretty steep for £10 of fluid. I would like to know how to do it myself.
The Zoe is a vary different system. You need the Renault in house CLIP tool to activate the braking system to pump out the old fluid.

You might find an independent garage that can do it cheaper.

But seriously, how long are you going to own this car
 

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That is reasonable but it only helps for so long. Eventually one will have to change the brake fluid so the question remains: How can one do it themselves?

A brake fluid change at my two local dealers costs £341 or £400. That is pretty steep for £10 of fluid. I would like to know how to do it myself.



  • Thanks @cDy. I would be interested to know where those additional bleed points are.



    Is there an alternative? For example, by using a pressure bleeder?

I would definitely agree with you @cDy!
Speak to Gendan and ask for their recommendation of an aftermarket diagnostic tool that replicates the Clip Functions.
 

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Thanks @cDy. I would be interested to know where those additional bleed points are.

Is there an alternative? For example, by using a pressure bleeder?
Sorry, I don't know the details. I was just letting you know what I've found out over 4 years' running ZOE's. You could start here for more info: The Zoe braking system. There is more info on this forum if you search.

Most unexpectedly, we sold our ZE40 and bought a ZE50, because we sold the ZE40 after 3 years for a good price (cheapest new car to run I've ever had) and bought a ZE50 with a great discount. The ZE40 was a good car and the ZE50 is even better. As a result I've never had to deal with bleeding the brakes. I often did my own on ICE cars, but let me local trusted garage do it if I was busy. I doubt if I'll bleed the brakes on the ZOE.

If I can't find a dealer to do it at a sensible price locally then I'm happy to travel, to say DSG (on the way to the Lakes and back), to get the brakes bled every few years for a more sensible price. The other service costs are so low that I can live with it.
 

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Foxwell NT530 Tool specific for Renault & Dacia lists Zoe. Available from Gendan. Same tool for Kia&Hundai does all Soul EV ICUs so it's a good bet the Zoe Braking functions and service routines would be covered.😁
 
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