The brake accumulator is the most common part to fail on the "Teves" brake system that is used on the Buick Reatta. If your red or yellow brake warning lights come on momentarily when you hit the brakes, a defective accumulator is likely to be the cause.

Caution!, be sure to pump the brake pedal 20 to 30 times with the key OFF to relieve pressure in the brake system before attempting removal of the accumulator .


accumulator_location.jpg

Instructions for replacing the accumulator:

It is about the same as changing an oil filter, with a couple extra steps.

  1. You will need to remove the plastic cowl cover by twisting the wing nuts pointed out by the arrow in the photo below and then remove the two nuts on the drivers side cross-brace (circled in red). The cross-brace is the metal plate that runs between the strut towers.  Hold the cross-brace up by placing something between it and the shock tower to hold it up. Don't raise it up so high that you put it in a bind or damage it. This is necessary to give enough clearance to remove the accumulator.

    accumulator removal
     
  2. With the key OFF pump the brake pedal at least 20-30 times until it gets hard. This will relieve the pressure in the accumulator.
     
  3. Unscrew the accumulator using a hex key inserted into the top of the accumulator (probably metric). You may also need to use an oil filter or strap wrench around the body of the accumulator to help screw it out. Some unscrew easily others need help.

    If the accumulator is extremely hard to remove, have an assistant hold the part the accumulator screws into with large channel locks or equivalent to prevent too much twisting force being applied to it.  Not doing so could result in damage to the Teves unit.


  4. Clean the area around the hole, make certain you have the "O" ring on the new accumulator and screw it in until it is snug by hand,  You do not need to use a wrench.

After you have the accumulator replaced:

  • If you are installing a Hydac accumulator you might have to install a couple of flat washers between the cross-brace and the shock tower to raise it up enough to give clearance between the accumulator and the cross-brace. If the accumulator touches the cross-brace it could cause vibrations and noise from the pump to be heard inside the car.
     
  • Before turning on the pump again, check the fluid level in the reservoir.  It should be to the full line.
     
  • Turn the ignition ON and the pump will start.  Depending on the overall condition of the pump etc, it can take 15-45 seconds to shut off.
     
  • Check for fluid leaks!
     
  • Replace the cross brace nuts and the cowl cover.

Test the brakes for proper operation before driving the car on the road.

Thanks to Barney Eaton, member of the AACA Reatta forum, for this information.

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