Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Bleeding ABS brakes

Bleeding ABS brakes

If you’re doing a brake job on a vehicle with ABS brakes and you don’t know how to bleed them, you may get yourself into trouble. Here’s what you need to know about Bleeding ABS brakes.

ABS systems are VERY sensitive to air bubbles. You know that air rises in the system. Once a bubble gets into the ABS valves, it’s almost impossible to suck it back down even with a hand-held vacuum pump. It’s definitely impossible to do it just by pumping the brake pedal.

There are only two methods left: The first is to use one of the pricey brake bleeding tools that literally pumps brake fluid backwards through the system to force the air bubble into the brake fluid reservoir. Get that special bleeder kit on ebay (below). If you don’t have that tool, you have to use a scan tool that has bidirectional capabilities and ABS software (minimum $500 scan tool).

How can you avoid getting air into the ABS system? NEVER, and I mean NEVER let the reservoir run dry as you bleed the brakes. ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS use a vacuum bleeder. The days of pumping with the brake pedal are OVER. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. You may skate by.

But if you get air into the system and have to take it to a shop, be prepared to fork over at least $100 for a scan tool bleed procedure. (By the way, you could have bought the vacuum tool for a tad less than that).

Get a brake bleeding kit here

For more information on this repair or any others for your vehicle, buy an online subscription to either Alldatadiy.com or eautorepair.net. Click on this link to compare the two services: Compare Alldata and Eautorepair.

© 2012 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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