Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Bleed ABS brakes

How to bleed 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 into trouble. Here’s what you need to know about Bleeding ABS brakes.

Air bubbles tend to stay in the ABS valves

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.

Two methods to bleed ABS brakes

Force brake fluid from the caliper up through the ABS valves and into the master cylinder

Use a scan tool to force an ABS bleed purge procedure

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).

© 2012 Rick Muscoplat


Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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