How To Bleed Anti Lock Brakes Of Your Car?

For most drivers, anti-lock brakes are miraculous. In a panic stop situation, they keep the front wheels from locking up, allowing you to steer and stop at the same time. In a car with ABS, you don’t have to worry about balancing your braking and steering inputs and when you’re faced with a split-second situation in slippery conditions, that safety net can be a life-saver.

Just below this, there is some equipment required for bleeding, and to know how to bleed anti lock brakes you have to follow below.

Things Required

  • Eight-ounce brake fluid cans.
  • Plastic Tubing.
  • Carjack and jack stand.
  • A turkey baster.
  • A wrench box.
  • Microfiber towels.
  • Spacer.
  • A small bottle.
  • Protective gloves and goggles.

How To Bleed Anti Lock Brakes?

Antilock braking systems are even less tolerant of contaminated fluid and air than systems without ABS. The ABS hydraulic pump operates at several thousand psi, forcing brake fluid through very small valves. This can whip air and brake fluid into a latte-like foam, which makes bleeding air out of the system even more difficult. Worse yet, the ABS pump and valves can easily be damaged by those tiny abrasive particles.

1. Bleeding Without Scan Tools

Before getting on with detaching bolts and loosening nuts, you will need to prepare for bleeding the brakes. It includes jacking up the vehicles and removing all four wheels. The following steps below describe how to bleed anti lock brakes

1. Loosen The Bleeder Valves

After preparing the vehicle first task is o wear protective gloves and goggles and then open all the bolts of the bleeder valves. Now use a wrench to loosen the bolts. If the bolts seem too rusty, you have to use some penetrating oil on a previous day. Thus by using oil you can make the work very easy as you can break off all the corrosion with some light taps with the help of a hammer.

You have to bit careful when doing this because these little hollow bolts can snaps off if you apply excessive force. Thus in that case you have to change the whole wheel cylinder or brake caliper. This means you have to waste lots of money as well as time.

So lose the bolts carefully without breaking.

2. Remove The Old Fluid

By using the turkey baster you can easily flush out the old fluid and deposits it from the master cylinder reservoir. Now, use a microfiber cloth to remove the sludge from the reservoir.

Be extremely cautious when dealing with brake fluid because it is corrosive. Accidental spillage on any painted surface will dissolve the paint immediately. That’s why you always should wear gloves so that it does not touch the skin.

3. Bleed The ABS System

Take a piece of plastic tubing and push its one end over the brake bleeder bolts. Another end will go into the small bottle with two-inch of fresh brake fluids. By doing this you can easily prevent getting air back into the brake cylinder.

Upon releasing the pressure the pedal will be displaced from its position. To prevent that problem you have to put a spacer under the pedal. Then, fill the master cylinder reservoir with new, clean fluid and close its opening by putting the cap back on. Otherwise, you will face the problem in each time you release the pedal, fluid will spurt out through the reservoir opening.

You will need a helper through this process of bleeding. At this stage, you have to ask the helper to depress the brake pedal with a force that you can apply to stop the vehicle from moving at a traffic light. Tell him to keep the pressure on while you turn the bleeder bolt a quarter.

By doing this you will force some polluted fluid to come out through the tubing end that goes down to the bottle. When the dripping stops completely, close the bleed. Then, ask the helper to take the pressure off of the pedal.

However, you are not finished yet. Repeat this process until you see clean fluid coming out of the bleeder.

If you see the clean fluid, after that you have to tighten the bleeder bolt and move to the next wheel to repeat this same procedure.

When you do this whole process, keep filling up the reservoir with fresh fluid. Never let the fluid level drop below half of the reservoir tank. Otherwise, air can get into the master cylinder. Also, you should skip none of the bleeding steps because that may suck air into the caliper.

2. Bleeding With The Scan Tools

Many ABS modulators are not equipped with bleeders. In that case, use a scan tool to cycle the pump and valves.

The scan tool is mainly required for activating the pump and cycling the valves to bleed out these areas. This tool helps with cycling the dump valves and activating the pump so it becomes possible to bleed these areas.

The following steps are another way to know how to bleed anti lock brakes

1. Pressure Bleeder

Firstly you have to connect the pressure bleeder with the master cylinder reservoir tank. Then turn the ignition switch on. With the help of pressure, the bleeder closes the screw and pre-pressurizes the system to 35psi.

2. Procedure With Scan Tools

The scan tools will be energized and the cycle ABS solenoid for one minute. After this, the scan tool instructs you to bleed each wheel.

During this step, the pump runs, and the respective release valve cycles for one minute. This is repeated for each wheel. Finally, the scan tool performs the final 20-second cycling of the ABS solenoids to purge any remaining air.
Relieve pressure at the bleed tool and remove it from the master cylinder. Then check pedal height and feel to make sure all the air has been removed and the pedal is firm.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Brake Bleed?

On average you can expect to pay between 75$ and 100$ to have a mechanic bleed your car brakes. The cost of getting your brakes bled is going to vary which depends on the make, model, and year of the vehicle you’re driving as well as where you take it to get the repair. The cost may vary due to labor costs.


Air that enters the ABS controller can be bled out. However, some vehicles require the use of a special ABS scan tool to cycle the pump and valves to purge all the air inside. You can avoid these ABS problems by regularly remembering to bleed and flush your brake fluid, which is easy enough to do at home.

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