Modern cars are fitted with automatic brakes that are designed to use brake fluids and a pressure system. Because the brake fluid from time to time may attract some moisture, this may lessen the impact of the brake pedal when you apply the brakes. Apart from that once in a while it is recommended that you replace the hydraulics or the ABS modulator of your Automatic Braking System (ABS). Sometimes when you are slowing down in traffic and you have the feeling that your brake pedal is unusually low and the response of the brakes too slow, it could be a warning sign that you need to look at your brakes for filling up the air. In this article, I will give you an overview of the tools, procedure, and techniques needed on how to bleed ABS module without scanning tool.
How to Confirm That You’re ABS Needs Bleeding?
Once you have noticed that your brake pedal is sinking and does not retract back as soon as you release the pedal, try the following simple steps:
When in parking and the vehicle is at a complete stop, apply some even pressure on the pedal and note how effective it is. Observe if it is retracted back the moment you take your foot off the pedal. If the pedal seems to be holding constant pressure, the assumption is that your brakes have no air in them.
An insect the hydraulic system for defects or failures from the master cylinder, bad calipers, leaking wheel cylinder, or even a bad ABS.
What You Will Need
Irrespective of the kind of ABS you are using, it is imperative that you know how to restore the brake pedal to its normal height. If you do not have a scan tool, the following tools will make your work easier.
- Car Jack
- Turkey baster
- Drip pan
- Brake fluid
- Lug wrench
- Car Stands
How to Bleed ABS Module without Scan Tool
Step #1: Getting Ready
After confirming that your car needs bleeding by following the two steps above, park the vehicle on a flat surface. Engage the parking gear so as to make sure that the emergency brakes are applied as well.
Step #2: Remove the Wheels
Using the hydraulic jack, raise the car to a comfortable level that will enable you to remove the four wheels comfortably.
Step #3: Drain the Brake fluid
The brake fluid resolve is normally located under the hood of your car. It is a small transparent container with metal tubes running from it and runs to each individual wheel. These are the so-called brake lines. Once you have located the resoviour, empty the existing brake fluid completely and refill with new brake fluid.
NOTE: make sure that you get the recommended fluid for your car by consulting your trusted mechanic before making the purchase.
Step #4: Locate the Brake Bleeder Screw
Use the correct bleeder wrench to loosen the bleeder screw, remove the dust cap and take the vacuum hose, tubing and put one end of it in an empty plastic bottle and the other end attached to the bleeder screw. At this stage, if you are unable to put the plastic bottle in a stable position, you may have to ask a friend or your assistant pumps the brake pedal until all the fluid has been drained into the bottle. Once done with all the wheels, you can confirm if the brake fluid reservoir is indeed empty.
Step #5: Tighten the Bleeder Screw
Just before returning the bleeder screw, ask the partner to press the pedal down and hold it there. Open the bleeder screw to allow trapped air to escape and tell him to keep holding the pedal until you are sure that the bleeder screw is tight as it was before. This procedure has to be repeated several times to make sure that no air bubbles are left in the brake lines.
NOTE: Please note that you have to do this for all the wheels and it must be in the following order
RIGHT REAR, LEFT REAR, RIGHT FRONT, LEFT FRONT
The bleeding process normally varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle or the ABS system used. The sequence given should work for most generic ABS.
Step #6: Refill the Master Cylinder
Open the master cylinder and refill with fresh brake fluid until it reaches ‘full’ level line.
NOTE: Make sure that as you are draining the brake fluid, you keep checking the fluid levels on the master cylinder to make sure you do not drain the cylinder and drawing air into the system.
Step #7: Check for Leaks
After bleeding all the brake lines, make sure that as your friend pumps the pedal, you walk around the vehicle to check if there are any leaks as a result of pumping. While at it, your partner should make sure that the pedal goes up and down to the recommended levels.
Step #8: Fit the Wheels
Refit all the wheels and be ready to test your brakes for consistency. Take the car for a test drive around the block and confirm that your work has paid off and everything is functioning as expected.
Step #9: Clean up The Work Area
When you are back from the test drive, clean up the work area and drive safely.
How does Air get into The Braking System?
- There are several scenarios on how air can get trapped in the braking system of your car. One reason is shortening of the hydraulic horses which lead to the loss of brake fluids and creates space for air to get into the system.
- Other issues such as damaged brake lines and joints can also bring about accumulation of air into the system, causing that spongy feel when you press the pedal.
- Ill-fitting of brake pads and linings can also contribute to this problem, this is quite common in new cars (it is always recommended to have a specialist verify brakes of a new car before taking it on the road).
- Other brake systems that use dot brake fluid are more prone to attract moisture because of the hygroscopic nature of the fluid. It absorbs more water from the environment that seeps into the brake lines.
- When the brake fluid in the reservoir drops, air that fills up the remaining section may find its way on the brake lines and continued accumulation may result in the spongy feeling you feel on the pedal.
How to bleed ABS module without scan tool sounds so complicated, but regardless of the type of car you are driving, the steps above should be able to take you through. The only difference you are likely to experience is the different types of tools that you are supposed to use. You need to do enough preparation because the task is repetitive and requires a lot of accuracies when emptying the brake fluid. You can choose a friendly person to be your brake rescue partner to make the task less boring.
Hopefully, the article has been able to give you enough courage to solve the ABS issue at home, if indeed there are pointers that you want to be added, kindly comment below and not forget to share the post.