How to Bleed ABS Module Without Scan Tool?

Bleeding your car’s ABS module is not an easy job. Actually, it requires an expert to complete the task. But with this how to bleed abs module without scan tool guide, you can do the job without asking the help of the experts. Thus, you can save some money.

Most of the time, the ABS portion of the system does not need to be bled unless air is present into the system, you have positioned part of the ABS system, a regular bleed does not result in a firm pedal, or you want to dispose of any old fluid out of the system. You can check your user’s manual to determine the type of ABS system you have and the steps needed to bleed it.

What is ABS Module?

ABS module is part of the ABS system together with ABS sensors at each wheel. The function of sensors is to detect wheel speed and forward a message to the ABS module to rapidly pump the brakes when it senses that the vehicle has lost traction or is skidding.

Every time you open the brake system to replace components like wheel cylinders, calipers, brake lines, hoses, or the master cylinder air gets inside. The trapped air inside can make the brake pedal spongy and soft. You need to remove it by bleeding the brakes. Air is compressible, so if you apply brakes any air bubbles in the system should first be compressed before the hydraulic fluid will transfer pressure to apply the brakes.

What You Need:

  • Turkey baster or syringe
  • Wrench
  • Hammer
  • Clean lint-free rag
  • 8 oz. cans of fresh brake fluid
  • Clear plastic tubing
  • Empty Bottle
  • 1 x 4 lumber
  • Protective gears (working gloves and eye glasses)

Steps on How to Bleed ABS Module Without Scan Tool?

As always, it is better to be safe than sorry, before you start working, you should put on your safety gears. To begin with the process, you need three to four 8-ounce cans of fresh brake fluid. Once you opened a can of brake fluid any left-over should be discarded within a few weeks. Use the jack to suspend your vehicle in the air. Use jack stands to support both sides of your vehicle and then remove all the four wheels. You can also do this with the wheels on if can swing the wrench on the bleeder valves.

Step#1 Suck the Old Fluid and Replace it with Fresh Brake Fluid

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Stir the reservoir fluid to let the particles or sediment float in suspension and use a syringe or turkey baster to remove them. Wipe down the reservoir walls and strainer using a lint-free rag to remove any remaining dirt and sediment.

You might need to repeat this process a couple of times. Refill the reservoir with fresh brake fluid. Make sure that the brake-fluid is a solvent. Clean up any spills right away using water so it will not harm the paint job.

Step #2 Loosened the Bleeder Valves

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Use a box wrench that fits the bleeder bolt. Vise Grip or a crescent wrench will only round off the bolt’s flats. You can drizzle penetrating oil on the bolts the day before bleeding to help loosen it. You can use a hammer to break up any corrosion. Do not remove the bolt complete just loosen it.

If you are having a hard time removing the bleeders without breaking them, you will need to replace the wheel cylinders or brake calipers.

Step #3 – Placing the Plastic Tubing

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Get a clear plastic tubing, you can use aquarium tubing. Insert one end of the tubing into the brake bleeder bolt and the other end of the tube into a small, clear bottle with a small amount of brake fluid on it. The purpose of having the brake fluid in the bottle is to keep the air from being sucked back into the brake cylinder or caliper.

Place the lumber underneath the pedal to prevent it from traveling too far when line pressure is released. In the master cylinder tank, place fresh fluid on top and cover the tank. Fluid will spit out of the reservoir each time the pedal is released.

Step #4 Call a Friend

You need to call one of your friends to help you with this step. Assure him or her that he won’t get dirty hands. Your friend will be in the driver’s seat and will wait for your orders. Instruct him that if you say down, he should depress the brake pedal with the same force required to hold the car from rolling forward at a traffic light. He should shout also down and continue putting the pressure on. Inform your friend that the brake pedal will sink underfoot and tell him to continue putting pressure on it. Then snap the bleeder bolt a quarter-turn.

You will see the contaminated fluid flowing down the tubing. Once it stops flowing, close the bleeder. Then you instruct your friend and say “up.” Tell your friend to say also “up” as he removes his foot from the pedal. Repeat this procedure until fresh, clear fluid comes out from the bleeder.

Any mistake committed can suck air into the caliper. Even if the other end of the tubing is submerged in the fluid, the air still travels past along the threads on the bleeder bolt to the caliper if negative pressure is present in the system as the bleeder is cracked.

Step #5 Top Off the Reservoir with Fresh Brake Fluid

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Do not let the reservoir get empty it will suck up air into the master cylinder. Keep the fluid level more than half of the reservoir. Once you see clean fluid is coming out of the brake, close the bleeder bold and proceed to the left rear wheel and start all over again. Then continue with the right front and then on the left front.

You need to have a couple of fresh brake fluid on hand. Remember, keep the reservoir topped off.

Final Words

Bleeding the abs module could be one of the toughest jobs when it comes to repair which involves the brake system. If you don’t have any idea how to do it, you probably would let the expert do it. But for those who are on a tight budget and have no other choice but to do it on their own, this how to bleed abs module without scan tool is very helpful. If you find this post helpful, feel free to share this with others.


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Curt Nieckarz

How is this any different than the bleeding procedure for conventional (non-ABS) brakes?

not the dumbass that wrote this

thats not going to work you will still have air in the control module
thanks for being no help

    Tracy Moore

    I do not understand you.

    Robert Michaels

    This is a “old school” waste of time. You need that hose to go UPwards 6″ or more and curve back down into a small clear medicine jar or similar, some guys polyurethane glue or stainless hose clamp a big speaker magnet onto the bottle to hold it onto the steel frame or whatever – – tape gets messy with brake fluid, won’t stick.

    When the helper inside the car pumps the brake pedal – – – brake fluid travels upwards though the hose and ejaculates into the bottle, but at the same time ALWAYS fluid has tiny pressure downwards at the brake bleeder screw – – so no new air gets sucked in, and old air bubbles will rise fast to get spit out the hose end into the bottle.

    You have to pour off the fluid in the small clear bottle often so it does not overflow.

    The newer “auto bleed” one man brake bleed kits at auto parts stores are setup this way.

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I can’t see how this will access air in the ABS unit. What is decribed here is just conventional purging of a non-ABS system.


How do I get back the wasted 5 minutes of my like? This entire post is of no use and will not purge the ABS system. It is the incorrect procedure for bleeding standard brakes. Additionally, states the hoes is to prevent air from entering the brake system and then goes on to say you can’t prevent air from entering the brakes system when the bleed screws are open – which is it? What’s the point of the bottles if it’s going to leak no matter what?

    Tracy Moore

    Thanks for your input, we will review the article.


There was NO INFO on bleeding the ABS which is what the title says.. Just waisted my time.. WTF!!
How to Bleed ABS Module Without Scan Tool

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