how to flush brake fluid with abs

How to Flush Brake Fluid With ABS The Right Way


The vehicle’s braking system is one of the most important safety features a car has. Depending on the car variant, it may or may not have some of the high-end features; however, a car equipped with ABS or Anti-lock Braking System is a must have. The ABS system includes wheel speed sensors in each wheel and of course, has its own ABS module to manage the input and output of this braking system.

The ABS system comes along a brake fluid that runs through each of your wheels through the brake lines. When the brake pedal is pressed, the brake fluid allows force to be applied to brakes; this makes your vehicle slow down or come to a stop. From time to time, this brake fluid may be contaminated with moisture; this leads to corrosion and rust, or in general cases, it may become worn out and too old already. All of these scenarios affect the overall braking system of your car. In this article, we are to discuss on how to flush brake fluid with ABS.

Do everything the right way to avoid problems in the long run

This is also related with giving your car a regular preventive maintenance check-up. Doing this helps you more than what you can think; like saving more money and allowing your car to last longer with lesser problems in the future (after driving thousands of miles). If you have a Toyota car, you may ask the question on how to bleed Toyota ABS brakes; but, this instructional material can be applied to any car.

However, there will always be times that you are not able to do preventive maintenance for some reasons. If so, then it’s inevitable that issues will come especially with the braking system; this includes issues with the braking fluid. Usually, there are two ways on how to approach this problem. It’s either you will seek professional help from automotive service centers or you will do-it-yourself. If you are going to do the former, then no hassle is given to you; however, then you need to shell out some money for the fee. But if you will go for the latter, then you can save money and of course gain more knowledge and experience.

Before doing the flushing, how often should you flush your brake fluid with ABS? This is a normal question especially for new car owners. Typically, it is advisable to do flushing after every 30,000 miles, or other OEMs (car manufacturers) recommend doing it every 2 years. 

So, let’s just check out the latter method – DIY. 

How to flush brake fluid with ABS?

Take note of the following steps and detailed explanations below; just don’t forget that we are not using any scan tool for this set of instructions. Just to inform you ahead, flushing the brake fluid with ABS having no scan tool is very tedious and requires more time and attention span. It needs focus because we are doing it manually. Also, there may come a time that you need to someone to help you with in this task but that will happen in the later part.

So finally, here are the tools that you will need for this: Carjack (standard jack), Jack stand, turkey baster, drip pan, tubing, hammer, lung wrench, and of course, the most important thing – new and fresh brake fluid.
  1. Prepare the tools as enumerated above
  2. Make sure that your car is parked in a conducive area with proper lighting and does have a flat surface. This is to avoid spillage or other accidents. When bleeding brakes, should the car be on? Of course not. Turn off your car when doing this task.
  3. Let’s get to the car. Since this is related to the braking system, we need to access the desired areas and so, all the four wheels should be removed. Use the carjack to heighten up your car, just enough for you to remove all the wheels and finally to do the task. This is where you will need the help of someone and simply instruct that person of what should be done.
  4. For the reason that we are dealing with the brake fluid, it is important to know the location of the brake fluid tank. After being able to locate it, drain the current brake fluid and replace it with the new brake fluid. But before refilling it with the new brake fluid, make sure that the tank is completely drained and empty and everything is in the plastic bottle. You can do this by letting your assistant step on the brake pedal until the last drop.
  5. Carefully check for air bubbles if they are present in the brake fluid. If yes, then do your best to remove these air bubbles since because they cause brake failure. This is a very serious problem and a lot of accidents already happened just because there is something wrong the braking system.
  6. Put back all of the parts together. Carefully do this to double check potential scenarios of leaking. There should be no leak. This is the ultimate goal. After everything is done, drive the car in just a few miles and check the behavior of your brakes if they are all working properly.

Another method to consider when flushing brake fluid is through a scan tool. If you have that, then proceed to an automotive shop and let them perform the flushing.


Regular preventive maintenance is still the best way to avoid headaches and extends the life span of your car. As to the vehicle’s braking system, make sure to regularly check the mileage count to know if your brake fluid needs flushing already. Another important reason for this checking is to avoid air-contaminated brake fluids. Air-contaminated brake fluids can damage the overall vehicle braking system and may cost you more money.

This article has explained the details on how to flush brake fluid with ABS and this is such a helpful instructional material to gain more knowledge and eventually share to others, especially for new car owners. Being mindful of your car’s health is a positive way of prolonging your car’s life span and lets you enjoy the comfort of driving without worrying anything might happen down the road.

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