Bleeding ABS Brakes with a Scan Tool (The Ultimate Guide)

bleeding abs brakes with scan tool

Are you tired of traditional brake bleeding methods that leave you with spongy brakes and air pockets? Say goodbye to those frustrations because we have the ultimate solution: bleeding ABS brakes with a scan tool.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of using a scan tool, provide a step-by-step guide on how to bleed ABS brakes with this tool, and highlight the key features to consider when choosing the right scan tool for bleeding ABS brakes. Get ready to revolutionize your brake maintenance routine!

Understanding The Importance Of Bleeding ABS Brakes

In order to maintain the optimal performance and safety of your vehicle’s braking system, it is vital to understand the importance of bleeding ABS brakes. Over time, air has a sneaky way of infiltrating the brake system, which can have detrimental effects on its overall performance.

When air bubbles are present in the brake lines, they can cause a spongy or mushy brake pedal feel, reduce the braking power, and even lead to a longer stopping distance. These issues can significantly compromise your ability to react swiftly in emergency situations and increase the risk of accidents.

However, by bleeding the ABS brakes properly, you can effectively eliminate these troublesome air bubbles from the system. This process involves systematically purging the old brake fluid and replacing it with fresh fluid, ensuring a smooth and efficient brake operation.

By removing the air bubbles, you restore the braking system’s hydraulic integrity, resulting in improved braking efficiency, enhanced pedal feel, and shorter stopping distances.

Why is bleeding ABS brakes crucial for vehicles equipped with Anti-lock Braking Systems?

ABS technology revolutionized vehicle safety by allowing drivers to maintain steering control during emergency braking situations. The ABS system relies on hydraulic pressure to rapidly modulate the brake force on individual wheels, preventing wheel lock-up and skidding.

However, for the ABS system to function optimally, it requires the brake lines to be free from any air pockets. Failure to bleed the ABS brakes correctly can disrupt the delicate balance of the ABS system, compromising its ability to prevent wheel lock-up and potentially jeopardizing your safety on the road.

The Advantages Of Using A Scan Tool For ABS Brake Bleeding

There are numerous advantages to utilizing a scan tool for ABS brake bleeding, making it a game-changer in the realm of brake maintenance. The main two advantages are:

Enhanced Accuracy and Efficiency

One of the key benefits is the enhanced accuracy and efficiency that a scan tool brings to the table. Unlike traditional bleeding methods, which rely on manual techniques and guesswork, a scan tool allows for precise control and monitoring throughout the entire bleeding process.

This level of precision ensures that the fluid exchange is carried out with utmost accuracy, reducing the risk of introducing air back into the system. By maintaining a tight grip on the bleeding procedure, a scan tool guarantees optimal results and a more reliable brake system overall.

Diagnosing ABS System Issues

A scan tool serves as more than just a bleeding tool—it acts as a diagnostic powerhouse for your ABS system. In addition to facilitating the bleeding process, it provides valuable insights into the overall health of your ABS system.

By connecting the scan tool to the vehicle’s onboard computer, it can effectively identify error codes, allowing you to pinpoint potential issues within the ABS system. This diagnostic capability empowers you to take proactive measures in addressing any problems before they escalate, ultimately enhancing the safety and performance of your brakes.

ABS brakes sign

How To Bleed ABS Brakes With A Scan Tool (Step-by-Step Guide)

Follow these simple steps to bleed your ABS brakes effectively using a scan tool:

Gather the Required Tools

Ensure you have the following items:

  • A compatible scan tool with ABS bleeding capabilities
  • A wrench or socket set for brake bleeding screws
  • Brake fluid recommended by the vehicle manufacturer
  • A container to collect the old brake fluid

Prepare the Vehicle

Park the vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Refer to the vehicle’s manual for any specific instructions related to ABS bleeding.

Connect the Scan Tool

Locate the OBD-II port, usually found underneath the dashboard. Connect the scan tool to the port, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Select the ABS Bleeding Function

Access the ABS bleeding function on your scan tool. The exact location and terminology may vary depending on the tool’s make and model. Consult the user manual if needed.

Follow on-screen Prompts

Once in the ABS bleeding menu, carefully follow the on-screen prompts provided by the scan tool. These prompts will guide you through the process, including specific actions to be taken during each step.

Bleed the Brakes

Using the wrench or socket set, loosen the bleeder screw on one wheel at a time. Start from the wheel furthest from the master cylinder and work your way towards it. Observe the scan tool’s instructions for when to open and close the bleeder screws.

Repeat the Process

Continue bleeding the brakes on all four wheels until you have purged all air from the system. Remember to regularly monitor the scan tool’s display for real-time feedback and instructions.

How To Choose The Right Scan Tool For Bleeding ABS Brakes

To ensure a successful brake bleeding experience, consider the following factors when selecting a scan tool:

  • Compatibility with your vehicle’s make, model, and ABS system.
  • ABS bleeding functionality specifically mentioned in the tool’s features.
  • Ease of use, including a user-friendly interface and clear instructions.
  • Additional diagnostic capabilities for comprehensive brake system maintenance.

The Best Scan Tool For Bleeding ABS Brakes

When it comes to selecting the best scan tool for bleeding ABS brakes, there are several factors to consider. These include compatibility, functionality, ease of use, and additional diagnostic capabilities. One notable scan tool in this realm is the INNOVA 5610 OBD2 Bidirectional Scan Tool. Let’s take a closer look at its features and capabilities.

INNOVA 5610 OBD2 Bidirectional Scan Tool

The INNOVA 5610 OBD2 Bidirectional Scan Tool is a versatile tool designed to handle various diagnostic tasks, including ABS brake bleeding. Its bidirectional capabilities allow it to communicate with the ABS system, enabling precise control over the bleeding process.

This scan tool is compatible with most OBD2-compliant vehicles, ensuring wide applicability across different makes and models. It features a user-friendly interface with an intuitive menu navigation system, making it easy for both DIY enthusiasts and professional technicians to operate.

One of the standout features of the INNOVA 5610 is its ability to diagnose ABS system issues. It can retrieve ABS-specific error codes, providing valuable insights into potential problems within the system. This helps users pinpoint the root cause of any ABS-related malfunctions and take appropriate corrective actions.

Furthermore, the INNOVA 5610 offers additional diagnostic capabilities beyond ABS brake bleeding. It supports a wide range of functions, including reading and clearing fault codes, viewing live data streams, performing bi-directional control tests, and conducting system component tests. This comprehensive set of features allows for a thorough brake system check-up, ensuring optimal performance and safety.


Bleeding ABS brakes with a scan tool is a game-changer when it comes to maintaining brake performance and safety. By following the step-by-step guide and investing in the right scan tool, you can achieve precise and efficient brake bleeding while keeping your ABS system in top shape.

Don’t settle for subpar brake performance — upgrade your maintenance routine today and experience the difference for yourself!