How to Un-stick ABS Valves

How to Un-stick ABS Valves

As a car owner, I know how frustrating it can be when the ABS valves get stuck, especially when you’re in a rush. However, before you rush to the mechanic, know that there are ways to unstick ABS valves yourself.

First, remove the bolts on the control module and push the connector up. Then, heat the valve stems and add cleaner before blowing air into the ports and adding rust remover. Finally, get the air out from the ABS and enjoy rust-free brakes.

In this article, I will explain how I unstick ABS valves, step-by-step. By the end of this article, you will be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to fix your ABS valves and get back on the road safely.

So, let’s dive in!

Symptoms of Bad ABS Modulator Valves

As your braking system does work properly when there are problems with ABS valves, you may have experienced the following things.

  • The brake pedal of your car locks up.
  • Incorrect speedometer readings.
  • The braking system becomes unresponsive.
  • The Dashboard ABS light is on while you driving.

How to Un-stick ABS Valves

I will share my personal experience on solving the ABS valve problem and it will be a guide for you to do it by yourself.

Last year, I felt that the brake pedal is too tight when I’m riding my car and sometimes it feels like locked up. As this happen before in my previous car, I realized it is an error with the ABS valves.

So, these are the steps I followed to solve the issue.

First, I unclipped the fuse panel cover to provide space to remove the bolts on the control module.

On top of the control module, there is a push connector that connects to it. I pushed it up slowly for better access. Then removed the swingable cover by pressing the clip on the bottom.

There were twelve valves in total. I was unable to remove the valves as they were sealed into the pump. So, I used a torch to heat the valve stems and added some cleaner inside the port.

The ABS valves became free. (I recommend you use an evaporative cleaner to prevent cleaner solution from depositing on valves)

Then I blew air into the ports using the compressor and added some rust remover to the ports. Again, rushed air to valves which were soaked by rust remover and some rust particles came out. I blew more air for a few minutes until all the rust particles go away.

Then fixed the parts again as they were as the valves were rust-free.

The next step was to get the air out from the ABS.

How I Bled ABS Module Without a Scanning Tool

I removed air bubbles in the ABS manually without a scanning tool. It is easy and time-saving if you have a scanning tool. I will also explain the steps to bleed air with a scanning tool after this.

 Tools needed:

  • Wrench
  • A bowl to drain the oil
  • Piece of cloth (clean rag)
  • New oil
  • A transparent plastic tube
  • Empty bottle
  • Wheel chocks (Bricks can be used instead)
  • Jack

This is how I bled the ABS modulator.

First, I placed wheel chocks, lift the vehicle using a jack, and removed a wheel from the car.

Then I drained the entire brake fluid in the car and removed the remaining stains in the container using a piece of cloth. After the tank was free from stains, I poured oil into it.

Next, I loosen the bleeder using a wrench, connected the port to a transparent plastic tube, and put the other end of the tube into the bottle. (I poured a small amount of oil into the bottle until the end of the tube was covered with oil to prevent the air to enter when applying the brake pedal)

Then I had to press and release the brake pedal many times to get fluid to come along the plastic tube. After the bottle was filled, I pour it into the tank and continued this cycle two times to make sure there was no air in the system. I have done this process for all four brakes.

Next, I tightened the bleeder again and poured oil into the tank to reach the oil level up to the recommended mark.

Finished! The brake pedal had the usual feeling when pressed and no problems with braking.

The mission was successful!

You can follow the above steps when you have no tool. Then check the brake pedal for proper firmness and travel. These steps are easy, but it will take some time.

Now I will tell you how to do this task with a scan tool.

How to bleed ABS module using a scanning tool

Activating the valves with your scan tool enables air to be forced through the system, which is necessary for new vehicles.

  • Connect the diagnostic tool after starting the engine of your car and you can easily find the correct menus using the booklet provided with your tool.
  • Your software should have a selection for which area of your brakes you want to bleed once you have found the correct menu.
  • Following the instructions, choose the brakes you want to bleed, and then your system will execute the associated release valve cycle.

This video will show how exactly to do this.

Note: Make sure you have cleaned the oil tank as if any dirt is in can damage the hydraulic system and may cause stuck valves again after a few days.


How many valves are there in ABS module?

Usually, the ABS module has 12 valves, while 8 of them are controlling the wheels, other 4 additional valves block the master cylinder to pump pressure to a specific wheel.

Should I bleed brakes with the engine running?

No. The brake system receives a vacuum boost from a running engine. There must be no boost to completely bleed the air from the system. Simply pump the brake pedal until it feels tough.

Can air in brake lines cause ABS light?

Usually, No. When the oil level is low, the ABS light comes on. A leaky fluid reservoir, a leaky seal, or air in the system might be the reason for this.

Is it ok to use motor oil instead of brake oil?

Never put anything other than brake oil to the brake system. If you put, you will have to replace every rubber valve as they become swollen.


ABS valves play a critical role in preventing accidents by improving vehicle stability and control during emergency braking. Regular maintenance and inspections can help ensure that these valves are functioning correctly and prevent potential malfunctions that could lead to dangerous situations on the road.

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