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MJNewton

Full ABS/ESP brake bleed with Forscan?

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I am planning on renewing/bleeding the brake fluid in my wife's 2013 Fiesta and, with it having ABS/ESP, was wondering if Forscan can open the ABS valves to allow a complete purge of the system? I'd plug in and check myself but the car's not here for a couple of days!

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3 hours ago, MJNewton said:

wondering if Forscan can open the ABS valves to allow a complete purge of the system?

Copied from the Forscan site:

Service procedure "ABS service bleed" for vehicles with ESP:

Mondeo Mk4 2007-2011 model year
Galaxy/S-Max 2006-2010 model year
Fiesta Mk7 2008-2011 model year
Fiesta Mk7 with ABS Mk60 2013 model year
Focus/C-Max Mk3 2011 model year

I did not scan the full list, there may be more variants covered. It is buried in the list of upgrades on the download page:

http://forscan.org/download.html

 

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Got the opportunity to plug in to day but couldn't for the life of me find the ABS bleed function. If anyone else has done this please do shout up and tell me how/where - in the meantime I'll join the Forscan forum and do what I don't like to do: dive straight in with a 'How do I do this?' question!

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5 hours ago, MJNewton said:

Got the opportunity to plug in to day but couldn't for the life of me find the ABS bleed function. If anyone else has done this please do shout up and tell me how/where

Are you using the Windows version?

From the Forscan site, the Lite Apps don't have the Service functions built in, for some odd reason.

I can see if it appears on my ancient Focus, but that may not be directly relevant.

 

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To follow up on this I got in touch with the FORScan team directly and following further discussion they sent a test version over which, I am pleased to report, has the ABS service function enabled for this car and it works perfectly. I should perhaps caveat this by pointing out that I haven't actually used it to bleed the brakes yet but I can confirm that it successfully manipulates the ABS pump/solenoids and so I am sure it is doing what it's meant to.

I am assuming that this feature will make it in to the next public release and so in the meantime if anyone needs this test version please get in touch via PM and I'll send you the link. This is probably preferable to exposing test versions too openly in case they cause the FORScan team any issues/concerns.

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Well I finally got round to performing a full renewal/bleeding of the brake fluid and thought I'd report back for the archives.

To recap, the reason for needing Forscan is because modern ABS systems (particularly those with TCS/ESP) contain sections within the ABS modulator that are closed off from the braking circuit until activated. Specifically, there are channels and a small reservoir (accumulator) that hold brake fluid which, if not purged, will retain the old fluid under normal bleeding. The 'proper' way to purge the ABS is using Ford's IDS system but for us mere mortals Forscan can perform the very same function.

The process is quite straightforward: each circuit is bled as per normal in the order furthest-to-nearest from the ABS pump i.e. rear right, front left, rear left, front right. I se one-man bleed kits and the brake pedal. I then connected one bleed pipe to each of the front brakes and loosened the front bleed nipples. Following the instructions in Forscan for the ABS Service Bleed 'replaced fluid' option the ABS pumps and valves were operated by Forscan for ~20s pumping new fluid through the ABS pump to the brakes. This new fluid is fed by the reservoir and so make sure you keep it topped up! Having used around 0.5L for my manual bleed I found around another 0.25L was required for this front stage of the service bleed. Once this was done the front nipples were closed and then the process repeated at the rear. Again around 0.25L of fluid was required for this, taking another ~20s. Finally, with the rear nipples closed, the last stage of the service bleed took ~45s and involved occasional operation of the ABS pump components but nothing required to support it (e.g. extra fluid, opening the bleed nipples etc).

 

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I didn't think the £40 the dealer charged to change this fliuid was too bad, saved a lot time and mucking about.

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Yeah I must admit it took me a while. But then everything seems to take me a while these days...!

Next time I'd probably try an Eezibleed kit but I'd need to make up an adapter for the cap with mine.

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Hi, if, like me, you're here 'cos you want info on how to do an ABS Service Bleed using Forscan, then here's an additional tip. The procedure starts with the rear right wheel,  then the rear left wheel, then the front left wheel, and then the front right wheel. You can't interrupt the processes; once started it has to follow through all 4 wheels in order. So I'd recommend you to disable screen saver, hibernate and sleep modes on your pc whilst running it. Ideally, you want all 4 wheels off the car before you start. 

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Hello. I'm planning on changing the brake fluid in my Fiesta and am interested in the using the ABS Service Bleed option using Forscan. Thinking about the process I am a little confused with why you would do a full manual bleed of the system first, as MJNewton did in his post?

In my mind the ABS Service Bleed operation is going to need to purge the old fluid within the ABS system. This, I am assuming, is done by it pumping the old fluid out through each brake line? If this is the case then if you have manually bled the system then the new fluid is also going to get pushed out, followed by the old fluid from the ABS pump/reservoir system and then followed by the new fluid you are adding during the Forscan process? 

Would it not save time and brake fluid by initially only bleeding enough fluid to allow new fluid to reach the ABS pump and then perform the ABS Service Bleed in Forscan to do the rest? You might not even have to do this - the procedure might take into account that it will need to pump the new fluid through from the top-up reservoir?

I'm not an expert so interested to hear the thoughts of others!

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I think your logic is sound, and thinking back I don't recall why I did a conventional bleed first. It could well have been because I wasn't entirely confident about performing the ABS bleed function or quite sure what it was going to do. Next time I'd likely omit the manual stage. 

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I think your logic is sound, and thinking back I don't recall why I did a conventional bleed first. It could well have been because I wasn't entirely confident about performing the ABS bleed function or quite sure what it was going to do. Next time I'd likely omit the manual stage. 
Thanks for the prompt reply!

Sent from my moto g(6) plus using Tapatalk

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Happy that you got the job done MJ.

Forscan is a truly great piece of software I say.

I've been trying to fix an ABS/ESP issue on a VW Passat for too long and I've now come to the conclusion that I'm dealing with a failed ABS unit.

I truly apologise for mentioning VW on a Ford site (& your thread) but read on;

I'm about to send the unit to ECU testing dot com.

I've used BBA Reman before which was extremely good (see my other post on this matter).

I'll update you on their service if it's of any interest?

My beloved Fiesta (Bes) has now done 111,000 Miles so thanks again for the timing kit MJ ;-)

 

 

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Thanks MJ,

111 000 Miles and running like a Swiss clock :wink:

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After an injury and the weather conspiring against me I finally managed to get the brake fluid changed in my Fiesta using Forscan to activate the ABS/ESP pump.

I used the method shown from this video from "Spark Plug Steve":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDlRxTjeWcM&t=248s

He's also got a some great videos of him repairing insurance write-off Fiesta ST's so well worth a look.

As Steve did in the video I ran the "Changed Brake Hose" option within the ABS Bleed section of Forscan. I ran it 3 times for each rear wheel and 2 times for each front wheel. I could see the change in fluid colour on each corner so confident that I ran enough through. I used just under a litre of fluid in total.

I'd recommend that you have a fully charged car battery before commencing the procedure and charge it again afterwards. Make sure your laptop has enough juice for the procedure too.

I got the Fiesta onto 4 stands and removed all the wheels so I could go around to each corner with the minimum of delay. Looking at the Forscan logs afterwards I can see it took me 50 mins from the start of the first procedure to the last one. I had a helper topping the fluid up whilst I did the Forscan bits and open and closed the bleed screws. 

Hope that helps someone. Cheers!

 

 

 

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I used Fordscan to bleed the brake system on my 2015 fiesta after upgrading the front calipers and disks to the ST ones and it made a huge difference to how much pedal travel was needed to stop the car. When I first swapped the parts I did a manual bleed which seemed to get all the air out but the brakes were very spongey after using the car for a week I found out about Fordscan so decided to try it, Its well worth the small outlay.

In the program ( windows pc ver) there is a few different options for brake bleeding depending on what work you have carried out.

std brake fluid flush / caliper swap / ABS change etc only advise is too keep and eye on the fluid level whilst you are bleeding the system as it drops very quickly.

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How much is a "small outlay"?  I need to swap an ABS unit on an older Fiesta as it has the ECU board failure.

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12 hours ago, RRB said:

How much is a "small outlay"?  I need to swap an ABS unit on an older Fiesta as it has the ECU board failure.

OBD cable is about 22 pounds then Forscan is free BUT not sure if you can code modules with free version / If not you can buy a 1yr licence for 8.50. Its a very cheep way to do your own servicing repairs. I bought Vagcom many years ago and it was over 200 pounds.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ELMconfig-500kbit-compatible-interface-diagnostics/dp/B01F0GVBWY/ref=sr_1_5?crid=DOKE08EX4N4&keywords=forscan+elm327&qid=1574594521&sprefix=forscan%2Caps%2C134&sr=8-5

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