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Bleeding ABS Module

'00 Olds Silhouette w/ ABS.

Ok, my objective isn’t really to bleed but to change out the brake fluid - which is the same procedure but with clean fluid.

My Haynes tells me to start at the ABS module, and loosen the actual brake line fittings and let the fluid ooze right out the fittings. There are no bleeder valves on the unit. (There were for '99 and prior models).

This seems really strange - am I missing something with that? Or is this normal? Fir future reference, what if I do need to bleed the system? I’m used to having the clear tubing on a valve in fresh fluid to keep track of air bubbles.

If you don’t have air in the lines, I would not follow this procedure. Just go to the rear passenger side wheel, and proceed to flush the lines as normal. You’ll pull clean fluid through the ABS module as you pull it from each wheel. It may just take longer that vehicles without ABS.


Are you using the Haynes repair manual #38036?

If so, to drain/replace the brake fluid, you do not do it the way you posted.

Haynes manual #38036, Page # 1-22, section #26. Brake fluid change (every 30,000 miles or 24 months)

I have an identical van.

Roadrunner, indeed it is #38036. That section on p. 1-22 (#26) sends you to chapter 9 on brake bleeding, and that sends you first to the ABS module (see step 19 in section 11, p. 9-11). I think BustedKnuckles is basically right - to just skip the module if the only purpose is to change out the fluid. Not knowing how the insides of one of these ABS modules works I just wasn’t sure about it. But either way I can’t imagine that what is described there is the right way to bleed the module. I think if I need bleeding I’ll just take it into the shop. In the meantime, I’ll just start at the wheels.


I’ve only had the van about 6 weeks or so - any heads up about what to watch for - other than the intake manifold as that was done 10K ago? (104K; most maintenance pretty much up to date throughout its lifetime)

If you have disc brakes on all four wheels which should be the case, the fluid will self-bleed. You don’t need an assistant because disc brakes don’t need residual pressure. There is nothing to stop the fluid from gravity bleeding.

Rear drums on a 2000 Silhouette.

The infamous LIM gasket PITA was the worst.

The tranny in these vans sometimes will revert to a ‘clunking’ type of a shift. When that happened to mine, I had the fluid and filter changed and that cured the problem for a few months, then came back periodically to haunt me.

However, the fault cleared on its own and hasn’t acted up since and that was almost 2 years ago.

I did find out one thing that can cause this fault, and that is a worn pressure control solenoid in the tranny. It wears on itself by cutting a groove and as a result, loses pressure control. It isn’t a common fault though.

The headlight lenses are notoriously pitiful, IMHO.

They fog up (condensation) inside and the plastic gets ‘sanded’ from other vehicles tires throwing up salt and sand. I live in Ontario, Canada where the winters are not nice to us.

There have been numerous posts of different products cleaning up the lenses but I haven’t had any luck. I even used Meguires, but it didn’t work either.

Regular preventive maintenance pretty much does the job.
I change the engine oil (5W30 in winter and 10W30 the rest of the year even though GM recommended 5W30 for that 3.4L V6.) and filter every 3k miles or 3 months whichever comes first. Now that I’m retired, the 3 months come first.

The van has 177k miles on it. Aside from under-carriage surface rust the van is rust free. No oiling or rust-proofing has been done since the factory.

I’ve never had to replace the exhaust system (Stainless steel).

When doing regular preventive maintenance, include spraying all exposed electrical contacts (with an electrical contact cleaner, NOT WD40) including the power sliding door(s) contacts on the door’s leading edge and the door post.

Don’t forget to pull back the rubber boot on the interior light switch (plunger type) located on the rear of the (sliding) door frame and spray that switch as well.

Do the same with the switch for the rear hatch and don’t forget to spray a white lithium grease on all latches, hinges, etc. Don’t forget under the hood.

One item that most people ignore (until it’s too late) is the cable from the inside release handle to the hood latch. Inspect the end of the cable where it attaches, you may see fraying of the cable.

I attached a short secondary release cable to the hood latch that allows me to open the latch from in front of the rad should the cable break. (It’s hidden and taped up out of the way)

Be aware the wiper motors wear out on these vans too and will leave the wipers out of the PARK position.
If you live where the ice and snow build up, clear away ALL the ice trapped under and below the hidden wipers.

The van also has a battery saver system which I think ALL vehicles should have.

You can test yours by physically turning the interior dash switch on, lock up the van and check it after twenty minutes. The lights should be off.

It’s on a timer via the computer.

Oh yeah, watch out you don’t leave the key in the ignition and accidentally hit the door lock on the way out as you’ll need another key to get in or a slim jim.

My wife did this (honest!) luckily in our driveway.Just keep a spare key on your person when using the van.

YIPE! I better stop.

Many thanks for the tips & the time involved to write them up.

Have you ever done done that tilt the motor forward to access the rear of the engine routine? It looks pretty straightforward but I’m having trouble visualizing it working out so simply (or safely).

I am grappling with the headlights right now. Luckily the previous owner had already replaced the pass side - of course he had a shop do it to the tune of $300 for one headlight. I tried to clean up the driver’s side - I normally do well with Maguiars, but its pretty far gone as you might expect. I ordered a new aftermarket online for $65 but it turned out to be a POS, so the old one is back on and I’m trying to get it sent back. I’ll have to keep shopping.

I’m also about the replace the rear shocks (elec level control) as they are leaking & the compressor runs a lot - for now I just pulled the fuse. That looks completely straightforward.

Thanks again.

My longtime tech of 19 years did the gasket job for me as I don’t get into the dirty stuff anymore.

Page 2A-18 explains how.

You don’t need to remove or loosen the exhaust as there is enough flex to not do damage.

You have to remove some stuff at the (firewall side) and after the engine is rolled ahead, be prepared to skin a knuckle or two and expect a kink in the back as it is a long reach to the plugs.

The tech told me he tried to access the plugs from underneath when he put a van up on the hoist one time but found it quite difficult.

Use a small come-a-long with a hook on each end for the roll job. A ratchet tie-down strap isn’t ss good because you have to quick release the tie-down.

My last post got way too long so I didn’t get into the self-leveling shocks.

I had to replace the drivers side air shock ($230 at the time) due to leaking shortly after I bought the van.

A year later that one leaked as well so I pulled the fuse to shut off the compressor.

After checking prices, I vowed I would NEVER give a dealer (or anyone else) $420 for one air shock! (Two years ago)
I didn’t want to bother trying scrapyards because these things are iffy at best.

My tech and I talked and he suggested that if I didn’t need the self-leveling system I could just replace both air shocks with standard shocks.
I did, and I now have a stable ride with no more aggravation.

Concerning the door locking me out.
Check your owners manual for the different locking modes. There are 4 to choose from.
Perhaps one of them will prevent accidentally locking yourself out. My book is in my van but the van isn’t at home so I can’t look in the book myself.

The van isn’t long for my world. I’m giving it to our daughter as a winter beater. (She’s a soccer/hockey mom so she needs the space)

I have a ‘new to me’ 2004 Toyota Matrix XR with 66k kms (41.25k miles) to save on my retired (and tired) wallet.

Like Dr.Phil says,“if momma ain’t happy, nobody is”. Fortunately, the wife LOVES it.