P38 ABS Brake Bleeding Procedure

Brakes on a 4.0SE

Preliminary Notes
Bleed Screw Locations
Bleed Procedure

Links to Related Information

Official maintenance schedules call for periodically changing the brake fluid, because it tends to absorb water. Over time, this leads to fluid boiling under hard repeated braking which causes sponginess of the brake pedal and ineffective braking. I experienced this once on my Classic on a long downhill stretch, and it was a scary experience! Brake bleeding is also called for in certain brake system repairs or whenever there is a chance that air or water might have entered the system.

With the advent of the sophisticated ABS system on Range Rovers, bleeding the brake fluid became slightly more complex than it used to be. However, to make it as easy as possible, Donald Fisher has kindly put together the information below, gleaned from the shop manuals and his own experience.

Preliminary Notes of Caution:


Bleed Screw Locations

ABS Booster Unit (from official shop manual)
ABS booster unit

Caliper Bleed Screws (from official shop manual)
Caliper bleed screws

Brake Bleeding Procedure

1. Depressurize the brake system.    


2. Fill the fluid reservoir to MAX level.


3. Bleed master cylinder ( highlighted in diagram ).
Open bleed screw on booster, when fluid appears, close bleed screw.


4. Fit tube to bleed screw


5. Re-open bleed screw, depress pedal slowly and progressively.


6. Close bleed screw. Release brake pedal.


7. Repeat instructions 5 and 6 until fluid coming out of bleed screw is clear and there are no air bubbles visible in the fluid.


8. Open bleed screw again, depress brake pedal completely to floor, close screw

9. Bleed front calipers, beginning with driver's side first:

10. Repeat instruction 9 until fluid coming out of bleed screw is clear and free from bubbles.  ( Remember to check the fluid level in the reservoir. )


11. Open bleed screw.  Fully depress brake pedal.  Close bleed screw.


12. Repeat instructions 9, 10, 11 for passenger side caliper.


13. Bleed front booster unit bleed screw. ( shown in diagram )

14. Allow fluid to flow until clear of air bubbles.   

15. Repeat steps 13 and 14 for the rear booster unit bleed screw ( shown in diagram )


16. Bleed each of rear calipers, starting with drivers side caliper first, then repeating steps 16 to 18 for rear passenger side caliper.

17. Switch ignition ON  ( so pump starts to run ) for 4 seconds

18. Switch OFF ignition.  Close bleed screw.  Release pedal.


19. Switch on ignition.

20. With ignition ON, repeat bleed of front calipers as in steps 9 to 12.

21. Repeat step 19.


22. Check and top up fluid level if necessary.


NOTE:  If ABS pump makes ticking noises when running during this procedure, then repeat steps 13 to 19.   The ABS should not make any ticking noises.

Related Information

P38 ABS Operation, Diagnostics & Repair

P38 Brake Pad & Rotor Replacement
P38 Aftermarket Brake Parts P38



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Page revised February 9, 2012