We are sharing, our valuable 40 plus years of ” Hard Knock” experience and current changes to the ever-evolving automobile world.
Believe it or not, ABS ( anti-lock brakes ) is not new technology. Years ago a problem was occurring when a plane landed. When trying to stop the landing plane, the tires would sometimes slide and cause the airplane to crash. The ABS allows the tire to continue rolling, thus providing more traction to prevent the plane from sliding out of control.
This article is on vehicles with all-wheel ABS only, not just the rear axle.
Your car is using ABS to assist in controlling your vehicle as you panic stop. A sliding tire is like being on the ice when attempting to steer or stop your vehicle. Not Good! When the tires are rolling, traction is similar to driving down the road. The car can be controlled and slowed much quicker since the tires have maximum grip on the highway. How does this occur? The brakes are being cycled very quickly according to the speed, or lack of, on each wheel.
My suggestion, go to a big parking lot with no obstructions to hit and try a panic stop and attempt to steer the car. By doing so, you will know what to expect when a panic stop occurs. When the ABS brakes are working correctly, you will have control of your vehicle is going. Yes, all the sensations you experience may tell you the car is not stopping as quickly but, it is a proven fact you are stopping sooner.
If you have ever panic stopped in a car without ABS, you will remember it slid straight ahead with the sound of squealing tires, regardless of your inputs.
Does it matter if the ABS Amber light is on? Usually, you will have normal brakes and the ABS will not function until the issue is repaired. So you know, the ABS light being on does not fail your ride for PA Safety Inspection.
Side note: If your car has the Amber ABS light come on, the traction control light usually comes on also. The reason, most traction control systems use the ABS to stop a spinning tire also. The traction control light will go out when the ABS is repaired.
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