Update: Ati-lock Brakes and Function

There is a common misconception that anti-lock brakes (ABS) only help you stop faster. That is not always the case on loose gravel or snowy surfaces. But, anti-lock brakes will help you maintain control of your vehicle in emergency braking situations.

Imagine you are driving on a snowy road. You need to slam on your brakes, and your rear wheels lock up. Chances are good the rear of your vehicle will try to pass the front, and you can quickly lose control. 

What would happen in the same circumstance if your front wheels locked up? You would not be able to steer correctly, and the front of the vehicle would go wherever momentum leads it.

The ABS modulates your brakes on and off as many as 15 times a second. The modulation prevents the wheels from locking up while providing the most significant amount of braking possible. You are better able to steer your vehicle and maintain control. People often talk about the “3 S’s” of ABS: Stomp – Stay – Steer. Stomp on the brake, Stay on the brake, and Steer normally.

Modern ABS utilizes a computer to receive information from sensors and control the anti-lock brakes. There are wheel speed sensors at each wheel reporting back to the computer, deciding when to activate the anti-lock brakes on the wheel or wheels in need.

So what affects how well the ABS works? First, your brakes’ condition: If your brakes are worn or not working correctly, the ABS will not perform as effectively. A brake inspection at Corny’s will let you know if your brakes are in good condition, have mechanical brake problems, or brake fluid and power brake system require service.

 We tend to ignore brake fluid condition, but proper brake fluid maintenance helps keep expensive brake control modules in good working order. There can be problems with the various sensors and wiring that send the messages to and from the computer. 

As you know, your tires need to be in good condition to have enough traction to start, stop, and steer. Worn tires prevent ABS and stability control systems from performing as designed.

The ABS is also the foundation of stability control systems, providing the information needed for stability control and strategically braking a wheel when needed.

The tires rolling diameter is also one of the factors on which the computer uses to base anti-lock decisions. If you install tires that are more than 3% larger or smaller than the tires installed at the factory, the ABS and stability control systems will not work correctly. The pros at Corny’s Sales & Service Inc may be able to recalibrate the computer (if the factory permits the setting to be changed) for the new tire size. The systems must have the correct information to match the programming to work effectively.

When you start your vehicle, the ABS light will briefly illuminate on the dashboard. If the system detects a problem with itself, the light will stay on. That is your cue to take your vehicle to Corny’s Sales & Service Inc for an inspection to determine the problem. 

 NAPA Auto Parts wrote our article to distribute to our customers.

Thank You NAPA