Anti-lock brakes (ABS brakes) are a safety feature that most cars on the road today have, but most people don’t understand how ABS brakes function, or how they’re safer than completely manual brakes.
If there is an issue with ABS brakes, there should be a dashboard warning light that comes on to let the driver know. It’s important to have it looked at, especially with winter coming, because that’s when anti lock brakes are especially important.
How do Anti-Lock Brakes Work?
The idea behind anti-lock brakes is that they allow the wheel to turn slower, thus slowing the vehicle down, without losing traction on slick surfaces, like ice. To do this, instead of stopping the wheel from spinning, or locking the wheel into place, anti-lock brakes will brake slowly, a little bit at a time. When ABS brakes kick in, the driver may feel the brakes pumping.
ABS brakes work with speed sensors that let the brakes know how fast the wheels are turning. They contain valves and pumps, which allow the pressure to be added and released from the brakes, which creates the pumping feeling that the driver may feel.
How to ABS Brakes Help?
ABS brakes allow the driver to maintain control of steering when braking, especially when slowing down in slick conditions like winter weather, rain, or mud. They also help to maintain stability.
Braking and steering are both affected by the amount of traction the tires have on the road. ABS brakes help to allow that traction to be divided between both tasks, so that when braking, steering capabilities aren’t lost.
How do I Use ABS Brakes?
With ABS brakes, the correct way to brake is to apply constant, steady pressure to the brakes – don’t pump! Anti-lock brakes will pump for you and provide the most traction and stability. (Without ABS brakes, you should pump the brakes to manually provide as much traction as possible)
What if My ABS Warning Light Is On?
If your ABS warning light is illuminated for more than just the first few seconds after you start your car, they’re not working properly. It’s important to have these serviced as soon as possible, especially with winter approaching!
You shouldn’t feel your ABS brakes kicking in during normal road conditions, and if they do, it can be dangerous. Have them checked out so that you know your brakes won’t fail you while you’re driving.
If your brake light and your ABS light are both turned on, you may not have functioning brakes!! Don’t drive your vehicle without consulting an expert first.