These automatic brake systems were developed for planes and racing. By the eighties, they were readily available in passenger cars, trucks and motorcycles. They are required on buses and trucks.
ABS Behind the Wheel
On standard brake systems, depressing the pedal prevented the wheels from rotating, no matter what. With modern brakes and electronic stability control systems, your wheels won’t get locked during an emergency braking situation. The pedal might pulse underfoot, though, as the automobile stops and slows.
These systems have to do with how much pressure the valves release to the master cylinder, and usually won’t start working until you’re above about 10 mph. When it is on, an amber light should turn on near the check engine light.
ABS Driving Tips
- Don’t turn your steering wheel suddenly during a fast braking situation. In the past, this could have prevented collisions. But with modern braking systems, steer carefully in the direction you want to go in any situation.
- Be deliberate on sand, gravel, and deep snow. These brakes are great for low-traction roads, but let you slide on soft surfaces.
- Don’t drive recklessly. While stopping distances and crashes have been reduced by these features, it’s not fail-safe. You are still your first line of defense against a crash.
- Don’t pump your brakes when stopping quickly. You need to let the brakes take care of it. In fact, never pump your ABS brakes unless you’re performing a system flush.
First things first, find out whether your vehicle is equipped with ABS. Go over the owner’s manual and look for the amber-colored light on your dashboard.
If your ABS light is on at any time other than a hard brake, it is probably malfunctioning. You can check:
- Brake system cleanliness
- Brake lining
- Brake fluid level
If that doesn’t solve it or if you see issues, you will probably need to pull the error codes from your vehicle’s on-board computer, and may need to flush and replace your brake fluid. You could also want to re-calibrate your speed sensors, and check voltage and resistance values and more.
We Would Love to Help
At Christian Brothers of Shawnee, KS, we have the best diagnostic equipment, and we update our specs daily. Reach out to our mechanics by calling the office or navigate to using the map on this page.