ABS - Anti-Lock Brakes

When it comes down to the anti-lock brakes (ABS), there’s a common misunderstanding that they will help you stop faster. That is usually not the case on loose gravel or snowy surfaces. Anti-lock brakes, in fact, are designed to help you maintain control of your vehicle in an emergency braking situation.

For example, picture yourself driving down a snowy MA road. All of a sudden you have to slam on your brakes and your rear wheels lock up. Chances are the rear end of your vehicle will try to pass the front end, which can cause you to easily lose control. What would happen in the same situation if your front wheels locked up? Certainly for sure you would not be able to steer properly, and your front end would go wherever momentum brings it to.

As many as 15 times a second, the ABS modulates your brakes on and off. This will prevent the wheels from locking up while providing the best of braking possible. You would be able to steer your vehicle and maintain control better. 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, which can then decide when to activate the anti-lock brakes on the wheel or wheels in need.

So what influences how well the ABS works? First, the quality of your brakes: If your brakes are worn or not working properly, the ABS will no longer be capable of doing its job effectively. A brake inspection from AutoPro Import Repair will let you know if your brake shoes/pads are in proper condition, if there are any mechanical brake issues and if your brake fluid and power brake system are in demand of service. Proper brake fluid maintenance by AutoPro Import Repair helps maintain the brake control module in precise working order. There can also be troubles with the various sensors and the wiring that sends the messages to and from the computer. And, of course, your tires need to be in top condition in order to have sufficient traction to start, stop and steer. Worn tires are a massive problem for ABS and stability control systems.

The ABS is the foundation of stability control systems, providing the information needed for stability control as well as to strategically brake a wheel when needed.  So making sure your ABS is working well is very important. Also, the rolling diameter of your tires is one of the factors on which the computer uses to base anti-lock decisions. If you buy tires that are more than 3% larger or smaller than the tires that were installed at the factory, the ABS and stability control systems will not work properly. The pros at AutoPro Import Repair can recalibrate the computer for the new tire size so that the systems have the correct information.

When you start your car, the ABS light will flash up on the dashboard. If the system determines there is a problem with itself, the light will remain on. That is your cue to take your vehicle to AutoPro Import Repair for an inspection to pin-point the problem. AutoPro Import Repair is your partner in keeping this important safety system operating as it should.