An anti-lock braking system or ABS, which is also known as an anti-skid system, is an automobile safety system that allows the driver to retain steering control while braking. The system, as the name suggests, prevents the wheels of the vehicle from locking up during heavy braking. It prevents the wheels to stop rotating, which causes the vehicle to skid or slide uncontrollably.
How Does the Anti-Lock Braking System Work?
Not all anti-lock braking systems are the same. There are systems that prevent all four wheels of the vehicle from locking, while there are systems that only prevent wheel lock on the rear wheels. However, all systems work by monitoring the speed of the wheels. If wheel lock is detected, it releases the brake on said wheel.
The system has four major components:
- Speed Sensor – The sensor monitors the speed of all wheels.
- Valves – The valves regulate air pressure to the brake.
- Electronic Control Unit – Receives the sensor signals needed for the calculation of the wheel rotational speed and acceleration. It controls the brake pressure, based on the data received and analyzed by the system.
- Hydraulic Control Unit – Receives signals from the ECU and pumps the brakes as needed.
Benefits of Having an Anti-Lock Braking System in Place
- It retains the driver’s steering control.
One of the dangerous effects of wheel lock is loss of the driver’s steering control. When this happens, the driver loses control over the direction of the vehicle once the wheels stop rotating. He is unable to avoid anything in the way. Having the anti-lock braking system allows the driver to steer the vehicle during the event of hard braking.
- It decreases stopping distance.
A vehicle with the anti-lock braking system in place can be stopped at a lesser distance, compared with a vehicle without ABS. This is especially useful when an animal suddenly jumps in front of you or another car suddenly veers in front of you. By then, you will need to step on the brakes and steer.
- It increases safety in slippery roads.
When driving on ice or any slippery surfaces, the anti-lock braking system prevents lockups and skidding. It increases driver control on the vehicle and allows needed sudden stops.
- It decreases insurance costs.
Since the anti-lock braking system is a thoroughly tested safety device, some insurance companies give discounts to owners whose vehicles have ABS in place.
You can never do too much in taking road safety precautions. The road can be a treacherous and risky place. Having safety measures in your vehicle not only protects you and your car, but your family as well.
With the anti-lock braking system, you can drive with ease of mind, whatever the road condition is. If your car has no ABS yet, contact your trusted auto repair company as soon as possible.
Written by the staff at KB Tire & Auto. KB Tire & Auto is the leading expert in auto repair Moberly MO has to offer.