Workplace training and safety blog
What are ABS Brakes
Posted in Defensive Driving

What are ABS Brakes

What is ABS?  – Anti-lock Brake System, or sometime called Anti-Skid Brake System.

Anti-lock braking system have been around since the early 70’s. It is a safety anti-skid braking system used on land vehicles, motorcycles and buses. ABS operates by preventing the wheels from locking up during braking, thereby maintaining grip with the road surface.

How do I Know if my car has it?

What are ABS Brakes

By reading your "Owner’s Manual", the ABS symbol is found on the dashboard when you turn your ignition on but before you start your car.

How does it work?

ABS uses wheel speed sensors to determine if one or more wheel is trying to lock up during braking. If a wheel tries to lock up, a series of hydraulic valves limit or reduce the braking on that wheel. This prevents skidding and allows you to maintain steering control.

What is that noise and vibration?

This is normal and indicates that the ABS is active.  When braking hard in an emergency ABS is activated, it sounds and feels different to normal braking.  Some of the effects of ABS are:

  • a groaning noise
  • a rapid pulsing of the brake pedal
  • a periodic dropping of the brake pedal
  • a hard (non-compliant) brake pedal
  • a light that turns on to say, "low traction"  What are ABS Brakes

You should familiarize yourself with how your system functions by reading the "Owner’s Manual".  Brake pedal will pulsate as the ABS engages, you may feel the brake pedal pulsating. This is caused by the system applying and releasing pressure to the brakes.  Learn more about 4WD training

Towing a trailer.

When towing a trailer on dirt roads (mud, sand ) you will need to start braking earlier than normal as the extra weight will mean you will need to brake harder then normal. The ABS will stop your wheels from locking up, but due to the loose surface it will take longer to stop.

Ian has been driving in the NT for many years and runs 4WD courses.  Do a 4WD course