The 411 On ABS: 4 Things You Should Know About Your Car's Anti-Lock Braking System

From the initial cost and stress of maintenance and repairs, it is easy to see the challenges of owning an automobile. Of course, your car, truck, or SUV is most likely a necessity that takes you from point A to point B each day. Therefore, proper understanding and regular maintenance are essential tasks to ensure your vehicle operates in the most effective manner possible.

Anti-lock brakes are common in most vehicles today, but you may not understand how this electronic system operates. Also known as the ABS, the anti-lock braking system offers the most effective brake power. Recent studies have proved an ABS significantly reduces the risk of crashes where people are injured. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, use this guide to help you better understand its operation and required maintenance.

Innovative, Yet Simple

One of the most fascinating facts about an anti-lock braking system is that the design is incredibly innovative, yet simple, too.

The system includes actual computer sensors, which are installed on each wheel. If you are about to slow down or skid, the sensors react, preventing the wheel from turning. This reduces any skidding or locking up of the brakes, which helps you remain in control of your vehicle even in emergency situations where you have to slam on your brakes.

An anti-lock braking system is incredibly beneficial to have in case of an emergency. In addition, if you live in an area that sees a lot of rain, sleet, snow, and ice, having a vehicle with an ABS is imperative for keeping you on the road while driving in these slippery situations.

Understand Warning Lights

 Some drivers will see a warning light turn on on their vehicle's dashboard and don't give it much thought. However, if your ABS warning light illuminates, you must take it seriously.

The ABS warning light is not signaling there is an issue with your actual brakes, so you can drive as normal without any worry of your brakes not working. Unfortunately, the ABS warning light may be indicating there is an underlying issue affecting your ABS sensors.

If your sensors are not in proper working condition, the sensors will not stop the wheels from turning. This increases your risk of the brakes locking up, causing you to skid and swerve if you have to apply the brakes quickly.

In some cases, this can be a simple fix. The sensors may be dirty, or you may have wiring that has come loose. Consider bringing your vehicle into an auto repair shop to have the ABS inspected in a detailed manner by professionals.

Maintaining the ABS

Checking the brake fluid is one of the most effective ways to maintain your ABS. Without a sufficient amount of clean brake fluid, your brake pads and rotors will lack the necessary lubrication to keep your vehicle braking in a smooth, effective manner.

You should also periodically rinse off your brakes, focusing on the ABS sensors. This will reduce dirt, dust, and debris that may be covering the sensors.

Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you may need to have your brake sensors calibrated periodically. Computer calibration will ensure the sensors are capable of braking the vehicle at different speeds.

Driving at the speed limit, paying attention, and making sure there is adequate space between you and other cars are all important tips to keep you safe while driving. These tips will also reduce the overall wear and tear on your braking system, protecting function and prolonging the lifespan of the ABS.

The ABS is an imperative part of your car and vehicle's operation. With this guide and your mechanic, you will have a better understanding of the anti-lock braking system.