Anti Lock Braking Systems

25th Jun 12 16:54<< Go back to news

Anti Lock Braking Systems

The aim of ABS is to prevent skidding, loss of control and to maintain traction with the road. ABS pumps automatically prevent wheel lockup and allow the driver to concentrate on steering safely.

Three main components make up the ABS:

  • Speed Sensors – Speed sensors are located in the wheels to detect when a wheel is moving more quickly or more slowly than it should – this is a signal that a wheel may be about to lockup and sends a warning signal out.
  • Controller – The controller receives the signals from the sensors if any problems are detected and controls the valves and pumps to prevent wheel lockup.
  • Valves – The valve enables pressure lock and release from the brakes if necessary.

How effective is ABS? 

On high traction surfaces, such as concrete, most cars fitted with ABS attain a shorter braking distance. Even a skilled and experienced driver using threshold braking would find it hard to match the performance of a driver using a vehicle fitted with ABS.

  However, on surfaces such as snow and sand, ABS stopping distances tend to be longer. This is because locked wheels help to stop the vehicle more quickly by digging in to the surface more and creating a wedge. For this reason, some vehicles are fitted with an option to turn off the ABS system, and some ABS calibrations can reduce the cycling time to let the wheels alternatively lock and unlock. The benefit of having ABS on such surfaces is to maintain control rather than skidding.

  A study in Munich carried out on a fleet of taxis showed that collision rates for cars equipped with ABS, and those that weren’t, were very similar. It has been suggested that this is because the drivers whose cars were fitted with ABS felt more secure and were more likely to take risks or drive more aggressively.

If you are interested in developing your knowledge of the test and repair of braking systems, our Braking and Chassis Systems Course is ideal for you.

Please click here to view the course overview and see dates and venues.

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