Drivers trust in their brakes to safely slow and stop their vehicles. You’ve probably had the experience where you’ve slammed on your brakes and started to skid. When your wheels are locked up, you are just sliding over the road. And if the road is wet or slick or covered with gravel – you really get out of control. Steering is next to impossible. That is why anti-lock brake systems (ABS) were invented: to help you maintain essential control in extreme stopping conditions on Illinois roads.
As mentioned, when wheels lock up, this impairs your control. ABS keeps your brakes from locking – helping you stop while maintaining your capacity to steer. Sensors on each wheel equipped with ABS, monitor wheel spin and compare it with vehicle speed sensors. When drivers are pressing on the brakes, still traveling forward, but the wheels are not turning, the ABS system quickly steps in and modulates the brakes.
The ABS swiftly “pumps” the brakes, not allowing the wheels to lock-up while still applying braking pressure. This is all done automatically without any intervention on your part. You will feel a pulsation through the brake pedal and will hear a clunking as the brakes are rapidly being applied and let off over and over again. The first time this happens to you, you may be surprised and think something is wrong. Well, it isn’t – so just keep your foot on the brake and allow the ABS to do its thing. In fact, remember the critical 3 S’s of anti-lock brakes: Stomp, Stay, & Steer. Stomp on the brakes, keep the pedal down, and steer as required.
When you first start your vehicle, the ABS does a quick self-check to make sure everything is OK. The ABS warning light will briefly illuminate with all of the other warning lights on your dashboard and then go out. If the system detects a fault, the ABS light will come on and stay on. Drivers should definitely bring their vehicle in for a check if the essential ABS warning light is on.
Proper brake system service is the best way to protect your ABS. Replacing brake fluid that is depleted and/or contaminated will help preserve proper ABS operation and protect it against detrimental corrosion. Motorists can check with Douglas Automotive Repair, Inc. to see if it’s time for a diagnostic examination of their important braking system.
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