What Is an Anti-Lock Brake System?


Changing Brake RotorsThe brakes are the most important part of your car, as they’re what help bring your vehicle safely to a stop in Egg Harbor, Atlantic City, Vineland, and beyond.

However, you may sometimes run into a situation where you need to quickly hit the brakes. They alone may not provide the stopping power you need, which is where the anti-lock brake system comes in.

We’ll go over exactly what this system is and how it can help prevent you from losing control of your automobile. Read through the information below, and feel free to contact the Boardwalk Acura Service Center if you have any questions.

Anti-Lock Brake System: Overview

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) is a feature that restores traction to your tires, so that you can safely steer in an emergency situation.

There are four main components to an anti-lock brake system:

  • Speed sensors: These are located at each wheel and will convey the fact that the wheel is about to lock up.
  • Valves: There’s a valve in the brake line of each brake operated by ABS. Some systems have valves with three positions. In position one, the valve is open; position two, it blocks the line; position three, it releases some pressure from the brake.
  • Pump: While the valve releases pressure from the brakes, it’s the pump that puts that pressure back up.
  • Controller: This is the computer in a car, and it watches the speed sensors and controls the valves.

The anti-lock braking system has become standard in more vehicles over the past 10 years. As a result, you can have peace of mind knowing you have a system in your vehicle that has your back.

How ABS Works

The anti-lock brake system monitors your vehicle’s wheel speed. If it detects the wheels locking up, the sensor will send a message to the controller. This part will then release and apply the brake up to 20 times a second, to prevent a lock-up and help you maintain control of your automobile.

You’ll know that ABS is working when you hear or feel vibrations in the brake pedal. At that point, you’ll want to firmly press and hold the brakes, then steer to safety.

Using the Anti-Lock Braking System

Brake Services

While ABS does help prevent the wheels from locking up, it may not shorten stopping distance. You’ll want to be mindful of that when you go to hit the brakes. Plus, the pedal may vibrate or push back, which is normal.

An anti-lock braking system works most effectively when all four tires are in good condition. Therefore, you’ll want to regularly check that there’s enough tread on the tires, they’re at the proper tire pressure, and there are no cracks, bulges, or blisters anywhere.

If your car doesn’t have ABS, or it’s not working properly (from worn brake linings or air/dirt in the brake fluid), then you’ll want to pump the brakes if you start to skid. However, if you pump the brakes while ABS is working properly, it may take longer for the vehicle to stop. So, keep a firm hold on the brake pedal, and let the system do all the work.

Learn More About Your Car’s Anti-Lock Brake System

If you have an unresponsive brake pedal, or the ABS light comes on, then the system may be failing. If that’s the case, you run the risk of getting into an accident on the roads of Egg Harbor, Atlantic City, or Vineland.

Therefore, if you experience any issues with ABS, or you simply want to learn more about your car’s anti-lock brake system, schedule service with the Boardwalk Acura Service Center today!