Most drivers have a good idea of what ABS or Anti-lock braking systems do.
They know that it prevents the wheels from locking up under braking (hence the name), which could lead to the car skidding.
But do you know how ABS actually works, and how to use ABS properly?
HOW ANTI-LOCK BRAKES WORK
ABS works by rapidly activating and releasing your brakes. This prevents your wheels (and tyres) from locking up.
Before it was introduced to cars, drivers who braked too hard caused the wheels to lock up.
In wet conditions, this could lead to a loss of control due to skidding.
Like the above photo, the car would continue moving in a particular direction despite the brakes being applied.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT THE ABS IS WORKING?
You will feel strong pulses from your brake pedal and there will be loud “groaning” noise.
When you feel it for the first time, you may be startled enough to release the brake pedal because you think something is wrong.
USING ABS TO AVOID ACCIDENTS
Let’s say you’re cruising along a two-lane road when suddenly, another vehicle reverses out in front of you.
At that point, you could just slam on the brakes and hope your car stops in time.
However, if there is no oncoming traffic and the road behind you is clear as well, you should slam on the brakes and steer to avoid the other car.
With ABS, your wheels will not lock up and you will not skid. This enables you to brake and steer simultaneously.
It is important to keep your foot on the brake pedal while doing this. Ignore the pulsing sensations coming from the brake pedal.
That’s just the ABS working. There is nothing wrong with your car.