ABS is an acronym that stands for “anti-lock brakes” or “anti-lock braking system”.
Most people know that it has something to do with car or vehicle safety.
If you’ve been wondering what exactly it does, read on!
ABS helps prevent skids
Before ABS was invented, brakes in cars had a tendency to lock-up if the driver slammed on the brake pedal.
This would cause the tyres to lock up.
However, when tyres lock up, the car is at serious risk of skidding, especially in wet conditions.
Once a car starts skidding, that means it cannot grip the tarmac and is now at the mercy of physics.
ABS stops my brakes from locking up. What are its other advantages?
The biggest benefit that anti-lock brakes accord us is the ability to steer even while braking heavily.
In the past, when the brakes locked, you couldn’t steer because you might make the skid worse.
Now you can steer to avoid obstacles. This has proven to be a life-saver.
I felt and heard a strong pulsing sound during a near-miss incident – is something wrong?
When you emergency brake, the brake pedal pulses and you might hear a loud grounding noise.
Both are signs that your anti-lock brakes are indeed working.
In an emergency, do not release the brake pedal when you feel these.
You will not be able to slow the car down and steer your way out of trouble.
This is useful especially during thunderstorms, when you need to be able to exert as much grip as possible despite the wet conditions.
Can I install ABS in an old car that doesn’t have it?
It would not be practical and would probably be almost impossible to accomplish.
These days, the anti-lock braking system in more and more cars is tied to the drivetrain and its various modes.
That means anti-lock brakes are part of a suite of safety features that rely on ECUs (electronic control units).