Did you know that in 1993, ]]>Lincoln]]> became one of the first automobile companies to provide standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes on all of their vehicles?
Well, that was then, and now, an anti-lock braking system or ABS as it’s popularly known is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.
All the cars manufactured today need to have ABS.
In fact, as per the Federal law in the USA, all cars built since September 1, 2000 need to have ABS.
So, let’s start by understanding this fairly new system that your car possibly has too.
If you’re not too sure, get your vehicle checked by a good auto repair shop.
What is ABS?
ABS is a feature designed for the safety of the driver which helps them retain the control of their vehicle by preventing the wheels from locking up when the brakes are applied suddenly.
Wheel lock here means that when the brakes are applied very hard, the wheels stop rotating and due to which your vehicle can start to slide.
The ABS doesn't depend on the texture of the road. Whether it’s dry or wet, when the brakes are applied suddenly, it will result in a wheel lock.
What’s all this hype about wheel lock? Let’s find out.
Why is Wheel Lock Dangerous?
It is dangerous because the driver loses the control of the steering wheel.
Since the wheels of the car stop rotating, the driver will have no way to control the vehicle or the direction it’s moving in.
The car will start sliding, and the driver will be helpless.
Hence, the ABS technology was introduced so that the wheels don't get jammed when the brakes are pushed hard.
How is ABS Useful?
In certain road conditions where hard braking may be a necessity, ABS will keep both the driver and the vehicle safe.
3 Benefits of ABS
1. Stopping on Ice
ABS prevents skidding and lock-ups even when the road is very slippery. They have been proven to save lives in a few situations when by letting the drivers control their vehicle.
2. Lower Insurance Costs
Since it’s a thoroughly tested safety technology, plus it has a great track record, insurers are known to give customers discounts for having ABS on their vehicle.
3. Higher Resale Value
ABS technology is a standard requirement on all vehicles today.
So, having this feature on your vehicle can fetch you a higher market price.
How Does ABS Work?
The first thing that you need to know is that not all ABS have the same setup.
Some prevent all the wheels from locking while some only prevent the rear wheels.
One of the universal aspects of ABS is that they detect the wheel speed when a potential wheel lock is detected; brakes are applied fast and released on the problematic wheel.
Anti-lock braking system works by ‘Pumping the Brake’ - the technology used was learned by the drivers when ABS didn't exist.
The only difference between the two is that ABS can sense the potential wheel lock and acts on it much faster.
Undoubtedly, it’s more efficient than the humans.
3 Major Components of ABS
- It has wheel speed sensors that monitor the rotation speed of the wheel.
- Hydraulic units pump the brakes.
- The wheel sensors receive the information through an Electronic Control Unit or ECU, and if it is mandatory, it directs the brakes to be pumped on one or more wheels.
ECU and hydraulic units are fixed together in today's ABS systems, therefore, even though they are different units they are physically combined.
ECU is always working to check any signs of rapid speed of the wheel that's an indicator that the wheel's about to get locked.
Is ABS Really Effective?
“Okay, so everything sounds really good, but is ABS really effective?”
If this is what’s going on in your mind, then you need to read further.
One of the the major purposes served by ABS is to give the drivers control over the car when they need to har brake.
Let’s take a look at a few numbers.
- There's been a 35% reduction in frontal collisions that take place on wet roads.
- A 9% decrease in the frontal impact that takes place on dry roads. This is because the driver is allowed to steer in a frontal collision, and due to ABS, they have decreased.
When tested under controlled situations, following were the results.
- The drivers (58%) who didn't have ABS strayed from their designated path when they applied brakes whereas drivers (24%) who had ABS stayed on their tracks.
Myth - It serves the purpose of reducing the distance of the stopping of the vehicle..
Fact - This can't be confirmed. In fact, it can be counted as an additional perk of ABS.
In March 2010, United Nations started the ]]>Decade of Action for Road Safety]]> in which the aim is to save 5 million lives on the road by 2020 through global efforts cooperation.
Therefore, they have been trying to spread awareness about the benefits of ABS in cars and motorcycles.
Make sure you get ABS checked whenever you take your car for its regular tune up.
If you’re in Doylestown, look up A&D Customs.
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If you are looking for professional automotive repair in Doylestown, A&G Customs is the auto repair shop you should call.
You can call them on 215 669 3072.
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