Understanding Anti-lock Brakes
Anti-lock brakes help drivers maintain steering control during hard braking. Not only does this braking system work differently, it is used differently, too.
Difference From Conventional Brakes
When pushed hard, conventional brakes may cause wheels to lock up, making the steering ineffective. In contrast, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) allows drivers to continue steering while braking so they can maneuver around objects. An electronic control unit senses when a wheel is approaching lock up and intermittently reduces pressure several times a second. The process is much like that of pumping conventional brakes, but faster and better.
The ABS emergency braking technique is different from that used with conventional brakes. During hard or severe braking conditions, drivers with ABS should press hard on the brake pedal and not let up. This is known as "stomp and steer". Sometimes an ABS creates noise and causes the brake pedal to vibrate when the system is activated. Don't take your foot off the brake pedal if this happens. This is a normal occurrence, and your ABS is functioning properly.
Anti-lock Brakes Do's and Don'ts
If you have anti-lock brakes, or are considering buying a vehicle that has them, use them properly! In severe braking situations with anti-lock brakes, remember:
- DO stomp on the brakes when braking hard
- DO maintain firm pressure on the brake pedal and continue steering to avoid an accident
- DON'T let up even if the system makes noise or the pedal vibrates
- DON'T pump the brakes
- DO drive safely
Content may not apply to all models. Consult your owner's manual for specific information about your vehicle.