You’re having a blast and a wonderful day, returning home from work or going on a long roadtrip. Suddenly, a shiny lights shines from your dashboard confusing you and getting you worried. There are usually shapes on your dashboard, like an exclamation mark, an engine, or your battery. What does these “ABS” letters mean? Are you in trouble? Should you stop your car immediately before everything goes downhill? Let’s get you out of that dark zone where the only light that shines is the ABS, and inform you about a thing or two about how your vehicles brakes work!
What Does ABS Mean on a Car?
The Anti-lock Braking System, also referred to as the ABS system, ensures that your tires stay attached to the earth as you brake. Your automobile may start to slide if your tires lose touch with the earth, which is dangerous as you might imagine. This loss of touch occurs when you start sliding as you brake due to your wheels getting locked.
ABS detects when the driver applies the brakes hard and when the wheels will likely lock up. It then rapidly adjusts the brake pressure, using the ideal amount of pressure while doing so several times per second. By doing this, the wheels can continue to turn while the car slows down rather than locking up.
The standard brakes on your automobile should still function properly, however the system that keeps wheels from locking up while braking will not. Also, because traction control and stability control rely on the same wheel-speed sensors as the antilock system, these features can also be disabled if your car has them.
How Does ABS Work?
An anti-lock electronic control module, a hydraulic control unit and four-wheel sensors (sometimes two or three) are the components of a conventional ABS. This system applies master cylinder hydraulic pressure to each of the four brakes under normal circumstances, and pulses pressure to each brake when a skid is detected.
Why is the ABS Light On?
Every time you start your automobile, the ABS light should briefly illuminate as a system check. That is okay, and there are no problems with it. If the light continues to shine, the system has been shut down because something isn't operating correctly.
Here are the most common reasons for ABS malfunction;
- A system fuse that has blown.
- A speck of road dirt may have covered your wheel-speed sensor.
- There may be a broken wire between your ABS sensors.
- Simply a malfunctioning ABS controller that needs changing.
Is it Safe to Drive with ABS Light On?
As regular braking is unaffected by the ABS light, you can continue to operate the vehicle while it is illuminated. However, since your ABS system aids in stopping control and driving without it can be risky, we wouldn't advise you to do this. You want to know how your car will function if something goes wrong. Without a fully functioning ABS system, your vehicle could not respond to hard braking as it should.
Clear that everytime you open car it comes on for a brief moment. Persistent light means danger, doesn’t affect breaking system, go to mechanic as soon as you can.
Lastly, always keep these 3 things in mind;
- If your automobile starts to skid, make sure to apply the brakes immediately if it doesn't have 4-wheel ABS or if the ABS is malfunctioning.
- When the tires are correctly inflated, and in good condition, ABS performs at its best.
- Wearing brake linings and air or dirt in the braking fluid are common reasons for 4-wheel ABS issues.