Auto Part Insights - ABS

Anti-lock Brake System or ABS - What is it?

Modern vehicles come equipped with some of the most advanced safety features whose primary function is to save the life of the occupants under most untoward circumstances. But before we rely on the vehicle's safety features to get us out of a precarious situation alive, it is always better to avoid getting into one in the first place. Again this is easier said than done. Since everyone driving a vehicle is human, errors are bound to creep in. The smallest of driving mistakes can endanger the life of the driver and the occupants along with that of everyone else on the road. While it is not possible to completely eradicate driving errors, there certainly is a possibility wherein we can minimize them. Apart from our own effort of cautious driving and following the rules, we can seek help from the modern technologies in automobiles. Modern technology has brought forth many revolutionary features in automobiles today that aid efficient driving with a view to minimize driving effort and in the process, minimize the scope of errors as well. Features like Anti-lock Brake System or ABS in vehicles has turned out to be a positive step that has saved numerous lives on the road and will continue to do so. In case you are wondering what ABS is, let me tell you that it is a technological advancement of the normal braking system in vehicles and comparatively it is much more effective, safer and uses a computer chip to control the braking mechanisms. The normal braking system that has been around for ages now is still the most widely used braking system in the world but the rise of ABS over the years has been phenomenal due to its effectiveness and life saving abilities. A normal braking system functions on hydraulic force that is created when we press the brake pedal. The brake fluid in the system creates pressure that clamps the brake discs preventing the wheels from rotating. When the wheels stop rotating, the vehicle comes to a halt. The only drawback of this system however is the sudden freeze in motion of the wheels causes them to lock and the momentum gained at high speeds causes the vehicle to skid on the road. This is particularly dangerous when the locked wheels don't respond to steering controls. The fact governing this situation is that only rotating wheels can be steered. With locked wheels and your vehicle skidding across the road, you are as helpless as a sitting duck waiting to be shot. Locked wheels are more dangerous on wet, slick and snow covered roads and many vehicles have been damaged in collisions as a result of skidding. A technique employed over the years by race car drivers worldwide is to press and release the brake pedal in extremely quick successions to stop the vehicle without locking the wheels. This way the vehicle speed comes down drastically and the driver can maneuver around obstacles with full control over steering. This technique however remained confined to professionals since it was almost impossible to practice such complex procedures in a potential accident situation. A normal person would find it hard to even comprehend a possible crash let alone have the presence of mind to press and release the brake pedal in quick successions. This idea however led to the invention of Anti-lock Brake System. An ABS uses a computer chip to perform the same function of pressing and releasing brakes with a frequency that is unmatched by any human effort. In a crash situation, all you need to do is; stomp on the brake pedal and let the computer do the rest. The computerized press and release action does not lock the wheels so your vehicle effectively looses speed and momentum while you have complete control to steer past any obstacles in the way. Innovative and effective indeed! ABS manages to do this with the help of sensors located on all four wheels that constantly send the information across to the main computer on-board the vehicle. When you press the brakes, the on-board computer balances the brake power to provide equal pressure over all four wheels. The constant clamping and releasing of the brake discs prevents a complete freeze in motion while decreasing the speed effectively. It is said that if ABS saves you from just one road accident, it has earned you much more yield than the nominal investment you put in for installing this system in your vehicle. Anti-lock Brake System can definitely save you and your vehicle from most hazardous situations on the road and for this reason, it is a life saver rather than just another added safety feature in vehicles. I expect to see the normal braking system becoming obsolete in the years to come because of the unmatched performance and the rise in popularity of the ABS. James Rodham
Quality Auto Parts Keywords: ABS, anti lock brake system, brake discs, how does ABS work, normal braking system, safety features in vehicles



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