Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

5 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Anti-Lock Braking system (ABS)

Most newer vehicles come equipped with anti-lock braking systems, also known as ABS, in the vehicle. ABS helps to prevent the vehicle from skidding and helps the driver to maintain control when applying the brakes.

Here are the 5 most essential things to know about the ABS system in your car:

How to Apply the Brakes

When you are in a non-emergency situation, you simply apply the brakes as you normally would, and the vehicle will stop in the normal manner. When you are in an emergency however, and need to stop as quickly as possible, you should slam on the brakes as quickly and as hard as possible – do not pump the brakes.

The Difference Between Rear-Wheel and Four-Wheel ABS

Rear-wheel ABS is typically found on vans, SUVs, and trucks. It helps to provide more stability for the vehicle while stopping and to ensure it doesn’t skid sideways. Four-wheel anti-lock brake systems are often on passenger cars and some smaller trucks. This type of system will still allow the driver to steer the vehicle while the brakes are fully depressed.

Where to Locate the Brake Fluid for ABS

The brake fluid is in the ABS master cylinder in most vehicles. You can check the fluid level in the same manner as you would with a vehicle that does not have ABS: Simply look through the transparent brake fluid reservoir to ensure the fluid is between the minimum and maximum level markers.

ABS Improves Braking Effectiveness More Than Braking Speed

A vehicle that has a high-quality ABS system is usually able to stop somewhat faster than those without it. However, the purpose of these systems is to provide the driver with more overall control of the vehicle during hard-braking maneuvers.

How to Tell if the ABS Is Working

When you are driving normally, you will not notice any difference between traditional braking and ABS. It is only during hard braking that the system will be activated. At that point, you may notice a change in the way that the brakes feel. They may vibrate and press back against your foot, or the pedal could drop to the floor. You may hear a grinding sound as you depress the brakes; this is a sign the system is working properly.

Anti-lock braking systems help to make driving safer and to provide you with more effective braking with less manual effort when you are on the road. If you suspect any issues with the anti-lock braking system in your vehicle, have a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect it at your home or office as soon as you're able.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...


Related questions

Q: Where are the jack and spare tire?

The jack and spare tire are needed if you get a flat tire. They are both located in the trunk, underneath the luggage box cover.

Q: Transmission is not shifting out of first and won't start have to tap the starter it's a used transmission I just put it in.

Hi there. Check the brake switch (same as a neutral safety switch) to see if its working. This switch keeps the engine from starting in gear and only allows the transmission to be in park or neutral to start the...

Q: ABS/Parking warning lights back on after supposed fix

To read the flash codes, make sure you have a clean and stable chassis ground or the codes will not flash. If there is a secure ground and no flash codes, then it is quite possible that this is an...