Q: How does the antilock brake system work?

asked by on December 15, 2015

How does the antilock brake system work?

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) on your car is designed to help ensure that you’re able to maintain control of the steering when you slam on your brakes. It’s a hydraulic system and supplemental to your main brake system.

The ABS does quite a few things, actually. First, it ensures that none of your wheels lock up during hard braking. Second, it provides braking performance distribution between the front and rear wheels (based on “loading” of your vehicle).

Feeling a pulsation in the pedal during very hard braking is normal – that’s the ABS kicking in. The system pulses rapidly to bring all four wheels to the same speed and avoid locking them up, which can send you into an uncontrolled skid. A pulsation in the pedal under normal braking is a sign that your brakes may need resurfacing and/or pad replacement, though.

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