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Brakes are the most important safety component on your car. Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) have been standard in vehicles for more than 30 years and help provide stopping power when traction with the road is poor.
Simply put, anti-lock brake systems, or ABS, keep wheels from locking up during hard braking situations that might cause the car to slide out of control. Under most conditions, anti-lock brakes allow the driver to stop the car in the shortest distance possible and maintain positive steering control. ABS is only counter-productive in snowy conditions.
The sophisticated Antilock Brake System monitors the speed of each wheel and keeps them turning at the same speed by applying or releasing braking pressure to individual wheels. This is what causes the pulsating of the brake pedal when you make a hard stop. The result of a good anti-lock brake system is improved control over the vehicle, and less chance of skidding—especially on wet or slippery surfaces. ABS technology has become standard on virtually all automobiles, and it only grows more responsive and effective with each new generation of vehicles.
ABS technology needs regular inspection and maintenance from a qualified professional to function safely and reliably. One of the most common maintenance chores is cleaning the sensors that monitor wheel speed. These sensors are exposed to dirt and grime, and unclean sensors may cause improper functioning.
It’s recommended that all vehicle owners make brake inspection part of their routine maintenance schedule—something to do along with oil changes or tire rotations. Having a qualified technician look at your ABS will ensure you’re getting the stopping power you need, and that you and your passengers will remain protected by your vehicle’s braking system.
The Antilock Braking System relies on computer processors, the electrical system, and the hydraulic system to function. Essentially, the ABS technology takes threshold braking—practiced by skilled drivers of previous generations—and automates it, meaning that drivers of all skill levels can enjoy the same standards of safety.
Maintenance-wise, fluid levels need to be maintained and seals and gaskets should be inspected and replaced if necessary. The processors and system voltage should also be checked to identify any malfunctioning components. It’s important to have your ABS brakes inspected regularly to ensure proper functionality and safety.
If you suspect your ABS system isn’t working correctly or if the ABS light on your dashboard is illuminated, it’s recommended that you take your vehicle to a certified Meineke technician who can properly diagnose and resolve the problem.