The role of anti-lock brakes in a car is to stop the vehicle from skidding should you need to brake sharply. When at speed, the wheels can lock and result in a loss of steering and traction on the road if braking quickly. The goal of the ABS (anti-lock braking system) is to reduce the risk of the wheels locking.
Our guide at Car Parts 4 Less will take you through the finer details of ABS, what are anti-lock brakes and how to use anti-lock brakes in an emergency.
How Anti-Lock Brakes Work
Within each wheel hub of a car is a sensor that tracks how fast the wheel is rotating. If it determines the wheel is about to lock, the brake pressure is quickly reduced and increased to keep the wheel moving.
With ABS, the driver can maintain more control over their steering when needing to brake sharply.
How To Use Anti-Lock Brakes
ABS is not designed to take effect during normal driving conditions; it won’t kick in when braking normally. Anti-lock brakes will only activate during sharp braking manoeuvres eg. when emergency braking.
You will know ABS is working when you feel a judder in the brake, which is the ABS rapidly engaging and disengaging the brake pressure.
When Are Anti-Lock Brakes Effective?
It’s important to know that anti-lock brakes are not effective on ice and slippery surfaces; ABS will not aid with steering here. It is on dry and solid surfaces where anti-lock brakes are most effective, for example on a main road and you need to brake sharply in an emergency stop.