Title: What Does Your ABS Do?

ABS or Anti-Lock Braking Systems, have been required by law in new Australian vehicles since 2003. It may be commonplace now, but do you really know what this clever safety system actually does? You may never have used your anti-lock braking before but this vital safety feature is designed to stop your brakes from locking up and help you maintain control of your vehicle when braking heavily.

A Brief History

Did you know the idea of a brake force regulator for cars was designed by a German engineer as early as the 1920s? It took a while for technology and manufacturing costs to catch up to the idea but ABS moved from planes and trains to luxury cars, and eventually became the safety standard it is today.


How Does ABS Work & What Exactly Does It Do?

Vehicles with 4-wheel anti-lock braking sensors monitor all wheels when the brakes are applied. If the sensor begins to detect your wheels locking up the ABS controller takes control and rapidly applies and releases your brakes to maintain traction and to prevent the tyre from skidding. The onboard computer controlling the braking can apply and release your brakes up to 15 times a second. If you have driven vehicles without ABS you probably recognise this idea of pulsing the brakes rather than maintaining pressure, the anti-lock system is now doing this for you so you don’t have to think about braking in an emergency.

Depending on the kind of ABS in your vehicle, when you brake heavily you can feel the brake pedal kick back against your foot as the controller begins pulsing. This is less common in more modern cars that rely on the electronics on board to brake rather than a more mechanical system. You may also feel or hear a vibrating or knocking noise as the ABS applies and releases your brakes as fast as 15 times a second in some cases.

Because anti-lock braking systems allow you to maintain control of your vehicle without skidding or losing steering you are also able to steer out of danger. Other than the obvious safety benefits, of being able to stop quickly and in a controlled manner, ABS also offers a range of other benefits. Your anti-lock braking helps increase the lifespan of your tyres, wheels, brake pads, brake callipers and other parts that can be worn out by sudden heavy braking.

Is Your ABS Working Properly?

The ABS light in your vehicle is the quickest and easiest way to tell if there is a problem with the system. This light can indicate everything from a problem with the brake sensors to low brake fluid. In some vehicles, it’s even possible to turn the ABS off and the light is there to remind you this important safety feature has been disabled.

Don’t Wait For An Auto-Electrical Health Check

Anti-lock braking systems rely heavily on sensors and onboard computers and electronics to work properly. Bashi’s Auto Electrical has decades of specialist experience working on auto electronics including ABS sensors and controllers. Don’t risk having this vital safety feature fail when you need it most.

Our friendly expert team is here to get you back on the road safely with electrical health checks, as well as specialist diagnostics and repairs for cars, 4WDs, trucks and more. If your ABS light is on, your planning a road trip or are just concerned about your vehicle contact us today.