With the Utah winter snow falling on roads in Salt Lake City and along the Wasatch Front, safe braking on snowy and icy roads is a concern that is significantly reduced with a properly functioning anti-lock brake system (called ABS) on your car. ABS systems have been installed in most vehicles since the late 1980’s.
Your car’s Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) is explained in plain language by Tim, owner of GT Automotive in South Jordan. Whether you drive an Audi (the car in this video) or any car 10 years old or newer, your brakes are equipped with an anti-lock system on either front or rear, or both sets of axles. See what you should know about your brake service in this video.
Your antilock brake system is a safe and effective braking system, allowing you to maintain directional stability and control while braking and steering, and reduce stopping distances during emergency braking situation, particularly on wet, slippery, icy or snowy road surfaces.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about your ABS Brake system, as posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) web page:
What is ABS? Why Is ABS important?
An antilock braking system works with the regular or foundation brakes on your vehicle. ABS simply keeps your base brakes from locking up. In vehicles not equipped with ABS, the driver can manually pump the brakes to prevent wheel lockup. In vehicles equipped with ABS, the driver’s foot remains firmly on the brake pedal, allowing the system to automatically pump the brakes.
When your brakes lock up on wet, slippery, icy or snowy roads (or during a panic stop), you lose steering control, and your vehicle can spin. Rear wheel ABS prevents wheel lockup so that your car stays in a straight line. If your car has ABS control on all four wheels, you also keep steering control. If you have steering control, it is possible to avoid a crash by steering around hazards if a complete stop cannot be accomplished in time.
Will I notice anything when the ABS is working?
In many vehicles, drivers may experience a rapid pulsation of the brake pedal–almost as if the brakes are pushing back at you. Sometimes the pedal could suddenly drop. Also, the valves in the ABS controller may make a noise that sounds like grinding or buzzing. In some cars you may feel a slight vibration–this means the ABS is working. It is important NOT to take your foot off the brake pedal when you hear noise or feel pulsations, but instead continue to apply firm pressure.
Does ABS change the way I should use the brakes?
You should not pump your brakes if you have ABS. Just hold your foot firmly on the brakes pedal and remember that you can still steer.
How does ABS work?
What ABS does is similar to a person pumping the brakes. It automatically changes the pressure in your car’s brake lines to maintain maximum brake performance just short of locking up the wheels. ABS does this very rapidly with electronics.
Do cars with ABS stop more quickly than cars without?
ABS is designed to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle during emergency braking situations, not make the car stop more quickly. ABS may shorten stopping distances on wet or slippery roads and many systems will shorten stopping distances on dry roads. On very soft surfaces, such as loose gravel or unpacked snow, an ABS system may actually lengthen stopping distances. In wet or slippery conditions, you should still make sure you drive carefully, always keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you, and maintain a speed consistent with the road conditions.
Brakes are among the most important systems in your car. They are not just parts-they are your safety system. Whether you drive an Audi, VW, Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Chevy, Ford, Dodge, car or truck-there’s a lot riding on your brakes. Understanding how they work will help you take the best care possible, meaning safe driving, and avoiding accidents.
For Audi service and maintenance needs, GT Automotive has ASE certified technicians for all Audi model vehicles. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about servicing and/or repairing your Audi in Salt Lake City.