What Is an Anti-Lock Brake System?

Car Brakes

An anti-lock brake system is a braking technology that’s designed to help you improve your stopping ability while maintaining control of your vehicle in emergency braking situations. Most modern cars are designed with an anti-lock brake system (ABS) in place.

To go more in-depth into the question of “what is an anti-lock brake system,” and how it can benefit your drives through Mobile, Prichard, and Saraland, our team at Nissan of Mobile put together this brief overview.

Understanding Your Car’s Braking System

To understand what ABS is, we have to first look at how a car’s braking system

When you press the brakes, that creates pressure in the brake lines, which runs down to your brake pads. They then compress around the rotor, causing a friction that stops the wheels from spinning, and brings the car to a halt.

During emergency braking, ABS automatically kicks in at the moment your rotors create enough friction to stop the wheels from spinning completely. This moment is also known as “locking.”

What Are the Benefits of an Anti-Lock Brake System?

Anti-lock brake systems serve several benefits, including preventing skidding, increasing your control over your car, and improving cornering capability:

  1. Skid Prevention

If you brake quickly while travelling at fast speeds or along low-traction roadways, momentum may keep you moving forward, even when your wheels have locked. This is also known as “skidding.” ABS prevents this by continuously pumping the brakes around a rate of 15 times-per-second-releasing the brakes each time at the very moment before they lock.

  1. Increased Driver Control

Since ABS pumps your brakes instead of locking them, it still allows you to steer effectively, which gives you more control over your car in emergency situations. So, if you’re approaching a hazard, you may still be able to steer yourself out of the way if braking alone isn’t enough.

  1. Safer Cornering

Anti-lock brake systems have also been used to help modern cars improve their cornering capabilities. If you hit a corner at a faster speed than recommended, the skid prevention and steering capabilities help you keep you on your intended path along a tighter curve.

ABS Malfunction Indicator

Brakes on Car

It’s not common, but at some point, you may see a light on your dashboard that looks like the letters “ABS.” This is the ABS malfunction indicator and tells you that your anti-lock brake system may have experienced a fault.

The good news is, if your ABS isn’t working, your regular braking system will still be functional and can help you stop as you would normally. However, it’s important to schedule service with a certified service centersoon to ensure you have the extra protection of ABS should you encounter an emergency situation.

Anti-Lock Brake System FAQ

If you have any more questions about what an anti-lock brake system is, you’re not alone. We have drivers from the Mobile, Saraland, and Prichard areas ask us about it often.

To learn more about ABS, come to the Nissan of Mobile service center and our technicians will be happy to show you how this system works and inspect yours to ensure it’s working properly.

Make your service center appointment today!