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Vehicle Tips for Driving your automobile With ABS

The following article offers instructions for the proper use of your vehicle’s four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS).  Anti-lock braking systems are very popular in today’s cars, having ridden automobile owners of the dangers of “brake-locking”. Follow some advice in the operation of your vehicle ABS to maximize their benefits.

Conventional automobile braking systems can lock during emergency situations, forcing the vehicle’s operator to pump the brakes. Often this creates difficulty, confusion and can lead the vehicle into an accident. Many automobiles feature anti-lock braking because the system makes it easier for the vehicle’s operator to command the steering of his or her car while braking, especially in emergency situations. This creates a significant safety advantage and is the reason ABS systems are so popular on today’s cars. The National-Safety-Council shares these recommendations by the ABS-Education-Alliance:

DO: In braking situations DO maintain continuous pressure on the car’s brakes while you are steering. Keeping your foot on the car’s brakes will enable the four-wheel ABS to function at its best. You do not ever want to pump your car’s brakes, even if you find the brake pedal pulsating. It is not necessary to pump, just maintain pressure.

If your vehicle is a light truck with real-wheel ABS your front wheels may still lock up the same as with conventional braking systems. If so, just ease slightly on your vehicle’s brakes. This will allow the front wheels to roll again so you can better steer the vehicle, but note, you do not need to pump the brakes.

DO give plenty of space to the car in front of you. Generally you want to be three seconds or more behind the vehicle immediately in front of you. If conditions are hazardous allow even more space between your car and the car in front of you.

DO use empty lots and other open places as practice areas for you to get accustomed to your car’s ABS. You want to feel comfortable with the pulsations and feelings that occur in your car brake pedal when the ABS is triggered. Practice emergency stops.

DO practice defensive driving. Just because your car has ABS, doesn’t mean you should be careless behind the wheel. Look at what happens to careless drivers, their cars get wrecked and sometimes they get hurt.

DO make good use of your vehicle owner’s manual. It offers instructions for the use of your car’s ABS and is a good refresher of other options in your auto.

DO research the different capabilities and functions of four-wheel versus rear-wheel ABS. If you are driving a passenger vehicle, it most likely has four-wheel ABS, whereas rear-wheel ABS is found exclusively on light trucks. Passenger cars need the four-wheel system to maintain steerability in emergency situations, whereas the rear-wheel ABS for light-trucks helps maintain directional stability and prevents the vehicle from skidding sideways.

DO be aware that your vehicle will not turn as quickly on a slippery road as it would on dry pavement.

DO avoid extreme steering maneuvers with your automobile while your anti-lock brake system is engaged.


DON'T: DON’T drive aggressively. An ABS-equipped vehicle can not magically protect you from reckless driving. Accelerating around curves, swerving through traffic or other aggressive driving maneuvers is in not a safe way to operate any vehicle.

DON'T pump the vehicle brakes. Never pump your car’s brakes because this confuses the ABS computer which pumps the brakes for you at a much higher rate of speed, allowing for optimum control of your vehicle steering.

DON'T worry over the mechanical noises and slight pulsations your vehicle’s ABS might make while you are applying pressure to the brake. This is common for a car with ABS. It is perfectly normal for ABS to do this and actually lets you know your system is working in your vehicle.



Continue this Vehicle article on ABS breaks >>

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