Auto Body Shop Reviews: The ABS Revolution

Posted on: February 18th, 2014 by Accurate Auto Body Repair No Comments

auto body shop abs

In Colorado, our drivers almost always have to deal with slippery conditions caused by ice or rain at some point in the year. In the event of slipping, proper protocol requires you to pump the brake pedal to re-engage the brakes to gain better traction when slipping. However, newer cars have rendered this practice obsolete. Since the early 1970s, cars have been outfitted with a technology called anti-lock brakes, or ABS brakes for short. Since the inception of this technology, auto body shops across the state have seen less car accidents caused by slipping, and for good reason.

ABS systems force your car to rapidly pump your brakes automatically in the event of a loss of traction. All you need to do is hold the brake firmly until the brakes once again engage. You may feel a vibrating sensation coming from the pedal, this is normal, as the brakes are being pushed and released repeatedly. Since the 70s, these systems have become more robust, not just attempting to engage the brakes, but controlling other minor features like the front-to-rear brake bias. ABS systems have also been implemented into other vehicles, like motorcycles. ABS has become so critical to vehicle performance in slippery conditions, that in 2012 the federal government mandated that all vehicles produced from that point on provide the technology. That means that any vehicle after 2012 should always carry anti-lock brakes. Even then, cars before that timeframe often carried ABS. Aside from small 2011 models like the Chevy Aveo and Kia Rio, all vehicles came with ABS systems. As you get further in the past, ABS brakes become less and less standard, so it’s important to ask the dealer if they are provided when purchasing a used car. But if your car is brand new, you can rest assured that ABS brakes will be supplied.

With all that said, there are variations in types of anti-lock brakes. While typically this nuance may seem irrelevant to your average driver, it can carry significant weight for vehicle control in slippery conditions. The number of sensors and channels can vary on ABS systems. Sensors monitor an individual tire or axle’s speed to ensure that it is attaining maximum braking force. If it isn’t, then the anti-lock systems will engage. These ABS systems can have anywhere between one and four sensors. Four sensors would imply that there is a sensor for every tire, while one sensor would imply that there is one sensor on the front or back axle. The channels, on the other hand, refer the amount of valves that are individually controlled when the ABS systems engage. These valves are utilized to relieve hydraulic pressure from the tires, preventing them from locking, hence the term, anti-lock brakes. When your tires aren’t locking, you can maintain a certain degree of control while your vehicle begins slipping. Typically, though not necessarily always, a four-channel, four sensor set-up is the best combination. This differs for bigger cars like trucks, so make sure you talk to the car dealer or a mechanic about those differences.

How To Use This Information

Snow means more opportunities to slip. Nobody wants you to get into an accident, so having a vehicle that has ABS brakes can be useful. ABS brakes are a positive step towards making the driver do less when on the road, allowing you to better focus and avoid accidents. If you happen to get into an accident, then contact Accurate Auto Body Repair, one of Denver’s premier auto body shops, and we will get you squared away in no time.

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