Torque Tips | Everything you need to know about ABS

Everything you need to know about ABS

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-A crucial safety feature for you and your family-

What is ABS and how does it work?

ABS or also known as an anti-lock braking system, is a safety feature that is standard on most vehicles today. It is an anti-skid braking system which prevents the wheels from locking up (and you from skidding) when you brake harshly by rapidly pumping the brakes.

How to identify if my vehicle has ABS:

Got it, spot it. The easiest way to determine this is by looking at your instrument cluster. It should be indicated with an “ABS” or “Anti-Lock” light between the illuminated warning signs and information. If not, browse through the vehicle owner’s manual, ring up the manufacture’s local dealership, or look up the model of your vehicle on the manufacturer’s website.

My vehicle doesn’t have ABS

This is a more common occurrence with older vehicles and owners don’t have to go into a flat spin. If your brakes have locked when you brake harshly, simply take your foot off the pedal and reply in a pumping motion to mimic ABS. It’s not as effective but it will certainly help.

My ABS light is on

Firstly, just know that it doesn’t mean that you don’t have brakes, just that you don’t have the assistance of ABS. it could be something as simple as brake fluid needing topping or there could be something more serious like a pressure loss in the braking system. We suggest that you peek at your brake fluid reservoir and top it if necessary. If it is filled or you have filled it and the light is still on, head over to an expert for an inspection.  

Different types of ABS:

·         4-channel and 4-sensor ABS:

This  is the most common ABS available on vehicles today such as popular city vehicles, sedans and hatchbacks. This type of ABS  has a speed sensor on all four wheels and a valve that monitors each wheel individually.

·         3-channel and 4-sensor ABS:

Commonly found on light bakkies and SUVs. It has a speed sensor on all four wheels with a separate valve for the wheels on the front with only one valve for the wheels on the rear.

·         3-channel and 3-sensor ABS:

This ABS type is common on bakkies, SUVs and minivans. It has one valve and speed sensor for each of the front wheels but only one valve and speed sensor for the rear.

·         2-channel and 4-sensor ABS:

This ABS type can be found on old vehicles usually from the late ‘80s to late ‘90s models. With a speed sensor for each wheel and a valve for the front and rear axle.

·         1-channel and 1-sensor ABS:

Found on bakkies, SUVs and minivans with rear-wheel ABS. it has one valve that controls both wheels at the rear and has only one speed-sensor that is in the rear as well.

Driving a vehicle installed with ABS makes you a proud contributor to safer South African roads up to 18 % according to multiple studies conducted. Just another safety feature in smart engineers’ caps!

Written by: Nita Stadler