What does the orange ABS light being on mean?
The Anti-lock braking system in your car, allows you to stop your car in very slippery conditions, while maintaining control. The ABS system automatically pulsate the brakes, allowing you to still steer the car. I have had many customers say they do not like anti-lock brakes. When asked why, they say it is the noises and they do not like the way the brake pedal feels.
When the anti-lock brakes need repair the orange ABS light on your dash is illuminated. You still have the conventional hydraulic brakes, so it is not a safety issue. The decision to repair this system or not can be difficult because of the cost. Because of the complexity of the ABS brakes there generally is extensive troubleshooting required. The ABS brake system is comprised of many components:
- There is a speed sensor at each wheel, which generally is the most common failure. Speed sensors are expensive on their own and in many cases is part of the wheel bearing, even making it more expensive.
- The speed sensors inform the ABS computer how fast each tire is turning. When stopping in slippery conditions a slipping tire will record a slower speed. At this time the ABS computer will be pulsating that brake so that you may maintain control.
- The ABS computer activates a hydraulic pump (controller) to pump each individual brake.
Braking with ABS vs. Braking without ABS
Have you ever heard the saying ‘pump your brakes’? ABS takes away the need to do so. This is why many are uncomfortable when they first drive with an active ABS system or are use to an older car. It is the exact opposite if a driver that has always been driving with an active ABS system and it fails. This may cause safety issues as the need to ‘pump the brakes’ now applies but is not a natural reaction for them.
After some practice in a large parking lot most of their complaints are addressed. With an ABS system you firmly apply the brakes and steer the car to avoid the accident. It is a lot simpler for the driver, just keep the brakes applied. Or if you choose to leave your ABS brakes not functional, practice pressing your foot on the brakes, in short intervals when on slippery, icy or other conditions where stopping is being hindered. Either way, it is important to become familiar with how they work, we are happy to show you when you bring your vehicle for a free test drive to Clark Automotive.
Blaine Automotive Repair
9985 Davenport St. NE
Blaine, MN 55449
Phone: (763) 784-7944
MON – FRI 8:00 – A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
SAT (BY APPOINTMENT ONLY)