What is an Anti-Lock Brake System?

Driving Your Car

Your brakes are one of the most important safety systems in your car. You’re probably familiar with the term anti-lock brakes, but what is an anti-lock brake system?

The Pat Peck Honda service team reviews this important part of your vehicle to help drivers in Gulfport, Long Beach, and Biloxi learn more about what makes you car stop safely.

What is an Anti-Lock Brake System

Car Rotors

An anti-lock brake system (ABS) helps prevent skidding and sliding when you slow down and stop. It also allows you to continue steering and stop faster and more effectively.

Your basic brake system works by using brake pads to apply pressure to the rotors inside your wheels. When you have to stop suddenly to avoid an accident, these brake pads clamp down on them and lock the wheels in place.

This stops them from rotating and stops the vehicle. However, when your wheels are locked up, you aren’t able to steer. This is what ABS was designed for. They give you the ability to maneuver out of the way while you’re slowing down, so you’re more likely to be able to avoid an accident.

How Do Anti-Lock Brakes Work?

The ABS system prevents skidding and lets you control the wheels by pulsing the brakes rather than locking them on your rotors. Each one of your wheels has its own anti-lock brake that works together as a system just like your regular brakes.

So, what is an anti-lock brake? On top of the calipers that hold your brake pads, you’ll find a speed sensor. There is one on each one of your wheels. When you press down on the brake pedal hard, it can detect the sudden change in speed.

This data travels through a series of valves to a computer. It takes this information and uses a pump to rapidly release then reapply pressure to the brakes. There are two big benefits to this:

  1. Without the wheels locked up, you’ll be able to turn them and avoid any obstacles in your way.
  2. Rapidly reapplying pressure results in a shorter stopping distance.

Does My Car Have Anti-Lock Brakes?

Brake Pedal

Most cars on the road today have standard anti-lock brakes. If you’re unsure if your vehicle has them, there are two simple ways you can find out. The first is to look in your owner’s manual. The faster and easier way is to see what your dashboard says.

Take a seat behind the wheel and put your key in the ignition. Turn the key slightly but don’t turn it over or start the engine. Now, look at what system lights are on. If there’s one that says the letters “ABS,” then your car has anti-lock brakes.

It’s also good to know what the anti-lock brake light looks like. If you’re driving and this service alert comes on, it means that your ABS system has malfunctioned.

Honda Brake Service near Gulfport, Long Beach, and Biloxi

Visit Pat Peck Honda if you have any additional questions on your anti-lock brake system or to get your brakes serviced. We have a team of highly trained technicians in our service center who can take care of everything from routinely replacing your brake pads to looking at your car when the ABS light is on.

If you’ve recently seen the ABS dashboard warning light or you’ve noticed issues with your brake system, schedule service with us online.