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Efficient Usage of Anti-Lock Brake System

Updated on April 15, 2011

Safety of ABS with Efficient Use

Antilock brake system can be most efficient if necessary conditions such as following the instructions of usage, avoiding electromagnetic interference, and not breaking the common traffic rules because of trusting the safety of the antilock brake system, are supplied; otherwise ABS can cause accidents instead of safety.


Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)

Since the first stone wheel, until nowadays transportation systems have been developed continuously. The movement problem can easily be solved, unlike the braking problem; in fact, anything wheeled can be moved, but it cannot be stopped. In the period of system searching, the main problem is to have maximum navigation with minimum stopping distance, so the developments reach the safest point with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS). However anti-lock brake has very complicated systems and therefore the drivers have to know what anti-lock brake system is. Anti-lock brake system can be the most efficient if necessary conditions such as following the instruction of usage, avoiding electromagnetic interference, and not breaking the common traffic rules because of trusting the safety of the anti-lock brake system, are supplied; otherwise anti-lock brake system can cause accidents instead of safety.

The adventure of anti-lock brake system has started on the air and according to necessities has come down to daily road surface. Culpepper and Laman state that the history of anti-lock brake system started in 1950’s with airplanes and since the 80’s anti-lock brake system has been a general part of big trucks. After 85’s, Mercedes made anti-lock brake system a standard in S-class, then 87’s, anti-lock brake system was widely seen in new cars. In 1991, the percentage of new cars with anti-lock brake system was 18% and, grew up to 32% one year later. According to Ward’s Automotive reports, the number of users of anti-lock brake system increase day by day. Becker et al. claim that the reason of development of anti-lock brake system is the result of the constant improvement procedures in brake systems. The searching of safety has intersected with anti-lock brake system in the way of process.


Common brake systems are not effective enough in emergency situations; that is why anti-lock brake system was invented. Becker et al. declared in 1994 that although, common brake systems are efficient in normal circumstances, these may not supply safety braking conditions for the dangerous situations such as, damp or slick ways, “driver panic reactions” or “unanticipated obstacle.” The invention of anti-lock brake system supports the safety the drivers need in both conditions .

For efficient usage, drivers must know the working principles of anti-lock brake system and the first step must be learning the supervision of anti-lock brake system. Becker et al. state that the supervision circle of anti-lock brake system decides the braking process according to data’s from the drivers’ reactions to the situation, tires and road conditions, and friction force on the system.

The hydraulic system of anti-lock brake system has direct relation with three parts of the six main parts of the whole system. The related parts are wheel-brake cylinder, brake master cylinder and the hydraulic modulator which makes the anti-lock brake system different from other brake systems, because wheel brake cylinder and brake master cylinder are the standard parts of the common brake systems. Becker et al. say that the hydraulic modulator has three parts; these are, return pump, which sends free liquid to the master cylinder from the accumulator, accumulator, which consumes the brake liquid waving, and the solenoid valves, which navigate the pressure modulation method in the brake disks when anti-lock brake system is in active use . In 1999 Limpert states that electronic control unit instructions are used by hydraulic modulator, which behaves like a bridge between brake disks in wheel and pressure accumulator, to adjust the pressure in the brake disks by the help of solenoid valves.

The most important part of anti-lock brake system is the electronic system, which consist of two main parts and one secret part which is called indicator lamp. Becker et al. state that electronic control unit takes, increase [in its own boundaries], and separates the important signals which are given by the wheel-speed sensors to navigate the pressure on hydraulic modulator, and speed of tires. They declare that the electronic control unit organizes the brake pressure, by using wheel-speed sensors, which gives the frequencies of the circular velocity of tires. Anti-lock brake system’s indicator lamp works as the other safety lamps to warn the driver when anti-lock brake system has any problems in electronic or hydraulic system.

For the efficient and safe usage of anti-lock brake system, the drivers have to follow the correct procedures. The only way of increasing the effect of anti-lock brake system is staying away from the knowledge about common brake systems. If anti-lock brake system is used correctly, it provides the safety, which is expected.

The first suggestion is the drivers must not pump the pedal. Culpepper and Laman state that for the efficient usage of anti-lock brake system, in the circumstances of emergency, the driver has to press the brake pedal immediately, without pumping. Because anti-lock brake system controls the brake better than the driver does with minimum navigation loss unlike traditional brakes.

Secondly, the drivers have to continue to push the pedal whatever happens, such as vibrations or groaning. Lau says that ITT started a new program for the drivers to teach proper usage of anti-lock brake system, according to this program, the recommendations are as follows: press the pedal and do not release it, withstand the general wrong knowledge. In addition do not feel fear, although there are some vibrations on the brake pedal and the sound of moan from anti-lock brake system.

The last suggestion is avoiding the electromagnetic waves, as mentioned in “Technical Guidelines for Antilock Braking Systems”:

The ECU contains components that can detect radio waves and other electromagnetic “noise” and unintentionally send false signals because o them. To prevent radio frequency interference (RFI) and electromagnetic interference (EMI), ABS cables contain special shielding. When making repairs, take care to ensure the integrity of the shielding is not compromised.

As the harmful effects are known, mobile phones, which cause electromagnetic interference, should be switched off.

The drivers should not break the common traffic rules because of the safety of anti-lock brake system. The driver must not forget that the car with anti-lock brake system does not let the drivers navigate the car like rally drivers. Although anti-lock brake system supplies the minimum navigation loss by its system, the drivers must not turn corners at high speeds, and make sudden maneuvers, because these attempts are dangerous and not safe in normal traffic conditions.

The drivers who have trusted the safety of anti-lock brake system have caused many accidents. As the result of Eren’s researches in 1999 show, the traffic controllers and automobile producers expected with the increasing anti-lock brake system usage that the car accidents would diminish and driving security would increase. But the accident researches showed that the ratio of the cars with anti-lock brake system was 60% in the accidents with little damage. The reason was because the drivers navigated closer by relying on the anti-lock brake system.

Because of their mistaken understanding of anti-lock brake system, the drivers make high speed trusting the anti-lock brake system. At high speeds the calculations of daily cars could be made by the rules of racecars. Valkenburg states that the electronic control unit of racecars’ results could cause serious difficulties, while deciding working circle or “stepping logic to ‘pump’ the brakes at a high rate.” According to electronic control unit, determination and resonance could happen between modulation circle and suspension so the bounce of tires or harmful vibrations decrease the braking efficiency, even if it does not cause a malfunction of the suspension.

The drivers have to know that pushing the anti-lock brake system pedal does not stop the car immediately. Culpepper and Laman state that anti-lock brake system does not supply shorter stopping range on slippery ways, even worse the range can be more distant and also according to NHTSA’s studies, anti-lock brake system extends the stopping range about 27% on slippery ways. Although anti-lock brake system hardly ever makes the stopping range shorter [in normal surface situations] the ideas of the driver are wrong.

Anti-lock brake system just helps to control the car in emergency situations. Becker et al. say that while common brake systems lock the wheels so cause navigation and wheel traction loses, or slides from the way, anti-lock brake system changes the brake pressure on the brake disks with its systems, and provides the driver minimum navigation loss.

All things considered, although the anti-lock brake system is now at the peak point of safety in brake systems, it still requires the correct usage. If the drivers do not want to face with accidents instead of safety, anti-lock brake system must be used according to its instructions, without electromagnetic interference, by the drivers who must know what anti-lock brake system is, and who also navigate the car in the limits of traffic and physic rules.


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    • profile image

      Gabe 6 years ago

      At last some explanation for the weird behaviour of the suspension on my Citroen C5. This car has hydro-pneumatic suspension controlled by the ECU. Suddenly started behaving strangely as the left front wheel appeared to be bouncing as though there was no damping. Disconnected the wireless mp3 player, restarted the vehicle, all ok. Repeated to check if it was indeed RFI from the player - confirmed. Will try again this weekend just to ensure it is not a figment of my imagination.

    • daffodil2010 profile image

      daffodil2010 6 years ago

      thanks eric and i am so sorry i think i am a little bit late for writing this hub:))

    • profile image

      Eric 6 years ago

      Thank you for this, yet another tangible item to place in front of my wife in my life-long effort to stop her from pumping the brakes in her vehicles which has cost me lots of money over the past few years.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Fantastic hub. God Bless You.

    • daffodil2010 profile image

      daffodil2010 6 years ago

      thank you rajnil

    • Rajnil profile image

      Rajnil 6 years ago from Ahmedabad, India

      Hello daffodil2010,you have really put an extra effort in writing this hub. I really appreciate your hub, your hardwork and the scientifc content involved i this one!!nice hub!