How Anti lock braking system (ABS) Works?




 ABS technologies have been used since years. Before its application in automobile field, it was used in aeroplanes during World War II.

Now the question which might be poking you -what really ABS is? And how it works? OK lets come to the ans -ABS is basically anti lock breaking system as it meant it prevents the Wheel of the car from locking while breaking in critical situations like braking in iced road during winter   It’s tough to stop a vehicle which is moving with high speed on a slippery road without losing control and keeping wheel contact with the road at the same time, even the skilled driver has to push himself   hard to overcome such situations. Without ABS such situation remains a problem. But with ABS it can be curbed. In challenging situations like that the existence of ABS comes into action .ABS keeps the contact between wheels and the road, prevent skidding, avoid uncontrolled motion and thus the way it provides stability to vehicle

Braking used in ABS:

Threshold braking    :  It’s a driving technique to slow down a vehicle at the optimum rate by using brakes and it involves driver’s effort in pressing brake pedal thus increasing pressure in order to maximize the braking force.

Cadence braking      : This technique will allow vehicle to steer and brake on a slippery surface .It will help in emergency stop where traction is limited and thus reduces the skidding of the vehicle.

Components of ABS:

Speed sensor and working : 

  • It determines the acceleration of the wheel.
  • To generate a signal it uses a magnet and a coil of wire.
  • Magnetic field is induced around sensor by the rotation of wheel.
  • Magnetic field fluctuation generates a voltage into the sensor.

ValvesA valve is present in the brake line which is controlled by ABS.

Pump:  It is used to restore the pressure to the hydraulic brakes.

Controller: ­­­­­It is an ECU (electronic control unit) which receives signals from wheel speed sensors and then acts as per the signals received.

How ABS works?

ECU’s work is to monitor each wheels rotational speed, If one wheel is rotating significantly slower than the other then wheel speed sensors sends the message to ECU and then electronic control unit actuates the valves to reduce hydraulic pressure to the brake and thus reducing the brake force on that particular wheel hence making slower wheel move faster in order to match other wheels rotation.

If one wheel is rotating significantly faster than the other then ECU increase the hydraulic pressure to the brake thus the way it will slow down the wheel.  Brake applied is around 15 times in  one second though driver applies once. The driver might feel a vibrating sensation is braking pedal during working of ABS only.

Types of ABS :  

Different manufactures makes their own version of ABS whose specifications may vary with different models. Few types of ABS are as follows-

  • 4 channel, 4 sensor ABS
  • 3 channel , 4 sensor ABS
  • 3 channel , 3 sensor ABS
  • 1 channel , 1 sensor ABS

Advantages of ABS

Now almost every car is equipped with ABS technology and this is only because of its advantages over conventional brakes. As discussed ABS-

  • Improves vehicle control.
  • Increases braking distance thereby preventing lives caused by accidents.
  • It is highly tested safety device by the engineers hence insurers gives specific discounts to their customers, which is an extra benefit.

Disadvantages of ABS: 

  • It is expensive. Its cost varies between 1000$ to 1500$.
  • Maintenance cost is high.
  • It’s a delicate system. Messing around brakes can cause problems like disorientation of ABS.


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