Antilock Brakes: Are They Good for Winter Driving?

February 7, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

Antilock brakes have been around for over two decades, but many of us still don’t know much about them, how they work or even if our car has them! You might assume that if your car is “new” enough, you get an antilock brake system (ABS) automatically, but that’s still not always the case. An easy way to see if you have them is to start up your car and take a look at the dash behind your steering wheel. If you have ABS, a little light will come on that shows it.

Whether or not you have ABS, it’s good to know what all the fuss is about. Gene’s 112 Auto Service Center Inc. is your local expert for brake service in Patchogue, NY and so much more, and we’re here to tell you that antilock brakes can be a great help to your driving year-round. Here are some things you should know about this innovative safety technology for your car.

How does ABS work?

Antilock brakes offer an extra measure of security against sliding and other dangerous situations where you need to stop immediately. They do not kick on automatically if you’re just going at a normal rate of speed and slow down gradually. In other words, a stop sign will not activate them—unless you’re going unreasonably fast and slam on the brakes all of a sudden!

If you do need to stop fast, you’ll notice that when you depress the pedal, the car makes a pulse under your foot. You might also hear a noise, such as a rattle, and this is also normal. Do not take your foot off the brake in reaction to your ABS exhibiting one of these signs—they just mean the system is doing its job.

You’ll stop quicker

As mentioned above, your ABS is designed to add an extra layer of security to your driving, primarily ensuring that you can stop when you need to, instead of sliding around or burning rubber while still moving forward several hundred feet. You can imagine how important this becomes especially in winter weather, where it’s not uncommon to hit a patch of ice or slide on a snow bank trying to get out of your driveway or down an unplowed street.

You can steer, too

One of the best things about ABS is that you can hit the brakes and still continue steering the car. With standard braking systems, the wheels can actually lock up—which means you will continue moving forward, while also having no control over the direction in which you are headed. With ABS, you can steer away from obstructions in front of you, and come to a safe stop.

If you do have antilock brakes in your car, make sure to get regular brake service in Patchogue, NY. Just like any other component of your vehicle, brakes need to be maintained and sometimes replaced, and driving with bad brakes is a recipe for disaster. Get in touch with Gene’s 112 Auto Service Center Inc. to schedule a brake inspection this winter!

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