How Anti-Lock Brake Systems Work

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Categories: ABS Module Repair

You may not appreciate it until you find yourself driving in rainy, icy, or otherwise inclement conditions, but your anti-lock brake system is a real lifesaver. An ABS system, which is found in almost all vehicles made since the mid to late 90s, not only allows you to brake faster, but also allows you to steer in dangerous driving situations.

What is an Anti-Lock Brake System?

The Anti-Lock Brake System, which is comprised of speed sensors, a pump, valves, and a controller module, keep the wheels of your car from skidding when you brake suddenly and allows you to control steering. ABS systems were designed for driving on wet or icy roads, but also improve braking time for sudden stops in normal road conditions.

This technology utilizes speed sensors to recognize when a sudden stop is being made. If the ABS module, the computer part of the ABS, recognizes a sudden deceleration, it activates the brake pumps and valves. These components help prevent the tires from locking and sliding.

Types of ABS Systems

Anti-Lock Brake Systems come in three varieties including:

  • Four-Channel, Four-Sensor ABS. This variety includes a valve and speed sensor for every wheel allowing for maximum braking power.
  • Three-Channel, Three-Sensor ABS.  In this system, the two front tires have individual valves and speed sensors while the back tires share a valve and sensor.
  • One-Channel, One-Sensor ABS. Typically involved with 2WD cars and trucks, this system uses one valve and the one-speed sensor for both of the rear tires.

What Happens If My ABS Module Fails?

The ABS module is the brain of the ABS system; if it’s not functioning properly, the speed sensors, pump, and valves won’t be able to do their job.

To ensure the safety of you and your passengers, it is important to pay attention to the following signs, which may indicate ABS module failure:

  • ABS indicator light is on
  • ABS pump is constantly running
  • Pump motor failure
  • Intermittent ABS power loss
  • No communication
  • Loss of input from wheel speed sensors
  • Wheel speed sensor signal missing

ABS Module Repair from UpFix

As with all vehicle parts, wear and tear, accidents and faulty manufacturing can cause your ABS module to malfunction. As important as your brakes are to your safety, you shouldn’t drive with a faulty ABS module. If your ABS is always running or is showing other signs of failure, our IPC-Certified technicians can repair it in just 24 hours.