What does your car’s ABS, or anti-lock braking system, actually do? The name is definition a hint. If you brake hard, the ABS kicks in and prevents the wheels from locking. Along with the best car insurance, this will protect you greatly on the roads.
This article explains why this piece of simple car technology is considered to be such an important safety feature. So important, in fact, that Australian Design Rules mandate that all new cars sold in Australia must be fitted with ABS.
Here’s the inside info on how and why ABS works, and why it might save your life. Or maybe it already has!
While you’re reading this also consider the benefits of cheap car insurance for saving you from financial stress in the event of an accident. Whether your car has ABS or not, accidents can happen at any time. If your car is important to you, it’s clever to ensure you always have the means to pay for car repairs and/or replacement – insurance can help deliver this.
How does ABS work?
When you brake hard, ABS works by releasing and then quickly reapplying (or ‘pumping’) the brakes multiple times in succession. As many as hundreds of times a second! This ‘pumping’ of the brakes happens thanks to sensors on each of the car’s wheels. These sensors detect when a wheel might lock or skid in hard braking situations, and ABS kicks in as a result.
You often can’t feel the anti-lock braking system being applied because it happens so quickly. But when you can, it tends to feel like a small vibration under the pedal when you’re braking hard.
What would happen if ABS didn’t exist?
Picture this: you’re driving along the highway at 100km/h when a car swerves in front of you. You brake hard and fast to avoid them, and your car screeches to a halt or a slower pace. You’re shaken, but fine.
If you didn’t have ABS in your car, the scenario could look quite different. As you braked, the wheels would lock up and lose traction with the road. This is because the brakes clamp down on the wheels too hard and then stop them from spinning.
Even if you’d kept your wheels completely straight, the vehicle would skid. Because once the wheels have locked, you don’t have control of the vehicle. ABS allows the wheels to keep turning, so you can keep control of the vehicle.
Oh, and that little ABS light? Don’t worry, it’s normal. When you start your car, the ABS light comes on automatically. This is one of your car’s safety features. Your car always checks the ABS system once you turn it on. If everything is ok, the light goes off.
If it stays on after you’ve started the car, there is something wrong with your ABS system. In which case, you’ll need a trip to the garage.
Cheap, reliable car insurance for extra protection
While we’re on the topic of things that can make all the difference to your car in a sticky situation, have you considered whether you’re paying too much for the best car insurance? Insurance, like ABS, is there to protect you when things go wrong.
Once you have a comprehensive car insurance policy in hand (you may even find the cheap car insurance that provides full cover), you’ve the best benefit of all – peace of mind. So, if the worst does happen and you’re involved in an accident or your car is damaged or stolen, you don’t have to stress about whether you can afford repair or replacement.
ABS and car insurance work hand in hand with all your car’s other safety features. Make sure you have everything you need at your fingertips or toes before heading out on the road.