What is ABS or anti-lock braking system in car explained along with very basic details, types, different parts, working principles, advantages, disadvantages etc.
Let’s explore the Anti-Lock braking system!
Do you have any idea about ABS in Car or Anti-Lock Braking System! Nowadays, in automobiles the most important factor that is getting considered is vehicle safety. Lots of manufacturers are employing safety methods and ways for their products.
One of the widely used and employed system for brakes is the Antilock braking system. If you want to know about What is ABS and why is it important to have nowadays, follow this post.
ABS is not only used in cars but also in Aircrafts, trucks, buses etc.
The safety of vehicles is the most highlighted as well as selling point of vehicles nowadays. ABS used multiple sensors and combination of electronics and mechanical parts.
The ABS or Anti Lock Braking system is anti-lock braking system that prevents the wheel from locking up and maintain the grip.
Suppose, you are driving a car and to avoid a sudden collision, you need to activate the brake suddenly. This might skid your car and cause fatal accidents.
So basically, to avoid skidding the ABS or anti-lock braking system is employed.
If we go back in history, the anti-skid system used in the 1950s in an aircraft.
Later Ford and Chrylser employed the system in cars. It helps in steering the vehicle on stop as well as with the traction control.
Now the ABS is used in almost every modern car as well as in high-end bikes.
The use of Electronic control unit (ECU) made ABS even better with more accurate controls. ABS is also known as traction control system, emergency brake assist, electronic stability control.
ABS in car is part of an automatic braking system. It is a combination of Electronics and Mechanical parts.
The ABS has 4 major components,
Let’s know more about them one by one.
As we already know ABS prevents the locking wheels to retain and maintain traction. So the ABS needs to know the wheel is going to get locked or not. To determine this the speed on the wheel should be known. A speed sensor basically is having a toothed ring and magnet within a coil.
The valves in ABS acts as a brake force controlling factor. It has a role of controlling pressure according to the conditions. A separate valve is provided on each brake to be controlled the ABS.
Sometimes when the break is pushed harder it will limit the pressure as well as when the force is not enough it will apply more pressure for smooth working.
The valve different positions for different conditions.
Basically, the valve has 3 positions, these are explained as below.
This is the open position, the pressure from the master cylinder is passed to the break. The pressure will be directly allowed to flow through cylinder to brake.
This is known as block position, When the driver pushes the brake too hard the valve blocks the line of pressure from master cylinder. This action will stop the extra pressure rise and maintain stable pressure for breaks.
This is the release position. As the name suggests, it releases the pressure applied on the brakes.
There is one problem with the operation of valves. If the Valves get clogged or it is unable or open and close it will become inoperable. The pressure will not get controlled until and unless the valves does not get clogged.
The pump stores the hydraulic fluid. When the valve requires or releases the pressure the fluid needs to go back or stored. The pump carries out this work, it will store the fluid when the pressure is released.
The ABS controller is the electronic control unit (ECU). Its like a brain of human which controls all the actions based on the feedbacks of body parts.
We already know the speed sensors are placed on each wheel separately.
The valves operate at about 15 times per second. Due to which the driver can experience pulsing in the brake pedal. The ABS controller reduces the pressure to brake until the acceleration is experienced and it will increase the pressure until it experiences the accelerations again.
That’s the reason valves operate about 15 times a second to keep in check of these cycles. The ABS system will keep the wheels near the locking point. It will not allow the wheels to lock up at the same time giving the maximum braking power.
The ABS brakes have 5 types. They can be differentiated on the basis of numbers of sensors, channels and controlling valves.
This is one of the best arrangements available.
This arrangement has the speed sensors deployed on each of the wheel. Also, separate valves for each of the front wheel just like the four channel four sensor system.
This arrangement has the sensors and valves for each of the front wheels. But the difference lies in the rear system of the vehicle. Only one valve and one sensor is provided for both rear wheels.
This arrangement has the separate speed sensor for each wheel. It will monitor the speed from all of the wheel. But the valves are provided one for a rear and one for front.
As the name suggests, only one valve and one sensor are used in this system. The vehicles that have ABS on the rear side only employ this arrangement.
So what are the benefits of the Anti Lock Braking system? let’s check them out now.
There are so many benefits of Anti-Lock Braking system in car,
Although there are numerous advantages of the ABS system regards to reduced risk of accidents. But there are chances of increased run-off road crashes. The results of ABS changes on the surfaces like snow and gravel. The limitations of ABS are experienced on some surfaces.
In case ABS fails on these conditions, the driver must apply the manual brakes. There are some disadvantages let’s check them out now.
There are a few limitations also in Anti-Lock Braking system,
Also, there is misconception that ABS will help in reducing the stopping distance. If you drive directly to obstacle car may not stop in time. There are more advancements made in the ABS. Like, automatic traction control. This system applies the brakes when drive wheel spins and lose traction. It is useful when one of the wheels is on good surface and another wheel is skidding.
We have seen its advantages and limitations but its really effective? And what changes you can experience if you don’t have ABS in your car, let’s know them each.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has conducted various studies to study the effectiveness of ABS. They found out an average of 27.2% stopping distance was increased on loose gravel.
The study conducted in 1996 showed vehicles equipped with ABS overall no less likely to get involved in fatal accidents. But they also stated, the threat to other cars would be minimal but the threat of accident damage to the own occupants of the car is more.
The aggressive steering is any day going to be disastrous for the driver. In addition with aggressive steering ABS can act as addition to more fatal accident like car rollover or collisions. The experience with the ABS is best on solid surfaces but it changes with the snowy field or gravel.
There are some numbers drawn out about 35% decrease in frontal collisions and 9% decrease in frontal impacts. Also, there some speculations about the driver’s skill and how he uses the ABS system. But with the advancements discussed above the ABS is getting improved. So what happens if you car don’t have ABS? Let’s find out.
If you not driven the ABS car you don’t really notice the difference. Its obvious that with ABS you are getting extra layer of security. But if you are not making emergency stops you will not find any difference either. But if you are making emergency stops or drive the car where you need braking continuously the ABS is saviour.
The ABS support your vehicle by not locking the vehicle when you stomp on the brakes which is excellent in the cases of emergency stops.
If your car doesn’t have Anti-Lock Braking system you should take care of few things. Like before turning you’ll have to slow down your vehicle at the most possible speed because there is no presence of ABS to adjust and support your steering.
If you are driving take-off your foot from the accelerator pedal and push the clutch down. Also, you need to push the brakes as much as you can until you feel like the wheels are locked and take your foot off from the brakes. You can reapply the brakes again, this exactly replicates the working of ABS.
The ABS system has proved itself as a safety equipment which is a must have for any modern vehicle. All the vehicles with conventional braking system are 40% prone to accidents by skidding and locking of the wheels.
In the upcoming time, advancements are expected in ABS to make it even more reliable in adverse conditions. The driver must read the car manual for getting the idea of ABS used in the car.
So, we have learned the basics of the Anti-Lock Braking System or ABS system, its components, applications, advantages etc. If you have any queries, please write to us.
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