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Anti Lock Braking System in Cars: ABS Explained [2023]

What is Anti-Lock Braking System?

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When you use the brakes abruptly or forcefully, the wheels won’t lock up thanks to a safety device known as ABS, or anti-lock braking system. Because ABS regulates the brakes to minimise wheel sliding when the brakes are applied, it is possible to steer a car while applying the brakes.

Why do You Need ABS?

The wheels may lock up and the car may slip out of control when a driver slams on the brakes, making it challenging to steer or stop. This is when auto ABS comes into play. When a wheel is going to lock up, the system employs sensors to detect it and quickly pulses the brakes on that wheel, preventing the wheel from losing grip and enabling the wheel to rotate.

Automobile ABS helps minimise braking distances and enhance steering control in emergency situations, lowering the risk of collisions. The majority of current cars now come equipped with it as standard, making driving for all motorists safer.

Components of ABS

A functioning ABS system is made up of a number of parts that all operate together. These are the parts of an automobile’s ABS.

Speed Sensors: The car’s wheels are equipped with speed sensors that measure each wheel’s rotational speed.

Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU): The HCU is the ABS system’s primary control component. It is made up of valves and pumps that regulate the braking fluid’s pressure.

Electronic Control Unit (ECU):  The brain of the ABS system is the ECU. It analyses the information from the speed sensors and transmits commands to the HCU to regulate the braking fluid’s pressure.

Brake Pads: The automobile must be stopped using the brake pads. To slow down or stop the automobile, they exert pressure to the rotors.

How Does ABS Work?

The functioning of ABS in automobiles is explained in the following paragraphs.

  • The speed sensors in your automobile detect the wheels’ braking when you suddenly use the brakes.
  • The Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU) receives a signal from the system when it detects that one or more wheels are likely to lock up, causing the braking fluid pressure on that wheel to be reduced. The brake pressure is modulated during this operation.
  • The Electronic adjust Unit (ECU) is then informed by the HCU to adjust the braking fluid pressure.
  • The HCU then receives instructions from the ECU to release and reapply the brakes.
  • Until the vehicle comes to a complete stop or the driver lets off the brake pedal, this procedure continues.

Types of Anti-lock Braking Systems

Here are the different types of ABS in cars available in the market.

  • ABS four channels The braking pressure of each wheel is individually controlled by this form of ABS using four wheel-speed sensors and four valves.
  • Three-channel ABS: This form of ABS employs three channels to regulate the braking force, one managing both the back wheels and the other two individually regulating each front wheel.
  • One-channel ABS: Small cars and motorbikes frequently employ this form of ABS. It employs a single sensor to measure the speed of each tyre and a single valve to regulate the pressure of the brakes on each wheel.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is an upgraded form of ABS that applies brakes to specific wheels as the vehicle moves in order to help the driver retain control of the vehicle during emergency manoeuvres.

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