ABS is an acronym for anti-lock braking system. This is a feature common on many newer vehicles. It is intended to prevent a vehicle's brakes from seizing or locking during stopping, thus helping the driver maintain control of the vehicle. The ultimate purpose is improving vehicle safety. Disc brakes are a component frequently present on vehicles with and without ABS.
Disc brakes are mounted near a tire and designed to slow a vehicle's speed. These brakes are nearly always found in the front of a vehicle, and sometimes found at the rear.
Disc Brake Parts
Disc brakes consist of a metallic disc mounted with the wheel. Around the disc are calipers, which when activated, compress pads onto the disc. This action creates friction, thus slowing the vehicle.
Common on older vehicles and in the rear brakes of pickup trucks, drum breaks differ dramatically from disc brakes. A drum is a closed cylinder mounted at the wheel. Inside of the drum are brake shoes. When the brakes are activated, the shoes push outward on the drum, creating friction. Drum brakes are less powerful and retain more heat than disc brakes.
What ABS Does
When the ABS system's sensor detects a wheel is about to lock during braking, the ABS system temporarily reduces the power being applied to that specific wheel. Once the sensor indicates a normal operation, additional force is applied.
Which Brakes Are Best
For most drivers, ABS brakes work best. They reduce the chance of skidding during braking. However, some performance drivers may actually prefer to skid. If this is you, ABS may not fit your needs.
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