Designed to help prevent skidding and loss of control on slippery surfaces, anti-lock brake systems (ABS) can be found on many of today's cars and trucks. These systems work independently of driver control to control the force to those wheels which the control module senses are locking up when the brake is applied. This information is sent to the control module via speed sensors located at each wheel.
How to know if your car has ABS brakes
While ABS brakes are very common now, not all cars and trucks are equipped with them. You can determine if your car has an ABS system in four ways.
The easiest method is to read your owner's manual. The next method is to look at your dash's instrument panel when turning the ignition key to the "ON" position, but not all the way to the start position. All of the warning and informational lights will be illuminated and any car equipped with an ABS system should display an "ABS" or "Anti Lock" light at this point.
If you do not see a light for the ABS system, two methods remain to determine if your vehicle has ABS brakes.
The first visual check is to look for an ABS pump under the vehicle hood. This pump is located near the brake master cylinder and will be connected to the master cylinder by one or two metal brake lines. Additionally, the pump itself will have several other brake lines attached.
The final method for determining the presence of ABS brakes is to get in a position from which you can see the back of one of the front wheels. Turning the steering wheel all the way to one direction or the other will make it easier to see behind the wheel. If the car has ABS brakes, there will be a flexible rubber brake hose attached to the brake caliper and a wire attached to the speed sensor in the hub area. Cars without ABS brakes will only have the flexible brake line.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
What Does My Vehicle Vin Number Tell Me?
Every car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is unique. The VIN is a 17-character combination of letters and numbers that represent information about...
Why Does My ABS Light Flash?
Cars today have a multitude of sensors and warning lights that can alert the driver to a variety of potential problems. There...
How to Tell if a Car Has Anti-Lock Brakes
Anti-lock brakes have become an integral part of the braking system in vehicle standards. It means driving and braking in a completely...
How to Tell What Kind of Brakes a Car Has
When ordering brake parts for your car or truck, you will be asked if it has disc or drum, power or anti-lock...
How to Troubleshoot Ford Truck ABS Problems
The ABS system in a Ford truck senses the wheel speed and prevents the wheels from locking up. This system is very...
How to Use an Ohm Meter to Check the ABS Sensor
When the brake light comes on, most people go to the mechanic. Nobody wants the brakes to fail. If you have ABS,...
How to Tell When a Brake Locks Up
Most modern vehicles use an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) that prevents the brakes from locking up when you apply hard pressure to...
How to Tell if a 2002 Taurus Has Traction Control
Traction control (TC) is a safety feature designed to improve vehicle control when driving on icy, wet or gravelly surfaces. It was...
How to React if Your Car's Brake Light Comes On
When a car's brake light comes on, it's important to check the brake fluid levels. Leave a problem with the ABS, or...