Anti-lock brakes are a safety feature on cars and motorcycles that allow a car to improve steering in the event of skidding or sliding. Drivers have more control over their car when the brakes are engaged. This is sometimes the opposite case when the conditions are snowy or icy, though.
Problems with anti-lock brakes
Problems rarely occur within the actual braking mechanism themselves. Instead, the sensors or wiring malfunctions due to the presence of metal shavings or road debris. A warning light will usually appear to alert the driver that something is wrong regardless of if it is a false trigger or an actual issue. Whenever you see the warning light, you should absolutely check the brakes rather than assume it's a false trigger. When it comes to your brakes, it is far better to be safe than sorry.
Signs of ABS problems
– Brakes locking
– Harder to hit the brake pedal
– Difficulty controlling the car on sharp turns
– Loss of control when slowing down
– Seemingly unresponsive brakes
– ABS light is on
Repairing the ABS can be as easy as checking a few wire connections or as difficult as replacing the system entirely.
Rule out the brakes: Make sure the troubles you are having are indeed with the ABS and not the brakes in general. If you hear a grinding or squealing sound while you drive, that means your brakes or brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced.
If your brakes are fine, you can check your ABS yourself in some cases. When you are observing, look for loose metal shavings accompanied by other debris. Also, check the wired connections for any potential issues. This may be a difficult task if you haven’t or don't inspect your brakes. FM auto repairs in Brampton will complete a full brake inspection for less than $50. A small price to pay when compared to potentially risking your car or safety as the alternative.
When to replace the system controller
If you have conducted multiple tests to no avail, and the problem actually lies within the ABS, not just the sensor, you can be looking at some costly solutions. The control system, and ABS are not user serviceable. They are complex and require mechanic’s tools and training to repair correctly and efficiently.
The costs associated with ABS repairs are as follows:
– Sensor replacement $100-$300
– ABS control mechanism run at a higher cost ranging from $800-$1,000
To summarize, you can drive with the ABS light on, though in an emergency, guessing whether or not your brakes are going to behave in the manner they should, is not a safe guessing game to play. When you notice an issue with your vehicle or a warning light on the dash, take your car into FM Auto for a complete assessment of your brakes.