It is highly risky to drive a car with a problematic anti-lock braking system. If you do come across any unusual sounds or behavior in your car, tires, or brakes, don’t delay to find out what is wrong. It is better to be safe than sorry. Read this article and keep yourself informed and ready for any situation.
To identify and diagnose a problem, you must first understand the basics of ABS. It is an improved version of a vehicle’s ordinary braking system, mainly designed to prevent the brakes from skidding and locking up on wet, slippery, or icy road surfaces. The speed’s wheel is electronically monitored and when the ABS connected to the wheel senses that the wheel is about to suddenly lock up, ABS releases the wheel’s brakes, thus protecting the vehicle and driver from possible road accidents.
Though it is a technologically advanced system, the ABS is not averse to problems or failure. Following is a list of all the possible problems that could occur in an anti-lock brake system along with all the possible solutions to them.
|Sensor Problems||It is but natural for dirt, soot, and debris to enter the ABS brake sensors and cause a dysfunction. The sensors are made of a magnetic material that can easily attract metal particles. These stick to the device and block or dampen the signal. Such a disturbance in the wheel speed sensors can also trigger various types of codes and error lights which come from the car’s computer. The best way to fix this problem is to seek help from your mechanic and get all wheel speed sensors cleaned neatly, so that they function properly once again.|
|ABS Light Malfunctions||The ABS light on the dashboard of your car, can become problematic in a number of ways. The problems can be mechanical, electrical, or simply a fuse diffusion issue. A lot of times, it may so happen that, when you forget to release the emergency brake, the ABS light remains on, all the time. But otherwise, when the warning light comes on even though you apply brakes, it simply means that the hydraulic pressure has been missed in the brake system or the fluid level is really low in the master cylinder.|
|ABS Controller||The anti-lock brake system possesses directional stability, vehicular steering, and optimum deceleration characteristics even under the toughest braking conditions. ABS actually monitors every vehicle’s rotational speed and also controls the brake-line pressure to every wheel’s brakes at the time of braking. Thence, together these two conditions, prevent the wheels of a car from locking up. But if this ABS controller stops functioning, then there’s no point of having it in the car. You will have to repair it, or replace it eventually.|
|Wiring||It is very easy for the wiring system of the ABS to malfunction, because if the connections are exposed to any sort of foreign movement, they will alter the electrical impulses and immediately get disconnected. This in turn, will damage the whole braking system. So do not ever attempt to try wiring the ABS yourself, since it is extremely sensitive to even the flimsiest of changes in the electrical charges.|
|Rusting of Modulator Valve Assembly||If the modulator valve assembly faces a failure in the braking system, the possibility is high that it might be due to corrosion of metal particles that cause the brake fluid to change too. Also, when the brake fluid attains a point of saturation and absorbs the moisture inside, that’s the time when water reacts with the metal components situated in the valve assembly and causes the valves to either stick open or close.|
|Brake Fluid Leak||The check should always be exercised on the master cylinder reservoir to maintain an appropriate fluid level. Adding brake fluid to the master cylinder solves the anti-lock brake problem temporarily. But if you suspect an oil leak in the car, the new added fluid would be lost and the lights might come on again. Take a brake fluid leak problem on a serious note and work towards solving the issue. They can occur in any car part, like disc brake calipers, brake lines, drum brake wheel cylinders, master cylinders, etc.|
Keeping in mind the aforementioned pointers, in case of a brake fluid leak, avoid driving the car until the problem has been resolved. If the ABS light stays on, service it immediately. Check all the wiring and fuses. If they need a replacement, do at it at your earliest. Also, check all the electrical connections on the hydraulic unit. Make sure they are in the best working condition.