Last Updated on Monday, March 4, 2019 by WorldTechpedia

Introduction of ABS Anti Lock Braking System

ABS is an abbreviation for Anti-lock Braking System developed in 1929 which was designed to help the driver maintain the steering ability and avoid skidding while braking.

It was first used on aircraft, motorists to experience the benefits of ABS in the Jensen Ferguson Formula, a four-wheel-drive car unveiled in 1966.

After that the development was slow and many motorists had to wait till the mid-1980s to have more from ABS. And now, the ABS is attached to every new car and is used to help stability while cornering and also promotes directional stability and allows steering during maximizing braking.

How does ABS Anti Lock Braking System work?

ABS Anti Lock Braking System

Pic: Motor Works

The concept of an ABS is actually very simple. In a moving wheel, when a wheel slips it has lesser grip. There is maximum braking effort developed at the point at which the wheel of the vehicle has just started to lock up and skid during an emergency stop. Another problem is that the ABS system is unable to steer the car if your wheels are skidding.

ABS Anti Lock Braking System is made up of four major components. It has speed sensors on its each wheel, a pump, valves and a controller from which the system gets information about a skid through speed sensors installed. This information is continuously monitored by the controller to control valves which is a computer. Then, usually during panic braking, the controller observes sudden deceleration out of the ordinary,

After that, the controller decreases pressure of that individual brake until it sees acceleration and then it increases the pressure for the deceleration again. The ABS performs this action in a few seconds before the wheel can noticeably change speed which simply means that the wheel slows down at the same rate as your vehicle, with the brakes keeping the wheel close towards the lock up. Th is entire process is felt similar to a pulsating feel in the brake pedal.


Hence, the anti lock braking prevent the wheels locking as you brake, and gives you more control and allows you to steer.

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ABS Anti Lock Braking System Types | ABS Brake Types

Anti-lock braking systems can be differentiated by the number of channels or the number of valves that are individually controlled and the number of speed sensors

  1. Four-channel, four-sensor ABS

A speed sensor that is present on all four wheels and a separate valve for all four wheels. The setup helps the controller monitor each wheel individually to make sure that it is achieving maximum braking force.

  1. Three-channel, three-sensor ABS

This system, to achieve maximum braking force, provides individual control of the front wheels. However, the rear wheels are monitored together to start to lock up before the ABS will activate on the rear. It is possible that one of the rear wheels will lock during a stop, reducing brake effectiveness in this system. This scheme is mostly found in pickup trucks with four-wheels. The ABS has a speed sensor and a valve for all wheels.

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  1. Two-channel, four sensor ABS

This system is commonly found on passenger cars from the late ’80s which uses a speed sensor at each wheel with one control valve each. If the speed sensor detects lock up then the control module pulses the valve for both wheels on that end of the car.

  1. One-channel, one-sensor ABS

This system works the same as the rear end of a three-channel system when the rear wheels are monitored together and have to start to lock up before the ABS begins to work. It is also possible that one of the rear wheels will lock; reducing effectiveness of brake in this system. It is mostly found in trucks with rear-wheel ABS which has one valve to control both rear wheels and one speed sensor located in the rear axle.