anirudh

ABS Braking

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Does the absence of a ABS system  in  car realy afect safety on our roads - im planning to buy a swift diesel non ABS version but am wondering as to what is the safety level of this car versus its ABS version.can someone please comment- i think the non ABS version should not be able to handle speeds above 80 kmph 

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The ABS version is worth the extra money you pay.

There are several threads that explain the functionality of ABS - it is a lifesaver in tricky braking situations irrespective of the speed. dtandon2009-12-03 06:59:38

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Dear Anirudh,

ABS is an additional safety net available in current crop of cars.  Not that it is a must.  It depends upon your driving style and the conditions in which you drive.  It's helpful when sudden braking is required and this ABS feature avoids locking of wheel(s) in such a sudden braking process.  This helps the driver in having a better control on the car. 

If (1) you drive relatively fast and (2) the terrain is such that you may need to apply sudden brakes quite often, then you need to go in for ABS fitted car.

None of my four vehicles (so far ....) had ABS.  And, I never felt the absence of ABS.  It may be due to my driving habits and my driving routine.  Hence, I may not be the right person to say whether you should go in for ABS or not.

The others who own both types of vehicles can help you in this regard.

About your doubt : Non-ABS vehicles also are safe for sppeds over 80 kmph.  After all this ABS concept came into our lives recently, and driving over 80 kmph was there since those good olden days when cars were made in large numbers and sold to general public. 

 

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It depends upon your driving style and the conditions in which you drive.?

We never have control over the conditions we drive. Paying an extra 30-40K for ABS is prudent.

Suppose you are in a situation where you are forced off the road by oncoming traffic (happens a lot it India) such that you are driving with two wheels on the road and two wheels off it. Now the wheels on the two sides have unequal grip.

Only an ABS equipped car will be able to execute an emergency braking maneuver in this scenario safely.

A non ABS car could easily spin out under hard braking when the surface offers uneven levels of grip.

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Im all for ABS and would say its really worth to pay a bit more to get that safety feature...

City driving or Highway...

Here is a scenario that is very common in India...

(Rainy season or in the peak of summer....scenario is irrespective of these..)

In our country wherever you drive almost always there are situations where you will suddenly have to break because of a cow or a tonga...

Now irrespective of the speed.. when you break suddenly as the brake pads wear out or tyre is starts to lose its grip... the braking effenciency goes down.. and you are bound to slip..

When you brake suddenly its very tough to actually steer away from the victim without ABS its a safety feature for you and for someone else on the road...

You can not only avoid it but also ensure that someone else wont bump into you when you brake suddenly.

This will only be intensified when your in wet conditions...

Think about it...

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Dear Anirudh,

I may be inclined to agree with what is said by dtandon and sham about the situations and the help that ABS gives. However, as I said earlier, I have had no experience on ABS as all my cars are non-ABS. So, go by what they say. They must be speaking from their own experience.

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In our country wherever you drive almost always there are situations where you will suddenly have to break because of a cow or a tonga...

Now irrespective of the speed.. when you break suddenly as the brake pads wear out or tyre is starts to lose its grip... the braking effenciency goes down.. and you are bound to slip..
When you brake suddenly its very tough to actually steer away from the victim without ABS its a safety feature for you and for someone else on the road...

You can not only avoid it but also ensure that someone else wont bump into you when you brake suddenly.

This will only be intensified when your in wet conditions.


Well explained sham.
anirudh,
only one thing I will ad that ABS can not be fitted aftermarket.

 

 

Post edited

Note from mod: While quoting, quote only the relevant stuff instead of entire post.
BornFree2009-12-03 18:11:27

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when you break suddenly as the brake pads wear out or tyre is starts to lose its grip... the braking effenciency goes down.. and you are bound to slip..

Can you please explain that ? Worn out brake pads have nothing to do with the need for ABS.

What happens is that once the wheels lock up (non ABS car) -- you cannot steer without first letting go of the brakes. This is because the tyres have no grip with the road surface and turning the steering wheel will not control the direction of the car (which is in a skid).

When you brake suddenly its very tough to actually steer away from the victim without ABS its a safety feature for you and for someone else on the road.

Sudden braking has nothing to do with it. ABS comes into the picture when you are about to start skidding.

Sudden braking doesn't always mean that the car will skid.

You can not only avoid it but also ensure that someone else wont bump into you when you brake suddenly.

How does your car (ABS OR non ABS) have anything to do with other cars bumping into you from behind ?

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Simple Usage of ABS

 

The tyres don't lock up even if your whole family stands on the Brake pedal, so no point of SKIDding, so you can STEER even at panic situations, which can't be done otherwise.

 

So on a nutshell, In an ABS car, you take control of your car in panic situation where as in non ABS car, the car takes control. Its upto you to choose the one you need.

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A Brief Explanation of How ABS Operates

ABS uses wheel speed sensors, a hydraulic control unit, and a computerized electronic control module, which is the "brain" of the system. When the brake pedal is applied, the electronic control module monitors the speed of the wheels through the wheel speed sensors. If the control module detects that one or more wheels are about to lock up, the module signals the hydraulic unit to control hydraulic pressure to that wheel(s). This varying of pressure is much like "pumping" the brake, only with the ABS system the wheel that is locking up (which creates a potential loss of control) is the only one being controlled, the rest of the wheels are free to roll. This maximizes vehicle steer-ability.

Why Does This Happen On Wet Pavement Only?

Wet pavement can cause one or more of the wheels to slip and lock up. The ABS system senses this action and is activated to stop it. There is no need for the system to operate on dry pavement unless the wheels are slipping when stopping, which can happen when we drive on a gravel-covered road.

If you have never driven a vehicle with ABS brakes you may notice some marked differences from vehicles with conventional braking systems. These are:

  • When the pedal is applied and ABS is activated, the pedal may feel harder than usual. This condition is normal.

  • The pedal may seem to ratchet or pulsate (vibrate) or there could be a combination of these sensations. This action is also normal.

  • Finally, you may hear a noise that sounds like a motorboat engine. This sound is the hydraulic control unit operating, again normal.

Remember two important things when driving a car with ABS brakes:

  • Maintain the same safe stopping distance from the vehicle ahead as with conventional brakes. ABS will not make the vehicle "stop on a dime."

  • Do not pump the brake. Just apply firm, constant pressure and let ABS do the work for you. You may feel a slight vibration or hear noise as the hydraulic control unit functions. Be ready to push the pedal further if it travels closer to the floor.

Following these tips will help you adjust to using ABS brakes and will increase your confidence and appreciation of them.

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I have a personal inceident to share.

I recently witnessed a Swift during the rains in Chennai. What happened was that the car was coming to a stop behind another car in a signal and the roads were wet. No water stagnation but just drenched in rain. The Swift guy braked and I observed the wheel not finding enough grip and when the vehicle started reducing speed, at about 20-30kph, the front wheels locked fully. It remained as such for some 5 seconds and it was really scary to watch the incident. Fortunately, the car was doing only 30 and hence stopped before meeting with any sort of accident. The whole point was that the driver didnt know that the wheels were actually locked.

 

What was amazing here was that ABS will be useful in day to day situations too. Not just for the highways or stuff. After watching that Swift, I have made it a point to recommend ABS to all my friends. I wish the advice you the same too. You wouldnt know that sometime your ABS would have saved you without even you realising that the ABS has actually cut in to help. So, I recommend you to whole heartedly buy your car with ABS

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