Stop What You're Doing! Simple Steps To Maintain Your Anti-Lock Brakes

From routine oil changes and tire rotations to detailing services, it is easy to see how vehicle-ownership can be overwhelming and costly. While these tasks are necessary to keep your vehicle clean, appealing, and valuable, maintaining your braking system is imperative for driving in a safe manner. Considering most newer vehicles offer anti-lock brakes as a standard or optional option, understanding how to operate and maintain this system is smart. Using this guide on maintaining your ABS, your car will operate in a safe, effective way.

Acceleration and Braking

In a vehicle with a traditional braking system, you must pump the brake pedal repeatedly to stop the vehicle quickly. This may be necessary during an emergency where you must stop fast to avoid an accident. Unfortunately, this pumping of the brakes can cause you to lose traction and control of your vehicle.

 Since an anti-lock braking system uses computer controls to pump the brakes automatically, you do not need to physically push down on the pedal to stop your vehicle. This helps you remain in control while driving, which reduces your risk of accidents.

Of course, ensuring the ABS works correctly requires some effort while driving. While operating your vehicle, focus on your speed and distance between other vehicles.

A vehicle traveling at a speed of 60 mph covers an estimated 88 feet per second, which requires 4.5 seconds to stop. To stop while traveling at a higher speed, you will need more time, so consider lowering your speed while driving. In addition, be sure to leave adequate space between you and other vehicles. In slippery road conditions, decrease your speed and increase the space between vehicles, since extra time will be essential for braking.


While oil changes maintain your vehicle's engine, certain steps are necessary to maintain your anti-lock braking system. Consider the following tips when focusing on your ABS:

  • Fluid – Remove the cap from your brake fluid reservoir. If the reservoir is low, add more fluid to protect your brake pads and rotors.
  • Pads and Rotors – If you are hearing a whining or squealing when applying your brakes, you may need to replace your brake pads. Each vehicle manufacturers recommends different time and mileage to replace pads, but noticeable sounds when using your brakes is a sign of worn pads. During a pad replacement, inspect your brake rotors. Connected to your wheels and braking system, the rotors are cushions between the wheels and brakes. Over time, rotors can wear down, preventing a protective cushion when applying your brakes. If worn, resurface or replace your brake rotors.

Braking is an important part of driving, but you may not place enough energy into your ABS. Using these tips on maintaining your anti-lock braking system, you can drive safely and reliably. Contact an auto part dealer, like Apartsmart and other locations, for more tips and info.