: ABS Question.



brandondeleo
07-23-12, 05:49 AM
According to the Department of Transportation and some other sources I've found, ABS is said to increase stopping distance in snow and ice. Living in a place with severe winters like I do, it matters. My ABS is acting up, and I'm trying to decide whether to just disable it or fix it.

MrHolland
07-23-12, 06:06 AM
Me personally, I would rather be without ABS and airbags, but I'm kinda old school. None of my antiques have those safety measures, and when driving them I dont fear for my life and seem to get around quite well.

---------And they dont have seat belts

brandondeleo
07-23-12, 06:23 AM
I'm pretty sure it's either a dirty or malfunctioning sensor, but I might take the opportunity to just yank the relay and pull out the ABS light (so it isn't sitting there bugging me.) If it helps to not have it during the winter, I'm all for taking it out.

Aron9000
07-23-12, 08:16 AM
I've driven a FWD non ABS car, three different FWD ABS cars, a RWD non-ABS car, and a RWD non-ABS truck in the winter. All of these were were in slick as snot 2-6" of snow/ice in hilly middle TN. For just plain stopping, the non-ABS cars were champs in the light snow.

My 91 Brougham was a champ in the winter when I put about 200lbs in the trunk and took out the ABS fuse. Same thing with my 93 2wd Toyota truck, no ABS. I loved sliding around in those vehicles. If they plowed, stab the gas, slide sideways, countersteer to control the slide, bam you were pointing the right direction if you had a little bit of talent. If you started to spin, just gradually let off the gas, steer the opposite way, and they would correct themselves. Of course all of this is only applicable if you are going slow enough, driving too fast and trying that crap and you will end up in a ditch.

hueterm
07-23-12, 10:26 AM
Have you ever consistently driven a non-ABS car? Considering your age, my guess would be no. (Which is a problem with ABS and all of these safety systems -- that people don't know how to drive without them.)

I'd fix the ABS, keep your panic braking as stable as possible, and slow down in winter.

However, if you do decide to disable it, don't disable the light, so that the next owner of your car doesn't know that their safety is compromised...

Ranger
07-23-12, 11:19 AM
According to the Department of Transportation and some other sources I've found, ABS is said to increase stopping distance in snow and ice. Living in a place with severe winters like I do, it matters. My ABS is acting up, and I'm trying to decide whether to just disable it or fix it.
Correct. The purpose of ABS is to be able to maintain directional control when trying to stop on a slippery pavement. The act of pumping the brakes, either manually, like us older guys where taught, or mechanically via the ABS WILL lengthen the stopping distance some, but you will still maintain some steering control as opposed to ending up traveling down the road sideways or doing donuts. It has saved my ass on more than one occasion.

orconn
07-23-12, 01:13 PM
I agree with both Ranger's and Hueterm's comments above. For those of us who grew up with non-ABS equipped cars, and mastered Winter driving techniques, a non ABs car would be superior under certain circumstances. But for those who have only driven cars ABS and other automatic driver assistance systems they are better off sticking with what they know. The real key to safer driving in snow and ice is to slow down and maintain steering control of the vehicle!

Submariner409
07-23-12, 02:14 PM
Yep ^^^, and ABS is fun to experiment with in an ice-covered K-Mart parking lot in January.

For even more of a revelation, stack an ABS equipped vehicle against a non-power drum brake vehicle - say, a mid-60's GM midbody like a Chevelle SS. The ABS will out-stop and out-handle drum brakes every time.

cadillac kevin
07-23-12, 02:17 PM
I'd disable the abs. My 00 safari is the only vehicle I've ever had with ABS. I've driven my lesabre, caddy, and a fwd cutlass miniwagon in snow/ ice. I've never had a problem but then again I drive slow in winter weather.

I remember once when going to school in the caddy (with about 150 lbs of junk in the trunk), the highway was covered in a thin (almost invisible) layer of ice becuse the snow had melted and refrozen overnight. I was doing about 40 or 45 in the right lane (coasting most of the time) and people were flying by me doing 70-80 mph in the left lane. Well, I later passed many of those people as they wiped out into the concrete median, trees, a ditch, each other, etc. In about 8 miles of highway there were 20 cars that had wiped out.

orconn
07-23-12, 02:51 PM
Yep ^^^, and ABS is fun to experiment with in an ice-covered K-Mart parking lot in January.

For even more of a revelation, stack an ABS equipped vehicle against a non-power drum brake vehicle - say, a mid-60's GM midbody like a Chevelle SS. The ABS will out-stop and out-handle drum brakes every time.

The first big advancement in braking came with the disc brakes; their ability to resist locking up as drum brakes were prone to do under a variety of situations was a major improvement. In the hands of the unskilled the old drum and shoe brakes with which American cars were equipped until well into the seventies (disc brakes were available on some higher priced cars both standard or as an option in the mid seventies) were easily "locked up" under even minor emergency braking in the the wet or dry. Once locked up the cars became unsteerable, unstoppable sleds subject only to the laws of physics!

While i resisted ABS at first on my own cars, I have to say that ABS has been responsible, in part, for the rapid decrease in in auto motive deaths per 100,000 miles that we have experienced in this country.

talismandave
07-23-12, 05:41 PM
ABS saved my butt once in my Sebring.
I wasn't sold on them before, But I'm a believer now. The amount of steering control I had on an icy road would have been difficult or impossible to do on my best day. Of course you rarely need it on your best day.

dkozloski
07-23-12, 07:21 PM
The worst case scenario is an old school non-ABS driver trying to drive an ABS equipped car on an icy road. ABS hinders stopping and handling for experienced ice drivers and is a life saver it for the current crop of drivers.

brandondeleo
07-23-12, 08:14 PM
I ended up disabling it. I took off the dash and removed the ABS light bulb because it being on would drive me INSANE, and I plan on owning this car until it dies. If I get a bug up my butt some time in the near-ish future, I'll just re-activate it.

orconn
07-23-12, 08:21 PM
It will be interesting to see if young Brandon inadvertantly takes up farming in his haste to rid himself of modern technology!

brandondeleo
07-23-12, 08:25 PM
It will be interesting to see if young Brandon inadvertantly takes up farming in his haste to rid himself of modern technology!
I WILL DO SO.

First off, what do people farm with? There's plenty of hoes around here. I do have a rake!

dkozloski
07-23-12, 08:33 PM
He is a rake.

Aron9000
07-23-12, 10:40 PM
I have had ABS save my bacon on a rainy day. Driving 40mph down a main road somebody pulls out of a driveway right in front of me, I ended up stopping about 1' short of hitting that broad.

truckinman
07-24-12, 12:57 AM
On dry rds and maybe even wet rds, I think ABS does stop better than non ABS cars. I only say on wet bc if it keeps the wheels from locking up, youre less likely to hydroplane. So that's good. But in snow, I've found non abs seems to stop sooner. I actually put it to the test once with my newer jeep with abs and my older jeep without ABS. Traveling at the same speed, from the time I firmly press the brakes, the non ABS jeep stopped faster than my ABS jeep. Plus I hate that feeling of the pedal fighting back against my foot. I definitely feel in less control when that happens.

brandondeleo
07-24-12, 01:14 AM
The wet conditions are definitely a factor, but I'm not horribly concerned about that because it rarely rains here.

Submariner409
07-24-12, 10:30 AM
Look at another downside of this question.......... God forbid you get into an accident that allows/requires inspection of the car(s) involved. If it comes to light that you have disabled a "safety" feature of your car, you're gonna do time in the slammer. At 19.9 years of age, you would have to do some fast talking.

talismandave
07-24-12, 11:06 AM
Great point. Void insurance and assume full liability regardless of personal fault!:helpless:

orconn
07-24-12, 12:50 PM
If I remember correctly, the reason non ABS equipped cars stopped sooner in the snow was that the snow built up a barrier in front of the locked wheels slowing the car due to this barrier. The snow barrier did not give any help to keeping directional control of the car. Mercedes used to have ads on TV showing the difference in stopping power and maintenance of directional control for their cars with and without ABS. The slightly shorter stopping distance in the snow was completely offset by the loss of directional control of the vehicle and of course was completely dependent on the amount and consistency of the snow on the road surface when applying the brakes.

I would choose ABS for the 98% of the time when ABS performed in a superior fashion to non ABS than waiting for that low percentage chance situation where non-ABS might stop me faster. The only real advantage to a non ABS car would be the expense savings should the ABS fail and need to be replaced on a old high mileage car. Of course if you are driving a car of this type and vintage you have far more pressing issues in an accident situation that whether the car is ABS equipped!

hueterm
07-24-12, 12:56 PM
Look at another downside of this question.......... God forbid you get into an accident that allows/requires inspection of the car(s) involved. If it comes to light that you have disabled a "safety" feature of your car, you're gonna do time in the slammer. At 19.9 years of age, you would have to do some fast talking.

Yeah, if you get sued for an accident, and they find that you've purposely disabled the ABS and turned off the warning light, you'll get eaten for lunch by their lawyers. If it just fails, and you don't fix it, but don't try to cover it up -- it probably wouldn't be as much of a liability issue.

Ranger
07-24-12, 02:42 PM
If I remember correctly, the reason non ABS equipped cars stopped sooner in the snow was that the snow built up a barrier in front of the locked wheels slowing the car due to this barrier. The snow barrier did not give any help to keeping directional control of the car. Mercedes used to have ads on TV showing the difference in stopping power and maintenance of directional control for their cars with and without ABS. The slightly shorter stopping distance in the snow was completely offset by the loss of directional control of the vehicle and of course was completely dependent on the amount and consistency of the snow on the road surface when applying the brakes.

I think there is some truth to that in snow, but not so on ice. Locking the wheels on ice can actually result in longer stopping distances.

Playdrv4me
07-24-12, 02:45 PM
Yeah, if you get sued for an accident, and they find that you've purposely disabled the ABS and turned off the warning light, you'll get eaten for lunch by their lawyers. If it just fails, and you don't fix it, but don't try to cover it up -- it probably wouldn't be as much of a liability issue.

Solution: Find burnt out bulb.

ABS is kind of hit or miss as far as I'm concerned, but I think it HAS been useful in the snow before. I disabled it on my 1995 SHO because those earlier Fords had an awful tendency to have sensor failures that would cause the system to think you NEEDED ABS when you didn't! So I'd be coming out of a driveway and the ABS would kick in rendering my braking almost completely inoperative. I think Rick's Town Car had the exact same problem. Really, that should have been a recall. Strangely, I don't remember it causing an ABS light in that car.

cadillac kevin
07-24-12, 05:11 PM
Solution: Find burnt out bulb.

ABS is kind of hit or miss as far as I'm concerned, but I think it HAS been useful in the snow before. I disabled it on my 1995 SHO because those earlier Fords had an awful tendency to have sensor failures that would cause the system to think you NEEDED ABS when you didn't! So I'd be coming out of a driveway and the ABS would kick in rendering my braking almost completely inoperative. I think Rick's Town Car had the exact same problem. Really, that should have been a recall. Strangely, I don't remember it causing an ABS light in that car.

According to a forum for astro/safari vans I'm on, thats also an issue on some vans (not common, but it has happened more than it should have). It caused a couple accidents when someones front brakes were rendered useless (meaning you only have about 15% stopping power) and they rearended somebody. Thankfully all the accidents were at low speed. The solution was to pull the fuse and the ABS light.

dkozloski
07-24-12, 05:15 PM
The world's airliners are universally equipped with anti-lock breaking systems and the efficacy is astounding. Ask any ATP.

orconn
07-24-12, 05:28 PM
I remember there were some problems with the first ABS system istalled on cars in the late eighties and early nineties. This situation caused me to opt out on ABS when I bought my '92 Alfa 164. However subsequent cars I have owned or driven as company cars have all been equipped with ABS and none of them have had any problems with reliability or effectiveness.

CadillacLuke24
07-24-12, 08:42 PM
Just my opinion, but....

You are not Andy Pilgrim.

You are not Michael Schumacher.

You are not Jeff Gordon.

You are Brandon Deleo, college student who has no apparent experience without ABS. Generally speaking, ABS will save your bacon if you get into a hairy situation. You can drive safely, but who knows what all the other morons on the road will do.

For your's (and Sandy's :stirpot:) sake, fix the ABS.

brandondeleo
07-24-12, 08:49 PM
You can drive safely, but who knows what all the other morons on the road will do.
...and this has what to do with me either way? :thepan:

Ranger
07-24-12, 09:11 PM
I remember there were some problems with the first ABS system istalled on cars in the late eighties and early nineties.
Believe it or not, my '73 Eldo had a version of it called "TrackMaster". It was only on the rear brakes and was rather useless. I could pump the brakes faster than it would.

brandondeleo
07-24-12, 09:14 PM
Believe it or not, my '73 Eldo had a version of it called "TrackMaster". It was only on the rear brakes and was rather useless. I could pump the brakes faster than it would.
That's fascinating. It's funny how Cadillac pioneers things that catch on later, but the things they pioneer suck, so other people have to pick up on it. :lol: ABS, V8-6-4, etc...

cadillac kevin
07-24-12, 09:32 PM
That's fascinating. It's funny how Cadillac pioneers things that catch on later, but the things they pioneer suck, so other people have to pick up on it. :lol: ABS, V8-6-4, etc...

The things they pioneer don't "suck" persay. Its just they're so far ahead of their time that technology wasn't advanced enough to make them work as they should.

CadillacLuke24
07-25-12, 02:02 AM
Cadillac's timing is so incredibly advanced that it appears to "suck". They just need to gear down.

Brandon, what I meant is what if somebody in front of you stops short? It generally takes standard brakes longer to stop than ABS. Just trying to help, but whatever floats your boat.

Bro.

dkozloski
07-25-12, 04:18 AM
Transport aircraft have had Decelostat wheel skid protection systems since the 1940's. I believe railroads and trolley cars had them before then to prevent flat spotting wheels.

CadillacLuke24
07-25-12, 07:12 PM
Transport aircraft have had Decelostat wheel skid protection systems since the 1940's. I believe railroads and trolley cars had them before then to prevent flat spotting wheels.

LOL I'd imagine that's a good thing. When a train is going by, you can hear the CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK of the flat spotted wheels. I'd venture to guess that flat spotted wheels shorten track life.

dkozloski
07-25-12, 09:43 PM
LOL I'd imagine that's a good thing. When a train is going by, you can hear the CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK CHUNK of the flat spotted wheels. I'd venture to guess that flat spotted wheels shorten track life.The railroad guys claim that the flat spots come from the switch engines shoving the rail cars around in the railyard with the brakes on.

Submariner409
07-25-12, 09:54 PM
Train wheels are made of softer iron that the rails - easier to change a wheel than a rail......................

Aron9000
07-25-12, 11:58 PM
The railroad guys claim that the flat spots come from the switch engines shoving the rail cars around in the railyard with the brakes on.

I could see that kind of being a PITA to have to get out and hook up the air hose every time you need to move a car. Not so much from a being lazy perspective, as in that you are backed up by 200 cars and need to get them the hell out of your way type of thing. I'm assuming train brakes are like truck brakes, you have to hook them to an air supply to get the shoes to release, right?

truckinman
07-26-12, 01:40 AM
I could see that kind of being a PITA to have to get out and hook up the air hose every time you need to move a car. Not so much from a being lazy perspective, as in that you are backed up by 200 cars and need to get them the hell out of your way type of thing. I'm assuming train brakes are like truck brakes, you have to hook them to an air supply to get the shoes to release, right?

Yes sir. They need the air supply to release just like my truck brakes.

OffThaHorseCEO
07-26-12, 02:07 AM
I WILL DO SO.

First off, what do people farm with? There's plenty of hoes around here. I do have a rake!

Where dem hoes at?