A Game Changer for Auto Safety: A Look at Anti-lock Braking Systems for Students in Car Mechanic Training

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Vehicles on the road today are safer than ever. They are loaded with tons of safety features like complex air bag configurations, backup cameras, blind spot detection, and, of course, anti-lock braking (ABS) systems. ABS systems have been a critical factor in improving vehicle safety, helping to prevent skidding on icy and slippery surfaces, which is especially important on Canadian roads during the winter.
If you’re interested in a mechanic career, read on to learn a bit more about ABS systems.

A Brief History of ABS Systems for Students in Car Mechanic Training

ABS systems aren’t by any means a new invention. They first made their appearance in modern vehicles in the early 1970s when Chrysler partnered with Bendix Corporation and developed a computerized four-senor system called the Sure Brake. In 1970, Ford also introduced an ABS system called Sure-track as an option for its Lincoln Continental, and then made it a standard feature in the following model year. In subsequent years, General Motors, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Nissan all began to offer similar ABS systems.
ABS systems eventually became a common standard in almost all passenger vehicles. However, to ensure that all vehicles contained this important safety feature, in 2011 the Canadian government passed a law that demanded electronic stability control systems, which include ABS, be in every new light-duty vehicle. As a result, after your car mechanic training you can expect all newer vehicles to have ABS.

Four Basic Components of ABS Every Student in Car Mechanic Training Should Know

While ABS systems do vary from vehicle to vehicle, there are four main components that each one should have:

  1. Speed sensor
  2. Controller
  3. Valve
  4. Pump

When the speed sensor notices that a car’s wheels are decelerating much too rapidly, it signals to the controller that the ABS system needs to activate. The controller then opens valves to allow pressure from the brake to be released, preventing the brakes from locking up. Once the pressure has been reduced to an optimal amount, the controller will use the pump to increase pressure again.
The system will rapidly switch between increasing and reducing pressure to help the vehicle come to a controlled stop without skidding. It’s similar to how a driver is supposed to pump the brake when coming to a quick stop, just in an automated and much more efficient way.

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ABS systems help drivers come to a quick stop safely

Types of ABS Systems Students in Car Mechanic Training May Encounter During Their Career

There are three different types of ABS systems you might encounter during your automotive mechanic career. They’re all fairly similar, except for the number of channels and sensors they have. The most effective type of ABS system is the four-channel and four-sensor ABS system, which has a dedicated valve and a sensor for each wheel. Three-channel and three-sensor ABS systems have a speed sensor and valve for each front wheel and a shared one for the back wheels. One-channel and one-sensor ABS systems, on the other hand, only control the rear wheels and are typically found in pickup trucks.
Did you know students of our automotive training schools learn everything needed to launch a successful mechanic career?
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