Automotive Column 23 ABS and 4x4
Syndicated Newspaper Column
This listeners email is a great reminder for anyone who purchases a vehicle and is unfamiliar with its systems. If you are unfamiliar with a system get to know it before you need to use it to give yourself added safety.
CAR QUESTIONS TAKEN FROM
OUR WEEKLY TALK RADIO SHOW
Dear Motor Medics,
I just bought my first vehicle that’s equipped with antilock brakes. I am a truck person and my last one has lasted a long time and was not equipped with the antilock system. I have driven many vehicles equipped with antilock brakes but have never been driving them when they have been in operation. I have been told that they will work and feel differently than vehicles that are not equipped with antilock brakes. Can you give me some advice on what to expect from the system when it goes into operation? The vehicle is a 2006 GMC Sierra 2500 four wheel drive.
Peter in Fort Morgan Colorado
Antilock is now standard on vehicles but many drivers are in the same situation as you, not knowing what to expect. Antilock brakes are designed to prevent the lock-up of one wheel before the others, aiding in the ability to stop the vehicle on low traction surfaces and also allow you to steer the vehicle while braking with the system in operation. You have to remember that you can’t outperform the computer for the brakes. Do not pump the brakes when on low traction surfaces. The computer does it for you. Read the owner’s manual and if you find a low traction condition such as ice you can practice stopping at low speeds on a wide open vacant parking lot to get a feel for the system. I hope this helps you.
Take care, the Motor Medics
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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.