Why does a car need ABS and how to replace it?

After the start of production of the “anti-crisis” Lada Granta, the question arises, is it possible to do without an anti-lock brake system?

On the morning of June 16, the plant in Togliatti resumed production of cars after a long downtime caused by a shortage of components. The assembly of Lada Granta has begun in the only Classic configuration, but in three body styles: sedan, liftback and station wagon. The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is excluded from the list of technical options for the basic version of the car. How critical is this for safety and can ABS be replaced with simple driving techniques?

10 Advantages of ABS

  • ABS is designed to combat wheel lockup and loss of control on slippery surfaces . Blockages are dangerous because, due to too much grip, the wheels create a turning moment on the body, and the car can sharply deviate to the side. The task of ABS is to regulate the speed of rotation of the wheels by changing the pressure. In other words, it prevents a person from applying too much pressure on the brake, which causes twitching and jolts on the pedals. As a result, the car decelerates more slowly, but does not lose its trajectory.
  • ABS consists of an electronic control unit, hydraulic actuators and a wheel speed measurement device. The last element determines the speed with the help of inductive sensors that record the moment in the wheel hub, and Hall sensors that record changes in the magnetic field strength. Electronics picks up electrical signals generated in the winding when the disc rotates , and recognizes the speed of the wheels and the difference between the readings of the four sensors.
  • If the signals are interrupted, the wheel is blocked and does not move. The electronics gives the command to open the pads. The valve body opens the solenoid valve to bleed the brake fluid into the outlet line, thereby reducing the pressure. The wheel begins to rotate, and in case of danger, the driver can steer the obstacle and avoid an accident.
  • In most modern cars, ABS works in conjunction with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) – a brake force distribution system that doses the braking intensity for each wheel. With EBD, you can safely brake in a turn, during maneuvers and even on different surfaces.
  • The most popular model in Russia this year received a number of updates. And they seriously influenced the impression of the car!
  • When the first ABS systems were first introduced, Mercedes demonstrated their advantage in a simple exercise. Two cars tried to go around an obstacle on wet and dense asphalt, similar in terms of adhesion coefficient to ice. On old filming, you can see how a car without ABS , when braking hard, “nods”, stopped one of the wheels and stopped obeying the steering wheel, driving into the exposed obstacle cones with the edge of the bumper. The other car, but with ABS, remained controllable and, strongly squatting on its side, with large rolls managed to rebuild in the immediate vicinity of the cones.

Disadvantages of ABS

  • It would seem that the anti-lock braking system is only good, but it also has disadvantages that also affect the behavior of the car, especially in winter.
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS ) conducted an analysis of road traffic accidents in the off-season and found that cars with ABS at near-zero temperatures were in an accident 65% more often than conventional ones. So, on a wet surface with icy areas, the system worked ahead of time and released the grip of the brakes, while old cars on locked wheels made their way through the wet film of water and snow to the asphalt and braked more efficiently.
  • Electronics is not able to adequately distinguish between the level of surface freezing and the thickness of the upper snow layer. And if an old car without ABS could scrape it like a plow and get to the asphalt, then ABS simply “dissolves” the brakes and prevents the car from slowing down . The driver feels pedal vibrations and hears the chirping of pressure relief valves.

Think like ABS

  • If you buy a car without ABS, then you need to prepare for the autumn-winter season and develop a number of skills in the summer that will help you avoid trouble on slippery roads and level the shortcomings of such a car. First of all, you can not brake to the floor, falling into a panic at the sight of an approaching obstacle. It is necessary to practice on a special site and try to learn how to brake intermittently, simulating the actions of ABS.
  • To do this, you do not need to press the pedal with a constant effort, but pump it back and forth, trying to relieve the maximum pressure in the hydraulics and again forcing it with your foot. That is, the driver is required to hit the pedal with his foot as often as possible, as if a drummer is hitting the pedal of a foot drum. In this way, intermittent impacts will help to avoid critical forces on the brake pads , and they will allow the wheels to turn under braking.
  • It is also important to develop the skill of controlling the trajectory, and as soon as the car suddenly turns its nose to the side, it is necessary to release the brake pedal and correct the direction of the steering wheel in order to apply the brake again in a moment to slow down. The driver will have to think like ABS. The pilots of rally races acted in the same way , where electronic systems were banned.
  • In general, the process of intermittent braking is best practiced at specialized sites and in emergency driving courses. Therefore, if it is not possible to purchase a car with ABS, then it is best to buy a certificate for passing such courses.


by Abdullah Sam
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