Continued from last week.
As I promised last week I will get into a
few things that people SHOULD know including some information
on ABS Brake Systems.
Awhile ago I read an interesting article in
a paper that had been written by a well-known Automotive Journalist.
This article was about how HE had crashed a vehicle he was driving,
into the back end of another vehicle in front of him. He explained
how he had just started to drive the car and it was cold and
still on a fast idle and he suggested that it was because of
the faster idle that the vehicle would not stop in time. This
vehicle was equipped with Anti-lock brakes. He went on to say
how the Anti-lock brakes or the lack of them would not of prevented
the accident but he failed to mention what WOULD of prevented
the accident. I found it rather interesting that a man with
his driving experience would NOT know one of the most basic
rules of controlling a vehicle and that is to GET IT OUT OF
GEAR. If he would have just kicked the vehicle into neutral,
he should have been able to stop and avoided the collision.
ANTI-LOCK brakes will not help a vehicle stop
BETTER than conventional brakes except in conditions where the
conventional brakes would LOCK UP. A GOOD experienced driver
can stop a vehicle just as fast with conventional brakes as
the Anti-lock systems can. (In most cases.) Anti-lock brakes
were made to assist drivers who may not know how to apply brakes
and counter steer etc. and for times of instant panic when the
brain does not work like it should.
BUT, EVERYONE SHOULD READ THE OWNERS MANUAL
FOR PROPER INSTRUCTIONS IN THE USE AND APPLICATION OF THE DIFFERENT
ABS SYSTEMS. I know of a lot of people who are disabling their
Anti-lock systems because they don't like the FEEL of them in
operation. I would like to take this opportunity to warn people
AGAINST doing such things. Anti-lock brake systems are considered
a SAFETY DEVICE and as far as I know it is still against the
Law in most places to tamper with a Safety device. In other
words if you have disabled your Anti-lock system, have an accident
and an investigation shows that the system has been disabled,
YOU MAY BE FOUND LIABLE AND COULD POSSIBLY NEGATE ANY INSURANCE
I have seen a lot of people who have disabled
their system because the light kept coming on, which means there
is a problem with the system, and they don't want to pay to
get the system fixed properly. That could prove a VERY EXPENSIVE
saving of a few dollars. The Red ABS light does come on when
you first turn on the ignition as a bulb test so that you know
the bulb is working. Some systems are designed to FLASH the
light when there is a problem detected and to warn the driver
that the system may not operate as designed. Other systems just
turn the light on when there is a problem detected. In either
case, if the light comes on there IS a problem and the vehicle
should be taken in for a diagnosis and repair AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
But, just like any other computer-controlled device on your
vehicle, it MAY NOT be cheap to fix. The Safety of the vehicle
you drive IS your responsibility and you are Legally required
to maintain the vehicle in a SAFE condition. Once again the
light is RED because it does mean a potentially dangerous situation
More next week on other warning lights.
"TOOT" Rick "The Wrench" - June 28th,1999
Copyright of Rick The Wrench, 1999