Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) - Main Components And Advantages

An anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a safety anti-skid braking method used on aircraft. Now it is used in cars, Motorcycles, and buses. ABS functions by preventing the wheels from locking up while braking, through keeping a tractive connection with the road surface. ABS is an automatic system that uses the principles of threshold braking and cadence braking, methods which are once practiced by skilled riders. ABS generally offers advanced vehicle control and drops halting distances on dry and some smooth surfaces on loose gravel or snow-covered surfaces. ABS significantly increase braking distance,  improving steering control. Since ABS was introduced in production vehicles, It has become increasingly advanced and powerful. Depending on its unique capabilities and combinations, it is also known as electronic brake force distribution, traction control system, emergency brake assist, or electronic stability control (ESC). In the future, it may not simply prevent wheel lock but may also change the front-to-rear brake bias.

Components used in an auto braking system

There are five major components of ABS: ABS speed sensor, valves, a pump, brake fluid and a controller.

ABS speed Sensor:

The ABS sensor normally consists of a toothed ring and a magnet enclosed within a coil. The contact among the ring and the magnet induces an electric field due to which a sign is generated. This sign is then transformed into a digital signal and sent to the ABS controller. The controller then determines the speed of each wheel individually. ABS sensor is a key component in controlling the drift of the car under any conditions.


Valves play a major role in the ABS system it controls the pressure and limits it to a certain amount. When the brake pedal is pushed harder, the valves limit the pressure on the brakes. When a valve is jammed it stops functioning; open, close, or change position. An inoperable valve will prevent the system from changing or controlling pressure supplied to the brakes. The valve has three positions open, block, and release.

•    In the open position, it allows the pressure to flow through the brake.
•    In the block position, it blocks the extra pressure and maintains a limited pressure on the brakes.
•    In the release position, it releases the pressure held on the brakes


The pump in the ABS is used to restore the pressure to the hydraulic brakes after the valves have released it. The controller will change the pump's status in order to produce the desired amount of pressure and reduce sliding.

Brake fluid:

In the hydraulic brake fluid system, brake fluid is the main applicator of the brakes. It is used to transfer force from the hydraulic lines to the braking mechanism near the wheels. As brakes produce a lot of heat, the brake fluid has a high boiling point for the effective operations. It also prevents corrosion of the materials in contact.


A controller is a unit in the ABS which receives the information from the individual wheel ABS speed sensor. When an individual wheel loses the traction, a signal is sent to the controller. The controller will then limit the brake force and activate the ABS modulator.

Advantages of ABS

•    ABS technology significantly reduces the risk of your wheels locking and skidding, especially in slippery conditions. It is no exaggeration to say that it can be life-saving, helping to maintain control and to steer out of dangerous scenarios.
•    ABS technology can keep your vehicle insurance payments down precisely because anti-lock brakes have shown, many times, by lowering the risk of accidents.
•    Technology doesn't panic like the human do it overrides the driver's instinct to brake harshly and retains steering control.
•    ABS reduces the friction of wheels on roads, thus increases the efficiency of tires (up to 30%).
•    Steering control is effective and avoids overturning of the vehicle. The vehicle can be steered smoothly while braking.
•    Faster responses to situations because of complete electronic & computer controller.