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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

So basically, I just had a short trip around 4 hours driving from where I live CA to Reno, Nevada. On our way to Reno, we got so interested in touching snow at a place near Lake Tahoe I believe, so I got off the free way into an exit that had snow at the stop sign (or ice, not really) on it. I was not the only one who was taking that exit, so there was a path (hopefully you all can imagine what I mean by that) for cars to drive on. ( all the snow on the street had not been wiped out yet, thats why I say "path" ). When I got to the stop sign and stepped on the brake, I felt like my car had hit something hard under it. I thought the car was damaged because of the "ice" in the middle of the path. I first though if it was snow, it would be soft, and that I wouldn't feel the "shock" while breaking. But after that, I still could make a turn and drive off to the destination. However, on my way to the place, I sometimes felt that "shock" while I stepped on the break pedal.

So my question is that, is it normal ? Does that have something to do with preventing the car from getting uncontrollable because of slippery ?
 

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Hi,

So basically, I just had a short trip around 4 hours driving from where I live CA to Reno, Nevada. On our way to Reno, we got so interested in touching snow at a place near Lake Tahoe I believe, so I got off the free way into an exit that had snow at the stop sign (or ice, not really) on it. I was not the only one who was taking that exit, so there was a path (hopefully you all can imagine what I mean by that) for cars to drive on. ( all the snow on the street had not been wiped out yet, thats why I say "path" ). When I got to the stop sign and stepped on the brake, I felt like my car had hit something hard under it. I thought the car was damaged because of the "ice" in the middle of the path. I first though if it was snow, it would be soft, and that I wouldn't feel the "shock" while breaking. But after that, I still could make a turn and drive off to the destination. However, on my way to the place, I sometimes felt that "shock" while I stepped on the break pedal.

So my question is that, is it normal ? Does that have something to do with preventing the car from getting uncontrollable because of slippery ?
I'm guessing it might be the ABS.
 

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Yes, that is just your Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) working. It will feel as if you hit something- you will even hear funny sounds.

ABS engages when you brake on a slippery surface, such as ice or compacted snow. It engages and disengages the brakes for you dozens of times a second so that you can stop in shorter distances WHILE STILL MAINTAINING CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's what I was thinking about, but just wanted to make sure. :) Thanks all.

But still wondering if anyone's experienced that ?
 

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But still wondering if anyone's experienced that ?
It is wintertime here in Chicago. Every single day I jam on the brakes just to hear and feel the ABS engage when I am in the snow.
 

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LOL! :banana:
 

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It is wintertime here in Chicago. Every single day I jam on the brakes just to hear and feel the ABS engage when I am in the snow.
+1

It is always a good idea to test your car's braking on ice when you're on an empty road. Get used to how it reacts under different levels of braking force and steering angle. I test my ABS EVERY TIME I'm going to drive on ice or snow
 

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It is always a good idea to test your car's braking on ice when you're on an empty road....I test my ABS EVERY TIME I'm going to drive on ice or snow
If Johnny Law pulls you over because he sees you jamming on the brakes for no reason, do what I do:

 

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Here in PA I play a game NOT to kick in the ABS. It is fun to do.

Seriously I understand someone from no snow regions being concerned. I know when I did get my first ABS car 10 years ago, when I kicked it in, I peed a little :) It is a strange feeling and different in intensity and sound in different makes of vehicles.
 

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FYI, the first time many people hear and feel that harsh pulsation under their foot it is natural to think something is wrong and to remove their foot from brake. Of course that means they stop slowing down and often hit what they are trying to avoid. With ABS it is important to know that noise and vibration is normal and to keep your foot on the brake. Let the car do its thing.
 

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Yes, that is just your Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) working. It will feel as if you hit something- you will even hear funny sounds.

ABS engages when you brake on a slippery surface, such as ice or compacted snow. It engages and disengages the brakes for you dozens of times a second so that you can stop in shorter distances WHILE STILL MAINTAINING CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE.
Anti-lock brakes will not shorten your stopping distance on contaminated pavement. Your stopping distance will be longer than on dry pavement because the anti-lock system keeps releasing the brakes to keep the wheels turning which provides you with steering control and preventing a skid. In the airplane industry the same system is installed on jet airplanes but is called Anti-skid. It's called anti-skid because it prevents loosing directional control on contaminated surfaces. The automobile industry didn't want the liability of calling the system anti-skid so they named it ant-lock.
 

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ABS will shorten your stopping distances on ice conditions. Not so much on dry pavement, but as mentioned, it allows you to maintain some control of your vehicle instead of slidding uncontrollably into something. You will be able to steer away.

LOL at someone not used to winter driving and experiencing abs for their first time. it usually is shocking. but you will get used to it :)
 

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Anti-lock brakes will not shorten your stopping distance on contaminated pavement. Your stopping distance will be longer than on dry pavement because the anti-lock system keeps releasing the brakes to keep the wheels turning which provides you with steering control and preventing a skid. In the airplane industry the same system is installed on jet airplanes but is called Anti-skid. It's called anti-skid because it prevents loosing directional control on contaminated surfaces. The automobile industry didn't want the liability of calling the system anti-skid so they named it ant-lock.
Are we talking theoretics or real life? I know from physics that the maximum coefficient of friction occurs right at the threshold where kinetic friction turns to static friction. Therefore a tire achieves its maximum grip when it is just beginning to skid – sort of skidding and rolling at the same time.

The effectiveness of ABS depends on how closely it can hold the tires on that threshold. The system will teeter back and forth from skid to roll very quickly, several times per second. Even during those spilt seconds the tires roll, the brakes will keep the pressure extremely high in the kinetic friction range, just a hair below that kinetic-static threshold. The bottom line is that most good anti-lock brake systems today can keep the tires pretty much right on that threshold.

In my experience with threshold braking, it is very hard to hold the brakes right on that envelope manually. If you skid a little too much or don’t skid at all, you lengthen your braking distance. Granted I’m not the best driver but when I really slammed the brakes and felt a skid begin, it required more than a split second to modulate the brake pressure and find that threshold, or at least get extremely close to it. Perhaps a Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna can nail it perfectly every time, but 99.999999% of all other drivers cannot control the brakes as well as an anti-lock brake system.

In real life - on dry, wet or icy pavement – I don’t think any driver can do better than an ABS system- especially in an emergency situation. If you need to stop in today’s new cars just slam those brakes, mentally override any impulse to remove your foot from the vibrating brake pedal and KNOW that is fastest way you will stop (aside from actually hitting what you're trying to avoid).
 

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Even My Mower Is a Honda!
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Press
Hold
Steer
Change undies

Jay
 

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Are we talking theoretics or real life?

In real life - on dry, wet or icy pavement – I don’t think any driver can do better than an ABS system- especially in an emergency situation. If you need to stop in today’s new cars just slam those brakes, mentally override any impulse to remove your foot from the vibrating brake pedal and KNOW that is fastest way you will stop (aside from actually hitting what you're trying to avoid).
Exactly....

....well-written post.

@Flyboy: My brother flies the C-130 Hercules, "J" model, and has landed on everything from smooth Iraqi runway to the North Pole. He can attest to your words.
 

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It started snowing here today and I had my lil experience with ABS earlier today leaving campus haha.

I was taking my time making a left turn and slid a tad bit, the VSA light came on for a quick sec too. :) Thank goodness for safe winter driving and safety features.
 

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It started snowing here today and I had my lil experience with ABS earlier today leaving campus haha.

I was taking my time making a left turn and slid a tad bit, the VSA light came on for a quick sec too. :) Thank goodness for safe winter driving and safety features.
You are probably too young to know the joys of parking lot donuts in rear-wheel drive vehicles w/o ABS.....:(
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbtzkzD00vQ
 
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