During the past, most cars used a system for braking known as power brakes. Up until around the 1990s, this form of braking was the standard. Then anti-lock braking systems came alone, and they quickly took over as the standard for most modern vehicles. So, what’s the difference between power brakes and anti-lock brakes? Read on to learn more.
Whenever you step on your brakes, the pedal’s strut is connected to a rod that goes directly into the master cylinder. This component is bolted onto a vacuum booster and firewall if you have power brakes. The brake fluid is forced through the lines of the master cylinder whenever you brake. In turn, this brake fluid actuates a piston located at the brake caliper, forcing the brake pads against the rotor and slowing your vehicle down using friction. You can compare this to using the hand brakes on your bicycle.
The power brake system was originally created for heavy vehicles during World War II to make it easier for the vehicles to come to a complete stop. As the engine creates a vacuum, the power brakes siphon some of the vacuuming from the engine. This is then stored into a power brake booster. Any time you step on the brake pedal, the vacuum multiplies the effort your foot puts into hitting the brake pedal which makes slowing down and stopping easier.
Anti-Lock Braking Systems
The design for anti-lock brakes was first invented in the 1950s, but they were originally created for use in aircraft. With this type of braking system, special sensors monitor the speed of each wheel, sending the information back to a central processor in real-time. The processor uses several valves and pumps that determine the proportion of braking effort needed to apply the proper amount of force to each individual wheel. Over time, this braking system started to be used in cars, but it wasn’t until around the early 1990s that it started to become the standard.
If one wheel looks like it’s slowing down more than the others or it looks like it could lock up, the processor reduces the volume of hydraulic pressure in the brake line to just that wheel. It helps to prevent the driver from losing control as a result of the wheels locking up, which is where the term “anti-lock” brakes come in. If the ABS light on your dashboard lights up, there could be an issue with one of the brake sensors or it could mean there’s a specific trouble code in the car’s computer that needs to be diagnosed. Overall, an anti-lock braking system is strong and reliable and should last as long as your vehicle.
At J & M Transmission & Auto Service in Tea, SD, we offer full brake service and inspections. Just give our staff a call at 605-610-2762 to schedule your appointment.