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Do I Need Brake Service? Troubleshooting Your Anti Lock Braking System

Anti-lock braking systems are essential for safe driving, which makes regular brake service an essential part of all driver’s preventative maintenance plans.

To help you spot warning signs and book brake service before it’s too late, today’s post shares some simple troubleshooting tips to improve your odds of early detection.

Read on to learn how to detect problems early, or contact your local TIRECRAFT to speak directly with a brake service specialist.

The Importance Of Anti-Lock Braking Systems For Driver Safety

Anti-lock braking systems have been around a long time, with some experimental versions first appearing on vehicles as far back as the 1930s. ABS technology really took off in the 1980s, and since the 2012 model year, it’s been a requirement on all vehicles in Canada.

In other words, if your vehicle was manufactured in 2012 or later, you’ve got anti-lock brakes. And that’s a good thing, because they play a big part in keeping you safe in emergency braking situations.

Here’s how they work:

In emergency situations, excessive braking force on a wheel may cause the wheel to lock. When a wheel locks and a tire skids, your vehicle loses steering control and directional stability, putting you and your fellow drivers at serious risk.

ABS systems are designed to detect abnormal drops in wheel speeds and reduce the braking force on that wheel, thereby preventing wheel lock, tire skids, and loss of control. Thus, ABS systems improve vehicle safety during heavy brake use, or when braking in conditions with poor traction.

Clearly, your ABS is critical for your vehicle’s safety, so you’d do well to stay on top of any required brake service. But how do you know when it’s time for ABS maintenance?

Brake Service Guide: How To Spot A Failing ABS

  • Unresponsive brake pedal. In some cases, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, ABS module failures can make the brake pedal a bit unresponsive. This usually happens slowly, over time, making it tough for daily drivers to detect. If you suspect your brakes might not be as responsive as they once were, book a free consultation with our brake service specialists.
  • Brakes take more effort to engage. If you need to really stomp on the brake to achieve a reasonable amount of braking force, as though it were being diverted away from the wheels, it could be a sign that your ABS module is malfunctioning.
  • ABS light is on. When you look at your dashboard, is there an amber-coloured ABS light staring back? This light is equivalent to your Check Engine light—not a definitive diagnosis, but a clear sign that something’s not right. If yours lights up, get in touch with a TIRECRAFT brake service specialist.
  • Brakes locking up. In some cases, faulty ABS modules can behave erratically, locking your brakes even under normal driving conditions. If you’ve noticed any irregular behaviour from your brakes, such as locking, clicks, or pumping without any manual input, book a brake service ASAP—you might need your ABS module replaced.

  • Speedometer failures. In rare cases, faulty ABS control modules can stop the speedometer from working properly, so that it either shows either an incorrect speed, or the needle won’t budge past 0km/h.

Find A One-Stop Shop For Brake Service Near Me: Call TIRECRAFT

With more than 300+ TIRECRAFT locations around the country, each of them offering brake services from ASE-certified ABS-specialists, it’s never been easier to keep your brakes in shape.

Use the Find a TIRECRAFT tool to start a free brake service consultation and get a same-day quote on your repair, replacement, or maintenance service.