The purpose of the Antilock Brake System (ABS) is to minimize wheel slip during heavy braking. The system performs this function by monitoring the speed of each wheel and controlling the brake fluid pressure to each wheel independently during a braking event. This allows the driver to retain directional stability and better steering capability.
When wheel slip is detected during a brake application, the ABS enters antilock mode. During antilock braking, hydraulic pressure in the individual wheel circuits is controlled to prevent any wheel from slipping. A separate hydraulic line and specific solenoid valves are provided for each wheel. The ABS can decrease, hold, or increase hydraulic pressure to each wheel brake. The ABS cannot, however, increase hydraulic pressure above the amount which is transmitted by the master cylinder during braking.
During antilock braking, a series of rapid pulsations is felt in the brake pedal. These pulsations are caused by the rapid changes in position of the individual solenoid valves as the EBCM responds to wheel speed sensor inputs and attempts to prevent wheel slip. These pedal pulsations are present only during antilock braking and stop when normal braking is resumed or when the vehicle comes to a stop. A ticking or popping noise may also be heard as the solenoid valves cycle rapidly. During antilock braking on dry pavement, intermittent chirping noises may be heard as the tires approach slipping. These noises and pedal pulsations are considered normal during antilock operation.
Vehicles equipped with ABS may be stopped by applying normal force to the brake pedal. Brake pedal operation during normal braking is no different than that of previous non-ABS systems. Maintaining a constant force on the brake pedal provides the shortest stopping distance while maintaining vehicle stability.
The following components are involved in the operation of the above systems:
Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) - The EBCM controls the system functions and detects failures. The EBCM contains the following components:
Pump Motor Relay - The pump motor relay is energized when the EBCM activates the pump motor. The pump motor is supplied a constant ground.
Brake Pressure Modulator Valve (BPMV) - The BPMV contains the hydraulic valves and pump motor that are controlled electrically by the EBCM. The BPMV uses a 4 circuit configuration with a diagonal split. The BPMV directs fluid from the reservoir of the master cylinder to the left front and right rear wheels and fluid from the other reservoir to the right front and left rear wheels. The diagonal circuits are hydraulically isolated so that a leak or malfunction in one circuit will allow continued braking ability on the other. The BPMV contains the following components:
- Wheel Speed Sensors (WSS) - As the wheel spins, the wheel speed sensor produces an AC signal. The EBCM uses this AC signal to calculate wheel speed. The wheel speed sensors are replaceable only as part of the wheel hub and bearing assemblies.
- Stoplamp Switch - The EBCM uses the stoplamp switch as an indication that the brake pedal is applied.