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UNDERSTANDING ANTILOCK BRAKES

Antilock brakes feature technology that helps drivers maintain steering control during hard braking. Many Hondas and other vehicles come standard with antilock brakes or feature them as an option. Not only do they work differently-they're used differently, too. Understanding these differences can help you maximize their effectiveness.

How Are They Different?
When pushed hard, conventional brakes may cause wheels to lock up, making the steering ineffective. In contrast, an antilock braking system (ABS) allows drivers to continue steering while braking so they can maneuver around objects. An electronic control unit senses when a wheel is approaching lock up and intermittently reduces pressure several times a second. The process is much like that of pumping conventional brakes, but faster and better.

How Are They Used?
To reap the benefits of antilock brakes, drivers must learn to use them properly. The ABS emergency braking technique is different from that used with conventional brakes. Drivers with conventional brakes may pump the brake pedal to minimize lock up potential. With ABS, this same pumping procedure will defeat the advantages of the ABS system. During hard or severe braking conditions, drivers with ABS should press hard on the brake pedal and not let up. This is known as "stomp and steer". Sometimes an ABS creates noise and causes the brake pedal to vibrate when the system is activated. Don't take your foot off the brake pedal if this happens. This is a normal occurrence, and your ABS is functioning properly.

Antilock brakes are no substitute for careful, responsible driving. Maintain the proper distance between vehicles and give yourself plenty of time to stop. If you are interested in additional antilock brake information specifically for your vehicle, consult your owner's manual (link to /Model/mdl_manual.asp)or talk to your Honda service advisor.

Antilock Brakes Do's and Don'ts
If you have antilock brakes, or are considering buying a vehicle that has them, use them properly! In severe braking situations with antilock brakes, remember:

DO stomp on the brakes when braking hard
DO maintain firm pressure on the brake pedal and continue steering to avoid an accident
DON'T let up even if the system makes noise or the pedal vibrates
DON'T pump the brakes
DO drive safely
 
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