Project Name: 2003 Ford Mustang ABS Report
As more youngsters are fascinated by sports cars, Ford Mustangs have become their first choice for its styling look and outstanding performance. However, what keeps people going to Ford dealers is more than just the appearance of the sports car. As performance cars, Mustangs are equipped with standard air bags, three point seat belts and many other safety features that provide the driver and the passengers with maximum protection, but more importantly, they are built with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that helps the driver steer and achieve the maximum braking effort in case of wheels locking up and vehicle skidding.
On a 2003 mustang, Anti-lock Braking System is mainly made up of an ABS Module, four wheel speed sensors, a Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU), and the associated wirings. The input components, the wheel speed sensors, are electromagnetic devices that generate alternating current (AC) by the rotating toothed rings on each wheel as the wheels spin (aa1car.com). In the form of sine waves, the signals are sent to the ABS control module where they are analyzed and a decision as to whether ABS should be activated is made. The other major contributing to the functioning of the ABS module is the brake pedal switch, which is located near the brake pedal. It senses whether there is pressure applied to the brake pedal at the time in case of faulty ABS activation (Erjavec, Restoule & Playter, AUTOMOTIVE TECHONOLOGY ??“ FIRST CANADIAN EDITION). If the data tells the ABS control module that one or more wheels are traveling too fast and about to lock up during hard braking, the control module will send a signal to the actuator, the hydraulic control unit to carry out the order of deactivating the brake system temporarily in order to maintain the most traction. The HCU is a hydraulic system mounted to the master cylinder that regulates the flow of hydraulic pressure during the ABS activation. There are two solenoid valves in the system, one being inlet before brake fluid reaches brake calipers and wheel cylinders, the other being outlet located behind the brake calipers and wheel cylinders (about.com).). During normal braking, the inlet solenoid valve is set normally open while the outlet solenoid valve is normally closed. As the hydraulic pressure applied to the brakes increases and one of the wheels is about to lock up, the ABS control unit tells the HCU to close the inlet valve by energizing the valve (about.com). This phase of the ABS activation is called Pressure Maintain. As the hydraulic pressure builds up the brake, the outlet solenoid valve is now energized and opened in a bid to move the hydraulic pressure away from the brake to prevent wheel lockup (about.com). The hydraulic pressure is then directed into an accumulator for temporary storage. This phase is called Pressure Decrease. Lastly, as the wheels start traveling too fast again, the HCU de-energizes both solenoid valves, forcing the inlet to open and the outlet to close (about.com). This phase, called Pressure Increase, allows the hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder to go to the brakes again, resulting in a braking effort again. The three phases listed here demonstrate the basic operation of the ABS. According to a research, today`s technology is capable of energizing the solenoid with the HCU up to 20 times per second (wikipedia.org). In other words, when a wheel is about to lock up during hard braking, the ABS can pump and release the brake as fast as 20 times per second.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Although ABS has brought safety to our everyday driving, it is important to remember that ABS is designed to prevent the wheels from locking up so the driver can steer safely. It does not necessarily reduce the braking distance by much. And in some cases, it takes longer to stop a vehicle equipped with ABS. There are a number of factors that contribute to the braking distance, including the tires used on the vehicle, road surface condition, et cetera. While According to a study, while vehicles with ABS stop faster on dry pavement, they travel 22% longer than vehicles without ABS on loose gravel (Wikipedia.org). Furthermore, it is fundamental knowledge that during ABS activation, the driver does not manually pump the brake pedal and knows that it is completely normal if there is a continuous pulse on the pedal.
Project Name: 2003 Ford Mustang ABS Report