ABS anti lock brakes

I have a couple of cars with ABS. The one in question is a 1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara. The ABS system in this vehicle is more of a danger/irritant than anything. At high speed and a wet roadway, the ABS seems to do its job well. However, at slow speeds on ice or snow, it causes the car to stop poorly, or not at all. The best example was when backing out of my sloped driveway: I had ice under the left tires, and bare pavement under the right set, with a trailer on the back. As I eased down the driveway, the ABS came oneline, and would not let me stop until I got to the bottom of the driveway and this was with BARE PAVEMENT UNDER ONE SET OF TIRES. After that experience, I found the fuse for the ABS and disabled the system for the winter.

Of note, I had an Audi 100 with ABS and it had a switch on the dash that allowed the ABS to be switched off for snowy conditions. Maybe the Germans knew something about the limitations of ABS.

Any comments on ABS in snowy/icy conditions? Maybe the newer systems are better…

ABS is just that, Anti-lock braking. It is designed to prevent the wheels from locking up so you still have steering control. However, on slick or icy pavement, you still have very little traction under the tire, and braking will not stop on a dime. Plus, you were riding down an icy driveway, with a trailer (extra load pushing you), and only had reasonable traction on the right side. The ABS was doing what it was programmed to do, to keep the left side tires from locking up. BTW, the whole rear axle braking system is generally treated as one brake in most truck systems, so the only tire getting any real braking action was the right front. The other brakes were being restricted by the ABS to keep them rolling. I’d hate to be in that truck with you if those tires were allowed to lock up while hooked to that trailer. I’ve seen lots of roll-overs happen that way.

You may deactivate the ABS for the rear brake side in that situation. Sounds like the ABS is not working correctly or controlled by one single channel, not two channels(L/R).