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Do you want ABS

Just to be clear, I do understand exactly what these “safety devices” are intended to do; and I don’t hate them, as long as they are installed in your car instead of mine. Fortunately for me, you don’t get to decide on what useless features are installed in my car (sorry, but big brother can’t protect you from everything).

Some ABS systems have kept cars from stopping in time.

A poor reason not to have it. Usually it’s better to keep the wheels from locking up, thus preserving the ability to steer. Granted, wheel lockup may stop you (straight line) a bit shorter than with ABS, but more often it’s better to be able to steer out of trouble. ABS is safety equipment that is a plus most (but not all) of the time. Just as seat belts or air bags can kill you once in a while – should we get rid of them on the off chance that they’ll do that?

This was a very early version of ABS. The truck was a late 80’s early 90’s model. Yes, I know the difference between electric trailer brakes and surge brakes and how they work. I also know what happened in this case.

I’m sure when he parked the truck he put it in gear and set the parking brake otherwise it would have rolled off while they were loading cattle. As is, it rolled off with him in it. He got in it and like any normal person put his foot on the brake, pulled it out of gear, started the engine and that’s when it started rolling. Dodge investigated the wreck, and we know what happened.

As far as starting one in gear, if you’ve ever fooled around with cattle, jumped in the truck with mud and cow shit on your boots you’ll learn not to do that the first time your foot slips off the clutch pedal and you break a motor mount.

Put simply, if not for the ABS actuating the truck should have sat there with the wheels locked exactly like it did for ever how long it took to round up the cattle and load them in the truck.

Some of these ABS systems in trucks are simpler than others, the simpler the better. Chevrolet’s system is the worst I’ve seen and their trucks have the worst brakes I’ve seen in a truck. Dad’s got a Suburban that takes a country mile to stop with a boat behind it thanks to the ABS. Ford’s system through 96 was fairly simple and much better that Chevy’s. The only experience I have with Dodge is the one I have now, and it’s not that bad but it’s a 3/4 ton, I don’t know if their half tons are any different. I know that the Germans worked on the Dodge suspension and I assume it’s brakes.


The original question regarding good tires vs ABS brings me to add this, I would prefer a well maintained vehicle with high quality tires, brakes, etc without the bells and whistles such as ABS. And I feel that an experienced and responsible driver in a well maintained vehicle likely has a better safety record than drivers who wish to push the envelope of safety, depending on technology to save them. And my experience with ABS, going back to the system mandated on trucks over 40 years ago, indicates that the improvement in safety is marginal, at best. And usually only beneficial in circumstances that a responsible driver would have avoided.

I’ll confess that I probably could have used ABS to avoid an accident at least once in my life. Back when I was younger, less skilled, and at times reckless, I was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision on a rain-slick LA freeway. (For the record I wasn’t speeding, and the car had stopped unexpectedly in my lane with no lights on!) I jammed on the brakes and skidded into the car, mangling the front end of my Honda and causing thousands of dollars in damages. I’ve asked myself many times in the years since what would have happened had I pumped the brakes. And I also had some near missed when I was younger. I suppose better tires might have helped, but there was nothing below par about my tires. So while experience and good tires may help avoid accidents, I’m sure that there are millions of drivers today avoiding accidents because of ABS and they don’t even know about it. As for air-bags – the car I was driving that night didn’t have air bags, and had it the repair expense would have been that much more. I was glad not to have them that night and in other instances. When the car got older the cost of replacing the air bags could have made the difference between the car being repaired or totaled.

Don’t know enough about cars to really have a concrete opinion on this. BUT I do know that in the last 3 months I have spent almost $1100 caused by ABS problems: first, had a wheel bearing/hub replaced in the left front (mechanism had shorted out). then, started having the same problem again and after deeper investigating this time around, had to have the entire harness replaced. NOT fun, esp. for a 24-year-old barely scraping by, saving up for a trip to italy in 10 days, and trying to get rid of the said car as soon as I take delivery on a smartcar (gee…wonder why I am trying to get rid of it).

so, basically, NOT happy with ABS right now

I have spent almost $1100 caused by ABS problems: first, had a wheel bearing/hub

What does a wheel bearing have to do with ABS??

well, the whole hub unit shorted out (due to faulty wiring, as we finally figured out the second time this happened), so that the wheels were communicating to the ABS system that the car was slipping everytime I would hit exactly 3mph. so, when i would apply the breaks under normal conditions, the second the car hit 3mph, the ABS would engage and my car would slip, as if i had just slammed my foot down on the brake in the middle of a rainstorm.

For those who enjoy the economy of maintaining vehicles for many years of safe and reliable service, technologies such as ABS, traction control, SRS, etc., loom as formidable obstacles which add to the growing list of causes for vehicles to be more disposable year to year. An ABS module may cost more to replace than an otherwise serviceable car is worth.

Your saying it’s a problem caused by ABS…It’s actually a wheel bearing problem. ABS has NOTHING to do with the problem…just the symptom.

For those who enjoy the economy of maintaining vehicles for many years of safe and reliable service, technologies such as ABS, traction control, SRS, etc., loom as formidable obstacles which add to the growing list of causes for vehicles to be more disposable year to year.

Maybe!!! But you can say that about almost every part on your car. Power Steering, Power Boost Brakes, Turn signals, Power Windows, Power Seats, Rear Window Defogger, AC, Fuel Injection, Multi Link Suspension…etc…etc

Is there some rhetorical issue here? The ABS sensor was integral to the hub/bearing. Not only that but most vehicles today have pre-assembled hubs with or without ABS and cost in the hundreds of dollars. Previous hubs were serviceable and the individual bearings usually cost less than $12 per wheel and a first year high school vo-tech student could replace them with common hand tools in less than an hour. And also, bearing rarely failed, often lasting hundreds of thousands of miles while todays costlier hubs fail often. I have replaced many more hubs in the past few years than serviceable bearings in the many decades prior. I can likely operate any of my 'primitive’vehicles as safely and more economically than any new top of the line automobile.

I believe most cars are totaled if the air bag deploys, no matter how new they are. I can’t think of too many shops that would willingly repack an airbag into a car for fear of liability later on. or too many junkyards that would sell the steering column for that make/model for a replacement.

What vehicle are you driving?

In answer to the original question I’ll say this. I’d rather have the ABS with cheap tires on a new car. I want ABS and good tires on any new car I buy. With that in mind I can buy better tires and replace the stock units far easier and cheaper than adding ABS to a car that doesn’t have it.

Really, I’d rather have both good tires and ABS, but tires are replacement items and easy to upgrade.

they’re intended to BABY SIT .

Safety devices are mandated by the govt. under pressure from…THE AUTO industry. The pressure to offer these devices as options without mandates by Ford was enough to drive GM up a wall. To stay competitive, GM lobbied for these mandates. What ever their reasons, it’s good for business, good for consumers.

Thank Ralph Nader for his campaign for truth in advertising to make the public aware of the benefits they provide. Prior to him, exploding Pintos and roll over Corvairs touted as safe family cars by their manufacturers, were the norm.

Thanks to him, we can have a discussion about ABS and it’s pros and cons with all the facts. It does work as intended and saves lives, whether you are an experienced driver or not.

My answer is a definitive “NO!!!” I love my older cars with little or no safety junk on them. I have one statement to make…"KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!"
These modern cars are getting heavier and heavier and needlessly complicated, when we should be going the other way and making them simpler and more fuel-efficient!
People should learn to drive more judiciously and not like the maniacs I have to deal with on a daily basis…speeding, recklessness, and inattentiveness at the wheel! Why should I have to pay for all this safety junk when I am a good defensive, law-abiding driver!
My “safety-deficient” '94 Subaru Justy gets about 45 MPG and has only safety-belts which is fine with me…I just have to drive very, very carefully and constantly look at the other drivers. Sad commentary on the majority of idiots behind the wheel. Driving a car is a very mindful occupation which requires a lot of quick thinking…most people have gotten into the bad habit of just mindlessly stepping on the gas and brakes to get from point A to point B.
Phooey on ABS, multi-airbags, stability control, and any of that other garbage…give me good old simple seat-belts any day.

My opinion may influenced by the fact that ABS never “saved” me. yet!

an interesting thing to see would be if they put the driver’s seat in front of the grille of the car. let someone tailgate with that setup :stuck_out_tongue: