Hyundai Elantra Brakes Question

The brakes on my 2007 Hyundai Elantra make a grinding sound (almost like finger nails on wood) when I have tried to stop in icy conditions. It’s also hard to get the car to stop and I end up pumping the brake. A Hyundai dealer replaced the front brakes over a year ago and Adirondack tire replaced back brake pads in the summer. Is the noise part of the anti-lock feature or does it sound like a problem?

It sounds like your ABS brake system working properly. You should also feel some pulsing if you hold down on the brake petal. Pumping the brakes on a car with ABS is a bad idea. It is best to hold the petal firmly down and live with the noise and pulsing until the car is either stopped or slowed to a safe speed to let off the brakes.

If the amount of traction on ice is very low, the ABS will kick in quickly. To get more traction take a look at your tires. Winter tires work much better on ice than regular tires, so you might consider winter tires if you frequently encounter ice.

I agree that the noise is likely to be an indication that the ABS has been activated.
However, you should be aware that pumping the brakes results in the ABS NOT being able to activate.

If you are driving in conditions that are slippery enough to cause the ABS to activate, then you don’t want to pump the brakes, as that will negate the feature. Also–if you are having a hard time stopping the car on those slippery surfaces, that is an indication that you are driving too fast for conditions.

Of course, another possibility is that your Hyundai is simply rebelling because you can’t spell its name correctly!

I agree with the previous posters.

Ain’t ABS wunnerful? The first time mine activated I darned near stained my skivvies!

This is exactly why a snow/winter driving lesson should be a mandatory part of driver training. Knowing how your car will sound and feel in a skid can teach you more than you can ever have explained to you. The feel of an ABS system activating and working is confusing and scary for many people because they’ve never experienced it. A couple of weeks ago I was driving a friend’s car that she’d just bought used, and on a snow covered side street I said “hey, let’s see if your ABS works.” It worked perfectly, and she thought i’d done something to damage her brakes.

CCC, learning in the winter has definite advantages (I did, back in the '60s), but trying to make a requirement would be virtually impossible. Even this winter, up here in NH, nobody would have been able to complete their program since October if that were mandatory.

The scary part isn’t due to confusion, it’s due to that feeling of not being able to get the wheels to stop rolling. Contrary to popular belief, ABS does not reduce stopping distances, it simply allows one to maintain steering during the process. The tradeoff is longer stopping distances. But what good is maintaining steering of you have noplace to steer to?

We’ve had a number of very lengthy threads on thes subject of ABS. Much data and countless technical articles have been linked to the threads, and much debate has ensued. I believe it should be either offered as an option or be able to be turned off. Others feel differently. But, then, I’ve been driving in winter weather since the '60s. Perhaps that has a lot to do with my perspective.

MB, you’re absolutely right, and same story here in Ohio. Only a sporadic snow storm and temps too warm for snow to stick around. I guess my earlier comment is just a pipe dream sort of thought that I have when I come across a driver whose training didn’t include a couple of hours in a snowy parking lot. I’m glad that I had that opportunity, and I’m glad that I grew up with a dad who would occasionally do a couple of doughnuts in out of the way places. As a result, I was never afraid of skids and I innately know how to respond if one happens–without panic. By choice I drive a vehicle without ABS, and I too wish we had it as an option, not as standard equipment. And now there’s required stability control…

I have seen, at least anecdotally, some examples of confusion resulting from both longer stopping distances with ABS, but primarily from pedal feel. A few years ago a friend called me, convinced that her brakes were failing because the pedal felt like it was grinding on slippery roads. She had no idea what ABS felt like. The OP’s story was worded almost the same as that phone call which reminded me of that.

Thanks. The brakes are pulsing. I won’t pump the brakes. Yep, there’s a longer stopping distance.

We get regular posts here by people terrified that their brakes have failed after almost every storm.
I too wish driver training could cover not only the issues of slipping and sliding, but also the issue of maintaining sufficient space and awareness to keep out of danger. We all have plenty of oopportunities wherein the difference between an accident and no accident is space and awareness.

But hey, we can’t even get people to stop texting while they drive! And I saw some guy yesterday with a phone on his shoulder, a pen in his hand, and a spiralwound notebook opened up on his steering wheel…all while he was driving!

Texting and talking on the phone can make the difference. I saw a man reading the paper behind the wheel one night. Courtesy doesn’t exist anymore.

As a truck driver I have seen many people driving with a book or newspaper propped on the wheel but the worst thing I saw in the way of distraction was a guy driving 75 on the N Y State Thruway with a computer and a large printer or fax machine who was either printing things or sending and receiving faxes.
He was moving papers back and forth from file folders at the same time.