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ABS almost caused me to rear end a car! 06 impreza 2.5i


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25 replies to this topic

#1 Bigbusa

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 06:38 PM

Hi folks I'm tired of my 06 imprezas overly sensitive (USELESS) ABS system. in the winter of 2010 it did cause me to rear end a car. That accident is still causing me to be surcharged on my insurance. That's costing me $100's of extra bucks each year.. thanks SUBARU!

 

The other day I almost hit another car! The ABS just comes on and chatters away until IT feels like IT wants to stop. I hate to have to havemy damn hand on the e-brake everytime I come to a stop. WHAT CAN I DO? I've heard of an ECU flash or pulling the fuse.

 

Who has done which and what do you recommend?



#2 l75eya

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:15 PM

I think the FIRST time you rear-ended somebody due to your ABS system malfunctioning, you should have brought the car to the dealership and had them find the problem and fix it.

I think now that it's almost happened to you *again* you should be on your way to the dealership right now. That's dangerous and you're putting others at risk (and yourself) while delaying getting it looked at.



#3 987687

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:24 PM

What kind of tires do you have? ABS isn't magic that'll make sucky tires stop you faster in the snow. You still need good tires for driving in the winter.



#4 Fairtax4me

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:29 PM

Unforunately this has been the plight of many many cars since the early days of ABS.

The best tips I can give:
Tires: 90k mile rated Michelins will not grab the road as well during hard braking. If you repeated have to hit the brakes hard enough that the ABS kicks in, a tire with a lower tread wear rating and better traction rating will be more suitable for your driving style.

Brakes:
Better brakes will prevent "grabbing", which is a condition that happens when brakes are pushed beyond their normal designed limit.
Basically as you're coming to a stop, you are pushing the brakes harder than normal to get the same stopping power. This extra force on the pedal causes the wheels to lock if they even slightly lose traction while braking. This is usually because the pads have been overheated at some point. Overheating causes the pad material to harden and slide too easily across the rotor. It takes several thousand miles of easy driving to wear off the hardened surface on the pads and restore them to their original abilities. This often never happens because the extra braking pressure needed causes more heat and repeatedly overheats the pads.
Better pads, such as decent quality ceramic pads, help alleviate the problem because they will not overheat as easily, and the materials used in ceramics are not as prone to hardening if they are overheated. If you have a really heavy braking style better rotors may be needed as well to prevent glazing.

Start braking and/or let off the throttle sooner. I know this is unavoidable sometimes in heavy traffic or emergency braking situations, but most of the time its a viable option. It'll save your brakes, your tires, and your foot.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 19 February 2014 - 07:33 PM.


#5 jp98

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:35 PM

One problem with ABS brakes is that us older folks need to forget everything that we learned from years of driving the older style of brakes.  On a ABS system you don't pump the brakes but push on them steadly, they will pulse or chatter what ever you want to call it instead of locking up the tires.  This alowes you to be able to stear instesd of just slideing into something. 

 

But I agree that if you do indeed have a problem with them or even suspect a problem you need to take the car to the dealer and have them checked out.



#6 johnceggleston

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 08:05 PM

ABS is not a braking system

and it is misnamed.

 

it is in fact a STEERING system

and should be named A.S.S., Automatic Steering System.

 

it was / is designed to CONTROL braking so you do not lose your ability to steer.

it was not designed to help you stop.

 

in your situation, when the ABS kicked in, you should have steered AWAY from other cars,

if that was possible.

 

of course that is a NEW and challenging mind set to engage.

 

when / if braking in snow,

it is hard to know which will stop you quicker,

abs pulsing the brakes,

or the traction of the locked up tire tread and the snow.

and in different snow conditions, it could be different .

 

so if your car has ABS, drive away from other cars when braking.

(this is hard to learn and hard to implement.)

or if your car does not have ABS, learn how to brake and steer in an emergency.

 

good luck.



#7 tirod

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:03 PM

One issue is this - if the ABS isn't doing what you think it should, then, modify your driving habits. If you are having issues with being too close with the brakes you have, then complaining about it being a mechanical problem isn't taking responsibility for how the car is used. 

 

Back off and make more room. Then, you can't rear end anybody. 

 

Once the brakes are "fixed," then, don't take up a risky behavior until you have proven they are reliable. Nonetheless, using dry pavement summertime habits is the issue - in winter or wet weather, they are inappropriate. 

 

If you have seen older drivers who look a bit less sharp because their following distance is longer, or they brake gently earlier, the real reason is they are driving with year round road habits - not ones based on optimistic best case circumstances. 

 

Frankly, blaming defective ABS just isn't good enough. If it really is, you know it, and should adjust your habits until a repair is made. If you discover it actually is working just like everyone else's, it goes to just backing off. You already have the proof in your policy expense. 



#8 grossgary

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:24 PM

***** Way too many words and replies here, there's one simple answer:
Tires.

 

All ABS systems do this, exactly as you described.

 

Tread depth is pointless if they're cheap, old, weathered, poor compounds or otherwise compromised, the ABS will do exactly what you describe.

 

If you live in a mountainous area - the car won't even come to a stop, it'll gain enough speed to make up for the freaking out/pulsing ABS.  I've seen it before.  New tires, and car stops beautifully.

 

If snow driving is a serious issue - get dedicated set of wheels and high quality snow tires.



#9 machine1

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:07 PM

Once my ABS starts to chatter, that tells me that I'm not going to be stopping any time soon. At that point you better know what steering with the throttle and oversteer is.

#10 rverdoold

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:24 PM

But any subaru later than 2003 has BAS = Brake assist system, however this will only detect the speed the brake pedal was pushed and decide to override and give max brake power. So it is a system to reduce braking time if the driver does not apply enough force on the pedal in an emergency stop. This should help a bit. But still it is what connects the car to the ground which had the give the friction. Never save 10 bucks per tire, buy decent ones!!



#11 KootenayJK

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:19 PM

Lots of good info here.

 

1) You are in NY, sounds like snow. Are you running good winter tires? (not all season)

 

2) Have you had the brakes checked by a reputable shop? If you are truly having a problem with the brakes, get it fixed.

 

If the braking system is compromised, winter tires should still help it stop faster. However, even a perfectly functioning braking system won't help if you are not using appropriate tires.

Also, as stated, ABS is there to allow you to control the vehicle's direction. I am using proper tires, and my vehicle is in great mechanical shape, but when my ABS kicked in on a downhill ice patch, I knew the only way to avoid hitting the vehicle travelling through the intersection was to steer away from it. Pushing the pedal harder was not going to save me.



#12 nipper

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:09 AM

ABS is to maintain control on slippery surfaces, not to stop shorter. ABS i Anti Lock Brakes, meaning it keeps the breaks from locking up. In order to do this it has to release the brakes to keep wheels turning. you still MUST reduce your driving speed for the conditions, have proper tires, and brake sooner in winter weather. My 97 the ABS would make for some exciting times, but my 05 no longer has these issues, it seems to be programmed better, but still I must drive slower and allow for more breaking distance.  I dont think there is anything wrong with your ABS, just possibly your over-driving for conditions and expecting a computer to overcome physics.



#13 l75eya

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 08:13 AM

This is all great advice, but nobody has addressed the possibility of the abs system malfunctioning. This is a very real possibility i actually experienced first hand very recently. I drive in Manhattan daily in a tiny little chevy HHR (i hate it) that is equipped with abs. The car only has just over 25k on it and was bought new by my boss. The abs started malfunctioning and exhibited symptoms just like the OP describes. I would be gradually braking and would hit a slight bump and the abs system would kick in and GREATLY (and needlessly) increase my braking distance. This is a terribly dangerous situation that was remedied at the Chevrolet dealership. It was a faulty abs sensor. This is why i strongly suggest the OP have a dealer check out the issue.

#14 grossgary

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 08:24 AM

Tires.

 

Indeed - too important not to check brakes/ABS before dragging this out. 

He needs to comment on tire brand, type, actual age (not when purchased) and get the 99% probability out of the way before going to the 1%.

 

Bad sensor usually triggers the ABS light and disables the system, it sometimes doesn't but that is rare.

If it didn't log a code in the controller, I'm not sure how a Chevy dealer would have ever diagnosed it, indeed they're hard to diagnose by anyone with a code.

Only happening in the snow doesn't rule out a sensor but is indicative of something else.



#15 Gloyale

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 12:17 PM

Pull the ABS fuse for winter drivng



#16 CNY_Dave

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 02:33 PM

Excellent tires and it still happens to me- I have rehearsed turning the key off. On slush it's like throwing out an anchor!



#17 luko

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 08:17 PM

Careful about pulling the ABS fuse though...If you do that or modify the ABS system and you get in an accident it may be considered your fault and your insurance will defiantly not cover anything......

 

Good tires do help a bit but does not allow you to stop on a dime when the ABS kicks in.....

 

One thing you may try which I have found to be helpful is disengaging the drive line, so if it is standard just push the clutch in or through it in neutral, if it is automatic put it in neutral. The idea behind this is that by doing this it prevents the car from pushing itself while trying to brake 



#18 Gloyale

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 09:43 PM

Careful about pulling the ABS fuse though...If you do that or modify the ABS system and you get in an accident it may be considered your fault and your insurance will defiantly not cover anything......

 

They could never prove that YOU removed the fuse. If they ever bothered to look which they won't unless you say  "hey.....I removed the ABS fuse!!!!"

 

And if you avoid the accident.....it's an irrelavent worry....

 

 

One thing you may try which I have found to be helpful is disengaging the drive line, so if it is standard just push the clutch in or through it in neutral, if it is automatic put it in neutral. The idea behind this is that by doing this it prevents the car from pushing itself while trying to brake 

 

This is the worst advise for slippery condition driving ever.  Disengageing the wheels from the driveline, and each other is the fastest way to ensure that the wheels lock up.

 

You want to be in gear.   You have no way to input in neutral except to brake more........if you start to slide sideways you need to be able to keep the wheels rolling forward toghether in a corrdinated way.....not independent of eachother or locked.....both of which would be bad...


Edited by Gloyale, 25 February 2014 - 09:45 PM.


#19 tirod

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 08:36 AM

As said, ABS doesn't do a thing to make you stop shorter. The concept that it can is completely wrong. Again, as said, all it does is let you steer around the objects that you are quite likely approaching too fast to miss. 

 

SLOW DOWN. BRAKE EARLIER. 

 

I've taught four of my children to drive, and this has consistently been a concept they have refused to accept. Youth gives them quick reflexes and a mental frame of mind that doesn't calculate risk. Age and experience change that - and every time they have had their first brush with the dynamics of an out of control vehicle, they learn differently. 

 

We can blame the brakes, tires, service manager, or Subaru all we want, but the reality is that car, with whatever brakes it has, has to be driven within it's capabilities. 

 

If the driver is sliding into objects and hitting things - or nearly so - then the driving habits need to be modified to prevent it. If the car needs to be fixed, fix it and then discover it's improved capabilities. But thinking that ABS can magically stop 3200 pounds of aluminum and steel on slick roads while driving it like it was on a dry race track is doing it wrong. 

 

Accept that neither you or the car are capable, make whatever changes you need, and test it out safely. You will likely discover you might be able to get an incremental improvement in performance, but you can't rewrite the laws of physics. If you want to see examples of how badly it can go wrong, visit the nearest salvage yard or pick and pull. 

 

Don't expect fancy options to correct the mistake of overoptimistic driving beyond the conditions of the road. 



#20 Bushwick

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:15 PM

Pull the ABS fuse for winter drivng

 

You can't give people advice like this. If he pulls the ABS fuse and slides into a car full of children and kills 1 or more, you could be liable if the DA is aggressive enough, not to mention the OP will be ROYALLY screwed for bypassing a safety feature. This is the same as disabling an airbag and your passenger gets killed, guess who gets blamed? Even if a drunk driver plowed into you, disabling a safety feature is a no no and can cause serious legal headaches.

 

OP, if your ABS is activating you are driving too fast or trying to stop too quickly. Slow down and put more room between you and the car in front of you. If the roads are snow covered, and you are sliding, SLOW DOWN. ABS pulses the brakes under hard braking to prevent skidding. If it's activating, you are braking too hard or driving too fast, or following too closely


Edited by Bushwick, 26 February 2014 - 11:17 PM.


#21 luko

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 12:50 PM

They could never prove that YOU removed the fuse. If they ever bothered to look which they won't unless you say  "hey.....I removed the ABS fuse!!!!"

 

And if you avoid the accident.....it's an irrelavent worry....

They could if you got in an accident and there was no fuse there....Fuse's just don't remove themselves someone had to pull it out

 

This is the worst advise for slippery condition driving ever.  Disengageing the wheels from the driveline, and each other is the fastest way to ensure that the wheels lock up.

 

You want to be in gear.   You have no way to input in neutral except to brake more........if you start to slide sideways you need to be able to keep the wheels rolling forward toghether in a corrdinated way.....not independent of eachother or locked.....both of which would be bad...

How would the wheels lock up on you if your ABS was working properly?

 

If you had a non ABS vehicle this would be true...but this topic is on ABS vehicles 


Edited by luko, 27 February 2014 - 12:51 PM.


#22 Gloyale

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 01:13 PM

They could if you got in an accident and there was no fuse there....Fuse's just don't remove themselves someone had to pull it out

 

They could not "PROVE" that you removed it. 

 

It could have been removed by a service dept., a stereo installer, the previous owner, or popped out in the accident.

 

They could not "PROVE" it was your fault......and they wouldn't bother spending money trying to prove it.....if they are that hard up to deny your claim they'll find an easier reason to do it.

 

How would the wheels lock up on you if your ABS was working properly?

 

If you had a non ABS vehicle this would be true...but this topic is on ABS vehicles 

 

If your ABS is working you won't need to slip it into neutral to "keep the engine from pushing the car"....

 

Bottom line ABS makes stopping in the snow or mud more difficult, and longer.

 

Do what you want but I preffer to be safe as I can........Which in the case of braking in snow is to have ABS fuse pulled, and leave the car engaged in a gear so you have some stabilty to the drivetrain motion, and some input potential if it's needed to correct in a slide.

 

But like I said.......Do what you want......Just stay away from me on the road in the snow.



#23 grossgary

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 01:49 PM

They could not "PROVE" that you removed it. 

.

 

+1.   realize that if something is true that does ***not*** mean it carries any real world validity or statistically relevant meaning.  for example:

 

"driving with a roof rack protects you from a rock or meteor strike more than not having a roof rack - therefore you're more risky to any passengers or children in a car that had one removed".   it's true...but it doesn't carry much statistical weight or real world implications.

 

as stupid as that sounds i found more instances of it than someone being liable for disabling ABS on the internet, and i tried multiple searches for the later, only one for the former:

http://news.national...ence-space-hit/

 

millions of drivers have disabled airbags, ABS, lifted vehicles, aftermarket parts, modified or oddly repaired engines, brakes, fuel lines, transmissions, axles, driveshafts.  probably 60% of vehicles on this board have some thing that's not "perfectly up to code, state inspection NHTSA, etc".  the reality is nothing ever happens. 

 

but maybe you should start a movement - insurance companies and law enforcement officers and states attorneys could turn the tide of lawsuits and liability upside down, there could be a paradigm shift in liability if every vehicle started being scoured for "not up to code", non-traditional repairs and modifications liability.  more drivers would go to jail, be sued, inspection stations, audio installers could be held accountable, the floodgates of responsibility would usher forth a new era in safety!  then you could write a book about your exposure of systematic evil, get your own wikipedia page, and live the american dream!

 

there's a one in 10 million chance of something happening and of course maybe it could be very significant but few people run around basing their life decisions on 1 in 10 million odds.  if you are that type of person then you would be a nervous, anxious wreck regarding what time you wake up, what time you drive, what stores you frequent, what routes you take, leaving early and late to avoid weather patterns....there's infinitely more risky things you're taking on in life than what we're talking about here.


Edited by grossgary, 27 February 2014 - 01:50 PM.


#24 powderhound

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:27 PM

I have my ABS relay in my center console cubby where it belongs, imo.  I absolutely hate abs in the winter.  It frustrates me to hit the brakes and not slow down.  I feel confident in my ability to pulse the brakes.  Of course this takes some sense of vehicle dynamics and clearly some people on the road have little clue what to do when they are locked up and beginning to rotate. 



#25 CNY_Dave

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:57 PM

If you do want to 'disable' ABS and worry about the insurance co- put in a blown fuse!

 

Mwu-ah-ha-ha-ha-ha!






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