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Old 01-14-2008, 11:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ABS Brakes Saved Me Today

So this morning it snowed. Not much at all... probably only about a centimeter, but just enough to coat the ground. Well there's a route I like to go that has the least amount of stop signs, and is 50% downhill. Well there's a nice tight turn at the bottom that I normally take at around 25 mph to save fuel. Well today, I didn't know this, but the snow was basically pieces of ice, they had gathered together and anywhere there was snow it was like ice. I went around that curve more cautious than usual at around 13-15 mph. Well Normally in the snow I just cut right through it, especially if it's like 10 inches of it, so I thought a centimeter wouldn't do much at all. Well I was wrong, I turned the wheel all the way to the left and... well I didn't turn left. I totally under-steered and kept going straight. Well if you do go straight.. there's a ditch that's about 5 odd feet deep. I don't think that any vehicle could have gotten out of that ditch unless it had a 5 foot lift on it.

I slammed on the brakes, (having tested out the ABS a few times before to make sure the 13 year old motor still worked, I knew slamming on them wouldn't lock up the brakes) and hoped for the best. The brake pedal did it's pulsations and definitely did it's job, and we came to a stop on the grass just before the ditch. Had the brakes locked up, I would have been in that ditch for sure.

One lucky thing though is that at that turn, there's some fellows that own about 3 Jeep Wranglers with lifts, Mud-terrain tires, snorkles, and winches to pull me out of it. I'll be a lot more cautious next time around. Later on the radio I heard of multiple crashes around schools and all over roads in the county over.

People complained that schools should have been canceled because of all of the accidents, but it didn't snow until around 7am, over an hour over the 5:30 deadline. there were also complaints to the snow plow vehicles of not plowing the snow as quickly as possible, but they were only on hold because they didn't know that the measly amount of snow would cause this much wreckage.

So if you live around the central IL/IN border, be aware for slippery back roads, and corners. you might find yourself calling a tow truck or walking somewhere. I'm hoping when I start getting some good income I'm gonna get some new wider rims and A/T's for winter time and mudding season, and some LRR tires for the stock rims and summer times. I like Fuel economy from LRR tires, but when it comes to loosing your car and losing a few mpg's, I'll go with loosing a few MPG's when I hear of snow.

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Old 01-14-2008, 11:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Whew - I feel a little better that I'm not the only one with an ABS saved me story... Not that it's good that either of us have one - but I feel slightly more accepted now

Glad to hear everything worked out well for you
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have to admit, ABS has saved me a few times in the snow (and once in the rain when I just got my license). It's a good feature.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'll admit that having ABS has saved my arse more times than I'd like to admit.

I recently rented an Impala without and drove in a Winter storm in Ohio. No incidents, but let's just say the "stress level" was a touch higher.

I also have to give kudos to stability control. I agree that it can make the average driver less attentive, and can be defeated based on the amount of traction under those tires -- but if you do a lot of low-traction driving, it relieves the extra stress of "white-knuckle driving".

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EDIT: for those who engine-off coast, turning the key to the "On" position engages the ABS -- and it does still work with the engine off. And yep, used them then, and it helped too.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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DPOV -

Glad to hear about the happy ending. I don't have ABS brakes, but I would have probably appreciated them in the rare but super wet LA rain we had last week. I think that I am "bad" for ABS because I pump the brakes when I have to stop fast. I don't do it to avoid lockup, I do it to warn the driver behind me and (hopefully) prevent being rear-ended.

If I got a new car, I would probably get ABS because I price a car with all the safety stuff and then see if I can afford it. Very good to know it stays ON when the key is in the on position.

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Old 01-15-2008, 02:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
DPOV -

Glad to hear about the happy ending. I don't have ABS brakes, but I would have probably appreciated them in the rare but super wet LA rain we had last week. I think that I am "bad" for ABS because I pump the brakes when I have to stop fast. I don't do it to avoid lockup, I do it to warn the driver behind me and (hopefully) prevent being rear-ended.
I totally do the same thing - just one pump though to flash the brake lights As far as being "bad" for it... Trust me - one empty parking lot + 1 quick stop where the ABS kicks on - you'll just say "damn" and become retrained If the pavement is dry - you can do a test with and without (pull the fuse) and measure the difference in skid length (ABS will have brief skid bursts followed by a no skid spot followed by another burst).
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Stomp and Steer

Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
I totally do the same thing - just one pump though to flash the brake lights As far as being "bad" for it... Trust me - one empty parking lot + 1 quick stop where the ABS kicks on - you'll just say "damn" and become retrained If the pavement is dry - you can do a test with and without (pull the fuse) and measure the difference in skid length (ABS will have brief skid bursts followed by a no skid spot followed by another burst).
I admit that there may be a negative effect on total-distance-to-stop, but in cornering situations or with stability control, ABS is a critical addition.

"Stomp and Steer"

I recall when the Chevy Caprice Police Package editions hit the streets with Standard ABS (early-to-mid 90's). Officers had been trained to pump the brakes, but during that era, the new models weren't receptive to that process and a few accidents resulted in pursuits.

Currently, the same applies to my folks and in-laws. Their cars have ABS, and I've notice them pumping the brakes in the snow. "Stomp and Steer" has been the advice. It helps steer the vehicle instead of locking-up the front wheels. Good stuff...

RH77
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just tested the ABS brakes on a back road when it was covered in snow. went about 30 mph, and slammed on them. Got a nice foot massage from the pedal :thumbsup: and didn't see much locking up. It locked up a few times because packed snow and brakes are hard to not lock up on, but at least I knew it actually worked. Motor is kinda loud though, but that's probably the last thing on my mind when I have to slam on them.

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