As automotive technology has advanced, safety systems have also been improved and expanded to provide a better user experience.
Today, the anti-lock braking system is a component of almost all modern vehicles. It is specifically designed to help you regulate your vehicle’s braking ability in an emergency.
These parts work together to ensure that the vehicle stops effectively and safely without skidding during braking.
Maintenance of the other proximal components, such as the rotors, valves, and bearings, is also important for effective braking function. As soon as the braking system starts to show problematic symptoms, you should tackle it as soon as possible rather than waiting until it is fully engaged.
Over time, the braking system can become weaker and fail completely. Regular maintenance should ensure that you check the cables, electrical connections, and the cleanliness of the sensor area.
Signs of a Bad ABS Ring
There are many things that can cause your anti-lock brake light (ABS) to light up. Some of these things are serious, but often it just means that you need to pay a little attention to your car’s ABS. Since the position of the ABS ring means they are mainly exposed to the chassis of your car, they are likely to become dirty as your car ages over the miles.
The most common contaminants can be water, dirt, deposits, etc. In addition, your rear ABS rings are not usually made of exceptional materials, so over time, they are likely to become more damaged than the front rings.
1. The ABS Light Comes On
The most obvious indication of a problem with the ABS system is that the ABS Light appears on the dashboard of your car. The ABS light could also be called a check engine light in some cars that do not have a separate indicator light for the ABS frame.
The moment the light comes on is usually the main sign indicating that there could be a problem with your car’s ABS system. You may have developed a problem with one of the sensors or a ring in the system.
The problem could be small, for example just a dirty ABS sensor, but it could be serious if it is due to a defective sensor or ABS ring.
2. Brake Pedal Juddering at Low Speeds
Your car’s brake pedal can sometimes jerk at low speeds or make a popping sound, just like when driving on ice. This means that your ABS system is activated unnecessarily at low speed. This is a clear indication of a defective ABS ring. A defective ABS ring is not considered a fault by the system, which is why the ABS warning light does not light up at first, but only lights up when the system has completely switched off.
On various occasions, it may even go on and off several times. A faulty ABS ring provides a false signal, which causes the car’s electrical control unit to start the anti-lock braking system just before the car stops or even to switch it off completely, reducing control of the car and extending the braking distance.
Normally, in most cases, you will only need to replace the ABS rings, and it is not necessary to completely replace the drive shaft and/or the joints.
3. The ABS Disengages Completely While Braking Hard
During essential braking operations, the ABS system should normally be activated to reduce the speed of the vehicle, while the loss of traction and skidding should be eliminated or reduced to an insignificant level.
If you notice that the car needs more time to stop under overwhelming braking conditions or starts to skid and lose traction, this is an indication of a faulty ABS system. This could be due to excessively corroded ABS rings or a cracked ABS ring sending a faulty pulse to the ABS control unit, which interrupts the ABS braking process.
What is an ABS Ring?
The anti-lock braking system consists of a controller, a speed sensor, valves, and the ABS speed sensor ring. The system maintains the traction of the tires on the road and the performance of the brakes at high speeds is significantly improved.
The ABS speed sensor ring is the main component of the entire system as it carefully monitors the speed of the wheels and transmits important signals that can alert the system electronically.
These rings are available in different designs, depending on the type of your vehicle, the position of the sensor on your vehicle, and its construction. Some designs are installed in the front and rear of the driver’s area, while others are installed in the front and rear of the passenger areas. The installation of the ring varies greatly depending on the version of the ABS system.
The ring can be concealed or open, but to ensure that the sensor works accurately and correctly, we must ensure that it is maintained and kept clean.
If the brake is applied heavily, the extra force applied can lock the wheels by means of brake discs, which can cause the car to skid on the road. This is very dangerous, but is mitigated by the ABS ring function. The ring is used to detect the difference from the ABS sensor and generate a signal to the controller. If the ABS ring fails, the controlled ABS receives incorrect readings.
ABS Ring Location
Usually, the ABS speed sensors are mounted on the wheels in most modern vehicles in the usual way. ABS rings can be classified as front rings and rear rings. The front rings are mounted on the hub of the wheel bearing and are hidden between the steel plate and the brake disc.
The rear rings are located on the rear drive shafts in front of the connection to the wheel hubs and are relatively more exposed compared to the front rings. Furthermore, the quality is not much better than the front rings, which puts them in a more vulnerable state. If you have a 4×4 car, you will most likely find the ABS rings on all drive shafts. In some cases they can also be found inside the differential.
ABS Ring Replacement Cost
The cost of replacing the ABS ring can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer, make, type of your vehicle, type of ring to be replaced, and supplier. Although it is a small component, it can sometimes be expensive, but mostly it is very cheap. It is relatively easy to replace an ABS ring yourself.
So if you only need to replace one ABS ring, you will have to pay between $40 and an average of $150 for most vehicles. Labour costs are not included in these replacement costs. If you hire a technician, you may have to pay an additional $50 to $150.
The labor costs are sometimes even higher than the part itself, mainly because the replacement process requires the removal of wheels and many other parts, which can be time-consuming. But then it also depends on the technician and what he will charge you for it.
In some cars, the ABS ring is mounted on the disc/wheel bearing and in some cases, you will have to replace the entire disc/bearing.
Replacing a failed ABS Ring
It is important to take care of the ABS ring and keep it in a properly functioning condition. As it is the most sensitive part, it may need to be replaced earlier than other components. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to replace the bad ABS ring yourself with a new one. Remember that it depends on the car you have. This is only a general guide on how to do this.
- Get the tools you would need, i.e. jack, wrench, screwdriver, puller, etc.
- Keep a service manual with you for reference.
- Use protective equipment, such as glasses and gloves.
- Use the hydraulic jack to lift the front end of your vehicle.
- Support the front end of the car in a stable position with a jack stand.
- Remove the wheel where you need to replace the ABS ring.
- Remove the rotor, hub and caliper as necessary. Read the service manual for instructions.
- Clear access to the ring
- Remove the ring carefully to avoid breaking other parts.
- ABS rings should not be repaired. Always use a new ring.
- Place the ring on the hub and push it in gently but firmly.
- Install it as it was before.
- Replace the things you removed before, including the wheel and other parts.
- Carefully remove the jack stand and hydraulic cylinder to place the front end on the ground.
- Take a test drive and check for optimal performance.
Diagnosis of a poor ABS sensor
If the ring goes bad, you really need to know if this is the problem, because the same problem could arise for many other reasons related to the ABS system. To carry out a diagnostic procedure, you can follow these brief instructions:
- Check to see if the check engine light is on.
- Observe whether the brake pedal jerks at low speeds
- Check to see if the ABS system disengages completely when you apply the brake firmly.
- Park your vehicle on a level surface.
- Keep the engine turned off.
- Obtain the necessary tools and the service manual of your vehicle.
- Find the ABS ring next to the ABS sensor.
- Physical diagnosis is the easiest way to find out a bad and defective ring
- See if the ring is deformed or broken.
- Check to see if there is a noticeable gap anywhere along the ring circumference.
- Rotate the wheel to inspect thoroughly.
- If there is any such issue, replace the ring.