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Adam
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I first got my car I had to make an emergency stop and two tires locked up, so ever since then I thought/think I don't have ABS. Though recently I was around the fuse box and Had a look around, I realized I have a fuse in the place the ABS is. So I drove over to auto zone and got new fuses thinking something was wrong with mine. I put the new fuse in and wen't down the road and waited for no one to be near me and I slammed on the breaks... Again 2 wheels locked up. I've driven a car with abs and slammed the breaks and I know what it feels like, so I diffenetely know it's not working for the other two tires, or some weird thing like that. Can someone tell me if I do have ABS, or don't?
 

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your driving the car wrong!

with car equipped with ABS, it is improper to simply slam on the brakes. your gonna lock them up nearly every time.
in the owners manual it prolly says something like this. Do not apply full pressure to pedal. Also, do not pump the brakes. common practice is to apply 70% pedal pressure and slowly get more firm. i know this is not easy to do in a panic situation. dont worry, most drivers do the same thing your doing. it takes practice to use proper braking.
when you slam on the pedal, your not giving the ABS time to do its thing.
ABS has always been a bit conroversial since its debut in the early 90's. everyone is used to pumping the brakes to come to a stop. also, in a panic situation, everyone want to stop NOW, so we apply full pressure; thus locking the brakes.

it comes down to this. you have to learn to brake differently.
 

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I fully disagree with the above post. ABS will do it's job within milliseconds. I don't think OP has ABS. I do not have ABS, and I still have a fuse. Just because the fuse is there doesn't mean you have it. I'm not sure on Focus' but on a lot of vehicles, if you have ABS, your rubber brake pedal cover might say so. Don't quote me on that one though.

Regardless, OP...when you turn the key to 'run' does an ABS light illuminate?

If you're really unsure then just hit up the local Ford store and see what they say!
 
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Adam
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, hmm. My parents had an escape and you could feel through the pedal the abs working, or you could feel the pedal moving due to the caliper releasing some and then tighting up etc etc. I got new break pads since I've last pounded on the breaks due to a stupid women or deer. Now neither fronts will lock up but the rear drums will (always one or the other, not both at the same time.) So, If I apply say 70% and then apply more pressure as i'm slowing down it shouldn't lock one of the rears?

Well hell, I live on a gravel road i'll go experiment a little and see what I come up with.
 

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Yeah, so you at least know what ABS feels like when it's working. BUT, given the fact that you said you can't lock them up after changing pads I'll ask: Did you take off the master cyl cap when you compressed the caliper pistons? You might have air in the lines. That could (most likely) be why you can't lock up your front brakes anymore. Either way, that doesn't really tell you if you've got ABS or not.

The whole 70% thing...that's for NON ABS vehicles.

With ABS, you DO want to apply force to the pedal. With ABS you hammer the brakes, and the unit does the rest.

I realize you might not want to take my advice over a moderator's, given that fact, and he's got 5,600 more posts than me. That doesn't make me a retard though!

You said you're on a gravel road...yep...try everything out on that road, away from traffic.

Good luck!



-edit Scrammer-- you mean they fully lock up? They shouldn't. I know you know this but I'm just saying, for others- Even with ABS your tires will still lock **intermittently** but should not stay locked up. Unless you are on ice, with absolutely zero traction.
 

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whoa, just cuz i moderate doesnt mean that im always right.

they dont fully lock up, but i hear/feel tire squeal
 

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Well, I didn't mean for it to sound like you are always right. I also did not want to offend anyone, either. Hope I haven't. Simply stating my opinions and things that I truly believe to be correct.

Anyways..
As I said, even with ABS, your tires will lock up and unlock, lock up, unlock, etc. You will hear tire squeal on the pavement.

The ABS unit will apply as much force as possible to the brakes (this is why you have to hammer the pedal...it can only actually force as much as you are, it can't add pressure...it only takes it away!). It keeps the tires as close to locking up without actually locking up fully, as it can. That is the point in which you have the best braking performance. It locks up just enough to know, that it needs to pull a little pressure and keep brake pressure optimum.

Also, by keeping the tires rolling just a little bit, you are able to steer at the same time, instead of sliding.


-edit. Sorry if I confuse anyone, I've tried to simplify things, and only made it complicated. I have a hard time putting thoughts into words!
 

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Adam
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No all of that makes sense. Theres no way I have abs. Everything locks up on my gravel road. And no, I just took the caliper off the rotor to change the break pads. It doesn't lock up the tires now, but I feel like if it was given a bit more pressure it would lock them up. I really like my breaking now compared to what I had before.
 

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Ok, glad you were able to make sense of my post.

If you feel comfortable with your braking performance now, then that's just as well. However, you may want to go ahead and bleed the brakes just to be sure you're getting the best performance, and eliminate any possible air in the lines. But, you may or may not see any improvement. I know mine also won't lock up on dry summer pavement, no matter how hard I press the pedal. I wish they would though, I feel as if I'm not getting full braking power. Maybe the brakes just suck that bad on these cars!

Either way, sounds like maybe everything's OK on your car. Happy motoring!
 

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whoa, just cuz i moderate doesnt mean that im always right.

they dont fully lock up, but i hear/feel tire squeal
Just normal tire noise. Tires have a lot to do with your braking and when your hard on the brakes its not abnormal to hear your tires squeel, especially it the tires aren't the highest quality. If you have ABS, and I think all SVT's did, and it didn't work at all, you would surely have a yellow ABS light on all the time.
 

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Regardless, OP...when you turn the key to 'run' does an ABS light illuminate?
Exactly. This is the best way to tell. No road tests, flat spotted tires, or early pad wear necessary. A great way to see if a car your thinking of purchasing has it as well. Don't let the salesman try to scam you. "Sure it has ABS! Don't all new cars!" Yeah, right.
 

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Adam
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
^^ If a car sales me told me my car had it and it didnt, I would demand for it to be put on my car free of charge. =)
 
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