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So the other night I was driving back to Hays from the Wichita area and a deer ran out a little bit in front of me. I hit the brakes with medium force and they locked up briefly before I let off. Even though slowing down was important, I had to let off when I did because in the second or so that the brakes were applied the rear end started to come around. I have thought that the abs has felt a little bit off in the snow, but wasn't certain because I am not too accustomed to driving with abs. It took about a quarter to a third of the pedal force that it took to lock the brakes on my alero that didn't have abs. My question is if it is normal for it to be able to lock that heavily before abs kicks in. It never showed any abs lights. I waited to post until I got a chance to search and didn't find anything. It is something I can deal with, as I am used to no abs, it just caught me by surprise when they locked. I need to know if there is some sort of problem I need to be looking out for though.
 

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Which trim Cruze do you have? This sounds to me like the rear brakes aren't adjusted properly. Did you actually leave skid marks or was it just the rear end trying to come around on you?
 

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Had vehicles with ABS for over 35 years now, personally I do not like them, more problems than what they are worth, and if on glare ice, nothing works.

But even on older GM vehicles were far superior to these super cheap Bosch ABS brakes used on the Cruze. They would pulse at least one or two times per second and sounds like the front end is going to fall off. Where on the older much better ones, would pulse about ten times per second.

Nothing on the shop manual on this subject, and talking with several Chevy dealers, tell me this is normal, like a major clunk, wait a bit another clunk sound. The period they hold the faster spinning wheel locked is way in the hail too long.

Should be a recall on these, if they are normal, a very poor design. Driving on icy roads, very careful not to hit the brake pedal hard enough so the ABS will not engage, but no choice if some idiot or a deer pulls out in front of you.

And screw you A$$hole congress that made these law, and the idiots that designed them, don't stop the car any quicker, and if that locked wheel hits a solid surface will put Cruze into a skid.

Yet another problem with disc brakes are those cast iron pad holders with metal clips on them, a natural trap for road salt that forms rust expanding the clips that locks the pads in the stopped position. The pads stay in this locked position, do require frequent cleaning and sure help to put a heavy coating of anti-seize under those clips.

Toyota came out with these in the mid-80's, was a stupid ideal so they got away from these cast iron pad holders and clips, but some idiot at Chevy copied these. Not nearly the problem in salt free country.

With rear brake drums, the return springs are way too weak, so if the shoes are not perfectly free to move and self center, the rear adjusters will not work, in particular the anchors at the bottom, again another good cleaning and anti-seize helps, but still require constant maintenance.

I don't have this problem with the 2LT has four wheel disc brakes, so have that metal clip on cast iron problem with trapped rust locking the pads in the stopped position. But also problems with the ratcheting adjusters rusting up, again exposed to road salt. But constant maintenance helps to resolve these issues.

Even back then, Consumers Reports had a lot of complaints about Toyota's brakes, but they didn't know why.
 

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Here is the kind of ABS hydraulic unit GM was using for years.



Large heavy unit.

And had a large separate ABS control unit.




This is the hydraulic unit for the Cruze.



That fits on this piece of plastic hydraulic unit.



Entire assembly will fit you your jacket pocket, then they have the nerve to charge 600 bucks for this POS. That ABS pump is what you would expect to see on a toy car.

Can't for the life me how they got this approved.
 

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First snow I get with a new car I take it out and test out how the ABS, traction control and stability control systems work.

You should have stayed on the pedal with similar pressure, that locking you felt is normal just before the ABS engages. Typically this locking will only occur with tires that have a hard compound, poor tread design for the conditions, or a tire that has little tread left. You can also notice this initial locking more when there is snow/ice on the road.

The stability control system would have kicked in if the rear end of the car were to come around enough when on the brakes hard. From my testing its less than 1ft out in the rear before the stabilitrac takes over.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You probably shouldn't have let off on the brake pedal, however there is always a chance your ABS is not working properly. Here is some good reading on ABS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-lock_braking_system
I normally would have held a bit longer, but I had to square the car up in case there was another deer behind it. I could have pulled it out of worse, but if I would have hit a deer with the car partially sideways it could have had some particularly bad results.

Which trim Cruze do you have? This sounds to me like the rear brakes aren't adjusted properly. Did you actually leave skid marks or was it just the rear end trying to come around on you?
It is a 1LT so yes it has rear drums and I had thought about that with the rear trying to come around. While I didn't stop to look for marks, you could hear the squeal of the tires sliding across the pavement.

Had vehicles with ABS for over 35 years now, personally I do not like them, more problems than what they are worth, and if on glare ice, nothing works.

But even on older GM vehicles were far superior to these super cheap Bosch ABS brakes used on the Cruze. They would pulse at least one or two times per second and sounds like the front end is going to fall off. Where on the older much better ones, would pulse about ten times per second.

Nothing on the shop manual on this subject, and talking with several Chevy dealers, tell me this is normal, like a major clunk, wait a bit another clunk sound. The period they hold the faster spinning wheel locked is way in the hail too long.

Should be a recall on these, if they are normal, a very poor design. Driving on icy roads, very careful not to hit the brake pedal hard enough so the ABS will not engage, but no choice if some idiot or a deer pulls out in front of you.

And screw you A$$hole congress that made these law, and the idiots that designed them, don't stop the car any quicker, and if that locked wheel hits a solid surface will put Cruze into a skid.

Yet another problem with disc brakes are those cast iron pad holders with metal clips on them, a natural trap for road salt that forms rust expanding the clips that locks the pads in the stopped position. The pads stay in this locked position, do require frequent cleaning and sure help to put a heavy coating of anti-seize under those clips.

Toyota came out with these in the mid-80's, was a stupid ideal so they got away from these cast iron pad holders and clips, but some idiot at Chevy copied these. Not nearly the problem in salt free country.

With rear brake drums, the return springs are way too weak, so if the shoes are not perfectly free to move and self center, the rear adjusters will not work, in particular the anchors at the bottom, again another good cleaning and anti-seize helps, but still require constant maintenance.

I don't have this problem with the 2LT has four wheel disc brakes, so have that metal clip on cast iron problem with trapped rust locking the pads in the stopped position. But also problems with the ratcheting adjusters rusting up, again exposed to road salt. But constant maintenance helps to resolve these issues.

Even back then, Consumers Reports had a lot of complaints about Toyota's brakes, but they didn't know why.
I hear you on hating abs. One of my dad's trucks is a 97' Chevy 3500 that you have to down shift almost to a stop in slippery conditions. Abs has been worked on and is better than it used to be, but it still has a tendency to kick out the brakes and never lock back in on occasion. In my Alero without abs I had a feel for maximum braking pressure before the lock and think that I could stop a lot faster that way as compared to ones I drove that had abs. If it was slick it wasn't very hard to pump the pedal.
First snow I get with a new car I take it out and test out how the ABS, traction control and stability control systems work.

You should have stayed on the pedal with similar pressure, that locking you felt is normal just before the ABS engages. Typically this locking will only occur with tires that have a hard compound, poor tread design for the conditions, or a tire that has little tread left. You can also notice this initial locking more when there is snow/ice on the road.

The stability control system would have kicked in if the rear end of the car were to come around enough when on the brakes hard. From my testing its less than 1ft out in the rear before the stabilitrac takes over.
It was dry pavement and the tires have almost full tread. It was about 2-2.5 ft out and nothing had kicked in. I had to abort before there were real problems. I was more willing to end up hitting a deer heading straight forward than sliding sideways.
 

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I've driven cars with ABS that squeal the tires when coming to a hard stop, but my Cruze just makes a whole lot of chuttering from the ABS - never heard the tires squeal when stomping on the pedal.
 

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Something to take into consideration that I have noticed mostly on Hondas is that if all 4 wheels lock at the same time (say on a slick road), I'm not so sure ABS would even come on. All ABS does is monitor the speeds of each individual wheel. So if you figure that all 4 wheels at the same time go down to zero, the computer has no idea that wheels are locked. Thus, no ABS would turn on.
 

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Something to take into consideration that I have noticed mostly on Hondas is that if all 4 wheels lock at the same time (say on a slick road), I'm not so sure ABS would even come on. All ABS does is monitor the speeds of each individual wheel. So if you figure that all 4 wheels at the same time go down to zero, the computer has no idea that wheels are locked. Thus, no ABS would turn on.
I've done this on icy roads. Fun times.
 

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Something to take into consideration that I have noticed mostly on Hondas is that if all 4 wheels lock at the same time (say on a slick road), I'm not so sure ABS would even come on. All ABS does is monitor the speeds of each individual wheel. So if you figure that all 4 wheels at the same time go down to zero, the computer has no idea that wheels are locked. Thus, no ABS would turn on.
Im sorry but you are mistaken. the computer watches each wheel speed censor and coordinates it with the transmission rpms. if it reads one wheel is locked for x speed it acts accordingly. if they all 4 lock then it will relief pressure on all 4. ABS does not simply watch and do nothing " All ABS does is monitor the speeds of each individual wheel" it monitors and adjust for the locking of the wheel
 

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I'm sorry but I have to politely disagree. Jblackburn and I have both just noted instances of wheels locking up with ABS brakes. The theory of monitoring the RPM's of the transmission makes some sense, except what if the car is in neutral? That would mean a part of the ABS system was disabled and I am sure that's not the case. Especially when you have a manual transmission, no computer is monitoring the transmission. Here is a reference to a Wikipedia article on ABS. Specifically the "Operation" section states how ABS works. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-lock_braking_system
 

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blackburn and I have both just noted instances of wheels locking up with ABS brakes
from what i understand about your statement your saying the abs simply just watches the wheels and does nothing, that in ice it simply lets all 4 lock and it just stays locked or did i miss understand? I can understand if it does it for a second then acts but to stay locked up untill a crash/ let off of the brake/ or a stop does not sound right at all. now if you say it locks initially then unlocks i agree because my jeep 2 channel abs does the same. locks then it kicks in

except what if the car is in neutral?
if your driving in neutral on icy roads you have more issues on hand then the abs. you never never free wheel when driving on less then optimal road surfaces, the new jeeps for example have a tranny speed and a t case senor and independent wheel senors. when in icy conditions with dad in a pick up when you put it to the floor the abs will simply not work right. it will pulse indefinably rather then locking up. when on super icy roads you want the wheels to lock up if you make them do so.

i may have misunderstood your comment, can you please clarify
 

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FWIW, my experience with it was from a 1998 Volvo, with a ABS system that was designed in 1993 or so. When sliding (sideways) on an icy road, all 4 wheels were locked at under 10 MPH. The car can sense, usually at higher speeds, if individual wheels are slipping, but if they're all sliding and locked, how is the car to know it isn't stopped? The rest of the time, the system worked great, snow or otherwise.

They're probably more sophisticated these days with yaw sensors and the like, but this wasn't. That said, the system worked tons better than that on a 2007 Honda.

BTW, watch videos of people sliding down icy hills with all 4 wheels locked. Should be some on Youtube.
 

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if they all 4 lock then it will relief pressure on all 4. ABS does not simply watch and do nothing
How would the ABS know the difference between all 4 locked and a stopped car? The car doesn't have eyeballs to see that's happening.

There may be something where it watches how fast the wheels stop. Probably works well for a lockup at 60 MPH. But I'm sure that still has limits - such as lockup at slow speed, or a slide that starts with slipping and progressing to lockup. Whatever, it's not foolproof.
 

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if your driving in neutral on icy roads you have more issues on hand then the abs. you never never free wheel when driving on less then optimal road surfaces, the new jeeps for example have a tranny speed and a t case senor and independent wheel senors. when in icy conditions with dad in a pick up when you put it to the floor the abs will simply not work right. it will pulse indefinably rather then locking up. when on super icy roads you want the wheels to lock up if you make them do so.

i may have misunderstood your comment, can you please clarify
Freewheeling is the last resort to recover from an all wheel slide. I have free wheeled out of slides on multiple occasions.
 

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How would the ABS know the difference between all 4 locked and a stopped car? The car doesn't have eyeballs to see that's happening.

There may be something where it watches how fast the wheels stop. Probably works well for a lockup at 60 MPH. But I'm sure that still has limits - such as lockup at slow speed, or a slide that starts with slipping and progressing to lockup. Whatever, it's not foolproof.
because the vehicle has the tranny speed sensor tied into the abs like the 4 wheel sensors. if the trans says, im doing 55mph but all 4 wheels say im locked up it acts accordingly.

now i do agree 100% that the system does have its flaws and is in the end a machine. im sure cheaper system dont detect as much. the new wranglers from what the jepe club tells me senses your in sand or slippery terrain and allows you to lock the wheels since sand you want to lock them up. the system is smart enough to detect it. this is also a 40k car vs the cruze econo box.
 

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Freewheeling is the last resort to recover from an all wheel slide. I have free wheeled out of slides on multiple occasions.
ive never heard of that but i didnt live in snow long enough to hear about super in depth ice driving recovery techniques
 

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ive never heard of that but i didnt live in snow long enough to hear about super in depth ice driving recovery techniques
It's actually a real simple concept. If you're sliding it's because there's insufficient friction between the tire and the ground (ice) to overcome the friction inherit in the transmission's connection to the drive wheel(s). Clutch in or throw the shifter to neutral eliminates the competing friction demands on the wheel so only the small amount of friction that exists between the sliding wheel and the ground will then become the dominate force impacting the wheel spin. 100% counter intuitive until you've experienced it though.
 
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