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Discussion Starter #1
The other day I tried to squeeze through a yellow light, but at the last second I saw PoPo and decided to slam on the brakes... You would think that applying a tremendous amount of force would make the car stop within a short distance. But no!!! My brakes felt weird. I felt a kind of knocking feeling coming from the brake pedal and the car wouldn't stop like advertised. I ended up rolling through the intersection and has you guessed it I received a ticket.
Now, today I was heading home and a guy in some POS Oldsmobile tried to cut across the road to the other side and decided HE wasn't going to make it either, so he stopped dead in front of me. So again, I slam on the brakes and the same thing happened!!! Man, I wasn't going to make it. Luckily the lane next to me was clear so I swerved and just barely avoided a t-bone.
I am 32 years old have plenty of driving experience in numerous types of vehicles and I know all about speed X distance X brake force and all that. I wasn't traveling that fast. I'm telling you the brakes just didn't do the trick.
Has anyone else been in the same situation or one like it? How do your brakes feel with a lot of force or pressure on them?
 

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I had a late yellow that I decided I better stop for and it was tight. Stopped just like I expected. I had pretty good speed up before the decision too.
 

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That's your ABS kicking in. It pulses because it is applies the breaks at very short and close intervals so as to keep from locking them up. This is actually much safer and you'll stop sooner with ABS than with locking them up (because you slide further when you lock them up). So if you don't have enough time to stop with the ABS, you are going to fast or you got screwed.
 

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statsdr said:
That's your ABS kicking in. It pulses because it is applies the breaks at very short and close intervals so as to keep from locking them up. This is actually much safer and you'll stop sooner with ABS than with locking them up (because you slide further when you lock them up). So if you don't have enough time to stop with the ABS, you are going to fast or you got screwed.
Statsdr is 100% correct, gets me out of trouble a lot in rainy and snow days.

Statsdr, your not an ER doc are you?
 

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Your ABS is working correctly. Thats exactly what its supposed to do. Its will also do the same thing in rain and snow. Thats how you will rapidly decelerate without skidding in inclemate weather. Just keep the petal smashed all the way to the floor. Its hard to believe but that will be your shortest stopping distance that way.
 

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on dry pavement it actually takes longer to stop with ABS, but you are able to maintain control of the car while braking, and steer out of trouble.
 

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Correct. But - ABS is NOT a "super brake" NOR is it THE most efficient way to stop - it's just better than sliding along on locked-up rubber (and if you don't believe locked tires are quite slippery, lock the rear brake up on a motorcycle some time and watch it try to swap ends as the rear slides around on you).

Best way to stop is apply enough force to the pedal just short of having the ABS kicking in. Because each millisecond of the ABS "Pulsing" is wasted braking time that adds up to slightly longer stop distances than a perfect braking effort.

Seriously, one of the best things you can do, especially with a performance car like your GT, is find a nice big parking lot or industrial road thats empty on weekends and get to know your brakes, and find the sweet spot on pedal pressure and stopping power. Give 'em time to cool or you'll deal with brake fade, but it shouldn't take too many stops to find that spot. Its time well spent that can save your @$$ the next time around - which WILL happen again eventually, and may be a bit closer than these 2 calls you've already had.

No offense and don't mean to talk down to you, being 32 years old and knowing all the X and Y factors and all, but if you didn't know about the ABS then you can't go wrong getting to know the car more. Good luck.
 

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That being said, I'll submit this for consideration, it's pretty good reading.......makes a much better point and is more accurate than whatI was trying to get across.

http://www.racingschools.com/tips/abs.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I love all the suggestions and comments. Thank you. I understand the dynamics of the ABS and all but, the power I expected from the brakes just didn't seem to be there. You're right, I may have been going faster than I realized but it just felt alittle off. I live here in San Diego so inclimate weather isn't a factor, other than alittle rain now and then.
When I hit the brakes and swerved to avoid the t-bone I was in TOTAL control of the car which was great, Hoorah for the ABS, but the distance appeared to be more than enough to hit the brakes and come to a complete stop.
Knock on wood none of us get into a situation like mine with this car but if you ever are you may understand what it felt like.
 

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I thought I remembered seeing or reading somewhere that the best way to make a fast stop like that with ABS is to pump the brake pedal a few times??? Try that out in a parking lot and see what happens.

EDIT: NVM just browsed thru that link above and it says not to pump them hehe.
 

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pcfrisch said:
Statsdr is 100% correct, gets me out of trouble a lot in rainy and snow days.

Statsdr, your not an ER doc are you?
Interesting stuff in this thread. But I think ABS has gotten a lot better since the statistics were complied in the article that stoopy posted (thanks for the link)...I'll look for something new, but I agree with the general message that you have to learn new driving habits...

As for me - I'm not an ER doc (but I'm thinking I might need to bring one along with me when I ride my baby becuase of so much whiplash and rubber necking:shocked: ...). Actually I'm a professor of biostatistics and stats dr is my family nickname (thanks to a cousin), which tells you I don't get out much lol.
 

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statsdr said:
Interesting stuff in this thread. But I think ABS has gotten a lot better since the statistics were complied in the article that stoopy posted (thanks for the link)...I'll look for something new, but I agree with the general message that you have to learn new driving habits...
Agreed! The take-away I got from that article (which I read only after yapping my mouth off) was that ABS technology not only has improved, but it's not accurate to make general statements about it at all since a Chevy ABS (f'rinstance) and Mercedes ABS (f'rinstance) system will have big differences in technology and performance to begin with. And all my opinions are based on harrowing experiences with the antiquated ABS system in my '95 Chevy pickup. I am POSITIVE that I can stop that pickup faster than the ABS can - not necessarily true of the 'Stang however.

Teh advice to take it somewhere and experiment is the best part of the article and I'm gonna follow that advice myself just for the heck of it and see.......just to get to know the car even better........never know when you might need to pull a "Rockford Turn" :D
 

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Am I the only guy that drives like grandma?

The Salesman had me take my car out on a country road and slam on it at 50 and I thought it did a great job stopping. Felt real nice, I don't think I wanna be in the situation to need to stop for my life though...
 

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mudman88 said:
I thought I remembered seeing or reading somewhere that the best way to make a fast stop like that with ABS is to pump the brake pedal a few times??? Try that out in a parking lot and see what happens.

EDIT: NVM just browsed thru that link above and it says not to pump them hehe.
Nope, if you have to stop fast, you have to hit the brakes on an abs sytem cars all the way to the floor and keep it there. You cannot possibly pump the brakes faster than the abs system. :eyepoppin
 

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ckp73,
I too have had a similar experience one time. Had to move into a turn lane quickly and stop. The brakes almost felt like they quit working and I ended up on top of a small bush that left me with a couple of very small scars under the front fascia:anianger: . I have since tested my brakes in a parking lot and cannot duplicate the feeling I got that time. It was like they felt nice and firm, then all of a sudden they went to nothing. I have never had an ABS system feel like that. If it ever happens again i'm going straight to the service deptartment.
 

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practice!

If you guys grew up driving a non-ABS car, you probably back off the brakes by instinct and don't even know it. I do. I didn't even know it till my friend who had a bad wreck told me to do the parking lot practice thing on my first ABS car. Its like telling you not to blink when someone slaps near your eyes. It takes a lot of hard stops to overcome the instinct and learn your new slightly longer stopping distance.
 

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I concur with the 'git on em and stay on em' approach to ABS. And it's correct that with practice and dry pavement you can stop quicker than the abs. In a reaction situation, however, I'll trust the abs over my threshold judgement any day.

A friend who road races also instructed me on seasoning my brakes, and this seemed to improve my braking some.

step one - heat tempering the disks - do repeated abs stops, starting with 10-0, then 20-0, etc up to about 70-0. This tempers the disks and helps prevent warping under hard use later.

step 2 - "bedding" the brakes - this step transfers pad material onto the disk, resulting in greater friction for better braking - roll the windows down on an empty road and get in second gear - ride the brakes fairly firmly while still giving it gas. Ride the brakes at 30-40mph using the brake to control speed, until you start to smell the brakes get hot. Let off the brakes and DON"T STOP driving until they cool down. The end result should darken the disks where the pads run

Like I said, this had a noticeable effect on my brakes. That 70-0 emergency stop makes your eyes feel like they're going to pop out. :shocked: My friend races and wins in SCCA solo events with a late model vette, and is a high level engineer for the USAF, so I'm pretty sure it's worthwhile advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
05SilverBullitt said:
ckp73,
I too have had a similar experience one time. Had to move into a turn lane quickly and stop. The brakes almost felt like they quit working and I ended up on top of a small bush that left me with a couple of very small scars under the front fascia:anianger: . I have since tested my brakes in a parking lot and cannot duplicate the feeling I got that time. It was like they felt nice and firm, then all of a sudden they went to nothing. I have never had an ABS system feel like that. If it ever happens again i'm going straight to the service deptartment.
Finally, someone who knows. What you felt is exactly what I felt. Normal stopping at stop lights and signs the brakes feel good even when I have to give them alittle extra pressure. But when I had to do an emergency, life or death stomp they just kind of gave up. In my honest opinion, the two situations I mentioned I think I should have been able to come to a complete stop at the speed and distance I was at.
A lot of people have suggested the empty parking lot brake testing which I will do soon. Thanks.
I think taking it to the service department may be a good idea. An ounce of prevention and all.
 

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Nice car ckp73!

I had to slam them a few weeks back on the interstate (rush hour traffic).

Mine performed better than the Acura who was behind me, who had to go into the left shoulder next to me (tailgators AAARGHH!!!)

I felt them "give out," but I reapplied pressure and they picked right back up.

My two previous Fords were very similar (02 f150, 98 Taurus) both with all disk ABS brakes. I guess I'm just used to it.:shrug
 

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I hadn't thought about it B4, but the manual mentions an automatic emergency brake assist or some such that senses "panic" braking and applies full force FOR you. Maybe it's a malfunction in that?
 
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