Auto Repair: Other Electronic Braking Systems

Car mechanic repairing the underside of the car.

Because the brake system is such a vital feature of every vehicle, the technology for creating safer and more responsive systems is constantly developing. Newer electronic braking systems now exist that provide additional advantages, often coupled with ABS. The following sections cover two that are inproduction now.

Brake Assist (BA)

Brake Assist (BA) is like having a superhero in the car to save you in an emergency. It keeps an electronic eye on how you're braking, and if you suddenly get into an emergency and have to stop short, BA automatically boosts the power of the brakes to help you. When you're out of trouble and take your foot off the brake, the system automatically does so too and resumes its surveillance.

Originally offered as an option on high-end vehicles, often as part of a "pre-collision" package, BA is becoming available on more vehicles as the cost of the system goes down. You often find it combined with EBD, which I cover next.

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

First popular on luxury vehicles and some SUVs, electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) ensures that braking power is distributed proportionately among all the wheels. If a vehicle carries a heavy or unequally distributed load, ordinary brake function can be skewed to one area of the vehicle, causing it to pull to one side or even sending it into a skid. To ensure stability, EBD automatically distributes the force of the brakes proportionately to all the wheels so that the vehicle can stop safely.

From Auto Repair for Dummies, copyright © 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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