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ABS braking in snow, next can of worms

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by robo (sebring1970), Feb 12, 2008.

  1. Feb 12, 2008 at 9:35 PM
    #1
    robo (sebring1970)

    robo (sebring1970) [OP] robo (sebring1970)

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    This is the first time I got to try my truck on snow covered roads since my last post on this subject.

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/technical-chat/5269-you-call-abs-braking.html

    We got about four inches of snow tonight. I had to drive to work in sleet and snow, on country roads and Interstate. I left early to do some controlled braking, slipping and sliding.

    Yes, the ABS still sucks once the roads are coated. The brakes work great up until the point where they could do the most good. The "stomp and steer" method that is supposed to work with ABS actually increases the stopping distances with my Tacoma's ABS. I practiced repeatedly bringing the truck to a stop. With LIGHT brake pressure the truck would slow down quicker and stop sooner than with the ABS. If I continued to apply brake pressure, the ABS would activate, the brakes would RELEASE, and my rate of deceleration would decrease, as the ABS put the truck into a "controlled coast" as I have come to call it. This defeats the purpose of the ABS, which is supposed to allow ANY driver to stop and maintain control in the shortest possible distance by simply mashing on the brake pedal.

    Mind you, this is all seat of the pants so if you find my criticisms unscientific, then you are correct. What's my point? I am not here just to bitch and moan, but to tell you as a new Tacoma owner, these ABS brakes are not engineered properly for snow and ice covered roads, and from what I've read, loose sand and gravel. I've owned plenty of cars with ABS, including racing on a wet road course in my twin turbo. Every other ABS I've driven in the snow puts these brakes to shame. The Tacoma's ABS is not just a quirk, it is a potentially dangerous design flaw. I am not ready to give up my truck because of it, but it's ironic that this defect would show up in the winter situations for which I mainly purchased the truck. I am learning to compensate for the brakes when the roads haven't been plowed, which of course should be unecessary for a properly designed ABS system. Fortunately, the brakes perform fine in the condtitions which I find myself driving 99% of the time. That is all.
     
  2. Feb 13, 2008 at 10:12 AM
    #2
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Where's the popcorn?

    I've read all the complaints about the ABS and I honestly don't agree with them being 'flawed'. I've yet to even feel my ABS kick in while I'm driving on ice/snow. People are driving too fast and pressing on the brakes too hard in snowy/icy conditions.

    Slow down....let off the gas, let vehicle coast, apply brakes lightly. Give plenty of room between you and the car in front of you.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2008 at 11:06 AM
    #3
    Cburt

    Cburt Well-Known Member

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    I don't drive fast in snow and the ABS is always kicking in unexpectantly.
    Agree, there is somthing wrong with the design of the ABS on the Tacoma.
     
  4. Feb 13, 2008 at 3:20 PM
    #4
    99TRD

    99TRD Well-Known Member

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    I have the same issue and always thought it was a problem with my ABS. My ABS light comes on periodically, but it shows no error codes.
     
  5. Feb 13, 2008 at 3:39 PM
    #5
    TimTac

    TimTac Member

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    Yes!! I also think there is something wrong with this ABS system!!

    I thought ABS was designed for panic situations when you find yourself going to fast unexpectedly. Who steps lightly on the brake when the're in a panic?If we could all anticipate the unexpected we wouldn't have any accidents and no need for ABS brakes in the first place.
    Yeah, the brakes themselves are fine as long as the ABS doesn't kick in, but then what's the point of having it??...... yes.....i know..... the ability to steer while braking. well....I'd rather be able to stop then have the choice of hitting the left or right side of the guy in front of me! :)

    Just gota vent a little as this ABS is the one thing that really ticks me off about this truck!
     
  6. Feb 14, 2008 at 3:00 AM
    #6
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    It's designed to prevent the wheels from locking up. If your wheels don't lock up, the ABS shouldn't kick in.

    It seems far too many people complain about the ABS coming on too often or too early. Peeps should take their trucks to the dealer and complain or contact corporate Toyota. ATLEAST, get these complaints *on file*, so if something happens and you're in an accident....and the ABS doesn't function like its supposed to, then atleast you've complained to Toyota and they didn't do anything about it. That alone could save you in a court battle (if that is the case).

    As I've mentioned before - I've never even felt mine come on at all including snow/ice conditions. For those with probelms, either the system isn't functioning properly or peeps are using their brakes too hard.
     
  7. Feb 14, 2008 at 4:57 AM
    #7
    Cburt

    Cburt Well-Known Member

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    Peeps?
     
  8. Feb 14, 2008 at 5:55 AM
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    Don G

    Don G Old Goat

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    Very Good Janster! !! I couldn't agree more! ! !!

    Don G
     
  9. Feb 14, 2008 at 5:59 AM
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    TheMaster

    TheMaster Born to Ride

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    I agree with you. As an experienced driver I can say I've never experienced ABS operating in this manner. I have narrowly missed a few accidents. I suspect it may be the poor quality stock tires that harden up rock solid as the temperatures drop providing no grip or traction at all.

    We need input from someone running on snow tires. I believe there will be a significant improvement in braking and hence the ABS should function as designed.

    Failing which, talk/write to your dealer and cc. DOT or whoever that is who oversees automobile safety issues in the US.
     
  10. Feb 14, 2008 at 6:07 AM
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    Cburt

    Cburt Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I may have been somewhat too quick when I jumped in to say that ABS is flawed.
    I agree Master that a lot of my issues could be more with the tires than with the ABS.
    Reflecting on what I said, I don't think the ABS kicks in all the time, no, its more like it rarely kicks in, but when it is working I feel my stop is slower than if I would have full control.
    Generally it is a non issue.
     
  11. Feb 14, 2008 at 6:37 AM
    #11
    LHAHN07

    LHAHN07 Active Member

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    As I read this, I notice the people that are not having problems all drive 2nd Gen. Tacos. I have a 1st Gen. with these ABS problems. The last time it snowed, I was going down a small hill exiting a shopping mall. My 4 wheel drive was engaged and when I stepped on the pedal the ABS went off. OK no problem... Then the wheels locked up and I slid right out onto the road.:eek:
     
  12. Feb 14, 2008 at 7:49 AM
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    TimTac

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    Great idea! (input from snow tire people)!
    Did anyone solve there ABS irritation by changing tires?

    Janster, I'd be interested in what tires you're running. Do you/did you run stock tires in the snow? I'm not trying to be an ass, just would like to understand this ABS.

    Your right, the Dealer/Toyota is the place to complain. I'm going to see what they say next time i'm there.
     
  13. Feb 14, 2008 at 10:04 AM
    #13
    colttsi

    colttsi Well-Known Member

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    Here in Québec city, we drive in snow maybe 4-5 months a year and after some time you develop a new way of driving which is slower and safer.
    By the way, the tires play a huge role in your abs system. I thin everything has been said on this subject in the other post.
     
  14. Feb 14, 2008 at 11:23 AM
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    TimTac

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    Ok, I just read the other post.....lol......yeah, everything was pretty well hashed out. I guess this is an "agree to disagree" issue, although i am still curious as to why such two distinct perceptions of the ABS system -

    difference in tires?
    difference between trucks/something wrong with truck?
    difference in driving habits?
    difference in road conditions?
    or just the difference in each persons idea of what ABS should do/feel like?????????
    maybe all of the above.:D
     
  15. Feb 14, 2008 at 2:04 PM
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    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Bare bones tires off the lot....(laugh) had to go and look - Bridgestone Dueler H/T's. I also run with 210lbs of sandbags in the bed - but I wouldn't think that has anything to do with braking (versus having it for traction).

    But then again...who knows?

    There's a TON of complaints about the ABS in snow/ice on other forums. Funny, but if you Google "ABS & Snow" and you find all sorts of forums of folks talking about ABS/snow/ice.

    I was looking at some sites - not that I believe everything I read but its more knowledge than I had 5 minutes ago.
    http://www.abs-education.org/faqs/faqindex.htm
    Even they mention... stopping distance is increased but you gain steerability and stability.

    Someone mentioned snow tires & ABS?
    http://www.veta.se/abs66ice.htm
     
  16. Feb 14, 2008 at 2:17 PM
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    TheMaster

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    Of course, it has a lot to do with breaking. You have 210 lbs of downward force to aid traction and therefore assist in breaking that the average Taco doesn't.
     
  17. Feb 15, 2008 at 4:26 AM
    #17
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Maybe everyone should put a little extra weight in their trucks while driving in snow...... perhaps there wouldn't be anymore complaints about the ABS. :p

    Or..on the contrary.... that's more downward force on the rear wheels only (drum brakes). It could cause the front-end to get *light* similar to having too much tonque weight when towing. OR - because the tacoma has a load sensing system that'll send more braking power to the rear wheels when hauling stuff, it'll level thigns out between front/rear....I wonder how that has an affect on the ABS system?

    ..and people wonder why I drive all winter long with 210lbs in the bed....
     
  18. Feb 15, 2008 at 5:03 AM
    #18
    taconewf

    taconewf Member

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    I also have serious issues with my abs on my 06 dblcab, it kicks in at the slowest speeds with even the hint of precipitation. I use quality snow tires and have extra weight in the back. I have owned many vehicles with abs and this one by far is the most sensitive, Many times I have come closer to an accident than I think i would have without the abs.
     
  19. Feb 17, 2008 at 4:04 PM
    #19
    Brians03Taco

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    I have no issues with my 1st gen Taco and its ABS. I have driven it in Sand, ice, snow and mud with no issues. I think it all comes down to driving style. I have only had one vehicle get away from me in the ice and it was black ice so I had no idea I was getting into it. Of course, I am not a brake pedal masher either, I tend to finesse my vehicle in or out of icy conditions.

    ~Brian
     
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