Antilock brake system (ABS) service should be a profit opportunity for every tire dealership that does brake repair. ABS work both complements and expands a shop's existing brake service menu for several reasons. First, ABS systems are now so common it's nearly impossible to avoid them in the shop. And soon, experts said, ABS work will be unavoidable in the service shop.
Second, public perception seems to equate common brake work with ABS diagnosis and vice versa.
Third, some designs make it nearly impossible to do routine brake service without a working knowledge of the ABS system.
Unfortunately, ABS intimidates some technicians so much they refuse to work on it. Because they don't recognize that the future of brake service is now, they refuse to tackle the learning curve for ABS diagnosis and repair.
Meanwhile, some dealers have abandoned ABS work because their technicians have convinced them it's more difficult than it really is. (Contaminated brake fluid and wheel-speed sensor trouble are the most common problems occurring within ABS systems.)
Sometimes, a tech's healthy fascination with ABS sophistication degenerates into a distraction from brake fundamentals. When all is said and done, ABS performs only as well as the vehicle's basic brake system. Brake professionals said techs who overlook fundamental brake trouble are missing the root causes of many ABS-related symptoms.
What's more, experts agreed some standard brake system problems require additional emphasis because field service classes and technical hot-line inquiries indicate technicians don't know how to identify or fix these conditions.
This special service section provides diagnostic and repair tips on areas of ABS and conventional brake systems that technicians often neglect.