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2004 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean H6. 2003 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean Former 2001 Subaru OBW VDC owner.
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Discussion Starter #1
I’m going down a steep hill, and now I’m sliding towards the back of a stupid Hyundai. I slam on my breaks and I feel the ABS system blocking my efforts to slide to a halt before crashing into the back of Beatrice driving her 2018 Hyundai whatever.
This is always the story. From my experiences driving, I’m almost always better off sliding when I want to and rolling when I choose to. Is there a way to disable this dangerous feature?!

Luckily today I muscled through the grinding of my brake pedal and came to a stop a few feet from my insurance company’s slushy wet dream. Good people of the forum.. your thoughts..
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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rust/ corrosion / dirt / brake dust /

all mixed together as a slime on the tone rings. clean it up, and it will work fine again.
 

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2004 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean H6. 2003 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean Former 2001 Subaru OBW VDC owner.
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Discussion Starter #3
rust/ corrosion / dirt / brake dust /

all mixed together as a slime on the tone rings. clean it up, and it will work fine again.
Why do you say it is not working right from what I described? I thought the system automatically prevents braking when the wheels are sliding....
What are tone rings?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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EE, it isn't broken, he wants a non-ABS equipped car driving experience.

I THINK you can pull a fuse and have a full fishtail experience.

(it isn't really 'dangerous', but under some circumstances, it trades a little stopping distance for the ability to steer instead of slide out-of-control)

consider stickier tires in either case.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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EE, it isn't broken, he wants a non-ABS equipped car driving experience.

I THINK you can pull a fuse and have a full fishtail experience.

(it isn't really 'dangerous', but under some circumstances, it trades a little stopping distance for the ability to steer instead of slide out-of-control)

consider stickier tires in either case.
I don't like the ABS much on my XTs either. You have a handbrake for a reason. In nearly every situation, the hand brake will center the car's track and if you back off the pedal for a second, then the front tires might bite after the e-brake move.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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for most well-trained drivers and under certain circumstances, it could bothersome.

for MANY other drivers and most 'normal' conditions, it's helpful. I think ABS is the way jetliners stop when they land, (isn't that where the technology came from?) it works quite well, most of the time, for most people.

pull the fuse and put some black tape over the light if you don't want it.

or, add a switch

from wiki;

A 2004 Australian study by Monash University Accident Research Centre found that ABS:[2]

Reduced the risk of multiple vehicle crashes by 18 percent,
Increased the risk of run-off-road crashes by 35 percent.

On high-traction surfaces such as bitumen, or concrete, many (though not all) ABS-equipped cars are able to attain braking distances better (i.e. shorter) than those that would be possible without the benefit of ABS. In real world conditions, even an alert and experienced driver without ABS would find it difficult to match or improve on the performance of a typical driver with a modern ABS-equipped vehicle. ABS reduces chances of crashing, and/or the severity of impact. The recommended technique for non-expert drivers in an ABS-equipped car, in a typical full-braking emergency, is to press the brake pedal as firmly as possible and, where appropriate, to steer around obstructions. In such situations, ABS will significantly reduce the chances of a skid and subsequent loss of control.

In gravel, sand and deep snow, ABS tends to increase braking distances. On these surfaces, locked wheels dig in and stop the vehicle more quickly. ABS prevents this from occurring. Some ABS calibrations reduce this problem by slowing the cycling time, thus letting the wheels repeatedly briefly lock and unlock. Some vehicle manufacturers provide an "off-road" button to turn ABS function off. The primary benefit of ABS on such surfaces is to increase the ability of the driver to maintain control of the car rather than go into a skid, though loss of control remains more likely on soft surfaces such as gravel or on slippery surfaces such as snow or ice. On a very slippery surface such as sheet ice or gravel, it is possible to lock multiple wheels at once, and this can defeat ABS (which relies on comparing all four wheels, and detecting individual wheels skidding). Availability of ABS relieves most drivers from learning threshold braking.

A June 1999 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that ABS increased stopping distances on loose gravel by an average of 27.2 percent.[25]
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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EE, it isn't broken, he wants a non-ABS equipped car driving experience.

I THINK you can pull a fuse and have a full fishtail experience.

(it isn't really 'dangerous', but under some circumstances, it trades a little stopping distance for the ability to steer instead of slide out-of-control)

consider stickier tires in either case.
1LT you really got to move out of texas, and find out all about rust. @Lveranos subarus have all had lots of rust issues.

I took the original post as someone reporting a problem with their ABS.
(and there are posts like it, where it is actually coming on when it obviously should not).

lots of vehicles around here when they get this old need the tone rings cleaned. with them coated in a little rusty slime, you can make the ABS come on just from coming to a regular stop on bare pavement, and it adds about 20 feet to a regular stop.

and it is a safety problem as you can unfortunately drift into the car in front of you at a stop sign / traffic light.
("striking the car ahead" is obviously the followers fault, problem ABS or not.).


the rusty slime makes the ABS sensor confused into thinking the vehicle is sliding during a regular stop.
a little cleaning fixes everything. (no parts needed). probably some nice videos about it.

pull the ABS fuse until you get it fixed.





 
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I’m going down a steep hill, and now I’m sliding towards the back of a stupid Hyundai. I slam on my breaks and I feel the ABS system blocking my efforts to slide to a halt
Short answer - It's not ABS, it's the tires. Or I should say it's mostly tires (qualifiers below). But yes disconnect ABS and it'll work like non-ABS as a temporary work around.

If it was debris or an issue with the tone ring/sensor then it would likely glitch out at other times. Easy and free to try but I doubt you'll find relief there.

For practical purposes this is 100% a tire issue. One could discuss that it's X% tires and Y% ABS, it's just not profitable. Post your tire 4 digit date stamp on all 4 tires or their history/mileage/brand - i guarantee they are trash tires for snow use.

1. You are right that this is a bad idea because people are going to be ubercheap or not know a tire is bad ("plenty of tread", it's a "snow tire", etc) and learn by 'accident'. It does seem odd that these systems physically won't bring a car to a stop that has the ability to stop. Very odd.

2. Disabled-ABS and !%*% tires would probably stop "better" than ABS with !()%!& tires. But that's akin to asking "Should I use rubber bands or twist ties to hold my calipers on?". Either way you've still got risky tires which cause many accidents.

3. Hopefully newer ABS systems should be better and more advanced than older ones.

4. But yes - just pull the cord - the fuse, disconnect the ABS computer, grab your scissors and cut the cords at the ABS module in the engine bay if you want to get all WWF on it. It'll operate as non-ABS.
 

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You have a handbrake for a reason. In nearly every situation, the hand brake will center the car's track and if you back off the pedal for a second, then the front tires might bite after the e-brake move.
Yes - this! Have your hand on it at all times. It helps some, but on steep snow covered inclines that he's describing and with poor tires and ABS cracking out it is limited. still should go for it, but if it's steep and slick it's almost imperceptible.
 

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you need to look whats wrong on your car and fix that , not looking ways how to go around it , and certainly not by disabling ABS. there are sometimes on offroading when you would wanna disable ABS , and that is not a prob with just pulling of one fuse . but its not your case i guess.
thing is learning how to handle car and understanding what tires you have is the thing, you wont do nothing with slick tires full of mud ABS on or off doesn't matter. its not cars problem or ABS problem. but it could be that prob as in pic. and then tires problem. wrong tires in wrong place.
 

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Great snow tires, hill, greasy snow, brakes fine, ABS fine, the ABS will literally keep you from stopping.

For those last few MPH I've practiced turning the key off.
Boom- full stop almost immediately.
Power brakes will be good for a few more hits, no, the column doesn't lock, yes there's no power steering.

Putting an an ABS switch might lead to liability issues after an accident- outside chance, but it's there.

If you'd like to pull the fuse, I would suggest putting in a blown fuse.
 

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ABS is designed to help you steer around a problem (by keeping the wheels rotating), not stop you in record time.

Much like you learned to drive pre-ABS - now you need to learn to drive with ABS and work within it's limitations.

Also as others have said. get better tires.
 

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Disclaimer: Do this at your own risk. I'm sure your insurance company would be happy to reject claims and/or drop you if they found out you disabled one of the most touted automotive safety advances of the century.


Facts:

The simple physics are very cut-and-dry. Static friction is higher than sliding friction. This means that your tire can impart more force on the car while still rolling than locked.

On dry pavement, the gap between static and sliding friction is pretty large. This is where ABS systems excel.

On ice, snow, gravel, etc. both coefficients are relatively low, and pretty close together. This is why it's faster to allow the car to slide on gravel/snow. Good tires help this immensely. If your tires suck, stop here, and fix that.

BUT, cars are designed to absorb impact energy primarily from the front. I bet even your insurance company would happily take 100% odds on a straight-on impact, than 50% odds on sliding sideways into something. So while it is a fact that there is a higher chance of making the corner if the car is allowed to slide a bit, there's a higher chance of survival hitting straight-on. IMHO, unless you are 100% confident that you can instinctively control a slide in an emergency situation, do not consider disabling this system. I've spent hundreds of hours ice racing, and my wife has spent dozens. I can say that about both of us.

The traction circle. The fact that a tire can impart a finite amount of force on a car. In practice, this means that if you're braking in a straight line, they can apply quite a bit of force on the car. But if you're trying to turn at all, your braking traction is reduced.



Now, my 2 cents:

ABS systems are not created equal. They are a system of sensors, computers and actuators to keep your tires from locking. Since ABS started gracing the market around 1990, sensors have gotten higher resulution, sensors have been added, computers have gotten more powerful, and actuators have gotten faster. Early ABS systems very slow and dim-witted compared to modern systems.

The system on my '94 E150 claims to be 4-wheel, but it's only got 3 channels and 3 sensors. Even with the best computing power, it can't possibly have enough information/control to maximize tire traction. I'm in the process of completely deleting that system (re-plumbing the entire brake system using a manual proportioning valve).

Newer systems use yaw rate sensors, steering sensors, as well as speed sensors on all 4 wheels, sometimes referencing transmission speed, and more.

The BE/BH Outback system is somewhere in between. I think the VDC models use some of those extra sensors there for the VDC system in the ABS functionality as well. I'm convinced that my VDC car has better ABS than our old 4-cyl did. It's my wife's first car with ABS, and she is so not used to the feeling, that she hated it at first, because you just have to mash the pedal and trust that the car will do what it's supposed to do. But I won't disable it for her, as I think it's effective. And she's getting used to it, begrudgingly.

All that said, it can be pretty quickly and easily disabled. Open the hood, the front ABS sensor wiring comes through the strut towers into the engine bay, and there's a connector in the engine bay. The passenger side one is easily accessible. Unplug it, and the ABS system will shut off, warning light will come on, but that's a bit harder to disable. Plug it back in, and the system will work again.
 
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Loss of traction prevents short stops. Locked, skidding tires don't have traction.

That said, no fuse pulling. The fuse addition is on the VDC to turn it off. To disable the ABS, unplug it, or pull the relay out. Light will be on, no ABS feature and potential for an accident rises on slippery roads. ABS is to help keep traction and control of the car. Test it yourself. Run without it on a wet road and slam on the brakes and see how far it takes. Run with it on the same road and slam on the brakes and the stopping distance is reduced.

Its your call. I have the VDC turned off because the car detects faster acceleration than normal and wants to reduce power, lock up the torque converter and apply the brakes when the wheels spin (only on onramps, really >:) ). The ABS is an effective tool when I'm on a wet road and some "nut" decides he has to stop really quick because he/she passed the turn they wanted, or isn't paying attention to traffic and changes lanes like no one is there.
 

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Cardoc is back!
 
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