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Discussion Starter #1
Had a weird experience with braking in some slushy snow.
2005 outback base model, with snow tires. brakes rotors and pads are still in good shape.
I went to brake today going about 25 and nothing happen. The ABS was going, felt the pulsing. But i just kept going, luckily i just turned into the snow bank and stopped that way. The only thing i could think is the brakes were wet and combo of slushy snow would make me not stop? I have been stopping fine since.
This has been a really good car btw. bought it with 22k miles and now has 115k and only thing out of the ordinary was the bearings (which were a recall anyway)

thanks
all.
 

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Had a weird experience with braking in some slushy snow.
2005 outback base model, with snow tires. brakes rotors and pads are still in good shape.
I went to brake today going about 25 and nothing happen. The ABS was going, felt the pulsing. But i just kept going, luckily i just turned into the snow bank and stopped that way. The only thing i could think is the brakes were wet and combo of slushy snow would make me not stop? I have been stopping fine since.
This has been a really good car btw. bought it with 22k miles and now has 115k and only thing out of the ordinary was the bearings (which were a recall anyway)

thanks
all.
If the ABS was pulsing, I imagine the wheels had stopped rotating at some point. May have just been ice.
 

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+1, if you felt the ABS then you had zero traction... have a sit-down with the tires?

I was out in the slush and mush today myself. A few times I hit the brakes and they were so cold and wet that it required a lot of effort to get normal bite. But no ABS kick, so I knew it was just cold & wet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
tires

yea tire have tread, not near marker yet, but older. Can tires lose performance if they still have tread, but old. They are winter Blizzaks but this is the 5th season.

thanks for all the help.
 

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yea tire have tread, not near marker yet, but older. Can tires lose performance if they still have tread, but old. They are winter Blizzaks but this is the 5th season.

thanks for all the help.
They can harden and wear uneven over time. Brake pads can also become glazed and "bite" a bit more depending on the compound. (at least they do on some motorcycles I've dealt with) We just got dumped on and there were a few spots packed with snow/ice from a previous storm and I felt the ABS hit with no results a few times.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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I've noticed this too. My ABS kicks in when I am a bit heavy on the brakes in the snow. My first instinct is to stay on them and I find myself sliding .I found that when I let up immediately when the ABS kicks in and re-apply them more gently they work better. I have a friend with an 05 that describes the brakes as "kinda touchy in the snow."
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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Sounds like you were a victim of lack of traction and inertia. A quick release and reapplication like David said can sometimes get you some adhesion but ice is ice and you can't always beat physics.
 

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Many snow tires have "dual tread compound" construction, meaning that the top 5/32" is the soft, squishy rubber that can 'squeegee' to ice. That's when these tires are typically tested, and why they get such great ratings. Unfortunately, if all of the tread was this soft, the tire would squirm all over the place, and you'd hate the handling. So they typically build the lower 5/32" out of a much firmer rubber for base support. After 5 years of use, even at 5k miles per season, you are likely out of the 'good stuff' and into the base product, making them equal or even worse than your average newer all season tire. I dumped my Dunlops at this point and purchased new. Re-tiring at half tread is expensive, but less costly than an accident.
 

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Had a weird experience with braking in some slushy snow.
2005 outback base model, with snow tires. brakes rotors and pads are still in good shape.
I went to brake today going about 25 and nothing happen. The ABS was going, felt the pulsing. But i just kept going, luckily i just turned into the snow bank and stopped that way. The only thing i could think is the brakes were wet and combo of slushy snow would make me not stop? I have been stopping fine since.
This has been a really good car btw. bought it with 22k miles and now has 115k and only thing out of the ordinary was the bearings (which were a recall anyway)

thanks
all.
Normal, expected, as-designed ABS behavior.

In some conditions there is very little traction the ABS will do its job and not allow the brakes to lock. Of course, there is very little traction so there is almost no braking force.

A car with no ABS would have locked the tires, cut through the slush, and stopped.

This is why many off-roaders disable ABS when off-road, there are times where ABS will kill you, foot on the brake, ABS pulsing away, as you pick up more and more speed down a gravelly or slick hill.

I have a hill near me where the ABS will not let me stop, I used it to train myself to kill the ignition, lock the brakes, and stop.
 

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You no doubt need new tires (for the snow anyway). Or gimp it along through the last bit of snow season...just be very careful, it will definitely do it again. Pulling the ebrake can stop you next time if you're going slow enough.

ABS performs awful with compromised rubber (aged, heat, storage, weathered, etc - tread depth and looks are meaningless when the rubber is aged).

I've seen 90% tread tires that look fantastic not allow a vehicle with ABS to stop on mountainous declines. New tires fixes it every time.
 

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Normal, expected, as-designed ABS behavior.
I'm not sure that steering into a snow bank is normal. I'd expect a lot more wrecks and that hasn't been my experience.

New, high quality, snow tires will vastly improve his stopping. We have steep mountain switch backs here that don't get maintained and the difference is the quality of the tire compounds (aged, weathered, stored, low grade tires, etc).
 

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Rubber continues to cure so tires that are getting up there in age will have rubber that has hardened over time and yes can impact the tires traction capability- also as mentioned tires can have different rubber compounds within them so tires that are worn down but still appear to have decent tread life might be down to a harder rubber that isn't as capable of gripping especially in cold temps where rubber gets even less flexible etc.
 

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Normal, expected, as-designed ABS behavior.

In some conditions there is very little traction the ABS will do its job and not allow the brakes to lock. Of course, there is very little traction so there is almost no braking force.

A car with no ABS would have locked the tires, cut through the slush, and stopped.

This is why many off-roaders disable ABS when off-road, there are times where ABS will kill you, foot on the brake, ABS pulsing away, as you pick up more and more speed down a gravelly or slick hill.

I have a hill near me where the ABS will not let me stop, I used it to train myself to kill the ignition, lock the brakes, and stop.
I agree 100 % Have had the $#%^ scared out of me a few times not saying abs is bad, its good on dry or wet pavement but on snow and ice its useless and very dangerous, need switch to disengage,
 

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I agree 100 % Have had the $#%^ scared out of me a few times not saying abs is bad, its good on dry or wet pavement but on snow and ice its useless and very dangerous, need switch to disengage,
Both of you fail the basics of physics.

A tire only provides directional control when its turning. When a tire stops turning and the vehicle is still moving - you are now riding a sled with zero directional control.

ABS was designed to keep tires turning even if they are turning at a slower rate than the vehicle is moving ie they are still in a skid - the reason they pulse is so that the tire is not skidding 100% of the time more like 50% of the time - meaning the other 50% of the time the tire is providing what little traction might be available. If the tire regardless of it turning or not has no way to grip the road think black ICE in the worst way nothing short of a boat anchor that can cut through ice is going to stop you.

ABS - was first put on front wheels the reason being if you lock up front wheels you can't turn the car. Back in the day before ABS you were taught not to brake while in a turn or when you needed to turn only to brake when going strait. The reason being if you skid all your turning capability is GONE!!!!!!!! Remember that sled example I gave earlier?

I find people who make comments about ABS like those above are people who never drove the old beaters back in the day with drum brakes cars that lacked equalization of brake system pressure left vs right side etc. Brakes use to be one of those things that was nice to have but you could never really count on them working all that great when you really needed them. LOL

Shoot my Uncles old 60's VW bug nearly killed him when the front right brake locked up and sent him bouncing down an embankment at 25mph all from him just tapping on the brake while in traffic. Tires were pretty bad then too!
 

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The only place where ABS can be switched off and not much is lost regarding handling ie braking ability is on loose dirt / Gravel think dirt road. Where the tires are constantly slipping and there is lots of friction to be found by a tire that stops turning and digs into the dirt.

Snow over pavement is not even close to the same idea. Remember that sled example 4000lb sled that goes where ever it wants to go is what happens to a car with locked up tires on pavement covered in snow or even just water. Better yet dry perfectly good pavement vs locked up tires means your going where momentum takes you.
 

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Both of you fail the basics of physics.

A tire only provides directional control when its turning. When a tire stops turning and the vehicle is still moving - you are now riding a sled with zero directional control.

ABS was designed to keep tires turning even if they are turning at a slower rate than the vehicle is moving ie they are still in a skid - the reason they pulse is so that the tire is not skidding 100% of the time more like 50% of the time - meaning the other 50% of the time the tire is providing what little traction might be available. If the tire regardless of it turning or not has no way to grip the road think black ICE in the worst way nothing short of a boat anchor that can cut through ice is going to stop you.

ABS - was first put on front wheels the reason being if you lock up front wheels you can't turn the car. Back in the day before ABS you were taught not to brake while in a turn or when you needed to turn only to brake when going strait. The reason being if you skid all your turning capability is GONE!!!!!!!! Remember that sled example I gave earlier?

I find people who make comments about ABS like those above are people who never drove the old beaters back in the day with drum brakes cars that lacked equalization of brake system pressure left vs right side etc. Brakes use to be one of those things that was nice to have but you could never really count on them working all that great when you really needed them. LOL

Shoot my Uncles old 60's VW bug nearly killed him when the front right brake locked up and sent him bouncing down an embankment at 25mph all from him just tapping on the brake while in traffic. Tires were pretty bad then too!
No, what I described is accurate and backed by physics. I have driven a wide variety of cars with all-drum brakes, disk/drum, non-power brakes, the full range. I have also experimented in different environments and with different techniques extensively on my current car.

There aren't many cases where ABS will give you a bloody nose (as opposed to helping you, while extending your stopping distance), but there are a few, and slushy snow is sure as heck one of them. If the tires can lock, you cut right through and stop almost immediately.
 

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Both of you fail the basics of physics.

A tire only provides directional control when its turning. When a tire stops turning and the vehicle is still moving - you are now riding a sled with zero directional control.

ABS was designed to keep tires turning even if they are turning at a slower rate than the vehicle is moving ie they are still in a skid - the reason they pulse is so that the tire is not skidding 100% of the time more like 50% of the time - meaning the other 50% of the time the tire is providing what little traction might be available. If the tire regardless of it turning or not has no way to grip the road think black ICE in the worst way nothing short of a boat anchor that can cut through ice is going to stop you.

ABS - was first put on front wheels the reason being if you lock up front wheels you can't turn the car. Back in the day before ABS you were taught not to brake while in a turn or when you needed to turn only to brake when going strait. The reason being if you skid all your turning capability is GONE!!!!!!!! Remember that sled example I gave earlier?

I find people who make comments about ABS like those above are people who never drove the old beaters back in the day with drum brakes cars that lacked equalization of brake system pressure left vs right side etc. Brakes use to be one of those things that was nice to have but you could never really count on them working all that great when you really needed them. LOL

Shoot my Uncles old 60's VW bug nearly killed him when the front right brake locked up and sent him bouncing down an embankment at 25mph all from him just tapping on the brake while in traffic. Tires were pretty bad then too!
Newton's first law of motion states that "An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force." Objects tend to "keep on doing what they're doing." In fact, it is the natural tendency of objects to resist changes in their state of motion. This tendency to resist changes in their state of motion is described as inertia. so that being said I want control of brakes not abs system only when needed. friction to pavement equals inertia. have driven also all types of brakes, you have valid point brakes are much better today esp ebd system which i like
 

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Rubber continues to cure so tires that are getting up there in age will have rubber that has hardened over time and yes can impact the tires traction capability- also as mentioned tires can have different rubber compounds within them so tires that are worn down but still appear to have decent tread life might be down to a harder rubber that isn't as capable of gripping especially in cold temps where rubber gets even less flexible etc.
Experiance has shown to me, that in the second or third winter season, the traction gets lousy. My actually driven Pirelli Sottozerro Series II are now in the second winter season (october to march/april) and won't see a third one. I do about 6000 miles a winter with winter tires and with about 12000 or 18000 miles all winter tires were "end of life" for real winters, because of bad traction.

It is not only age and thread, the problem is, the sipes often are not that deap and as soon the tires gets used, they get smaller and the the traction decreases. If there is not about 5 - 6 mm (0.18 - 0.22 inches) left, I don't use them as winter tires anymore.
 

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Whatever happened to ABS systems shutting off below 5 mph?
 

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This is why many off-roaders disable ABS when off-road
Now that's spooky! I have no problem getting about in normal snowy conditons in my near-antique non-abs Toyota P/U but I recall being spooked by the ABS behavior in snow in a rental car once.

How do you disable the ABS - pull a fuse?
 
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