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Your Abs ring (reluctor ring) worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
Signaller for the braking assistant: the ABS ring
The ABS ring as a part hardly suffers any technical strain and is placed in the front wheels along with the disc brakes. It provides important data for the control unit, which are of main importance for initiating the ABS procedure
Most of the time everything is fine
During a common drive with the car all operating powers work as the engineers intended. Drivers often do not realise the extent of the forces working on a car. As soon as control is lost or the car starts to swerve, it soon becomes apparent what kind of power system a car really is. Loss of steering control therefore often results in an accident
Always total control when braking
It is very important that control over the motion of a car is maintained in every situation. An example of a critical moment is the emergency stop. When this occurs, the front wheels are blocked. Loss of wheel rotation automatically causes loss of steering control. Wheels blocking in case of braking cause the car to propel straight ahead, no matter in what direction the driver attempts to steer. In the 1970ies the intermittent brake procedure (stutter brake) was recommended for braking on slippery foliage, and icy or wet roads. When braking, the driver had to intermittently take his foot from the brake pedal in order to maintain rudimentary steerage. Practically, this turned out to be impossible without extensive training. Ultimately, ABS was invented.
Anti-lock braking system – modern life saver
The anti-lock braking system, ABS in short, prevents blockage of the front wheels on occasion of an emergency stop. The brakes are released independently in short impulses. The steering of the car is therefore guaranteed in all circumstances. Furthermore, the ABS prevents the accumulation of loose material like foliage or snow in front of the wheels. This contributes to the manoeuvrability and reduction of the braking distance.
Construction of an anti-lock braking system
The anti-lock braking system consists of a pulse generator, a sensor and a control unit. The control unit is connected to the brake hydraulics. The pulse generator, which is the ring, constantly informs the sensor if and how fast the wheel is turning. When the control unit detects the front wheels halting while the rear wheels are still rotating, it assumes a blockage of the front axle. For a moment, the system releases the hydraulics until the wheel has turned a bit. Then it blocks again and checks if all four wheels have come to a stop. If this is not the case, the procedure is repeated until the braking action has ended or the car has come to a halt.
Construction of an ABS ring
The ABS ring or reluctor ring is a very simple car part and suffers little strain. It is a ring with notches. The simplest ABS rings look like a gear wheel. Perforated discs, perforated rings and other designs are common as well. They are made of galvanised iron. No plastic, aluminium or stainless steel rings are made, because they are unable to generate magnetic forces. The task of the ABS ring is always the same: the adjacent sensor measures the magnetic field, generated by the passing metal elements. Where iron is, a magnetic impulse is given, and when there is a gap or a hole, the impulse does not occur. The alternating impulses are the signal used by the control unit to check the rotation and speed of the wheel.
ABS sensor ring defects
The ABS sensor ring suffers no mechanical strain. For reasons of weight it is constructed as light and small as possible. Because it is exposed to the weather it can corrode, get stuck and break over time. In this case the control unit immediately reports a failure, which can be repaired very quickly. The ring itself is very cheap.
Nevertheless it might, depending on the car model, be difficult to reach the ring. Should a 5 – 15 euro (£4 – 13) ABS ring fail, it makes sense to replace both rings, guaranteeing a full repair in one go. We also recommend to always use brand quality.