ANTI-anti-lock brakes on Olds?

Hi. My wife's car is a 99 Intrigue with ABS and Traction Control. Light snow in Denver today. Coming home tonight she slid right past our development
entrance. Not going very fast, didn't brake hard. Seems the brakes just locked, maybe even worse than what you'd expect without ABS(?).
Same thing happened recently when my daughter was driving it under similar snow conditions. She nearly hit someone. Both these ladies are cautious drivers.
Anyone know whether this is a symptom of some particular malfunction of the ABS? I can't imagine that's how it's designed to work. We've never noticed such a nasty braking response before.
Any ideas? I'm not feeling too crazy about my wife taking it to Pueblo tomorrow. Thanks a lot in advance for replies. DW
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ABS does not make you stop faster, it only allows you to remain in control of the vehicle while braking, but if your on a slippery surface, the wheels might not be locking and thus engaging the ABS, you might just be hydroplaning.

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I've noticed in several vehicles equipped with ABS that it drastically increases the stopping distance. My 1993 Buick LeSabre is bad enough for sliding through intersections, but my 1996 Grand Cherokee is A SLED with ABS. My best advice is when you feel that 'grind' in the pedal indicating the ABS is on, BURY the pedal. That seems to help with my Buick, but not for the Jeep. I have no idea why that is.
-Nathan

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That is how ABS works. If you feel it coming on, just hit the brakes HARD. I've never noticed anything like this on my wife's grand prix, and we had alot of snow/ice last month. It's a 94 Grand Prix.

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Thanks to all for the responses. After reading them, I asked my wife and daughter exactly what had happened. Both indicated that they did brake harder after not getting the initial braking action they expected. Didn't seem to help. In fact, my daughter said that only letting off the brake and pumping them the old-fashioned way got it back under control.
All this time, I had no idea that under certain conditions ABS could prove not only useless but maybe worse than without. Thanks again. DW
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and
=My Audi Quattro has a switch to turn off the ABS--Good thing. That car locks on slippery roads as well. I don't remember my 95 Bonneville w/ABS locking up, however. The Silhouette I just bought does not have the switch but I have yet to drive it on slippery roads. Could be fun, eh? (I can turn off the traction control on the van.) ==> Thanks again.

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The only thing this will do is reduce the time the brakes are applied to the wheels, increasing your stopping distance. The ABS system is already pumping the brakes faster and with greater control and accuracy than any driver could. With the driver pumping the pedal, the abs still kicks in exactly the same whenever the brake pedal is pressed and a wheel locks up. It even varies the pumping for each wheel (assuming you have 4 channel abs). Impossible to do this with one brake pedal.
Your daughter has to learn how to use the abs. And how to jugde appropriate speed while driving on slippery surfaces. I don't think auto manufacturers are going to do away with the system anytime soon.
There are plenty of instances when the vehicle can stop more quickly with no abs. This factor has to be considered whenever driving a vehicle with abs.. and the driving speed and following distance should be adjusted accordingly. If you find yourself about to abs through an intersection and you must stop, sometimes you can bump the key to the start posision (while still in drive). On most vehicles this will reset the abs computer and you will lose abs for about 5 seconds.
Good luck and drive carefully.
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Clem wrote:

No, but there are models of vehicles that have ABS as an option, and next time the original poster is in the market for another vehicle, he might do well to consider one without ABS.
Don't get me wrong, I have ABS on my car and know how to use it. However, some people have just learned to drive a car without ABS, and no matter how hard you try, they cannot or will not re-learn. The same is true of front wheel drive vs rear-wheel drive... both types of vehicles handle very differently, and someone who has gained experience on one type will likely swear up and down that the other type is dangerous.
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I have had the same experience with my 92 Lumina and 2000 Impala. If the surface is very slick, all 4 wheels can lock. Since ABs functions on the basis of differing wheel speeds, if all 4 lock at the same time it can not cycle. Roy

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Cool. I've never been able to get this to happen unless I'm going very slowly.
Many abs systems use a sort of fuzzy logic. So the computer knows the vehicle can't brake from 55 (or 100) to 0 in a nanosecond, so it kicks in the abs. It doesn't only depend on differing wheel speeds all the time.

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ABS is designed, depending on the car, to stop working below a certain speed. (usually 10mph but it varies) What everyone seems to fail to understand is abs or normal brakes will "NOT" bring you to a stop like you think it should on snow or ice. That car is making about as much contact to the ground as 6 human foot prints. We still fall on our asses in the snow & ice and you expect a 3500 pound car to do better?
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Good points!

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development
just
cautious
of
Pueblo
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