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Re: when to shut off ABS??

 In a message dated 96-12-09 02:00:38 EST, ameco@map.com (Robert Russell)
 >  Heres an easy one. When would you want to shut off your  ABS or
 >  would you.
To which, on 96-12-09 08:21:24 EST, I6941tb@aol.com writes:

 << On pure ice, Bob. You'll brake better than a dumb komooter.  >>

I don't buy it.  ABS (for the normal human) will still produce an optimal
combination of short stopping distance _and_ steering control on ice.  And
what, pray tell, is "pure ice?"  Be aware that ice is not ice.  Temerature,
surface texture/finish, the presence or absence of water and/or snow on the
ice surface, the tires in question, etc. are all mitigating factors which
bear on the coefficient of friction at the tire/road interface.

The few circumstances in which turning off the ABS might produce shorter
stopping distances are typically deep snow, deep sand and deep gravel.  The
build-up of a wedge of snow/sand/gravel (your choice)  at the leading edge of
a tire can "sometimes" produce shorter stopping distnces.  So can bald tires
on a high coefficient of friction surface.  But what is the missing element
on which we all pride ourselves? ... it's steering control.  When you are a
sliding projectile, you don't have it.  I'd rather have some say on my final
resting place.

You will rarely/never see a manufacturer touting ABS as an aid to absolute
shorter topping distances.  The magic of ABS lies in achieving minimal
stopping distances while preserving steering control.  Even in the examples
of exception where a wedge of snow/sand/gravel produces shorter stopping
distances, the car becomes an unsteerable projectile.

My vote lies with an effective combination of short stopping distances _and_
steering control.  Not many of us are together enough to decide (at the
instant of an emergency) whether or not  to switch off the ABS.  The presence
of an ABS switch is a nice placebo for those who want the Nth bell and
whistle, but I'd be very skeptical of anybody's claim that they can always
pick the right switch setting for every condition/circumstance/eventuality.
 And to those who think that they are "good" enough to drive with ABS turned
off, well, good luck and keep out of my trajectory.  I'll stay in Clark Kent
mode and leave the system enabled at all times.