Skating on ABS - a quick way into the hedge?

While sliding helplessly across a road junction and into the opposite hedge I had time to consider that ABS isn't really any help at all on thin or slushy ice. It thinks "Whoops, slippy here. Might lock-up" whereas a non ABS system would simply lock the whels and grind through the ice to the surface underneath.

"Wouldn't it" I thought "be sensible to have a dashboard on/off switch for the ABS system like we have for Traction Control (which appears to exclude the ABS component)?" Or how else can you avoid the peril of ABS skating?

Asked on 28 January 2013 by Chris Lee

Answered by Honest John
The Audi 80 had a switch to deactivate the ABS. More modern systems as in the F30 BMW 3-Series have a 3 stage ESP: comfort, traction, and off. 'Traction' is what you want in snow and ice. I have also found (on a skidpan) that if you switch ESP off (as much as it will switch off), it doesn't fight you as you try to correct a skid and you get an extra 5mph before you spin.
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