Service Brake Assist

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There are lots of things that can happen when you’re behind the wheel. Some are mundane while others are not. If an emergency occurs and you want to brake automatically, service brake assists do exactly what the name implies. Whenever there’s an emergency and you need to engage the brakes, it’s okay to assume that you’d want total control of the brake system. Service brake ensures you have total control over your brake system if you ever need to stop in an emergency.

In this article, we’re going to look at what service brake assist is, how service brake assist works, is service brake assist the same as an Anti-lock braking system (ABS)? etc.

What is Service Brake Assist?

Service brake assist or brake assist is a feature in your car’s brake system that’s aimed at increasing your safety when you’re driving. Service brake assist is a safety attribute in your car that’s engineered to increase the braking power if it senses that the driver is intending to stop abruptly.

Naturally, when a driver intends to stop a vehicle in motion, they push the brake pedal gently till the car rolls to a stop. In case of an emergency, the opposite is what happens as the driver steps on the brake harder than normal. The service brake assist is a feature that assists the driver when they intend to stop abruptly.

To delve deeper, in case of an emergency, the driver may not have enough time to react to the emergency and apply the right amount of pressure on the brake pedal. What happens here is that the force the driver applies may not be enough to make sure the car stops immediately. If this happens without assist, the result may be disastrous. So, to prevent this from happening, the brake assist is there to make up for the “pressure shortcomings” of the driver.

If the brake assist system is absent in an emergency like this, it may take longer for the car to come to a stop, and when it comes to braking in emergencies, every second counts. The brake assist has been a mandatory feature in all cars since its invention in the 1900s.

Read More: What Kind of Tire is Best For My Vehicle.

How Does Brake Assist Work?

Different mechanisms are working simultaneously to ensure you have a smooth experience. The brake assist system isn’t an exemption. The mechanism behind the brake assist system is that it measures the amount of pressure that is applied to the brake pedal and the current speed of the vehicle to determine how much assistance the driver requires.

After the assessment, if the brake assist system determines that the driver needs assistance with the braking, it then applies extra brake fluid pressure to all four wheels of the vehicle. When the driver eventually releases the brake pedal, the brake assist system also releases the added pressure that is required to stop.

When the service brake assist is engaged, the amount of pressure that is added to the wheel is the full pressure that the brake system can produce. The additional braking power needed is provided by the pressure fluid that is stored in the ABS. The brake assist system and the anti-locking braking system work hand-in-hand or in this case, brake-in-brake to ensure that the car stops and not just stop, stop successfully.

How does the Anti-Locking Braking System ABS Work?

There’s a popular misconception that when the brakes are applied, the wheels automatically stop all motion. If that happened whenever brakes are applied, the consequences would be deadly.

What the ABS does when brakes are applied is to ensure that the wheels do not seize. The ABS ensures the wheels do not lock up and the driver still has some control of the car when the brakes are applied. This way, while the driver is trying to slow down or stop the car, they still have room to navigate making sure they don’t hit anything or anyone.

ABS was first used in the 1950s as an anti-skid measure to prevent aircraft from well, skidding. Ford and Chrysler brought it to cars two decades later.

ABS and Service Brake Assist, are they the Same Thing?

ABS and brake assist are both features of a car’s brake system that ensure safety when stopping, but they play significantly different roles.

As explained earlier, an anti-locking braking system is a feature in a car’s brake system that makes sure a car’s wheels does not seize up in the event of a sudden stop. It allows the car to maintain a grip on the tarmac during difficult or extreme scenarios. Whenever an emergency occurs and the driver needs to stop immediately, the ABS will be automatically activated and will release the brake pad at intervals to ensure the wheel does not seize.

Whenever the pressure is applied to the brakes, a moving tire ensures that the driver still has control and room to steer to prevent an accident. If this feature did not exist in cars, whenever the brake is applied, the wheel will lock in place and the car will continue to move in a straight path.

service brake assist

 Automatic Brake System in Modern Vehicles

Service brake assist is not the same as it was in the 1900s. The improvement of technology has found its way into brake assist as well.

Automatic service brake systems are now equipped to make sudden stops even when the driver does not press down the brake pedal. Service brake assists reaction time is a lot faster now than it used to be.

Automatic service brake assist systems use camera date technology and radars to examine and access their surroundings and in turn, automatically apply the brakes whenever the situation calls. This radar can detect moving vehicles, pedestrians and even vehicles not in motion.

Service Brake Assist Light is on: What Does This Mean?

 Whenever a brake assist light comes on, it simply means there’s a sensor failure with the brakes. A brake assist light is a wired circuit that connects a sensor to a car’s computer. If the sensor detects a damaged portion of the car’s brake system or the sensor simply fails, it then notifies the car and the brake assist lights come on.


The brake assist of a car provides the help a car needs in case of an emergency. It is important to always make sure the brake assist and the general brake system of the car are working effectively.

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