Chevrolet Cobalt Owners Manual: Braking in Emergencies

At some time, nearly every driver gets into a situation that requires hard braking.

If the vehicle has Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Antilock Brake System (ABS), it allows the driver to steer and brake at the same time. However, if the vehicle does not have ESC with ABS, the first reaction—to hit the brake pedal hard and hold it down—might be the wrong thing to do. The wheels can stop rolling. Once they do, the vehicle cannot respond to the driver's steering. Momentum will carry it in whatever direction it was headed when the wheels stopped rolling. That could be off the road, into the very thing the driver was trying to avoid, or into traffic.

If the vehicle does not have ABS, use a “squeeze” braking technique. This gives maximum braking while maintaining steering control. Do this by pushing on the brake pedal with steadily increasing pressure.

In an emergency, you will probably want to squeeze the brakes hard without locking the wheels. If you hear or feel the wheels sliding, ease off the brake pedal. This helps retain steering control. Without ABS, it is different.

See Antilock Brake System (ABS).

In many emergencies, steering can help more than even the very best braking.

Brake Assist

If this vehicle has ESC with ABS, it also has a Brake Assist feature designed to assist the driver in stopping or decreasing vehicle speed in emergency driving conditions. This feature uses the stability system hydraulic brake control module to supplement the power brake system under conditions where the driver has quickly and forcefully applied the brake pedal in an attempt to quickly stop or slow down the vehicle.

The stability system hydraulic brake control module increases brake pressure at each corner of the vehicle until the ABS activates. Minor brake pedal pulsations or pedal movement during this time is normal and the driver should continue to apply the brake pedal as the driving situation dictates The Brake Assist feature will automatically disengage when the brake pedal is released or brake pedal pressure is quickly decreased.

    Using ABS
    Do not pump the brakes. Just hold the brake pedal down firmly and let antilock work. A slight brake pedal pulsation might be felt or some noise noticed, but this is normal. ...

    Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
    The vehicle may have an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system which combines antilock brake, and traction and stability control systems that help the driver maintain directional control of the ...

    See also:

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