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Seeing as how we are having one of the most harsh winters on record ALREADY, I've encountered the ever so pleasant anti-lock brake pulsation more often than I like. I've noticed one rather odd thing, when the ABS is activated all the lights dim including the headlights and dash lights. Is the ABS THAT much of an electrical drain? I've never noticed this before though I rarely am in situations dire enough to activate the ABS. It's good to know the system is there and working, but I'm curious if the electrical dimming is perhaps a sign of anything that may be wrong. Probably not, but it can't hurt to ask!
 

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ABS does indeed use a crapton of power, it has it's own high amp fuses and such, 40ampers i think.

Sounds normal to me.
 

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Possible alternator is weak and when the abs puts load on the system it cant keep up. Just a thought. Test electrical system and alternator output under load/no load.
 

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Possible alternator is weak and when the abs puts load on the system it cant keep up. Just a thought. Test electrical system and alternator output under load/no load.
yup. If this is all working right it's normal, I've never thought about it but it makes sense that it's a big drain on power.
 

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Once again check your electrical/charging system and battery. And the abs system does need a good amount of power, so this maybe normal.
 

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your alternator may be getting older than you thought. generally, lights and things shouldnt dim, although there is a large amount of current being drawn when it's engaged. your power steering is a large load too. when you're at a stop sign, turn your wheel, and watch your rpms drop slightly, due to the crank having to overcome the EMF produced when the PS is activated. even your headlights when first clicked on are high amperage, until they warm up, thus creating more resistance, and less current.

maybe just take your car to a trusted mechanic and check the brushes on the alternator / output voltage?
 

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when you're at a stop sign, turn your wheel, and watch your rpms drop slightly, due to the crank having to overcome the EMF produced when the PS is activated
For real? the emf is enough to cause that? I thought it was just more work because the PS is driven by a belt that's hooked to everything else?
 

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For real? the emf is enough to cause that? I thought it was just more work because the PS is driven by a belt that's hooked to everything else?
^^Thats what it is. The P/S pump takes force by the crankshaft to work. This is why HP changes when you eliminate P/S or A/C. U know......flywheel HP is different from wheel HP. Look below \/\/\/ for more info on hp.

WTF is EMF
EMF = Electro Magnetic Field?
EMF = Electro Motive Force?

Take from Wikipedia
The power of an engine may be measured or estimated at several points in the transmission of the power from its generation to its application. A number of names are used for the power developed at various stages in this process, but none is a clear indicator of either the measurement system or definition used.
In the case of an engine dynamometer, power is measured at the engine's flywheel (i.e., at the crankshaft output). With a chassis dynamometer or "rolling road", power output is measured at the driving wheels. This accounts for the significant power loss through the drive train. As an example, an early-production BL Mini 850 cc (51.9 cu in) engine produced about 34 bhp (25.4 kW) at the flywheel, of which only 18.2 bhp (14 kW) reached the driving wheels.[citation needed]
In general:
Nominal is derived from the size of the engine and the piston speed and is only accurate at a pressure of 7 lbf/in².
[8] Indicated or gross horsepower (theoretical capability of the engine) minus frictional losses within the engine (bearing drag, rod and crankshaft windage losses, oil film drag, etc.), equals
Brake / net / crankshaft horsepower (power delivered directly to and measured at the engine's crankshaft) minus frictional losses in the transmission (bearings, gears, oil drag, windage, etc.), equals
Shaft horsepower (power delivered to and measured at the output shaft of the transmission, when present in the system) minus frictional losses in the universal joint/s, differential, wheel bearings, tire and chain, (if present), equals
Effective, True (thp) or commonly referred to as wheel horsepower (whp) All the above assumes that no power inflation factors have been applied to any of the readings.
Engine designers use expressions other than horsepower to denote objective targets or performance, such as BMEP (Brake Mean Effective pressure). This is a coefficient of theoretical brake horsepower and cylinder pressures during combustion.
 

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your power steering is a large load too. when you're at a stop sign, turn your wheel, and watch your rpms drop slightly, due to the crank having to overcome the EMF produced when the PS is activated.

The power steering is not electric bro, its hydraulic. The drop in rpms is strain from the power steering pump.
 
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