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Is my car safe to drive without the ABS working?

My ABS system was disconnected by my mechanic to override a problem with the system. He explained that I need a new ABS brain and that the age (10 years old) and mileage (168k) of the car made the repair cost prohibitive and was beyond his ability to fix. Is my car safe to drive without the ABS working? or should I start looking for another car? Other than the ABS issue the car looks and runs great.


  • edited September 2010
    Yes, it will be as safe as the many cars on the road that didn't come with ABS from the factory. It won't be as safe in slick road conditions as it was with the ABS working, though.
  • edited September 2010
    Keep driving. The only real issue is if your state inspection(if any) has requirements for ABS light to be off.
  • edited September 2010
    what kind of car? does it "feel" safe to you? my guess is fixing existing vehicle would be cheaper than replacing with another vehicle (who knows what headaches you'd end up with?).
    do you have full coverage insurance? does the mechanic? if so then just keep driving, lol.
  • edited September 2010
    People drove for almost 100 years without ABS. The only time they've helped me in the slightest is when it's snowy and icy on the road.

  • edited September 2010
    It's a little less safe, but I don't think you're doing anything irresponsible here. You'll have to remember to pump the brakes if needed. Does it snow a lot where you live? If so, you should be a little more conservative about venturing out when it's bad out.

    If you have an ABS discount on your insurance, you should call them to remove it, not only because it's the honest thing to do but also because a claim could be denied due to insurance fraud.
  • edited September 2010
    Yes, it's perfectly safe.

    Your ABS system actually operates by interfering with the hydraulics in your braking system on the wheel that it detects is spinning. Having the ABS deactivated only means that your braking system is operating without interferemce, as if you never had ABS at all. Hydrauilcally it's exactly the same as a conventional braking system without ABS.

    Many of us, myself included, have had less than stellar experiences with ABS on icy surfaces. Personally, I think you're better off without it.
  • edited September 2010
    Yes. I only drive vehicles without ABS for the moment. I can live with or without ABS and I prefer without.
  • edited September 2010
    I am not disagreeing with any answer here, as such.

    But, over my lifetime, I have been plagued by know-it-all mechanics (fortunately not all of them, but some of them) who believe they sitteth at the right hand of God. And, whatever they believe about the value of your car (or anything else) you are supposed to, not accept their opinion, but mindlessly obey their personal opinion. They tend to get really hostile if you don't accept their opinion.

    An Acura with 168,000 miles, in good shape may have a lot of use left for your driving pattern. I have a 9 year old Sienna coincidentally also with 168,000 miles, and I expect to drive it a lot more miles. Unless something unexpected happens, until I can't get new parts for it and have to buy rebuilt parts.

    I am sure if I need to spend a couple thousand dollars on something, a lot of mechanics will say, "Not worth it. It's too old, and isn't worth it."

    I do not agree. Figures we have seen to keep an old car running in good shape are what? A thousand dollars a year?

    It makes no sense to fork out $30,000 for a new Sienna, rather than plunk down a couple thousand dollars and keep it running well for another two years. That is, if it will run well. Mine does, and my guess is your Acura also does.

    When I encounter this attitude, I do what I encourage you to do, which is get another mechanic. This one doesn't even know how to fix the problem, which is his basic motivation. So, he also would be unable to tell you how much it would cost to fix it. That is, he really doesn't know if it is worth fixing or not.

    If on the other hand, you agree it is not worth fixing, the day you think a car isn't worth fixing is the day to get rid of it and get another car.

    There is another issue here. The car came with ABS. If you get in a wreck, any good lawyer will take you to court, and will use the voluntarily driving of a car with a known inoperative ABS as proof of your negligence and liability. Ask an attorney if you do not believe me.

    Fix that ABS or junk it.
  • edited September 2010
    You're welcome to your opinion, but I'll guess that you've never made an emergency stop on a split-traction surface, like ice on one side and snow on the other. No driver can do what ABS can do there.
  • edited September 2010
    You made an interesting and valid point about the mechanic.

    While I disagree that inoperative ABS renders the car unsafe, I do agree that the shop should not have simply disconnected the system. If they lacked the ability to repair it, they should have referred the customer to someone who can.

    Your point about the possible legal ramifications is spot-on too.
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