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1995 Honda Odyssey - leaking brake fluid

My local mechanic told me that my ABS module is leaking brake fluid and that it is no longer safe to drive. My husband has been adding brake fluid regularly as needed. Is it alright to use the car around town if my husband continues to keep replenishing the brake fluid? Please hurry your answer. -Koonlan

Just want to add this: My mechanic said the spare part to replace the ABS module for my 1995 Honda Odyssey is no longer available from Honda

Any time you have a leaking brake system is extremely dangerous. The point at which it leaks is small now, but in this higher pressured system the leak WILL get bigger. Usually when you have to make an emergency stop and pounce on the brakes causing the leak to rupture which puts your pedal to the floor while your unsuccessfully trying to avoid the accident you are going to have if you don’t check out salvave yards or replace the car. In short, it is not safe to drive.

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Ma’am, I’m really sorry I ran over your child, she came out of nowhere, I knew my brakes were bad but I thought I would drive my car anyway.

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If the ABS unit is no longer available, it can be bypassed so the brakes are not leaking. Your mechanic may be a bit nervous to do this because of liability.

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No one in their right mind is going to say that you can drive this vehicle this way . Catastrophic failure is just seconds away. You need a brake shop because a web search shows their are places that rebuild ABS modules .

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No, absolutely not. Starting is optional, stopping is not

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That type of reasoning is similar to the girl who says that she is “a little bit pregnant”.
Either one is pregnant, or not, and similarly, either a brake hydraulic system has a dangerous leak–or not. If it is leaking at all, it is dangerous to continue to drive it.

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Thanks to all who commented. I was hoping to keep the car for one or two more years when I will be replacing the car. I love this car, have always been regularly maintained by the dealer. It has four new tires and only 76,000 original miles, sits in the garage most of the time. I guess it’s not worthwhile putting more money into repair. Just spent $1,000 at the last checkup. Who knows what else can go wrong, although this car has had no major problem until now.

Are you sure the leak is at the ABS unit? My 1999 Civic developed a leak in one of the pipes to the rear brakes. Those pipes are protected by a perforated plastic cover. In my case, debris and road salt and water collected up there and a pipe rusted through. It was repaired years ago.

And that in many states is a misdemeanor.

If the car in question was offered without ABS, which the 1995 Honda Civic certainly was, then what’s the problem? Until maybe 5 years ago, ABS was an extra-cost option on many cars. None of my cars have this feature, and the brakes perform adequately, even during sudden stops.

When the brake line rusted through on our 1991 Toyota Camry, the Toyota dealer informed us that the brake line assembly needed to be replaced, and that there was too much rust on the undercarriage for them to do that using OEM parts. However if we wanted to squeeze a few more years out of the car, we could take it to another shop which they knew of, who would cut out the damaged section of brake lines, use a die to make proper fittings on the remaining hard pipes, and install approved rubber brake hose to connect them. My dad decided to junk the car instead, and bought a new 2004 Corolla.

I don’t have a problem bypassing the ABS but… If it was your shop on the line, and you bypassed an installed safety system and a crash occurred, how would you feel testifying in a civil lawsuit against your shop for doing that work? What would you say to defend yourself? Your insurance may cover it, it might not. Or you may not be able to get insurance after losing that civil suit.

Harsh, yes, but a fact of life in most businesses these days. The shop’s lawyer may have more influence on that choice than you do.

An argument can be made that cars were built without ABS for 100 years, so what’s the problem? Maybe many mechanics would not even give it a consideration. Maybe the shop’s owner would.

Were it my own car I wouldn’t be much concerned about bypassing the ABS if doing so placed the system in exactly the same state as if there the car was purchased without the ABS option. But the shop’s worry may be there may be other changes needed than bypassing the ABS to achieve that same configuration. For example the front/rear proportioning might need to be changed or adjusted.