Acura 1996 3.5 RL w/premium pkg. Want to disable ABS because of buzzing noise when starting car

I have a 1996 Acura RL with the premium package, if that makes any difference. When I start the car, i hear a buzzing sound which sounds like it is coming from the ABS system. The ABS light comes on continuously until the buzzing stops, then turns off. I was told by the mechanic that Honda no longer makes the system to flush the ABS system, which would likely fix my problem but instead said I would need to put in a new ABS pump and put in a refurbished accumulator-cost $1600+, more if I put in all new parts.

I want to disable it because I can’t afford that sort of repair and the brakes work fine with the ABS. The mechanic said they would do it but it is “illegal” for them to do so. I have the manual for the under the hold fuse box, it has 4 fuses for ABS listed. ABS Unit, ABS B2, ABS B1 and ABS Motor. Which ones do I pull and is there anything else I would need to do to disable it.

If you are accurately reporting what your mechanic said, I would find a new mechanic. First, why does he think the problem is bad brake fluid and not something else? Did he actually do a proper diagnosis?

Second, the ABS pump does need a special tool to bleed the brake fluid from it, but does this tool really no longer exist? Find another mechanic who has it, or take it to the dealer.

Unless the buzzing noise lasts 10 minutes or is louder than a jet airplane, do you really want to make your car less safe in order to avoid a few seconds of irritation? Let’s say that ABS “only” saves the life of 1 out of every 100 drivers. Do you want to be that 1 driver, standing at the pearly gates explaining to St. Peter what a relief it was to get rid of the 10 second buzzing noise?

I agree with StrongDreams. Your mechanic is a moron. Your ABS pump is sticking (this isn’t all that uncommon on RLs of the vintage of yours).

First, change the brake fluid (you can do this without “flushing” it). Just do a fluid exchange.

If that doesn’t clear it up, go out to a deserted stretch of road, get it up to about 60 (or 20, if you find a gravel/dirt road), and slam on the brakes until you stop. Be sure the ABS activates for this (it should - you’ll feel and hear the pedal shake). Do that 2 or 3 times, making sure you feel ABS activate each time. Oftentimes making the ABS activate is enough to clear the blockage because it pumps fluid through the system and can knock the contaminant that’s causing problems loose. If that works, then change the fluid again.

If none of that works, you need a new/reman ABS pump, which should be around $300 plus labor (unless you do it yourself). $1600 is insane. You should be able to replace just about the ENTIRE brake system for that and still have enough left over for a meal at a nice restaurant.

I meant to say one other thing in my first answer, but got distracted…Shadowfax is on it…if you drain and replace the brake fluid from the 4 bleeders at the wheels, then activate the ABS a few times, then drain and replace from the bleeders again, that does just about the same thing as bleeding the pump with the special tool.

I agree with the others. You need a new mechanic. There is no special tool or “system” needed to change the brake fluid in the ABS unit.

There is a procedure to be followed, but no special equipment. Any decent mechanic should be able to access the service procedure for the ABS and change the fluid.

If your mechanic can’t, he or she isn’t a decent mechanic.

Take the car elsewhere.

These units usually fail when the main abs unit develops a leak. Flushing will not help. You can try and fill up the ABS pump with brake fluid and see if fixes your problem. There is a bleeder valve on top of the unit to help get the air out. There really aren’t any cheap fixes for this, I have not seen a reman pump available, and used will probably develop the same problem. Pulling the ABS motor fuse will probably stop the noise.

You might want to check local ordinances on that as well as your insurance policy. My policy for my employees specifically requires that you not disable ABS or the coverage is null and void in case of an accident based in any way on braking. Personally, I can’t imagine disabling it if you have it but I’m rather safety conscious. I do know from once time when an employee got cut off and couldn’t stop in time, the adjuster specifically looked for ABS functionality and fuses, too, so it’s not as though they don’t check.

I have no clue how common these clauses are but insurance companies love any excuse to deny coverage. :\