Is my car safe to drive without the ABS working?

abs
acura
rl

#1

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.


#2

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.


#3

Keep driving. The only real issue is if your state inspection(if any) has requirements for ABS light to be off.


#4

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.


#5

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.


#6

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.


#7

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.


#8

Yes. I only drive vehicles without ABS for the moment. I can live with or without ABS and I prefer without.


#9

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.


#10

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.


#11

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.


#12

I lived in Northern Maine for several years and in Alaska for a couple of years. No ABS and no accidents. The key is to simply slow down and avoid any sudden or “emergency” stops. ABS would not be necessary if drivers paid attention to the road and practiced safe stopping procedures. You are welcome to your opinion also.


#13

Often, the cost to use new parts to repair it can make such repairs impractical, however junkyard parts can be pretty inexpensive and work just as well. It could be that the OP could have working ABS again for just $200/$300.


#14

You might look up ModuleMasters = they rebuild ABS electronics and guarantee their work . I tried them three or four years ago and their repair works fine .


#15

http://www.modulemaster.com/en/index.php


#16

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.

How often has that ever happened to you?? If more then 3 times…then I suspect you’re driving too aggressively. I’ve been driving about 40 years and over 1 million miles…and MAYBE ABS was needed JUST ONCE. NOW traction control has come in handy a couple of times…and I know that traction control (at least on my vehicles) is implemented the ABS system…although is doesn’t have to me.

What I’ve observed from people who’s NEEDED ABS…is they’ll drive 70mph in we weather about 5’ from the car in front of them…Guess what…if you slow down and drive 20-40’ behind the car in front of you…then ABS is probably NOT needed.


#17

Unless something unexpected happens, until I can’t get new parts for it and have to buy rebuilt parts.

Why would that be a factor in keeping the car longer?? Many rebuilt parts are actually BETTER then the OEM parts…most are as good.


#18

Those who say to just “keep driving” are giving you bad advice and ignoring a pretty important issue.

If your insurer gives you a discount for having working ABS, you should either get it fixed or notify your insurer you decided not to fix it. Failure to notify your insurer that your ABS no longer works, but still accepting the ABS discount, is probably considered insurance fraud.

You should also read your insurance policy to find out what, if anything, happens when you choose not to repair malfunctioning safety equipment. It is probably a reason for them to (justifiably) deny you coverage, even if having working ABS would not have prevented an accident.

Either get it fixed or call your insurance company so they can either raise your premium or discontinue your insurance coverage.


#19

[quote]You’re welcome to your opinion, but I’ll guess that you’ve never made an emergency stop on a split-traction surface…
How often has that ever happened to you??[/quote]
I can’t count how many times I have found myself driving on split-traction surfaces in bad weather, especially in construction zones. One side of the road has been striped for paving, and the other side has been paved, or one side of the road is concrete, and the other is asphalt. Those conditions are more common than you might think.


#20

Your theory about avoiding emergency stops is interesting. Do you mean that if I drive 30 MPH on a snowy road, an oncoming car just feet from me might spin out into my lane, but if I drive 10 MPH, somehow that same oncoming car will be magically unable to spin out into my lane?

Emergency stops happen, even to careful drivers.