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Your anti-lock braking system (ABS) helps prevent wheel lockup and skidding. This system improves steering control, preventing accidents during abrupt stops. The ABS uses one or two fuses to allow power to flow through the ABS pump and control module. Like most fuses, the ABS fuses are also engineered to protect your ABS electrical circuits.

Ever wondered what would happen if you removed your ride’s ABS fuse? Let’s find out.

What to Expect Once You Remove the ABS Fuse

Here are the things that can happen after an ABS fuse removal:

Decreased Braking Performance

Your brake components would still function as they should even if you remove the ABS fuse. However, the ABS won’t be able to regulate your brakes without the fuse. Once the ABS is disabled, there’s a higher tendency that your brakes will lock up when traveling through slippery roads.

Activated ABS Warning Light

The ABS warning light turns on whenever the ABS is disabled. So expect your ABS light to remain active once you remove your ABS fuse.

Increased Wear on Tires and Brakes

Since your ABS won’t be able to regulate your brakes, expect that there’ll be a greater risk of tire skidding when braking hard, which can wear out your tires prematurely. There’ll also be added stress on your brakes due to frequent wheel lockups.

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Why Would You Want to Remove Your ABS Fuse

It doesn’t take a gearhead to know that removing your ABS fuse can make stopping and controlling your vehicle more challenging. So why would someone want to remove this fuse from their vehicle?

The main reason why a mechanic or a driver would remove the ABS fuse is to disable the ABS purposely. Here are some of the reasons why you’d want to disable the ABS:

Repair Purposes

One of the common reasons why a mechanic would remove the ABS fuse is for ease of repair. By removing the ABS fuse, they can work on the ABS and hydraulic brake system without the added complication of brake pressure.

Your ABS Pump Isn’t Working

As a temporary solution, some drivers choose to take out their vehicle’s ABS fuse once the ABS pump starts getting noisy or if it fails. Once the ABS is disabled, the brakes will still work normally. So you can drive the vehicle safely to your destination as long as you take precautionary measures while on the road.

Take note, however, that this is only a temporary solution. The best course of action is to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop and have a trusted mechanic repair your ABS.

Early or Abnormal ABS Activation

This scenario happens when the ABS module makes an incorrect decision about when to activate the ABS hydraulic unit. The driver may opt to remove the ABS fuse so that the ABS would be disabled, and the brakes would just function normally.

Again, this is just a band-aid solution. You’d have to take your ride to an auto repair shop for diagnosis and repair. Normally, this problem is connected to faulty wheel sensors or other malfunctioning components.

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Replacing an ABS Fuse

To remove the ABS fuse, you’ll need to disconnect the battery cable and locate the fuse box. Always refer to the owner’s manual to determine the ABS fuse location on your specific vehicle.

You’ll need to pull the ABS fuse using appropriate tools (needle-nose pliers). After that, you can insert your new fuse into its designated slot. Make sure that you’ve inserted it correctly.

Once you’re done, don’t forget to reconnect the negative battery cable. Turn on your engine and check if the ABS is working as it should. As part of a system check, the ABS light should momentarily illuminate every time the vehicle is started. If the indicator remains on, this may indicate a potential problem causing the system to be disabled.

Is It Illegal to Drive Without an ABS?

Technically, driving without an ABS isn’t illegal. However, your vehicle might not pass its yearly inspection if your ABS fails.

More About the ABS

The ABS is a safety feature found in modern vehicles. How does this system prevent skidding and wheel lockup?

With the help of sensors, the ABS monitors how fast your wheels are slowing down when you apply the brakes. If it senses that a wheel is slowing down faster than the other wheel, the module will perceive it as slipping.

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To avoid the danger of locking and losing traction, the ABS decreases hydraulic pressure on the affected tire. It does that so that the affected wheel can gain traction again. Once traction is regained, brake pressure will be reapplied to slow it down.

If you’d like to know more about the intricacies of an ABS, check out our comprehensive article about anti-lock braking systems.

When Did ABS Become Mandatory?

The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) made ABS mandatory in September 2013. However, several manufacturers already had ABS back in the 1990s and 2000s. Even a few vehicles manufactured in the 1980s already had them. For example, the 1989 Chrysler LeBaron had four-wheel disc brakes with ABS.

The ABS is an undeniably smart safety element that comes in handy on the road. That is why you must work to maintain and keep it in good condition at all times. If you want to do something, such as remove the ABS fuse, make sure you understand the consequences. If you’re in doubt about anything, always seek advice from a certified mechanic.

About The Author
CarParts Research Team
Written By Research Team

Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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