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autodoc_2000
autodoc_2000, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2563
Experience:  ASE Master Tech w/ Advance Engine Performance
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I have a 99 Subaru Impreza. It was in an accident last winter

Resolved Question:

I have a 99 Subaru Impreza. It was in an accident last winter that did damage to the left front axle and the right back rim. I recently had the damage repaired and the mechanic replaced the left front axle by replacing the half shaft. When I drove away the ABS light went on and has been going on and off intermittently ever since the repair. When the ABS light is off the system tries to engage ever time I stop even in dry conditions. Three of the four ABS sensors are out on the vehicle (except right back). Can the ABS system be fixed? Could the repair to the left front axle have caused the problem with the ABS system? Is the ABS system easy to get back if it has been disengaged?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  autodoc_2000 replied 2 years ago.

autodoc_2000 :

If the ABS system is temporarily disabled it should be able to be reenabled by

autodoc_2000 :

If the ABS system is temporarily disabled it should be able to be reenabled by reconnecting whatever was disconnected to disable it. Do you know what code is in the computer when the light is on?


Customer:

not sure what the code is just know that three of the four sensor lights are bad.

Customer:

the ABS system is currently not disengaged on the vehicle that is what the mechanic wants to do to stop the ABS from engaging in normal breaking conditions. I am hesitant to do so because I prevented my accident last winter from being more serious.

autodoc_2000 :

That just doesnt make any sensor that three of them would be bad when only one corner was damaged. OK I'll give it the benefit of doubt and say two since the rim was bent. Since the light is coming on the best thing to do is to get the codes and see what they are and what they mean. There are harnesses all over the vehicle and damage could have been done to the harness causing the ABS to not work. Each sensor does not have their own light. If there is a problem in the system the ABS light will come on and possibly the red brake light. I have no doubt that the ABS system can be repaired, but without knowing the codes it is almost impossible to say where to start. Did the mechanic install a new sensor on the left front also?

Customer:

No sensors have been replaced.

Customer:

Why did the ABS symptoms start after the repair?

Customer:

Normal brakes are working fine.

autodoc_2000 :

If there is no visible damage to any wiring harnesses in the area of the accident and the axle was replaced. I would lean towards either the sensor being bad or the exiter wheel that the sensor gets its signal from.

Customer:

K. If I have the system disengaged until I can afford to repair will it be easy to turn ABS back on?

autodoc_2000 :

It is possible that the sensor or ring may have been damaged by replacing the axle and not the accident. As I said I find it very strange that 3 sensors would be bad. I still would like to know the codes. The code will narrow it down to the wheel involved and the circuit.

autodoc_2000 :

As I said before the person who disabled the system should easily be able to reenable it depending on how they did it. The easiest way would be by unplugging the ABS module. If that is the way it in disabled then all you will need to do is plug it back in. Make sure if a connector is unplugged that both ends of the connector have dielectric grease applied to them to keep corrosion from destroying the terminals.

Customer:

I can get the codes if the car is hooked up to a computer at a shop should I take it to a Subaru specialist since this mechanic does not seem to know much about the ABS system?

autodoc_2000 :

If they do not know much about the ABS system it makes it very hard to work on it. If you find someone that knows the system it may take them one hours labor to fix the entire thing. Does the shop you are using now have a scan tool to check the codes in the system?

Customer:

I would have to ask, he only told me that the three sensors were bad. I am looking for the repair bill to see if I can find any codes...

autodoc_2000 :

I also want to let you know that there are liability issues that go along with disabling the ABS system. First of all your shop can be fined for disableing the system and if you are involved in a crash and someone is seriosly injured they probably could come back on you if you knowingly had it disabled.

Customer:

Good to know. I am not sure what the best course of action was but I wanted another opinion... I can't find the repair ticket for when the codes were run...

autodoc_2000 :

In my opinion a technician who knows the system can fix this in a short amount of time unless there is harness damage then sometimes it is very time consuming repairing the harness.

Customer:

I have heard the the sensor replacement alone could run me 600 dollars about 200 per bad sensor is that true?

autodoc_2000 :

Yes that is true Even the NAPA after market sensor is over $200 list. You can buy them yourself for about $125 but some shops will not put on parts that are supplied by the customer.

autodoc_2000 :

Labor time to replace the sensor is .7 of an hour so take your shops labor rate and multiply by .7 and that is how much labor it would cost to repair the sensor.

Customer:

I have a friend with a salvage yard they might be able to help me sensors for cheap.

Customer:

What might be causing ABS to engage in normal driving conditions?

autodoc_2000 :

That would be cheaper but they are mouted into the steering knuckle and they may stick in the rusted hole. Most of the time when they are mounted like that they get destroyed taking them out.

autodoc_2000 :

Most of the time the false engagment is caused by a faulty sensor or tone ring.

autodoc_2000 :

Was the front wheel damaged at all?

Customer:

So the sensors being out could cause the problem?

autodoc_2000 :

If the sensors were removed then yes it could be the issue.

Customer:

no the front wheel was fine. front wheel was damaged previously.

autodoc_2000 :

ok the tone ring is fastened behind the brake rotor and I just thought that if the front wheel was damaged that maybe to tone ring got bent.

Customer:

is the tone ring in contact with the sensor?

autodoc_2000 :

No it is not supposed to come in contact with the sensor, but it comes very close. The sensor is a magnet and it comes up with the wheel speed sensor by the tone wheel coming close to the sensor. The tone wheel has teeth that allows it to get close then away to break the magnetic field. Here is a picture.

Full Size Image

Customer:

Thanks so much for all of your help you have given me a lot to ponder. I will see if I can get a copy of the bill where the sensor codes were run and go from there.

autodoc_2000 :

ok dont forget to rate my help.

Customer:

I won"t :)

autodoc_2000 :

Thanks

autodoc_2000, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2563
Experience: ASE Master Tech w/ Advance Engine Performance
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