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Ask Ted Ritter Your Own Question
Ted Ritter
Ted Ritter, Toyota Master Tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4361
Experience:  Toyota Master Tech, ASE Certified
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We have a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The ABS and Brake lights came

Customer Question

Hi. We have a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The ABS and Brake lights came on simultaneously. We brought it in. They replaced the battery. When I was driving out, the lights came on again. This time they replaced the alternator. A couple of days later the lights came on again. I'm concerned they are taking advantage of me. I am in my 70s don't have a lot of money and need this car. Does replacing the battery and then the alternator make sense as possible causes?
JA: Is it just the ABS light? Or is the brake system warning light on, too?
Customer: Both at the same time
JA: Are you fixing your Sienna yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: We brought it into a local mechanic (not a dealer). They replaced the battery. When I was driving out, the lights came on again. This time they replaced the alternator. A couple of days later the lights came on again. I'm concerned they are taking advantage of me. I am in my 70s don't have a lot of money and need this car.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: nope
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
One correction. After the mechanic fixed the alternator, the ABS and battery lights came on within the hour (not after a couple of days).
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome

I don't think they are taking advantage of you it just sounds like they don't know what they are doing. The battery or alternator have nothing to do with these lights turning on. When these lights turn on there is a malfunction with the vehicles antilock brake and traction/skid control system. There are quite a few things that are involved and are controlled by the skid control/abs computer, most of the time the repair may be as simple as replacing a speed sensor or other signal input sensor to the computer. In order to get this diagnosed correctly I would recommend that you take it to a Toyota dealer that is capable to connect their diagnostic computer to get the information needed to pinpoint the trouble area or component correctly instead of having someone guess what it may be at your expense, please keep in mind that it may have very well needed the alternator and battery, I have no way of knowing, but unfortunately it was not the real cause of the problem, Best of luck and please feel free to ask me any other questions you may have about this,

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you. That's what I needed to know.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 8 months ago.

You're welcome and please take a moment to leave a rating, every much appreciated.

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