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2002 Accord ABS axle sensor mysteriously bad

Hi, all -

I just had my Accord’s two front lower ball joints replaced, and - amazingly - the day I got it back, the ABS would kick in when the car was braking from 10-5mph.

Brought it back to the mechanic, who told me very sadly (after diagnosis) that one of the ABS axle sensors had gone bad.

“Related to the repair you just did?” I asked - oh, no, of course not, these things just happen sometimes.

SO, BAM $350. I’m not terribly happy, and not terribly convinced, and I thought hey - what better community to bounce this off of.

How easy is it to hose an ABS sensor when you’re replacing ball joints? Do I go back to these guys?

Its pretty easy to disturb the ABS sensors while replacing ball joints. But good luck proving that it was them or getting anything out of it.

What - exactly - was replaced to address the issue? Did you ask for the old parts back?

I don’t know the parts or the final cost yet - they’ve taken it to an electronics shop to have an aftermarket remote starter put in.

I’m fairly frustrated with this mechanic only as of this weekend. They’ve done good by us until now, so I’m not sure how much is me being annoyed and paranoid, and how much is really warranted, y’know?


If you think you’re frustrated now, just wait until the electrical problems caused by the aftermarket remote starter installation start to surface.

And you’re not even dealing directly with the installer. To whom will you complain? Your mechanic? He’ll say, “I didn’t install it.”

Good luck.

Oh, man, don’t make me more worried than I already am.

It was a gift from my mother-in-law. I’m gritting my teeth and hoping for the best.

I slept on the whole thing. I’ll let the ABS business ride and be wary of future fixes at this joint.

It’s too bad. I thought that I’d found an awesome neighborhood mechanic.

Anything is possible. It could have been caused by the repair, it could have been a coincidence. Either way, you are dealing with a human being, and human beings are notoriously imperfect. If you have had good experiences with these guys in the past, and like them as people, this probably shouldn’t be a deal breaker for you. After all, if you stop patronizing them, you will have to find a new car care home, which can be stressful and could lead you into a much worse situation than you are currently in. Try to remember that, just because your car develops a problem soon after being repaired does not mean the mechanic is trying to rip you off. If you went to your doctor for a routine physical, then developed a bad cold and had to go back for that reason, would you accuse the doctor of doing something to you just to get you to come back and spend more money?

My only issue with the doctor analogy is that I am right there in person while the doctor is doing his job.

The mechanic ended up replacing both front axles for a very reasonable price. The final diagnosis wasn’t the sensor at all, but rust from the car that had gotten in the way.

Or something.

I think I’m jaded a bit from going to a local Firestone several times, and WITHOUT FAIL the car would have to go back within a couple of weeks for something semi-related to what they just did.

In the end, the car is driving and braking MUCH more smoothly than it had been. I’m fairly satisfied.

(And the remote starter is doing its job nicely. Wish I’d done that at the START of winter…)

Thanks for everyone’s input!