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ABS light on immediately after brake and strut replacement- Coincidence? '09 Corolla

(2009 Toyota Corolla) I had $1400 worth of work done last week- front struts, brakes, and 2 new tires. Within 20 miles of driving home from the garage, the ABS light came on for a few minutes and then went off. Another 20-30 miles later, the light came on and stayed on for quite some time (as I was travelling- not while stopping), went off again, and then came on and has stayed on. I figured that something had happened when they were working on it (something easy- like a code entry!), so I called the garage and took it back in… and they say that now I need the 2 front ABS sensors ($1000), which had never once come on before I had the brake and strut work done. The front-desk person (not a mechanic) at first was telling me that the sensors weren’t in the same area as the work I had done and would not have been effected, and then I think he also said that maybe the work I had done had actually allowed the car to register the sensor malfunction that had been there previously.
*Does any of that make sense??
*Do you think they damaged the sensor while doing the other work?
*Is there any way that can be proven one way or the other?

(I’ll be calling them on Monday and asking to speak to the owner, who is a decent guy, but I’d like to hear opinions before I do, especially since I am pretty much a mechanical idiot!)

You were given a very large amount of male bovine excrement.

It is quite possible that an ABS sensor or its wiring was damaged during the brake work or, especially the strut replacement.


I don’t know if they damaged your wheel speed sensors when they worked on your car however care must be taken while replacing struts to prevent damage to the wheel speed sensor wiring. If the wiring is stretched an open circuit may occur and the ABS warning light will illuminate. Normally if the wiring is damaged the fault is permanent and the warning light is always on but it is possible to have an intermittent open circuit.

Do you live in the “rust belt”? It is possible that there was a weakness somewhere and the work on the car disturbed the sensors.

Their prices are high BTW, Toyota front wheel speed sensors with wiring are $260 each, the labor is about 2 hours to replace both.


Thanks for your opinion- I’m taking them all in. And no rustbelt for me- I live on a little island off the coast of Maine (which also accounts for the higher repair prices- rural areas are usually a bit higher for repair costs than urban areas are, I believe). :slight_smile:

Front struts were touched. Front abs codes. Rear abs sensors are fine? Imagine the odds?