Anti-Lock Brakes

My regular mechanic can’t seem to get my anti lock brakes to work since the dashboard error lights came on. He has replaced the wheel bearing sensors, but can’t seem to find any other problems. My Alero is 7 years old with 28.5 MPG and average mileage. This is my only problem, but do I need to trade it in for a new car? With all of the computers, are a lot of cars having computer related problems? I really liked the Extra Traction Sytem and Anti-Lock Brakes when they were working.

I would try another mechanic. My buddy’s body shop specialized in Aleros for awhile, I had bought one from them and it was a great little car, my brother bought a Grand Am from them for the sportier look. GM sold plenty of them before they cut the Oldsmobile line and the Grand AM is basically the same car. If you are in the Akron, Ohio area call up Performance Kent Auto Sales at 330-715-7436 and take it to them. They still maintain my brothers for anything I can’t do and they kept good care of mine before I sold it to buy a truck.

Find another shop. If the ABS light is on, the ABS system knows what the problem is, and is setting a code. Just swapping parts is an expensive way of finding out what is wrong. THE COMPUTER KNOWS. Also, the code being set is for the circuit, not necessarily the sensor. It could be a bad sensor, or a bad wiring connection. ONLY A PROPER DIAGNOSIS CAN TELL. If your current shop cannot do that, find a shop that can.

I agree with Knuckles that the ABS computer needs to be scanned for trouble codes, but maybe your mechanic has already done this. Alas, the actual ABS codes are very few and very simplistic. They seldom pinpoint the exact fault. So ABS problems are very difficult to diagnose. Some mechanics simply throw up their hands and tell you they must replace the entire system – sensors, pump, controller and all.

One option that is accepted by many owners with ABS problems – I know you won’t like this – is to simply abandon a defective ABS. They continue to drive their cars relying on their normal non-ABS brakes. This is plenty adequate. A great many car experts believe ABS has not really lived up to its promise as a bona fide improvement.

You can certainly have the ABS repaired if you are determined to throw enough money at it. Whether you choose to do so is up to you.