CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Damage to ABS sensor when replacing struts?

I have a 2000 Toyota Avalon that need the rear struts replaced. I took it to a place listed in the Mechanics Files.
When I picked up the car, they stated that the ABS light on the dash was on and that it need a left rear sensor.
There was no light when I took it in, and they agreed.

They had hooked it up to the computer to determine it was the left rear sensor.
My Question is does it make sense that simply removing the sensor to replace the strut could cause this sensor to go bad?
They said that they had placed tape over it when they had it out to protect it.
They put it up on the rack and I couldn’t see any cut or damage.

They want me to pay for the sensor which is not cheap. I feel that I am being taken. Am I?

Kind of hard to tell. It’s a 13 year old car, so it’s certainly not outside of the realm of comprehension that it just died on its own. That said, it’s a pretty good coincidence that it chose that exact moment to die.

If they’re smart, they’ll do it for free, because whether they broke it or not, they’ve acknowledged that it came in working and went out broken, and so you’re gonna think they broke it whether they did or not, and so you won’t be going back.

At minimum if it were my car, I’d have someone else fix it. Based on what you’ve said, I would suspect they broke it as well, and I’m not going to reward them for that with more money.

They would take care of the labor to install the sensor. A new one was $181. I bought one from a salvage yard for $45 and they installed it. Kind of a compromise solution. I will not be back to them, and will leave a remark on their mechanic listing on CarTalk.