“The Other Shop Said…”

Sometimes a car comes in that a customer had taken to another shop, but the other shop didn’t have the tools or specialty expertise to complete a repair. Sometimes a car comes in that another shop couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Or sometimes a car comes in that another shop tried fixing but messed up and damaged things. That last one is the kind mechanics hate. If a mechanic breaks something on your car, they should be the one to fix it. This was one of those cars.

This car came into the shop for an ABS light diagnosis. The customer said that a previous shop hadn’t been able to figure out what was wrong. I connected the computer to read the codes, and there were open circuit codes for both front wheel speed sensors.

After lifting the car, I took off the front wheels to check the wheel speed sensors. The left front speed sensor was broken off completely and just sitting there, with the bolt back in the hole. The right front looked okay, and I wanted to get a look at the back side of the wheel bearing that the sensor reads off of, but the axle nut wouldn’t budge. At this point, we gave the car back to the customer to take back to whatever shop had butchered it before to fix their mistakes.

You can just say “I don’t know what’s wrong” when there’s a clearly broken off sensor, that just means that you don’t want to try to fix the problem, whether it was caused by your mistake or not.

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