09 OB ABS Light On - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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09 OB ABS Light On

My son's 2009 Outback has the ABS light on. We used the reader on it and it says right rear sensor not working. What all should we be looking at to replace? A sensor seems easy enough to replace and plug back in but is there something else we might need to check into as well?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 01:55 PM
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Good discussion on it here:
https://legacygt.com/forums/showthre...r-257549.html?

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:43 AM
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What was the exact code? Unless it's a circuit failure (open/short code), I'd say it's unlikely to be a bad sensor.

It's more likely a bad/failing rear hub bearing (the ABS tone ring is built into the assembly). OR if it's a recent replacement, cheaper/non-1st tier units tend to cause issues.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RoughDiamond View Post
What was the exact code? Unless it's a circuit failure (open/short code), I'd say it's unlikely to be a bad sensor.

It's more likely a bad/failing rear hub bearing (the ABS tone ring is built into the assembly). OR if it's a recent replacement, cheaper/non-1st tier units tend to cause issues.
Yeah I wish I had written down more details on it when we hooked up the scanner. My son says it comes and goes randomly. Next time the light is on we will scan it again and I will snap a pic of the readout.

How does a failing hub bearing cause this? Too much play in the bearing and too big of a gap between tone ring and sensor?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:13 AM
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Yeah I wish I had written down more details on it when we hooked up the scanner. My son says it comes and goes randomly. Next time the light is on we will scan it again and I will snap a pic of the readout.

How does a failing hub bearing cause this? Too much play in the bearing and too big of a gap between tone ring and sensor?
More or less, excessive heat causes demagnetization of the encoder ring (think of it like a hard drive rather than a shutter wheel), or metal shavings within the hub can cause odd readings.

Granted, if the play is large enough, you could have a physical contact issue, but the wheel would have to be near falling off for that to happen.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 09:58 AM
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Depending on your level of DIY/investigation:

The best option is to follow the FSM for diagnosis as specified by Subaru. This will lead you to the correct diagnosis and no wasting of parts.

A: the sensor
B: the wheel bearing
C: damaged wiring (usually due to rodents or a previous wreck/incident).

A 2009 is fairly new to incur any sensor issues but....here are possibilities:

1. clean off the sensor - i've seen them covered in debris, clean them off and they're fine.

2. while attempting cleaning - look at the sensor. I've seen some weathered down significantly.

3. test or replace the sensor

4. wheel bearings - if they're original wheel bearings then it's unlikely the wheel bearing is causing this.

5. wiring damage. any prior accidents? are there rodents around where you live or food in your car, farm, pets, kids, etc? this attracts rodents. i've seen damaged wiring - i think under the passengers side carpeting. you find it by following the FSM procedures for testing the circuits. i was surprised rodents can get under there and chew through stuff under the carpeting, fairly impressive little critters.

Aftermarket wheel bearings can cause ABS lights - but they were more common years ago, I've wondered if the suppliers caught up and address this? And I don't think the light was all that intermittent if i'm reading your description right. But - if they were replaced at some point with aftermarket there are questions.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Seems like the light is coming and going out. More off than on now if I understood my son correctly last night. We have no idea what bearings/hubs might be in it since we acquired the vehicle with 215k miles on it. I assumed most stuff like that has likely been replaced at least once. I will look up the procedure in the FSM when I get home tonight. Thanks guys.
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