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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have a 2006 outback 2.5 manual tranny.
Recently my mechanic replaced both front CV joints and tie rods. The boots were torn. About a week or two later the ABS, CEL and flashing CC lights went on every time I start the car up, and the odo says "ER SS".
A friend read the codes --
P0500 - vehicle speed sensor
C0108 - front left ABS sensor signal
C0102 - left rear ABS sensor circuit open shorted battery (?)

I put the car up on a jack and removed both of the sensors to take a look and wipe them clean. The sensors have a plastic housing, and (lets call it) a 'tongue' that stick down into the hole to read the wheel. The front sensor leading edge of the tongue had shiny metal showing along its tip. The plastic must have worn away. I scraped out some (what I think was) small metal shavings or just rusty crud from the sensor hole, then reinserted the sensor. (sorry, no pix...)

I'm thinking that was damaged during the CV joint replacement? Should that affect its ability to read? Would that short it out? Would a replacement sensor get its tongue trimmed back too?

The rear left sensor looked to be okay to me. I wiped it off and reinserted it. I couldn't really look into the hole due to the configuration to see what kind of crap (if any) was in there.

Any thoughts about what steps I should take next?
I'm thinking the front left sensor has to be replaced, right?
--
Richard

Update:

The ODO then read out P0500 "Vehicle Speed Sensor Malfunction" and C0108 "Front Left ABS Sensor Signal". The thing is, I replaced that ABS sensor 2 days ago. The plastic cover on the sensor 'tongue' was actually worn away on one side (collateral damage from my mechanic replacing the front axles/CV boots 3 weeks ago?) Yesterday, I pulled that new sensor out to check up on it (no damage) and to scrape the rust off the mounting surface so it would sit nice and flat (temporarily plugged the hole with cotton to prevent rust from entering the hole), coated that sorta-shiny surface with 'never seize' and reinstalled the sensor. I'm wondering what to do now. Any ideas?

1 Lucky Texan replied:
swap the sensor with the other side and see if the code reports differently. could just be the sensor is now bad?


My response:
Well, I'm thinking it would be too coincidental that a brand new sensor would be bad. I didn't buy the cheapest brand. And when I pulled it out to smooth out the mating surface of the caliper housing, there was no sign of any wear on it, even though I had driven a few miles since installing it.
(I put never-seize on the face of the caliper to slow rusting there, and I don't think that affects the device, unless there is supposed to be a grounding of the device there. But since the mounting screw goes through a metal compression ring, I would think that pressure there would essentially squeeze out the never-seize there anyway.)

Somewhere I saw how to test the continuity of the sensor to check if it is working okay, and I'd rather do that than jack up both sides of the car, remove both wheels and swap the sensors around, and back again. Also, if the other sensors are fine, I'd rather not disturb a sleeping dog!

I think I might have read somewhere that it takes driving a certain number of miles and/or starts to reset the computer, and if that is so, maybe it is still holding on to the code until an 'all-clear' is noted. Or am I smoking something here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update:
(can't be sure of the exact timing of events, sorry (I know...))
I fidgeted with the connector in the engine compartment and I think right after that, when I started the car the ABS light was off, but after a little movement, I got the ABS brake "machine gun pounding" feeling in the brake pedal, and the light came back on. Question:
1) could left-over plastic shavings from the damaged sensor be causing a problem? I'm thinking not, because the sensor works magnetically, so plastic should not affect it.
2) could the slightly shaved metal from the end of the old sensor still in the ABS ring be causing it?
3) I checked the part # for a CV half shaft assembly for a regular Legacy vs an Outback, and they are the same, so my mechanic couldn't have installed a wrong part.

I guess I'll keep working the ABS wire connector to see how that "changes" the situation. Anyone want to tell me how to check for continuity? I have a cheapie HFT multimeter, but I think I'd have to pull the connector at the computer to test that branch to the front wheel, right? I don't want to test from the connector in the engine compartment - what if I end up somehow shorting out the computer or something? Any thoughts?
Edit: I don't think it is related to a broken wire. If it was, shouldn't I be getting a C0104 code instead of a C0108 code? (see attached DTC C-code list)

Also, a picture of the old, mangled sensor is attached for your viewing pleasure.
The replacement sensor is in good condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update #2:
The light came on within 2½ weeks after my mechanic replaced both front CV axles. I drove the car about 4 times in that period (two 6.5 mile trips and two 21.5 mile trips) before I know the light came on. AT the two-week point, I went to Advance Auto and borrowed their code reader, and I have a known point in time 2.5 weeks out when a friend used his code reader to verify it (his read deeper into all DTCs ever recorded by my car. Amazing!) So I know for certain that the ABS problem started soon after the CV axle replacement. Based on the timing of this problem arising, and info I found at "Subaru Tech Tip - Error Codes Following Wheel Bearing Hub Replacement" (sorry, I can't seem to link to or upload it, but you can google to find it), I'm pretty sure that my mechanic inadvertently caused the problem. I took the car back to him (now about 7 weeks out) and he's claiming that its a coincidence, and wants about $500 to replace the bearing which he says is damaged from rust debris and knuckle. He can't say how it happened.
My question to you is, should I be paying him anything at all for him fixing what I think is a problem he created? Or am I being unreasonable?
 

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@traildogck how much does a wheel-bearing and/ or a ABS sensor cost plus the labor for a 2006 plain jane? ($500 seems ...high?)
 

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1. Verify the axle has a tone ring installed - maybe it's missing. It just taps on and off easily and given what garbage aftermarket axles are (you will almost cetainly have issues with them if you keep this car any length of time) it would be absolutely no surprise to anyone well versed with Subaru axles if the ring compromised/missing.

2. Ideally you test the sensor ohms against factory.
3. And test continuity from the sensor to the ABS unit.

I'm not inclined to point fingers or cast blame without compelling evidence and I don't see it here. But a few words on a forum like this fall woefully short of actual mechanical, symptomatic, social, and business facts.

First realize - mechanics get asked/suspicion is cast/blamed all the time. For charging too much. For issues that arise on 10+ year old cars after they worked on it. Sometimes it's true, sometimes it's not, but when there's money at stake I try hard not to lump myself in with the casting blame type people, it'll work to your benefit over time, maybe not in this one instance though.

If it was a blatant mechanical error - I would expect it to have happened immediately. That's not to say something wasn't compromised first, then failed later - but that's much lower odds. And the thing probably has absolutely garbage aftermarket axles on it now...that further confuses things. If I fixed your A/C and you saw duct tape, straws, and tooth picks holding your compressor together you'd probably think that's why it's not working. Aftermarket axles are roughly akin to that kind of quality. They might work sometimes....

A. Why were the axles replaced in the first place?
B. What previous lights, accidents, issues has this car had?
C. How long have you owned it?
 

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1. Verify the axle has a tone ring installed - maybe it's missing. It just taps on and off easily and given what garbage aftermarket axles are (you will almost cetainly have issues with them if you keep this car any length of time) it would be absolutely no surprise to anyone well versed with Subaru axles if the ring compromised/missing.

2. Ideally you test the sensor ohms against factory.
3. And test continuity from the sensor to the ABS unit.

I'm not inclined to point fingers or cast blame without compelling evidence and I don't see it here. But a few words on a forum like this fall woefully short of actual mechanical, symptomatic, social, and business facts.
The 3rd Gen+ do not use a mechanically-fitted tone ring. Instead they use a magnetically-encoded ring that's part of the hub assembly. It's shown in the referenced article (Subaru Tech Tip: Error Codes Following Wheel Bearing Hub Replacement ) and in http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...s-wheel-bearings-3rd-generation-2005-9-a.html.

The sensor is a Hall effect device. Unlike earlier versions that were, essentially, coil pick-ups that could tested by measuring the resistance against the factory spec, the Hall effect devices cannot be verified that way. Instead, they have to be hooked up to a test circuit, and the signal from that circuit observed while rotating the wheel.
 

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The 3rd Gen+ do not use a mechanically-fitted tone ring. Instead they use a magnetically-encoded ring that's part of the hub assembly. It's shown in the referenced article (Subaru Tech Tip: Error Codes Following Wheel Bearing Hub Replacement ) and in http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...s-wheel-bearings-3rd-generation-2005-9-a.html.

The sensor is a Hall effect device. Unlike earlier versions that were, essentially, coil pick-ups that could tested by measuring the resistance against the factory spec, the Hall effect devices cannot be verified that way. Instead, they have to be hooked up to a test circuit, and the signal from that circuit observed while rotating the wheel.
Yep, thanks. i've worked on tons of those, just missed the year.

aftermarket wheel bearings of 05+ models cause ABS malfunctions - have the wheel bearings ever been replaced?
 

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Yep, thanks. i've worked on tons of those, just missed the year.
I thought so.

aftermarket wheel bearings of 05+ models cause ABS malfunctions - have the wheel bearings ever been replaced?[/QUOTE]

Indeed.

Also, as confirmed in my bearing thread, highly magnetic tools, and to a lesser extent, severe shock and heat, can damage the magnetic poles in the ring. Any of these could be involved in replacing the axles and tie rods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all your replies. Here's how it played out:
[originally, the front half axles were replaced because the boots were cracked/torn.]
My mechanic did not claim any responsibility for causing this problem (perhaps he's right - but having replaced the CV joint & half axles 2 weeks prior to the ABS DTC, if there was a pre-existing problem, wouldn't he have noticed?) but he said debris in the joint (from where - "who knows"?) wrecked the wheel bearing. At first he told me the wheel bearing and knuckle needed to be replaced, but after I blew my top, he said he could probably work with the existing knuckle.

He ended up charging 1 hour time and $160 for a wheel bearing and hub, and said he ate the extra time and the cost to replace the half axle, which apparently got messed up too.

He says that he doesn't use cheap parts, because that only comes back to haunt you later on. Crawling underneath, I could see that half axle was much newer (shiny rubber boot, just a drop of rust on the axle) than the other one that was replaced a month ago, so his claim of "no charge" is valid (unless he did cheap out on parts, in which case $160 would cover both parts). Regardless, he only charged me $260 total.

Now I'm hearing a periodic abrasive noise, probably the brake pads and rotor reacquainting themselves, which had better go away in a few miles...
 
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