Here Are Your Biggest Car Repair Mistakes

How about managing to avoid one this weekend?

After refreshing the rear suspension of my X5, I decided to replace the ratty looking wheel speed (ABS) sensor. I’ve been haphazardly working on a dash trifecta in the car since I got it – fairly certain it’s the ABS module, but figured I would replace some of the original (20-year old) wheel sensors (frayed wire covers, ugly connectors, etc.) Logic being that the one that tested bad has been replaced, but still tests bad, so maybe (just maybe), it’s erroring out because all of the others are bad! (give me a break, going on BMW logic here!)

I went to remove the allen bolt holding the wheel sensor in place, and the head snapped right off. No biggie, I’ll just replace the bolt after I pull the sensor out. Went to start prying the plastic piece up, and the plastic starts disintegrating. Ok – that’s no good. Let’s start gently wiggling it back and forth and – whoops, that just snapped in half. At this point, I was getting ready to pull the drill out, but after staring at the piece, I realized that all of the actual wires for the sensor were pristine (even the ones under the broken plastic sensor housing). I stared at it for another good 5 minutes, wire cutters in my hand, getting ready to cut it flat so I could start drilling. After another 5 minutes, I realized that this sensor was probably fine, and I slowly put down the wire cutters, picked up some plastic putty and electrical tape and patched everything up.

I’m fairly certain that if I made that cut, and as corroded as things were looking, I would have progressed to the point of removing the entire rusty hub.

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