It’s been almost one year of driving my Swift and I’ve officially had my first mechanical problem. Admittedly it’s a very small problem which doesn’t affect the driving, but it’s a problem nonetheless.
I was driving home after work a couple of weeks ago and my ABS warning light came on. I thought the car might just have had a small computer error and needed a refresh, so I stopped and turned off the car, then restarted it. Unfortunately the light came straight back on, so I drove home and looked on the internet for likely problems.
A few websites suggested that sometimes the ABS sensor cog, also known as the tone ring, can break. This means the ABS sensor will get confused and the warning light will appear. The websites I searched suggested I could easily determine if something was broken by jacking up the car and having a look. So, I put the car in the garage, turned on the heater (as you can see) and got hunting…
I was hoping that it was something simple, like a leaf or mud was covering the sensor, but within 10 seconds of lifting up the car I had found the problem. See that crack in the ABS sensor cog in the photo above? No? Let me take a closer photo for you:
That’s quite a crack, huh? Slovakia has quite rough roads which means cars here seem to suffer from worn out suspension and broken parts relatively quickly. What’s interesting is that massive welding blob above the crack which makes me think the ABS cog has broken in the past and someone’s just squeezed it together and welded it back together, instead of replacing it.
I checked the other side (above) and in comparison it’s in much better condition. I know I could save time and money by just welding the broken cog back in place like someone did in the past but when it comes to brakes, suspension, and steering I don’t like cutting corners. So I asked my mechanic friend down the road to replace the part for me with a genuine Suzuki part.
Unfortunately the ABS sensor cog isn’t sold separately (although some after-market companies sell non-genuine parts) so I decided to just replace the entire CV joint on the driver’s side for €150 all up.
My friendly mechanic gave me the old part to play with, and explained that although the cog was snapped and previously fiddled-with, the CV joint was in good condition and not worn out.
I was actually a little bit mesmerised by the CV joint and played with it for a while. It might just be my curious mind, but I found it to be a really fascinating thing.
Previously any time I wanted to get under the car and fix things, I had to drive the car up on some wooden blocks which, although very safe, was a pain in the neck and took forever. Now however I have a much easier and equally safe solution: I bought a trolley-jack and two axle-stands for a grand total of €48. Not bad, huh?
All done, cleaned, and lubed up, ready for the winter (which is approaching fast).
Now let’s hope I never have to do this again!
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