The other week, the ABS module on my Swedish Volvo died. (No, I’m not anti-Sweden now.) I called up the parts department at my local dealership to get a quote on a price for a new module (without installation); they said it was $700. A while back, my mechanic had quoted me $910 for a new module and installation.
Thanks to the nerd men on the Volvo forums, I found out that you can buy rebuilt modules for about $100 and install them yourself. The new modules are so expensive, and the old ones sufficiently easy to fix, that a cottage industry has sprung up. The options abound: send in your ABS module to be fixed (and drive without a speedometer or ABS for a week); buy a module, pay a core charge, and get the core charge refunded when you send back your old ABS module; or buy a module and avoid getting billed for a core charge if you send yours back in a reasonable amount of time.
These guys even sell you, or send you, the E-5 torx wrench to do the job. There are installation videos on YouTube. The company that I went with sends out an E-5 torx socket and an installation guide with the rebuilt module and doesn’t do core charges unless you fail to return your old module and the socket.
Seriously, thank you, capitalism. That’s the only system in the world wherein people make a good living by saving other people time, money, and hassle. (Call me crazy, but I didn’t want to pay $910 for this repair or drive without a speedometer for a week. “Lady, do you know how fast you were going?” “Almost exactly 2,200 rpms. I think it was in third gear, so about 35 mph? But if my car was in fourth, I was going about 45. My bad.”)
My biggest “problem” with the repair was (a) bolt #4, nicknamed “Bastard,” that didn’t want to come out or go back in; and (b) the fact that two engineers – myself and my boyfriend – were working on this.