Traffic was diverted around the 2700 block of Garden Street after an employee of the shop noticed the suspicious device at the back of the property just before 9:15 a.m. PT.
Abbotsford police Sgt. Casey Vinet said the device appeared to be a plastic tube with black electrical tape around one end.
RCMP explosives experts brought in a robot to access the suspicious device, and blew it up with a water cannon.
Vinet said that, in the end, the pipe had objects inside that would be consistent with the contents of a pipe bomb, but it was not a functional bomb.
"This was a device that was — from our perspective — was intended to look like a functioning explosive," he said. "Fortunately it was not."
Vinet said police are now treating the incident as a criminal matter, and are trying to identify who is responsible and why the particular business may have been targeted.
“Whether this was a prank of some sort or otherwise is still yet to be determined," Vinet said in a written statement.
Vinet would not identify the business, except to say it was in a strip mall that has four or five automotive shops.