The wheel speed sensor is responsible for relaying information about the speed of the wheels to the engine control unit. When this sensor goes bad, it can cause a number of problems with the engine and transmission. In some cases, the car may not be able to shift gears properly or may stall altogether. In other cases, the engine may run rough or misfire. Learn what happens when a wheel speed sensor goes bad.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem could lead to further damage to the engine or transmission.
5 Symptoms of a Bad Wheel Speed Sensor
You may experience several different symptoms if your wheel speed sensor is not working properly. Here are five of the most common signs that something is wrong with your wheel speed sensor:
1. Illuminated Warning Lights
Initially, you may notice that one or more warning lights on your vehicle’s dashboard are illuminated. In most cases, this will be the check engine light or the ABS light. If either of these lights comes on, it’s a good idea to have your car diagnosed by a professional as soon as possible.
2. Pulsating Brake Pedal
An easier way to tell that your wheel speed sensor is going bad is to pay attention to how your brake pedal feels when you press down on it. If you notice that the pedal pulsates or vibrates, it’s a good indication that something is wrong with either your wheel speed sensor or your ABS system.
Also Read: No Brake Pedal when Car is Running
3. Anti Lock Brakes Stop Working
The system that is most affected by a bad wheel speed sensor is your vehicle’s anti-lock braking system. If your ABS stops working properly, it can cause your brakes to lock up or skid. This can obviously be very dangerous, so getting the problem fixed as soon as possible is important.
4. Loss of Traction or Stability Control
If your vehicle is equipped with traction control or stability control, you may notice that these systems are not working properly. This can be caused by a problem with your wheel speed sensor or ABS system.
5. Speedometer Malfunction
Last but not least, a faulty wheel speed sensor can cause your vehicle’s speedometer to malfunction. In some cases, the speedometer may stop working altogether. In other cases, it may give inaccurate readings. Either way, it’s a good indicator that something is wrong with your wheel speed sensor.
Also Read: How Do You Know If Your Speed Sensor Is Bad
ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Location
In most cases, the ABS wheel speed sensor is located on or near the wheel hub. In some cases, it may be located on or near the CV joint. This is the ideal location for the sensor because it can accurately detect the speed of the wheel by monitoring the rotation of the wheel components.
Also Read: How much does it Cost to Replace ABS Sensor
ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Function
The sensor monitors the speed of the wheel and sends a signal to the ABS controller. The controller uses this information to determine when the brakes should be applied when a change in speed is detected. When such a change is noticed, the brakes are applied to the appropriate wheel to assist in regaining traction, and stability and help stop the vehicle.
How Much Does An ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Replacement Cost?
This may vary from car to car, but the average cost for an ABS wheel speed sensor ranges from $100-$200. For some cars, the sensors may be located in difficult-to-reach areas and may require special tools and/or training to replace. In these cases, the cost may be slightly higher.
The part itself is relatively inexpensive, but the labor cost can be significant. As always, it’s best to consult with a certified mechanic or your car’s dealership to determine the exact cost for your particular vehicle.
Can you drive with a broken wheel sensor?
Technically speaking, you can drive with a broken wheel speed sensor, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Not having a proper functioning ABS system can be extremely dangerous, especially if you find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to brake quickly.
What happens if you drive with a bad wheel speed sensor?
In the best-case scenario, driving with a bad wheel speed sensor will trigger a warning light on your dash. In the worst-case scenario, it could cause your ABS system to fail, resulting in longer stopping distances and decreased braking power which may lead to fatal accidents.
Can a bad wheel speed sensor cause transmission problems?
A faulty wheel speed sensor can cause all sorts of problems with your automatic transmission as it sends unrealistic wheel speed values leading to shifting issues, delayed engagement, and hard shifting. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s best to get your vehicle checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
A bad wheel speed sensor can cause a variety of problems with your vehicle, ranging from ABS issues to transmission problems. It’s important to get the problem fixed as soon as possible to avoid any potential accidents or damage to your car.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, we recommend taking your car to a certified mechanic or your local dealership for further diagnosis and repairs.
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