What is a wheel speed sensor replacement?
A wheel speed sensor replacement is when an auto professional replaces one of your vehicle's wheel speed sensors. These sensors only appear on cars with an automatic braking system (ABS), which began emerging on luxury SUVs in the mid-2000s.
Here are the most common reasons a speed sensor can stop working:
- Dirt/debris covering the sensor
- Misaligned sensor
- Broken sensor
Your vehicle's traction control system (TCS) replies on the information given by the wheel sensors to determine how much pressure to apply—but this doesn’t mean you’ll need to replace all of them if there is a problem.
Your vehicle's TCS can shut down even if just one sensor is misaligned or broken. If the sensor has stopped working because of dirt, the only tool needed is a clean towel.
How to replace a wheel sensor
You’ll want to have a mechanic replace your wheel sensor. When doing so, they will follow the following steps.
- Scan the ABS for codes
- Inspect the brake system
- Inspect the sensor
- Remove and replace the sensor if necessary
- Inspect the ABS for proper operation
Your ABS contains a variety of codes that your mechanic can scan. Often, these codes will point directly to the problem's source. But if not, the mechanic will have to investigate the vehicle’s entire braking system.
When do I need to replace my wheel speed sensor?
A mechanic will usually investigate each sensor whenever you have your brakes inspected. Some signs that you may have a wheel speed sensor problem include:
- Your ABS warning light is on
- Your TCS warning light is on
- Your ABS or TCS system has stopped working
ABS and TCS systems are not integral to making your car move, but they are important safety features that are standard on modern vehicles.
Suppose you think a wheel speed sensor needs replacement. Consider getting it looked at as soon as possible—because getting into an accident with these sensors inactive could result in a bigger insurance rate increase.
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