How Long Does a Speed Sensor Last?

Today’s cars are equipped with a very wide range of sensors. Yours has a mass airflow sensor, at least one oxygen sensor, and many others. The vehicle speed sensor (VSS) is usually located on the transmission’s output shaft (although it can be located in other areas). It’s responsible for sending a signal to the car’s computer that tells it how fast the vehicle is traveling.

The speed sensor is also tied into the car’s anti-lock braking system and helps provide information that is used in determining when ABS should be activated and when it shouldn’t be.

The speed sensor is in use any time your car is in motion. Thus, it’s exposed to a lot of wear and tear. The sensor’s location at the end of the transmission also means that it’s exposed to high levels of heat, and it can also be contaminated or even damaged by water, dirt and debris from the road, although this is rare. Other problems stem from conductive inner surface wear, dirt contamination in the lubrication grease and other issues.

In terms of lifespan, there is no way to predict how long your car’s speed sensor will last. In theory, it can last the life of the vehicle, but that doesn’t always happen. Premature failure isn’t unheard of.

If your car’s speed sensor begins to fail, you’ll notice a very wide range of possible symptoms. These include:

  • Inconsistent speedometer readings (the needle does not maintain a reading even though you’re driving at a steady speed)

  • Check Engine light is on

  • The transmission sounds like it is revving very high before shifting

  • The speedometer doesn’t work

  • The overdrive light flashes

  • The transmission struggles to shift into the highest gear

  • The ABS light is on in the dash

If you notice these or any other symptoms that seem to point to the vehicle speed sensor, YourMechanic can help. One of our mobile mechanics can visit your home or office, inspect the vehicle speed sensor, wiring and other potential causes, and repair the problem.


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Recent Speed Sensor Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(33)

Rating Summary
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Jeff

33 years of experience
441 reviews
Jeff
33 years of experience
Toyota Highlander V6-3.3L - Speed Sensor - Rocklin, California
Jeff was great! Experienced, timely and a good communicator. My service need was not dire, as I could drive my car without the part replacement. But Your Mechanic had set up four appointments before the correct part was available and installed (Jeff came out twice). He was apologetic and frustrated about the delay in obtaining the right part, but got the job done. I am a satisfied customer.
Ford Focus - Speed Sensor - Sacramento, California
Jeff was friendly, knowledgeable & fixed my car quickly. Really enjoyed meeting him! Both my dad & I plan to book him for all our future automotive needs.

Johnny

33 years of experience
264 reviews
Johnny
33 years of experience
Mitsubishi Galant L4-2.4L - Speed Sensor - Carmichael, California
Johnny is a great mechanic with great experience. He’s very well knowledgeable about cars. I would use his service again.

Nicholas

11 years of experience
585 reviews
Nicholas
11 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee L6-4.0L - Speed Sensor - Durham, North Carolina
Was in contact before appointment and during Appointment, Nicolas professional opinion had my best interest did a great job very professional would definitely use him again

Bobby

27 years of experience
88 reviews
Bobby
27 years of experience
Dodge Durango V6-3.7L - Speed Sensor - Charlotte, North Carolina
He was on time kind and very knowledgeable he is a really good mechanic and had a game plan already when he arrived Mr.Bobby was more than I expected 

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