Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Replace a Wheel Speed Sensor

wheel speed sensor

A wheel speed sensor is used by the anti-lock brakes to determine if a wheel is moving at a different speed than the others in order to control the anti-lock brake or traction control functions. Some makes and models use a single sensor on a single wheel for the speed signal. Some vehicles that have anti-lock brakes use the wheel speed and the transmission output to determine any faults. Most models that do not have anti-lock brakes use the transmission output for the speed signal.

If the wheel speed sensor has broken, there will usually be dashboard lights for the ABS or traction control systems illuminated. The ABS system will likely not function properly.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing the wheel speed sensor

Materials Needed

  • Allen set metric and standard sockets
  • Assorted pliers
  • Assorted screwdrivers
  • Breaker bar ½ inch drive
  • Brass hammer
  • Combination wrench set, metric and standard
  • Disposable gloves
  • Emery cloth/sandpaper
  • Flashlight
  • Floor jack and jack stands
  • Metric and standard socket set ½ inch drive
  • Pry bar
  • Ratchet ⅜ drive
  • Socket set metric and standard ⅜ drive
  • Socket set metric and standard ¼ drive
  • Torque wrench ⅜ or ½ drive
  • Torx socket set
  • Wheel socket set ½ inch drive

Step 1: Prepare your work area. Make sure the vehicle is on a level, safe surface, and you have set the parking brake.

Step 2: Loosen the lug nuts. Use a ½ inch drive breaker bar and a lug nut socket set to loosen all the lug nuts before you jack the vehicle up in the air.

Step 3: Jack the vehicle up and use jack stands. Jack the vehicle up and put it on jack stands. Place the wheels off to the side, away from the work area.

Be sure to jack the vehicle up in the correct location; usually on the sides underneath there are pinch welds you can use to jack from. Then make sure you place the stands on the body or frame and lower it down onto the stands.

Step 4: Remove the old wheel speed sensor. In some cases, you may have to remove the brake pads and rotors in order to get a clear view of the wheel speed sensor. Once it is visible, you can remove the bolt that holds the sensor onto the hub/knuckle.

Next, remove any clips or hold downs that are securing the sensor wiring to the vehicle's chassis/body. Once you have done that, unplug it so you can remove it completely from the vehicle. Use some emery cloth or sandpaper to clean off any rust in the areas where the new sensor will be going to ensure it fits easily.

Step 5: Install the wheel speed sensor and brake parts. Work in the reverse order of the way you removed everything. Start by plugging in the new connector and then routing the harness back so it is secured to the body/chassis. Then insert it into the hub/knuckle.

If you needed to remove the brakes, reinstall the rotor and brake caliper bracket along with your brake pads, and make sure you torque everything to factory specs.

Step 6: Reinstall the wheels. Place the wheels back onto the hubs using the lug nuts. Snug them all down with a ratchet and socket.

Step 7: Jack the vehicle back off the jack stands. Place the jack in the correct spot under the vehicle and jack the car up until you can remove the jack stands. Then you can lower the vehicle back onto the ground.

Step 8: Torque the wheels. Most cars use a torque from 80 ft lbs to 100 ft lbs. SUVs and trucks usually use anywhere from 90 ft lbs to 120 ft lbs. Use a ½ inch torque wrench and torque the lug nuts to the proper specification.

Step 9: Test drive the vehicle. After the wheel speed sensor is replaced, the ABS and traction control lights should go out. In the event that they don't, you will need to take it to a certified mechanic to have them reset the vehicle’s computer.

To test drive, go down a safe road where you can speed up and hit your brakes hard to try and engage your ABS and make sure it is working properly.

Replacing a wheel speed sensor is a very straightforward job with the right tools and knowledge. But if it’s something you don’t want to tackle on your own, the professional mechanics at YourMechanic can complete the wheel speed sensor replacement for you.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...


Related questions

Q: abs light on brake line broke have been replace I bleed brake line but brake pad still go to the floor now wheels lock up

Hello. If the brake pedal is going to the floor then that means that it is not building pressure. If the brake system has been fully bled and there is no air in it then most of the time it...

Q: My car has a problem with wheel vibration (while braking)

It does sound like your rotors are warped. The rotors would have to be measured to determine if they can be resurfaced, or if the rotors need to be replaced. You don't need to upgrade to aftermarket slotted and...

Q: Getting the code P0500. Changed both NC & NT sensors. Can't pull out the vehicle speed sensor (VSS).

Hi there. The code P0500 is in reference with the vehicle speed sensor. The possible causes that contribute for this code to appear are: The vehicle speed sensor (VSS) is not reading properly There is a broken or frayed...