Replacing abs wheel speed sensor. How to Replace an ABS Sensor? new for 2022

One of the most important safety features on your car is the anti-lock braking system (ABS). If one of the ABS sensors goes bad, it can cause the entire system to fail.

A bad ABS sensor can lead to a dangerous situation while driving. If your ABS light comes on, you should replace the sensor as soon as possible.

Replacing abs wheel speed sensor. How to Replace an ABS Sensor
Replacing abs wheel speed sensor. How to Replace an ABS Sensor

Replacing abs wheel speed sensor. How to Replace an ABS Sensor? Replacing an ABS sensor is a relatively easy task that can be done with common tools. In this article, we will show you how to replace an ABS sensor on most vehicles.


What exactly is an ABS Sensor?

What exactly is an ABS Sensor
What exactly is an ABS Sensor

What do you know about the ABS Wheel Speed Sensor?


ABS has been required on all new vehicles sold in the United States since 2004. During a panic stop, the technology controls fluid pressure to the brakes to prevent wheel lockup. ABS sensors are essential for ABS function.

Each wheel of a late-model automobile has an ABS sensor (also known as a wheel speed sensor). The toothed reluctor ring on the axle or hub assembly is read by each ABS sensor. That information is then sent to a computer, generally referred to as the ABS control module, by the sensors.

The ABS sensor detects when wheel lockup is about to occur and sends a signal to the control module. The module then regulates brake fluid pressure to the affected wheels until traction is regained, at which point normal brake operation will resume.

Although most modern cars have four ABS sensors (one at each wheel), single-channel ABS systems with only one sensor are also available. To prevent rear-wheel lockup, the sensor is placed on the transmission or differential.

There are also three-channel systems with two speed sensors in the front and one at the rear. The first is located at the front wheels, while the second is connected to the transmission or differential.

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Tools and Equipment Required for ABS Sensor Replacement

Tools and Equipment Required for ABS Sensor Replacement
Tools and Equipment Required for ABS Sensor Replacement

Depending on the type of car, the tools you’ll need to replace an ABS sensor will differ. However, in most cases, you will require:

  • Jack and jack stands
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Repair manual or access to a repair database
  • Multimeter
  • Safety glasses
  • Torque wrench
  • Wheel chocks
  • Sand paper
  • Spray penetrant
  • Sil-Glyde
  • Scan Tool

Replacing abs wheel speed sensor. How to Replace an ABS Sensor?

Replacing abs wheel speed sensor. How to Replace an ABS Sensor
Replacing abs wheel speed sensor. How to Replace an ABS Sensor

Typically, replacing an ABS sensor is a straightforward process. How to replace abs wheel speed sensor? The following steps will provide you an indication of what the task usually entails.

Find the proper ABS sensor

Step 1: Determine which sensor is faulty

Use the scan tool to find out which sensor is not working. If there’s no code, you’ll need to use a scanner to check the sensor data while driving. Or, if that’s not possible, test each sensor one at a time.

Step 2: Find the sensor

On certain automobiles, finding the sensor may be difficult. You may need to look up a specific repair handbook for your car in order to find the ABS speed sensor. The ABS speed sensor is most frequently placed at a wheel or on an axle.

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Step 3: Determine which sensor has failed by testing each one

If the previous steps were successful, you may skip this one.

Take out the speed sensor

Step 1: Gain control of the sensor

You will occasionally need to remove a wheel or bracket in order to access the sensor. This will depend on the car and the sensor that you are changing.

Step 2: Take out the sensor

To access the sensor, disconnect the connector and remove the one bolt holding it in place.

Tip: You may need to use spray penetrant when removing the sensor from its mount or casing. After you’ve applied the penetrant, turn the sensor until it comes free. Take your time and be gentle. When it starts to rotate, carefully and firmly pull up on the sensor. A flat head screwdriver can often aid in lifting efforts.

Step 3: Take notice of the sensor wire layout

It is important to write down which sensor wire goes where, as if they are not in the right order, it will cause the wires to break and the repair to fail.

Ensure that the sensor attachment hole and tone ring are clean

Step 1: Make sure the sensor mounting hole is clean

Before you install the sensor, be sure to clean the sensor mounting hole with some sandpaper and brake cleaner.

Step 2: Clean the tone ring of all fine metal

The tone ring’s ridges may accumulate fine metal fragments that are present in dust. To ensure that you’ve gotten all of the fine metal, be sure to clean it out.

Install the sensor

Step 1: Prepare to install the sensor

Apply some Sil-Glyde to the o-ring of the sensor before installing it.

Tip: If no lubricant is applied to the o-ring, it’s likely that it will break and be difficult to install. Sil-Glyde is suggested as the initial option, but other lubricants can also be used. Just make sure you use a rubber-friendly grease. Some greases might harm rubber and cause the rubber o-ring to expand, making it unusable.

Step 2: Insert the sensor into the sensor’s mounting hole

Make sure the ABS speed sensor is inserted using a twisting motion. It should go in without issue if you’ve cleaned the mounting hole.

Tip: If the new sensor does not seem to fit as easily as the old one, do not force it. Compare the two sensors side by side to see what may be causing difficulty with installation.

Step 3: Route the sensor wire in the proper direction

Make sure the wire is properly routed. If this isn’t done, the wire will be damaged, and you’ll have to start over with a new sensor.

Step 4: Connect the sensor to the vehicle connection

Always listen for an audible click that suggests the connector is locked into place. If you don’t hear a click, try to disconnect the connector without letting go of the lock mechanism. If you can’t pull it apart, then it’s been secured correctly.

Tip: Before you start, double-check that the electrical connection is secure on both the vehicle and sensor side. It’s not uncommon for pins to be pushed in when installing a connector like this, so if you’re unsure, disconnect the connector to inspect the small pins.

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Clear the code and test drive your car

Step 1: Remove the code

The scan tool must be connected and the code must be cleared. After the code is removed, go to data for the sensor you just changed.

Step 2: Test drive the vehicle

Experiment with the car by driving it above 35 miles per hour.

How to Test an ABS Sensor

How to Test an ABS Sensor
How to Test an ABS Sensor

Many issues can create the same result as a faulty ABS sensor, so it’s beneficial to confirm that the part is actually damaged before purchasing a replacement.

Before you begin, have the vehicle’s repair information on hand. Manuals from Chilton are fine, but a subscription to a repair database (ALLDATA or Mitchel 1 DIY) is even better. Find out more about accessing high-quality repair information in our article on repair manuals.

Step 1. Check Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) and Live Data

The ABS system monitors the sensors and corresponding circuits for any potential issues. If a problem is detected, the module will remember the diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and turn on the ABS warning light.

To diagnose a bad ABS sensor, the first step is to check for DTCs. You can use quality scan tool or code reader for this. Most inexpensive code readers won’t work for reading ABS codes, so keep that in mind when shopping around.

If the ABS sensor circuits are all operating properly, the DTCs should help you identify which one is causing problems. For example, you might get codes for “left front wheel speed sensor circuit” or “right front wheel speed sensor circuit.” These kinds of codes will assist you in determining which sensor is malfunctioning.

Not only do some scanners display ABS live data, but they also allow you to monitor the operation of an ABS sensor as another person drives the vehicle. For instance, if there is something wrong with a certain sensor or its circuit, that sensor will show a different value in comparison to the other sensors.

Step 2. Conduct a Visual Inspection

Once you’re finished with the initial diagnostic test, move on to a visual inspection. Look for things that could be causing problems, such as damaged wires or loose connections. Make sure that the ABS sensor’s electrical connector is clean and tight. If you find any issues during the visual inspection, repair them and then clear the DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes). After doing all of this, check to see if the problem has returned.

Step 3. Directly test the ABS Sensor

It can be difficult to test an ABS sensor. There are two kinds of ABS sensors: passive and active. Passive sensors give out an alternating current (AC) voltage frequency signal, but active sensors make a square wave digital signal instead. You need to know what type of sensor is in your car before you start testing it.

Passive ABS sensors have two wires, whereas active sensors usually have three wires. If you’re not sure what type of sensor your car has, check a repair manual or a repair database. To get the most accurate reading, use an oscilloscope to test the ABS sensor’s output signal. However, since most people only have access to a digital multimeter (DMM), that will have to suffice. Check the DMM readings against those of an ABS sensor to get reliable results.

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In some cases, the vehicle manufacturer will provide resistance values for passive-style wheel speed sensors. You may check the resistance of an ABS sensor with a DMM set to the ohms function and compare it to the parameters in a repair manual or repair database.

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Causes of a faulty ABS wheel speed sensor

Causes of a faulty ABS wheel speed sensor
Causes of a faulty ABS wheel speed sensor

Below are some of the reasons why your car’s radio might not be working:

-There could be a break in the wiring

-An internal short circuit

-External damage

-Heavy contamination

-Increased wheel bearing clearance

-Mechanical damage to the encoder wheel

FAQs Replacing abs wheel speed sensor

What happens when ABS speed sensor goes bad?

ABS computer will typically shut off the stability and traction control systems when it detects a bad wheel speed sensor. On certain cars, a faulty wheel speed sensor can also trigger other features such as hill-start assist and roll stability to stop working.

Can I drive without ABS wheel speed sensor?

Even though you can drive a car without an ABS, be cautious. The module that controls ABS in these cars also manage the distribution of brakes between front and back. Even though the car will start and drive like normal, your brakes might not work as efficiently.

How long does it take to change an ABS sensor?

ABS sensors are inexpensive, simple to replace, and may be done by any garage or mechanic. The ABS sensor replacement should take about ten minutes for anybody who is a mechanic or has an automobile. Let a qualified technician perform the job so that you can be sure the ABS sensor in your automobile is replaced correctly.

How much does it cost to replace a ABS sensor?

The price of an ABS wheel sensor varies from $100 to $200, whereas the price for an ABS control module is anywhere between $200 and $600. In terms of labor, expect to pay around $80-$150 per hour with a minimum work time of one hour up to one and a half hours.


If you are experiencing problems with your ABS system, it may be time to replace the ABS sensor. The process of replacing an ABS sensor is not difficult, but it is important to take your time and follow the correct steps.‘s team hope this article has been helpful and that you are now able to successfully replace your ABS sensor. Have you replaced your abs wheel speed sensor before? What was the process like for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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