Top 5 Common Bad Wheel Speed Sensor Symptoms

Naomi O'Colman

Bad Wheel Speed Sensor Symptoms

Bad Wheel Speed Sensor Symptoms

The purpose of this blog post is to show drivers bad wheel speed sensor symptoms. A bad wheel speed sensor can cause your car to shake, make noise, or drive erratically.

The wheel speed sensor is different from the transmission speed sensor. The wheel speed sensor is used to monitor wheel rotation. If this wheel speed sensor malfunctions, the car may shake, vibrate, pull to one side, or have difficulty going in a straight line.

The wheel speed sensor sits on or near each wheel axle and determines how fast the wheels turn. It sends a signal to a central control module to indicate vehicle speed and rotate the tires at optimal speeds for fuel economy and traction.

Bad Wheel Speed Sensor Symptoms

#1 Vibration

Please remember that a bad wheel speed sensor does not always cause a vibration. Avid car shakers know this all too well. A bad wheel speed sensor can cause a shaking sensation at any speed, particularly during acceleration and breaking. Therefore, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of a bad wheel speed sensor so you can safely drive your vehicle.

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When checking for the possible causes of vibrations, be aware that some things such as shocks, tires, and brakes can produce vibration as well as cause them.

#2 Shaking

The wheel speed sensor sends a signal to the central control module to tell it how fast the wheel is turning. If this wheel speed sensor is faulty, the car may shake, vibrate or pull to one side.

If you’re close to your destination and trying to accelerate up a hill it can be very noticeable and difficult for you and other drivers around you. The shaking will usually be at maximum or near-maximum acceleration.

#3 Stuck wheel

As wheel speed sensors are often located on the wheel hub, they can be damaged or broken. If the wheel speed sensor is broken or fails, the wheels may not rotate correctly which will cause the car to pull to one side. If this happens, you’ll most likely experience a stuck wheel – your car will slowly start to move again but only in one direction. This is dangerous for people and it’s very irritating for drivers who are trying to do something else at the time.

#4 Traction Control Light On

Some hybrid and electric cars have a traction control system that monitors wheel speed. If a car’s wheels are not turning properly, the traction control light will often come on. When the light is on, the traction control system is actively working to keep the tires from slipping by applying a different amount of torque to each tire.

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In some cases, this might cause a sense of jerking or pulsating in your front end as well as make your steering feel less responsive at low speeds.

#5 ABS Light On

When the ABS light comes on, your ABS system is activated. If this happens, you’ll feel a pulsating sensation in the brake pedal. This is because the ABS system is pulsing the brakes to prevent wheel lock-up.

Final Words

The above symptoms are just a few of the many symptoms caused by a faulty or damaged wheel speed sensor. There are many others that can cause your vehicle to shake, vibrate or pull to one side. If you feel any of the above symptoms and the mechanic has not found a problem with your suspension, suspension parts or other components, be sure to mention it so they check for other possible problems first.

Also remember that a wheel speed sensor is located on or near each wheel and if it is damaged or faulty, it will cause them all to malfunction.