Can You Drive with A Bad Wheel Speed Sensor?

Naomi O'Colman

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Can You Drive with A Bad Wheel Speed Sensor?

Can You Drive with A Bad Wheel Speed Sensor?

Can you drive with a bad wheel speed sensor?  Assume you’re having symptoms of a failing wheel speed sensor and want to know whether it’s okay to drive the automobile or wait for the sensor to be repaired.

A seemingly tiny flaw can quickly become a huge safety hazard when it comes to wheel speed sensors. As a result, driving a vehicle with a faulty wheel speed sensor is dangerous.

Can You Drive with A Bad Wheel Speed Sensor?

Every wheel in a car has a wheel speed sensor (also known as a vehicle speed sensor, ABS sensor, or simply speed sensor). Its job is to detect the wheel’s speed it’s assigned to and then provide the data (in the form of signals) to the transmission or ABS system.

The ABS now reacts to the signals it receives from all of the wheel speed sensors in your vehicle, allowing the driver assistance technologies in your car to operate and work properly. Cruise control, lane-keep assist, and other driver aid technologies are only a few examples.

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When a wheel speed sensor fails, it now sends incorrect signals to the ABS. Because cars are more connected than ever before, when the ABS detects a false signal, it notifies other systems of a potential risk, which can cause various components and systems in your vehicle to malfunction.

As a result, you may notice a loss of stability, traction, difficult gear shifting, uneven gear changing (for automatic transmissions), and various other issues.

All of these issues can be traced back to a failed wheel speed sensor.

Returning to the original question, “Can you drive with a faulty wheel speed sensor?” The easy answer is yes, but it’s a risky dare.

If you ignore these indicators of a failed speed sensor and let it go for too long, it could turn into a bigger problem that costs you more money.

Changing one or all of your wheel speed sensors is much less expensive than dealing with a malfunctioning gearbox, which could result from failing to address the bad sensor promptly.

What Happens If Your Wheel Speed Sensor Is Faulty?

Except that driving will be challenging, nothing awful will happen at first.

It’ll be challenging to drive the car, even though every other component appears to be in good form due to difficult gear shifting, semi-stiff brake petals, and hill climbing issues.

A malfunctioning wheel speed sensor, on the other hand, can induce limp mode and possibly ruin your transmission in the long term. You don’t want anything to mess with your transmission because that will cost you a fortune.

I recommend troubleshooting your car to determine which speed sensor is malfunctioning and have it repaired as soon as possible. It’s better to replace all wheel speed sensors at once, so you don’t fix one today, and another breaks down a few days later.

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How Long Can You Drive a Car with A Bad Speed Sensor?

Most of the time, a bad wheel sensor won’t stop your car from running, so you might still be able to drive for a long time. But because modern cars are smarter than ever and have many smart systems that work together, a bad wheel sensor could stop your car.


Being on the road when your ABS system isn’t working, for whatever reason, is quite dangerous. So before driving your car, make sure to solve any problems it may have.