A Simple and Speedy Guide to ABS Speed Sensor Installation
Your vehicle's anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a safety setup that prevents uncontrolled skidding. It does this by releasing the brakes to keep your wheels from locking up. It can also increase braking pressure on a wheel that is spinning a lot faster than the others. All of this happens very quickly-applying and releasing pressure as much as 15 times per second. The result is greatly improved vehicle control, especially on slippery surfaces. In order to do this, the ABS relies on the speed sensors on each wheel. The system won't work if even one sensor malfunctions. Installing a new one should take less than an hour.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
Setting things up
Before starting, make sure your vehicle is parked on level ground and that your engine has cooled over a number of hours. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the terminal. Use the floor jack to lift the side of your vehicle with the malfunctioning sensor. Make sure your vehicle is securely supported by the jack stands before getting under it.
Removing the old sensor
Start by unplugging the old ABS speed sensor's wiring harness connector by pulling the tangs away from the connector and pulling the plug off the connector. Use the appropriate socket or wrench to loosen and remove the sensor.
Installing the new one
Take your new ABS speed sensor and install it in the same way as the old part was. Be sure to firmly tighten the retaining bolt. Plug in the wiring harness connector so that it snaps into place. Use your floor jack to raise your vehicle a little, remove the jack stands, then lower your vehicle to the ground. Reconnect the negative battery cable to the terminal.
Tips and warnings
- In some cases, the speed sensor may be part of the hub assembly. You may need to use the lug wrench to remove the wheel in order to access it.
- If your vehicle uses drum brakes, you will need to remove the drum to access the sensor.