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Jeep Wrangler TJ Speed Sensor

Top Problems of Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Speed Sensor and Their Causes

Did you know that just like your body, your Jeep Wrangler (TJ) has "nerves" within its system? Yes, you read that right! Take for instance your Jeep Wrangler (TJ) speed sensor. It detects and reports speed vibrations to your vehicle's "brain," which is actually the on-board computer (OBC). After the magnet on the sensor measures how fast your Wrangler's wheels are rotating, it will then send signals to the computer so that the OBC can adjust the shifting of gears and the torque conversion accordingly. Although the speed sensor's job is simple, its location near the wheels' spindles makes it vulnerable to wear and tear. To help you troubleshoot problems before they go out of hand, here are the top signs of Jeep Wrangler (TJ) speed sensor failure and the reasons behind them:

Speedometer suddenly stops working

Since the speedometer tells you of your vehicle's actual speed, this dashboard component relies on the speed sensor for the needed information. Consequently, if the speed sensor is not working, your Wrangler's speedometer will also cease to function. In some cases, the speedometer doesn't really stop working. Instead, it just shows signs of malfunction. You will know if your speedometer is acting up when the needle jumps or jerks back and forth even if your Jeep Wrangler (TJ)'s speed is not really changing.

Special features malfunction

When your Wrangler's speed sensor goes bad, its effects will also manifest on your vehicle's special features. A speed sensor breakdown will primarily affect the normal function of the traction and stability control systems. Moreover, since your road surfer's OBC can no longer tell the accurate speed, cruise control regulation also becomes impossible.

Transmission and braking problems

If your Wrangler's transmission system shows signs of hesitation and roughness, or if it jerks or jumps everytime you shift gears, you probably have a speed sensor problem. Aside from these symptoms, a faulty speed sensor can also result in your Wrangler's abnormal braking, especially when you are driving in low speeds. If you will not repair or replace your vehicle's busted speed sensor, you might end up with damaged transmission and braking systems.

Other troubleshooting tips

In addition to what were already mentioned, rough idling, intermittent power loss, low fuel economy, and frequent stalling are also indicators of a bad speed sensor. All these problems can be attributed to a dirty Jeep Wrangler (TJ) speed sensor. But, these could also result from a broken speed sensor due to frequent tire removal.

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  • Helpful Care Tips for Your Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Speed Sensor 27 February 2013

    Your Jeep Wrangler (TJ)'s special driving features like automatic braking system, traction and stability systems, and adaptive cruise control will all become useless if your road surfer's speed sensor is not in great shape. If you do not want all these amazing features to be put to waste, you need to be committed in keeping your Jeep Wrangler (TJ) speed sensor in excellent condition. To help you out, here are some useful maintenance tips:


    Clean the speed sensors regularly.

    The tires of your Jeep Wrangler (TJ) are probably some of the most neglected car parts when it comes to cleaning or car washing. This is probably due to the hard-to-reach areas inside the tires, which will absolutely take too much of your time in case you decide to clean them thoroughly. Since your vehicle's speed sensor is located near the tires' spindles, it goes without saying that the speed sensor's cleaning and maintenance is also being neglected. Although the sensor only occupies a small portion of the tire assembly, its magnetic component causes it to collect metallic dust. Aside from the magnet, the speed sensor's reference ring also tends to accumulate brake dust and other road debris. All these contaminants can cause your Jeep Wrangler speed sensor's failure. To prevent this, you must clean the sensor regularly. For this, you only need a handful of clean rags and a can of degreaser spray.


    Always test the speed sensor's efficiency.

    Checking the speed sensor's efficiency from time to time will also keep it in excellent condition. In general, there are two types of speed sensors used for vehicles-the variable reluctance type and the mag resistive type. The process of testing the sensor varies depending on which sensor type your Wrangler has. If your Jeep Wrangler is equipped with the first sensor type, you can check for an open winding using an ohm meter. You can also opt to use a special scan tool that can monitor the sensor's signal as you drive your road surfer. The same scan tool can also be used in testing a mag resistive sensor. But if you do not have one, you can test it manually using a lab scope.


    Avoid frequent tire removal.

    Frequently removing the tires from your Jeep Wrangler can cause minor to severe damage on your vehicle's speed sensor. To avoid this, you need to refrain from taking the tires off as much as possible. In addition, since the speed sensor is located near the wheel's spindle, you must be extra careful in inflating or deflating your tires.


    Replace the speed sensor if necessary.

    If the problems caused by your Jeep Wrangler (TJ) speed sensor can no longer be solved by cleaning, do not hesitate to replace it with a new one. Replacement speed sensors are not really expensive, and their installation can actually be done at home.