Shopping for an ABS Speed Sensor Ring: Things You Need to Know
Like all modern systems, the anti-lock brake system relies on a lot of information and input in order to function properly. Without an ABS speed sensor ring (located within the speed sensor) to monitor the speed of your wheels, and signal the activation of the entire system, all you have are over-priced brakes. If you need a new speed sensor ring for that ABS, then we have the no-nonsense guide to helping you get one.
One ABS, many designs
One would think that a system as "standard" today as the anti-lock braking system would be fairly similar across all makes and models. But the thing is, there are actually different designs-each design requires only a specific number of speed sensor rings at only specific locations. So, we'll discuss the different designs only insofar as to help guide your purchase.
Considered by many to be the best arrangement because it maximizes the number of channels used, ABS in this arrangement have speed sensors on all four wheels. If you're looking to replace one or more of the rings in these sensors, you have to consider if the replacement is a fit for the front or rear, then driver- or passenger-side.
This design is usually found on lighter trucks that have ABS on all four wheels. The speed sensor has an incorporated valve for each of the front wheels. In the rear, there is only one speed sensor for both of the wheels-additionally, its location on the rear axle means that it is vastly different in size and appearance.
Pickup trucks with rear-wheel ABS utilize the single-channel design. This design uses only one sensor for the entire ABS. Again, this is located on the rear axle, making the appearance and size radically different from sensors located on the wheels bases themselves.
The smart choice
Though the size differences among the actual rings themselves is very small-in the order of a couple of millimeters-you have to realize that these rings need to be an exact fit in order to function properly. Once you've identified-using the guide above as reference-the specific system installed in your vehicle, the next step is to confirm that the ring is a match. The simplest way is to check for a part or manufacturer's number as these are used to help make purchasing easy. You can readily find these etched on the rings themselves or, failing that, in your ride's manual.
Suspension 101: ABS Speed Sensor Ring Replacement
It's clearly very important to keep the speed sensors on your ABS up to speed, so to speak-this is especially true for the more vulnerable components. This little guide covers the replacement of one of the smallest and most vulnerable-the ABS speed sensor ring-and we do it in five easy steps too! So roll up those sleeves, oh intrepid DIY-er, and let's get to it.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things you will need:
- New ABS speed sensor ring
- Screwdriver set
- Wrench set
- Hydraulic jack
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- 3-jawed puller
- Your vehicle's manual
Step 1: Carefully raise the front end of your car-support it on jack stands, and only begin working once you're sure that the vehicle won't fall on you!
Step 2: Remove the wheel on the side you are to do the replacement on. That done, take out the caliper, rotor, and hub as well.
Step 3: Slowly remove the old speed sensor ring from the hub.
*Note* You cannot reuse this ring-they must be replaced.
Step 4: Position the replacement ABS speed sensor ring on the hub, and press the ring firmly in place with a cylindrical adapter.
Step 5: Reverse steps 1, 2, and 3 to reassemble your wheel, remove the jack stands, and slowly lower the vehicle to the ground.
*Important* Take a slow drive after-stopping the car with the brakes a few times to confirm that the replacement was successful. You can then try different speeds as well to see how reactive your anti-lock brake system is.
- Wear goggles for this one-there are many tiny parts and bits that might come flying off and injure your eyes if you don't.
- Gloves help too, but try to get thin-skinned ones. It's harder to position and fit the ring when you don't get any tactile feedback.