A speed sensor is a device used in modern cars to measure the speed of the car. This information is then used by the car’s computer to control various systems, such as the fuel injection and the ignition. If the speed sensor is not working properly, the car will not run correctly.
Most drivers are unaware of the importance of the speed sensor in their cars. A bad speed sensor can cause several problems, including decreased fuel efficiency and inaccurate speed readings. In some cases, a bad speed sensor can even cause the car to shut down.
But how long can you drive a car with a bad speed sensor before it becomes a major problem? And what are the consequences of driving without a working speedometer?
This blog targets important questions such as bad wheel speed sensor symptoms, how long can you drive a car with a bad speed sensor, and more relevant information. So let’s get started:
What is a Speed Sensor?
Before deciding how long you can drive a car with a bad speed sensor, you need to know what it does.
Often referred to as the “vehicle speed sensor” or “wheel speed sensor,” your car’s speed sensor is a tachometer that expresses the speed of your car to the computer.
If your vehicle has 4 wheels, it has 4-speed sensors. The transmission/ESP/ABS control unit system receives electric signals from these speed sensors, which are solely responsible for detecting the speed of the wheel. Modern cars’ speed sensors, on the other hand, can measure the wheel’s rotational speed.
Your transmission shift points are adjusted by the computer-based data you provide. A bad speed sensor can cause your car to slow down or stop suddenly, which can lead to serious accidents. If you think your speed sensor may be malfunctioning, get it checked out by a qualified technician as soon as possible.
What Happens When The Speed Sensor Goes Bad?
A bad wheel speed sensor can have highly variable effects on different cars. However, your car’s efficiency is likely to be negatively impacted.
The failure of your car’s speed sensors can lead to a variety of problems, a few of them are as follows:
Traction Loss in Your Car:
There are a few telltale signs that indicate your car’s speed sensor is on the fritz. If you’ve been driving for a while, you’ve probably noticed that your car doesn’t seem balanced on the road. You might also have experienced a significant change in traction control, and found it difficult to drive the car.
This is because If this sensor isn’t working correctly, the car won’t be able to calculate the correct speeds for different surfaces, which can lead to decreased traction and increased chances of losing control.
If you experience trouble getting your car to stick to the ground, it is likely that your speed sensor is faulty. In order to fix this issue, you will need to replace the sensor.
The Check Engine Light Will Come On:
When your car’s check engine light comes on, it typically means that there’s an issue with one of the car’s speed sensors. This sensor is responsible for measuring how fast the car is travelling and sending this information to the computer system that runs the car. If there’s an issue with this sensor, it can cause the check engine light to come on and warning messages to appear on the dashboard.
In some cases, a bad speed sensor can also cause the car to slow down or even stop suddenly. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, it’s important to take action and have your vehicle checked out by a mechanic.
Your car’s transmission is a vital part of its operation. When the speed sensor on a car with an automatic transmission goes bad, it can cause all sorts of problems.
The speed sensor sends information to the transmission about how fast the car is going. This information is used to determine when to shift gears. When the speed sensor goes bad, the transmission may not shift gears properly, which can cause the car to stall or even crash. In addition, a bad speed sensor can also cause damage to the transmission itself.
If you suspect that your speed sensor is bad, have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.
It’s dangerous and inadvisable to drive a car with malfunctioning speed sensors, so avoid it at all costs. Even more so, because they can be quickly and cheaply replaced when they wear out. As a result, even if only one of them is faulty, it is always best to replace them all.
Symptoms of a Bad Speed Sensor:
Following are the common symptoms of a bad speed sensor transmission. By being aware of the bad wheel speed sensor symptoms, you can save yourself time and money by addressing the problem as soon as possible.
Rough Gear Changing:
Because of higher transmission revs, one of the most common symptoms of a bad speed sensor of your vehicle is that the gearbox will not seamlessly shift gears. This indicates that the car’s engine travels at a faster rate than the vehicle itself.
You may also notice that shifting gears is difficult, and as the condition progresses, you will find it impossible to move into higher gears. This indicates that the vehicle’s transmission will only go into overload after a long period.
A healthy speed sensor is required for your car’s transmission to shift properly. This sensor keeps track of the transmission’s internal revolutions. As a result, the transmission’s control unit gets the data and, after determining the rotational speed, makes the appropriate modifications.
Sadly, the transmission speed sensor cannot be repaired since it just fails. It must be thrown out and replaced with a new one. Even though these bad wheel speed sensor symptoms may appear to be the same in all cars, a skilled mechanic should assist you in examining and diagnosing your vehicle’s speed sensor system.
Speedometer Improper Working:
When the vehicle’s speedometer suddenly stops working, it’s a dead giveaway that the speed sensor has collapsed. The speedometer will not be able to show the speed your car is driving due to a defective speed sensor.
It’s understandable to be concerned about not knowing how fast you’re driving, particularly when there’s minimal other traffic on the road to assist you to determine your speed. This could get you in problems with the law or possibly result in unneeded and needless accidents.
So keep in mind that after observing these symptoms of a bad speed sensor act as soon as possible to avoid future problems.
Check Engine Light is on:
One of the most common bad wheel speed sensor symptoms is that the check engine light may illuminate repeatedly and intermittently as you speed for no apparent reason.
To figure out what the check engine light signifies, utilize a diagnostic tool or a car OBD scanner to obtain the fault code(s) that will assist you in troubleshooting the problem. DTC P0500 (Vehicle Speed Sensor Fault Conditions), for example, may appear to validate the problem.
Cruise Control Issues:
A car’s cruise control system is a great way to maintain a set speed on the highway. The system uses data from the vehicle’s speed sensor (VSS) to keep track of how fast the car is going. If for some reason the PCM doesn’t receive data from the VSS, the cruise control is normally disengaged immediately.
This can be caused by a bad speed sensor, wiring issues, or a failed PCM. If your cruise control isn’t working, it’s important to troubleshoot and look for the symptoms of a bad speed sensor transmission.
Torque Converter Clutches Aren’t Used:
At a pre-programmed speed, a torque converter clutch engages. The torque converter will not be able to utilize the clutch and make a functional relationship between the gearbox and the engine without accurate speed data from the VSS.
So keep in mind that after observing these symptoms of a bad speed sensor act as soon as possible to avoid future problems.
Causes of Bad Speed Sensor:
Let’s look at what causes speed sensors to malfunction in the first place now that you know bad wheel speed sensor symptoms:
The Sensor Has Been Damaged:
Actual harm to the speed sensor is the most common cause of speed sensor malfunction. The speed sensor may break. After a lengthy period of use, the plastic component may become fragile. Furthermore, with prolonged usage, the magnetic component of the sensor is susceptible to wear and tear.
The Sensor Has An Electrical Fault:
Because the speed sensor interacts with electrical signals, a faulty signal or no signal can come from an inner electrical failure. You can determine this by using an analyzer or a voltmeter to examine the speed sensor.
If you don’t keep up with your car’s maintenance plan, you run the chance of some speed sensors failing. This is because when the magnetic pickup or grooved wheel is excessively covered in junk, especially old transmission fluid impurities, they are unable to provide reliable readings.
If the sensor is covered in dirt or other debris, it will not send accurate signals to the computer. This can cause your car to run at an incorrect speed, leading to dangerous driving conditions.
One common cause of bad speed sensor signals is when the sensor’s hardware has failed. This could be due to a defect in the sensor itself, or damage done to the wiring that connects it to the car’s computer. In either case, fixing this issue will require replacing the sensor.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Can I Keep My Car’s Speed Sensor From Malfunctioning?
The simplest method to prevent vehicle speed sensor issues is to ensure that all of your car’s components are in good functioning order. You should also get an inspection now and then so that you can check out if anything is wrong as quickly as possible – else, it could lead to big difficulties!
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Speed Sensor?
If you believe your car’s speed sensor is broken, a mechanic may be likely to substitute it for around $250 – but this could cost more in other cases. Still, when you realize that faults with this component can lead to losing control of your car and lead to accidents, that isn’t too pricey.
Is It Possible For Me To Replace The Speed Sensors Myself?
To replace the speed sensor, you must first remove the tyre from your vehicle and then the inner liner to have accessibility to the cables. You should then be able to eliminate the old sensor and replace it with a new one.
If you don’t feel confident performing this either, you should get expert assistance. Otherwise, you risk making matters much worse and! Before you replace the ABS sensors, you should identify which one is defective.
Is It Safe To Drive With A Defective Speed Sensor?
It is extremely risky to drive if your car’s wheel speed sensor is faulty. As a result of not understanding how fast your car will drive, the car’s computer may just have to act more forcefully or boost engine performance.
There is a chance that driving with a defective speed sensor could lead to an accident, as the car may not be able to accurately gauge its speed. If you are experiencing problems with your speed sensor, it is best to have it fixed as soon as possible.
Is It Possible For A Bad Speed Sensor To Cause Power Loss?
If your vehicle starts to grow cooler once you force your hand on the throttle, you’ll lose power. If a speed sensor is compromised, it may have to be replaced. If you overlook this problem, your vehicle may break down, therefore please don’t let it go to waste.
What Happens If the Speed Sensor Isn’t Replaced?
If the sensor fails, an unusual wheel speed sensor may still not convey vehicle data to the Computer. Due to the lack of ABS warning, your car may be damaged in the event of a collision.
Is It Possible For a Speed Sensor to Stop The Vehicle From Moving?
There will be irregular shifting if there is a delay in the transmission due to a turbine speed intake. ABS and TRAC are affected by problems with wheel speed sensors. Although the damage to another part is usually minor, you will not be able to drive as efficiently as you must for a long period.
How Long Can You Drive a Car With a Bad Speed Sensor?
There’s no way to know how long can you drive a car with a bad speed sensor. However, if you notice any of the wheel speed sensor symptoms that your speed sensors are ready to fail, you should act quickly to avoid more costly repairs like gearbox failure. If you think of continuing your journey, you are calling a disaster to hit you. That’s why it is critical to take caution ASAP.
Is There a Difference Between the ABS Sensor and The Speed Sensor?
Nope, the wheel speed sensor and the anti-lock braking system (ABS) sensor are all the same parts. The rotational speed of your wheels is measured by the speed sensor. Vehicle speed sensors generate information that allows automatic driving assistance such as ABS to work. When people say “speed sensor,” they generally mean something like this.
Is It Possible For a Speed Sensor To Cause a Misfire?
What is the location of the Engine Speed Sensor, and what check engine does it connect to? Because the sensor is positioned on the gearbox, it is also known as the transmission speed sensor. To notify the transmission when to shift, it transmits data to your meter and your car’s computer.
And Yes, it is possible for a speed sensor to cause a misfire. The speed sensor sends information to the engine control unit (ECU) about how fast the vehicle is moving. If the sensor is not working properly, it can cause the engine to misfire.
In conclusion, a car with a bad speed sensor can be driven, but it is not safe. The car will not be able to tell how fast it is going, so the driver will not be able to control the car properly. The driver could end up getting in an accident if they do not get the car fixed.
You must maintain your vehicle to avoid difficulties with your ABS sensor. This entails frequently inspecting the functioning of brakes and tires for any damage before a problem emerges.
Also, keep track of what repairs have been performed on the car so if something goes wrong, you can get it fixed immediately away!
If you observe warning lights turning on or suspect the vehicle has a defective speed sensor, don’t delay getting it checked out by an expert as soon as possible!