Symptoms of Bad Vehicle Speed Sensor
A vehicle speed sensor (VSS) is also known as a transmission speed sensor or wheel speed sensor. It is a small device, located on the transmission. The sensor helps in determining the speed of your car by measuring the rotation of a sprocket on an axle inside the transmission. However, a bad speed sensor can affect the speedometer and reduce your ability to drive safely. Hence, knowing bad vehicle speed sensor symptoms is better.
Read on and find more about the symptoms of a bad transmission speed sensor.
Common Bad Vehicle Speed Sensor Symptoms
The car speed sensor produces low voltage signals that are relayed on control modules. All types of wheel speed sensors provide the data to the engine and transmission control system and help in making necessary speed adjustments. Besides, other systems i.e. cruise control may also rely on this data, however, this depends on the vehicle’s makes and models.
There are several types of car sensors present in your vehicle that should function properly for optimum engine performance. Since a broken speed sensor affects the performance of the car, it is always good to know the symptoms of a bad car speed sensor.
The transmission system of a car determines the timing of every gear with the help of a vehicle speed sensor. When the speed sensor fails to transfer the signal, the transmission system won’t be able to perform correctly. Therefore, a speed sensor failure will have a direct impact on the automatic transmission operation.
If your vehicle has a failed speed sensor then you might notice signs such as hard shifting, limited gear operation, delayed shifting and rough shifts.
Check Engine Light Comes On
Your car’s Check Engine Light can popup due for multiple reasons. However, one of the common reasons could be a faulty speed sensor in a car. If you see the check engine light, ABS warning light or traction control light on your car dashboard, then check the error code. An OBD-II scanner can help you in identifying the diagnosis process.
You also should know more about other warning lights on the car dashboard.
Inability To Activate Cruise Control
As transmission speed sensors monitor input and output shaft speed, it also plays a role in monitoring cruise control. When the sensors are unable to provide accurate data to your car’s onboard computer, the powertrain control module (PCM) sends an error code to the vehicle’s ECU.
As a safety measure, the ECU will turn off the cruise control and make it inactive. If you notice that your autopilot does not engage when you press the button, contact a mechanic so they can inspect the vehicle and determine why the autopilot is not working. It could be due to faulty baud speed sensors.
Failure To Apply Torque Converter Clutch
The torque converter clutch activates at a pre-programmed speed. Without accurate information from the vehicle’s speed sensors, the transmission’s torque converter will not be able to engage the clutch and form a mechanical link between the engine and transmission. This can cause slipping, reduced fuel economy and an overheated transmission.
Erratic Speedometer Readings
The erratic or inaccurate speedometer reading is one of the common signs of a bad speed sensor. If the reading of your speedometer is constantly going up and down, then there is a chance of a failed vehicle speed sensor.
Your vehicle will continue to run without a working speedometer. However, not knowing how fast you are going will make it difficult to drive safely.
What Causes The Speed Sensor To Fail?
- An internally damaged speed sensor can result in an abnormal output signal or no signal at all. Typically, the sensor can be tested with a voltmeter or digital oscilloscope.
- A damaged or cracked speed sensor can also be the reason.
- The magnetic part of the sensor can also become worn and damaged over time.
Can I drive my car with a bad speed sensor?
It is not safe to drive a vehicle with a bad speed sensor because ECU will not be able to identify the driving speed. Also, the ABS will not start its operations and you might lose control of your vehicle. Hence, it is best to replace a bad vehicle speed sensor as soon as possible.
Speed Sensor Replacement Cost
The cost of the replacement of the speed sensor depends on the makes and model you have. However, the price of a speed sensor in the UAE starts from AED 50 and replace it with help of our guide on wheel speed sensor replacement. You can find car speed sensors and other auto accessories and parts in the UAE at market competitive rates.
As you can see, the speedometer sensor affects the operation of various components that allow you to efficiently operate your car or truck. Whenever you experience any of the above warning signs, contact a professional mechanic to properly diagnose and repair the problem.
You can visit the nearest car garage if you suspect bad vehicle speed sensor symptoms. The mechanic can test it and replaced it if necessary. Also, if your car needs frequent garage visits and costly repair, then consider buying a used car in the UAE.
If you find this guide informative, stay tuned to the UAE’s top car blogs for more tips.