How Replace a Speed Sensor in Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The vehicle speed sensor in a Chevrolet car is located on the top right side of the transmission housing, just above the pan area. This sensor determines the vehicle speed by measuring the rotation of internal transmission components. The vehicle speed sensor, or VSS, sends this speed data to the powertrain control module, or PCM. The PCM uses the data to manage the engine functions and ensure all vehicle systems are operating properly. One example is that the PCM compares the VSS data to the wheel speed sensor data to determine which, if any, wheels are locking up. Replacement vehicle speed sensors are available from most local auto parts stores and licensed General Motors dealerships.

Under The Hood:

 How Replace a Speed Sensor in a 2000 Dodge Caravan

Park the Caravan on a level surface. Turn the engine off and allow ample time for components to cool completely. Engage the emergency brake to ensure the vehicle does not shift while performing maintenance.

Jack the passenger side of the minivan up. Create enough space between the vehicle and the ground that you can easily maneuver underneath the van. Slide or crawl under the vehicle and look straight up on the passenger side. You will be looking at the transmission.

Locate the vehicle speed sensor. The speed sensor is found on the right side of the transmission, in the front of the vehicle. The sensor is small component sticking out of the transmission with a wire connector coming out from it. The Caravan repair manual will have a detailed diagram, if needed.

Disconnect the wire harness from the current speed sensor. Grasp the harness, push in the sides and pull straight off.

Remove the 10mm bolt that secures the sensor in place. Use a socket wrench and turn the wrench counterclockwise until the bolt is removed. Place the bolt to the side for safe keeping.

Grasp the sensor using a wrench and twist the sensor counterclockwise until the sensor is loose enough to be removed. Pull the sensor out with your fingers and discard.

Align the replacement speed sensor into the sensor socket. Turn one full turn with your fingers to ensure the sensor is place. Continue to screw the sensor into place with the wrench. Replace the bolt to secure the sensor in place, tighten with the socket wrench. Reconnect the wire harness, align the harness and push into place.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Socket wrench

  • Replacement speed sensor

 How to Replace a Speed Sensor on a 2002 Dodge Neon

Raise and support the hood on your Neon. Locate the car’s battery and remove the negative cable from the battery post with a socket wrench. Position the cable away from the battery once removed to prevent accidental reconnection during the repair.

Open the driver’s side door and apply the car’s emergency brake.

Raise the car just behind the front passenger side tire with a hydraulic jack at a minimum of 14 inches from the ground. The car does not have to be extremely high, but you should be able to slide under the car without it touching your chest. Place a jack stand into position on the left of the hydraulic jack beneath the frame rail to help support the car.

Slide under the Neon at the center of the front passenger door. Locate the vehicle speed sensor on the output shaft. If you look directly at the transmission from the current position you're in under the car, you should see the sensor’s wiring harness plug. The harness plug will have black sheathing on it, and right at the tip where the sheathing meets the plug you should see the three wires it protects.

Unplug the vehicle speed sensor’s wiring harness plug. Press down on the plug’s safety clip with your thumb while pulling the harness vertically off the sensor.

Remove the sensor’s mounting bolt with your socket wrench. Lift the sensor out of its housing vertically. If the sensor has never been replaced since you’ve had the vehicle, dirt and debris may be built up around the sensor. Clean the area around the sensor with a wire brush and rag before you remove it.

Compare the old vehicle speed sensor with your new one to assure you have the correct replacement. Check the drive gear on both sensors to assure they match as well.

Insert the new vehicle speed sensor back into position just as you removed the old sensor. Set your 1/4-inch drive torque wrench to 60 inch-lbs. and secure the sensor’s mounting bolt in place. Plug the sensor’s wiring harness plug back up to it.

Remove the jack stand and lower the Neon back down to the ground completely. Disengage the emergency brake. Connect the negative cable back to its post and tighten its bolt with your socket wrench until secure. Shut the hood and test drive your 2002 Dodge Neon.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Hydraulic jack

  • Jack stand

  • Wire brush

  • Shop rag

  • Vehicle speed sensor with drive gear

  • 1/4-inch drive torque wrench

 How to Replace the Speed Sensor in a Harley Sportster

Grasp the top of the left side cover, located below the rider's portion of the seat. Pull the upper edges of the cover away from the frame, then lift the cover to separate its mounting tab from the latch built into the motorcycle's frame. Set the left side cover aside.

Pull the cover off of the Maxi-fuse holder, located along the positive terminal-side of the battery. Pull the Maxi-fuse out of the fuse holder to disable the motorcycle's electrical system.

Unplug the vehicle speed sensor's electrical connector, located behind the rear engine cylinder and the starter motor. Unscrew the bolt attaching the speed sensor to the engine crankcase, using an Allen wrench. Pull the speed sensor straight out of the engine crankcase.

Install a new speed sensor into the engine crankcase. Screw the sensor retaining bolt into place and tighten it to 90 inch-pounds, using a torque wrench. Plug in the speed sensor connector. Push the Maxi-fuse into the fuse holder, then reinstall the fuse holder cover.

Slip the left side cover's lower tab into the frame's latch. Push the bosses at the rear of the cover's upper edges into the rubber grommets in the motorcycle's frame.

Items you will need

  • Allen wrench set

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Speed Sensor on a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo

Open the driver’s door and apply the emergency brake. Place a wheel block firmly into position behind both rear tires.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front passenger-side tire with a lug wrench a half turn counterclockwise. Raise the vehicle with a hydraulic jack and place a jack stand 3 inches from the hydraulic jack on the left, beneath the frame rail. The bottom of the tire should be no more than 6 inches from the ground.

Remove all lug nuts and slide the tire off the wheel studs using both hands. Roll the tire to the side and put the lug nuts in a safe location.

Locate the wheel speed sensor at the rear of the hub assembly. The sensor’s wire should be the only wire running to the hub assembly. The wire connects at two other locations along the frame.

Follow the wire from the sensor to its first retaining clip bolt. Remove the bolt with a socket wrench and continue following the wire 10 to 12 inches. Remove the second clip’s bolt and unplug the wiring harness plug just in front of the second retaining clip.

Remove the upper and lower bolts that hold the wheel speed sensor in place on the hub assembly. Withdraw the sensor from its mounting position.

Place the new speed sensor in its mounting position in the hub assembly. Start screwing in both upper and lower mounting bolts by hand. Set your 1/4-inch drive torque wrench to 95 inch-pounds, and secure both bolts in place.

Lay the new sensor’s wire along the same course on the frame. Return and tighten both retaining clip bolts until snug. Plug the wheel speed sensor’s wiring harness back to its connection the same way you had removed it.

Put the tire back on and return all lug nuts by hand. Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern with your lug wrench until snug. Remove the jack stand and lower the truck until the tire meets the ground, but stop before all the vehicle's weight is transferred to the tire. Set your 3/8-inch drive torque wrench to 87 foot-pounds and continue the star tightening pattern until all lug nuts are secured. Lower the truck completely down, remove the hydraulic jack and both wheel blocks from the rear tires. Repeat this entire process to replace the other three speed sensors, if needed.

Items you will need

  • 2 wheel blocks

  • Lug wrench

  • Hydraulic jack

  • Jack stand

  • 1/4-inch drive torque wrench

  • 3/8-inch drive torque wrench

 How to Replace a Speed Sensor on a 99 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Raise up the SUV using the jack and set it securely on a pair of jack stands located under the sides of the chassis. Take off the front wheels and place them out of the immediate workspace.

Locate the speed sensor on the backside of the steering knuckle, located next to the gear shaft at the end of the front axle. Clean off the sensor using the mechanic's rags, then unbolt it from the steering knuckle. Follow the path of the electrical connection on the speed sensor into the chassis, unbolting the clips along the way, until you reach the harness connection. Unplug the harness connection using your hands.

Apply the Mopar Lock N' Seal to the sensor bolt, then bolt the replacement speed sensor to its location on the steering knuckle using an open-end wrench. Run the wiring up the steering knuckle, attaching it to the clips along the path, then plug the harness in to the stock connection using your hands.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Tire iron

  • Mechanic's rags

  • Open-end wrench set

  • Mopar Lock N' Seal

  • Replacement speed sensor

 How to Replace the Speed Sensor in a 2004 Chevy Tahoe

Removal

Shift the transmission into park and turn off the engine. Apply the parking brake, open the hood, and disconnect the negative battery terminal using a battery terminal wrench. Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels.

Raise the vehicle using an automotive jack and support it with jack stands. Check to make sure that the vehicle is resting securely on the jack stands. Crawl underneath the vehicle and locate the VSS.

Disconnect the vehicle speed sensor’s electrical connector. Remove the VSS mounting bolt with a metric socket and a ratchet. Remove the VSS using a twisting and pulling motion. Remove the VSS O-ring seal with your index finger and thumb.

Installation

Install the new O-ring seal, which comes with the new VSS, onto the new VSS and coat it with a thin film of automatic transmission fluid.

Install the VSS into the transmission using a twisting and pushing motion.

Tighten the VSS retaining bolt to 97 inch-pounds using a metric socket and an inch-pound torque wrench. Reconnect the vehicle speed sensor’s electrical connector. Exit from underneath the vehicle.

Raise the vehicle using the automotive jack and remove the jack stands, one side at a time, then lower the vehicle back to the ground. Reconnect the negative battery terminal using the battery terminal wrench and close the hood. Test drive the vehicle to ensure it operates properly.

Items you will need

  • Work light

  • Battery terminal wrench

  • Wheel chocks

  • Automotive jack

  • Jack stands

  • Ratchet

  • Metric socket

  • Transmission fluid

  • Inch-pound torque wrench

 How to Replace the Speed Sensor on a 1995 Honda Accord

Speed Sensor Removal

Use the Phillips screwdriver to loosen the screw in the intake boot clamp at the throttle body. Slide the intake boot off the throttle body. Pull the other end of the intake boot off the air filter housing.

Locate the Accord speed sensor at the top of the back side of the transmission, close to the firewall. It has two 10-mm bolts holding it in, and an electrical connector at the top. Unplug the electrical connector by squeezing the clip at the top and sliding it off the speed sensor.

Use the ratchet, extension and 10-mm socket to remove the two bolts located on the sides of the speed sensor.

Remove the speed sensor by pulling on it. You may have to twist it back and forth to work it free. If the drive link does not come out with the speed sensor, remove it from the transmission. The drive link is a very small part that links the speed sensor with the transmission.

Speed Sensor Installation

Insert the drive link into the new speed sensor. Carefully place the speed sensor onto the transmission, making sure that the drive link lines up in the shaft.

Install the two 10-mm bolts and tighten them until they are snug.

Slide the electrical connector back onto the speed sensor until it clicks into place.

Reinstall the intake boot by sliding it over the throttle body and air filter housing. Tighten the Phillips screw in the clamp at the throttle body.

Start the Accord and test drive it to verify that the speedometer is working properly.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Ratchet

  • Extension

  • 10-mm socket

  • New speed sensor

 How to Replace the Speed Sensor in a Toyota

Raise the front of the Toyota onto jack stands using a floor jack or the jack that came with the Toyota.

Slide under the Toyota and locate the speed sensor. It will look like a black plug stuck into the transmission. The exact location will vary depending on your model and year.

Unplug the electrical leads running to the sensor.

Grab the end of the sensor with a pair of Vise-Grip pliers and turn the sensor counterclockwise to remove the sensor.

Thread and tighten the new sensor. Then reconnect the electrical leads. Lower the vehicle to the ground.

Items you will need

  • Vise-Grip pliers

  • Replacement speed sensor

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

 How to Replace the Speed Sensor on a 2001 Ford Windstar

Place the Windstar in "Park" on a level surface. Allow the van to cool down for a half hour.

Raise the front passenger side of the vehicle using a jack. Place a jack stand underneath it, and lower the Windstar onto the jack stand. Place wheel blocks around the opposite tire.

Slide under the vehicle with your back to the ground. Look straight up, and you will see the transmission.

Locate the speed sensor on the right side of the transmission toward the engine. You will see a plug-type component sticking out with an electrical connector plugged into it. This is the sensor.

Unplug the electrical connector from the sensor. Turn the sensor counterclockwise until it is loose enough to remove. Pull the sensor from the transmission, and discard it.

Align the replacement speed sensor on the transmission, and push it into place. Turn the sensor clockwise until it is tight. Plug the electrical wire connector into the new sensor. You will hear it click into place. Slide out from beneath the vehicle, and lower it off the jack stands. Remove the wheel blocks.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stand

  • Wheel blocks

  • Wrench

 How to Replace a Speed Sensor on a 2002 Ford Explorer

Drive the front wheels of the Explorer onto the ramps. Set the parking brake and place the wheel chocks behind the rear wheels.

Climb under the Explorer below the driver’s door. Locate the speed sensor, which mounts on the driver’s side of the transmission. Unbolt it using the 10mm box wrench.

Pull the sensor out of the transmission and disconnect the sensor’s wiring harness from the Explorer’s main wiring harness by hand.

Bolt in the new speed sensor with the 10mm box wrench. Plug the new sensor’s wiring harness into the Explorer’s main wiring harness by hand.

Climb out, move the wheel chocks and drive the Explorer off the ramps carefully.

Items you will need

  • Ramps

  • 2 wheel chocks

  • 10mm box wrench

 How to Replace the Speed Sensor on a GMC Vehicle

Place wheel chocks behind the passenger-side tires. Raise the driver-side of the truck with a floor jack, and slide jack stands under the frame.

Slide under the truck and locate the speed sensor on the tail-shaft housing of the transmission. Unplug the electrical connector on the sensor. Remove the 10 mm bolt that attaches the sensor to the transmission. Twist the sensor as you pull it from the transmission.

Push the new sensor carefully into the transmission tail-shaft housing. Twist and push until the sensor seats fully into the housing. Install the 10 mm bolt and plug the electrical connector into the new sensor.

Raise the truck off the jack stands and remove the stands. Lower the truck slowly to the ground.

On GMC models made before 1996, disconnect the battery to clear all the trouble codes stored in the computer. On vehicles made after 1996, clear the codes using an automotive scan tool. Test-drive the truck to verify the repair.

Items you will need

  • New speed sensor

  • Socket set

  • Automotive scan tool

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

 How to Replace the Speed Sensor on the 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan

Park the Grand Caravan and allow the van to cool for a half hour.

Jack the front of the vehicle up. Crawl under the vehicle to access the speed sensor. Locate the speed sensor. The speed sensor is found on the right side of the transmission on the 2002 Grand Caravan. The sensor has a black electrical connector and a red locking tab. If needed, refer to your repair manual for a diagram.

Remove the electrical connector. Squeeze the connector and pull at the same time. Unhook the locking tab by pushing the tab forward with your finger. The sensor is now accessible and ready to be removed.

Use a wrench to remove the sensor. Grasp the sensor and twist the component counterclockwise until the sensor can be pulled from the transmission. Discard the old sensor.

Install the replacement sensor in place. Twist the sensor clockwise until the component cannot be tightened anymore. Plug the electrical connector into place. Press the lock tab down to secure the sensor. The sensor is now replaced and ready for use. Crawl out of under the vehicle and slowly lower the jack.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Replacement sensor

 How to Replace a Speed Sensor in a 1998 Dodge Dakota

Removal

Shift the vehicle into park, engage the parking brake and turn off the engine. Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery terminal using a battery terminal wrench. Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels.

Raise the front of the vehicle using an automotive jack and support it with jack stands. Crawl underneath the vehicle and locate the transmission speed sensor; it protrudes from the rear-left side of the transmission’s tailshaft housing and has a two-wire connector attached to it.

Disconnect the sensor’s electrical connector. Place a drain pan beneath the sensor to catch any transmission fluid that may drip out. Remove the sensor and O-ring seal using a metric socket and a ratchet.

Installation

Install a new O-ring seal on to the new speed sensor. Install the sensor into the transmission using a ratchet and metric socket. Tighten it to 20 foot-pounds using a torque wrench.

Reconnect the sensor’s electrical connector and exit from underneath the vehicle. Lift the vehicle using the automotive jack, remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle back to the ground.

Pull the transmission dipstick from underneath the hood and add in the same amount of Mopar +4 automatic transmission fluid, if any, that spilled out during the installation and removal of the speed sensor.

Replace the dipstick and reconnect the negative battery terminal using a battery terminal wrench. Close the hood and test drive the vehicle in order to ensure that it operates properly.

Items you will need

  • Battery terminal wrench

  • Automotive jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chocks

  • Metric socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Drain pan

  • Transmission fluid

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.