How to Replace the Wheel Speed Sensor in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

These devices attach to each of the wheels on your Vehicles measure the speed of the wheel and send a signal to the ABS. Failure to transmit that signal means the ABS won't know when a wheel locks up and will neglect to counteract that lockage. Replacement of a wheel speed sensor may be necessary.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Wheel Speed Sensor in a GMC Sierra

Lift the truck with a jack. Make sure the jack stabilizes the vehicle securely.

Access the brake rotor by taking off the tire and wheel. Once you have access, remove it.

Detach the GMC Sierra WSS electrical connector. To do this, you need to remove the WSS cable mounting clips located on the knuckle, on the upper control arm and on the frame attachment point.

Remove the mounting bolt that holds the WSS in place. You can use a wrench or a ratchet and socket set.

Grab the WSS with your fingers and pull it out of the hub. Don't use any tools to pry the part, or you may break the WSS off in the hub or damage the sensor body.

Prevent debris from falling into the hub by plugging the WSS bore. Then clean the area.

Apply lubricant, a wheel bearing lubricant works well, to the O-ring and the hub and insert the new GMS Sierra WSS. Reassemble the components.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Wrench or ratchet and socket set

  • Wheel bearing lubricant

  • GMC Sierra WSS

 How to Replace the Wheel Speed Sensor in a VW Passat

Remove the Old Passat Wheel Speed Sensor

Figure out which wheel speed sensor you need to replace. The Passat has a wheel speed sensor in the front and the rear. The position of the wheel speed sensor determines where you place the jack.

Lift the car with a jack. Make sure you support it correctly so you can work on the car safely.

Expose the wheel speed sensor. To do this, you need to take off the tire and wheel assembly.

Remove the wheel speed sensor wiring connector.

Use a wrench or a ratchet and socket set to take off the bolt that secures the wheel speed sensor to the wheel bearing housing. If you're working on the rear wheel speed sensor, you need to remove the nut from the stub axle instead.

Separate the Passat wheel speed sensor from the housing. Pull gently on the part with your fingers; prying at it with tools can cause damage.

Install the New Passat Wheel Speed Sensor

Use a wire brush to clean the wheel bearing housing and the surrounding area.

Lubricate the area with lubricant G 000 650.

Install the new wheel speed sensor and tighten the mounting retainer to 70 inch pounds. (8 Nm) with a torque wrench.

Reassemble the remaining components by reversing the steps you took to remove them.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Wrench or socket set

  • Wire brush

  • Lubricant G 000 650

  • Passat wheel speed sensor

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Wheel Speed Sensor in a Dodge Ram

Park your Dodge Ram 1500 on a level surface, activate the emergency brake and place blocks behind the back tires for safety. Disconnect the negative battery cable with a terminal puller.

Raise the vehicle on the side of the wheel speed sensor's location. Remove the wheel and tire assemblies.

Detach the brake line from the sensor stud. There may be a brake line mounting nut that you will need to remove to perform this task.

Unscrew the mounting nut from the speed sensor and sensor shield. Remove the shield and speed sensor from the differential housing. Remove the o-ring and spacer if necessary.

Disconnect the sensor connection from the wiring harness and remove the speed sensor from the vehicle.

Install the new sensor by reversing the removal process. Torque the speed sensor mounting nut to 18 foot pounds (24 Nm).

Lower the vehicle safely and reconnect the negative battery cable. Refer to your owner's manual to perform an ABS system check to confirm that you installed the sensor properly.

Items you will need

  • Battery terminal puller

  • Car jack

  • Wrench

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Wheel Speed Sensor in a Chevy Avalanche

Use a jack to raise and support the truck.

Take off the tire and the wheel, as well as the brake rotor.

Remove the WSS cable mounting clips. You'll find one on the knuckle, one on the upper control arm and one on the frame attachment point. With the clips removed, you should be able to detach the WSS cable electrical connector.

Position a wrench or a socket on the mounting bolt for the Avalanche wheel speed sensor. Loosen and detach the bolt.

Pull straight out on the wheel speed sensor. You need to separate the part from the bore in the hub/bearing assembly.

Cover the WSS bore and clean the area.

Lubricate the O-ring and hub surfaces with a wheel bearing lubricant. Insert the new Avalanche wheel speed sensor and reassemble the components you removed. If you have a torque wrench, tighten the WSS mounting bolt to 13 foot pounds (18 Nm).

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Wrench or socket

  • Wheel bearing lubricant

  • Avalanche wheel speed sensor

  • Torque wrench, optional

 How to Replace the Wheel Speed Sensor in a Honda Accord

Park your Honda Accord on a level surface, make sure the ignition is off, activate the emergency brake and place blocks behind the back tires for safety. Disconnect the negative battery cable with a terminal puller.

Raise the vehicle on the side of the wheel speed sensor's location. Remove the wheel and tire assemblies.

Disconnect the sensor harness connector. At the connector end, remove the grommets, clips or retainers in order to detach the harness. Take note of where these connect in order to install the new sensor correctly.

Unscrew the speed sensor mounting bolt and remove the sensor from the vehicle.

Obtain the new speed sensor and install it in the differential housing, with the retaining bolt loosely tightened.

Use the white line on the wires as a guide and route the wiring harness without twists or crimps. Then torque the mounting bolt to 7.2 foot pounds (9.8 Nm).

Start at the sensor end and, working your way to the connector end, attach all the clips, retainers and grommets as observed during removal. Connect the sensor wire.

Lower the vehicle safely and reconnect the negative battery cable. Refer to your owner's manual to perform an ABS system check to confirm that you installed the sensor properly.

Items you will need

  • Battery terminal puller

  • Car jack

  • Wrench

  • Torque wrench