How to Replace the Wheel Speed Sensor in a Chrysler Town & Country

by Contributor

If you sense that the anti-lock brake system in your 1996 to 1999 Chrysler Town & Country fails to function properly, check the wheel speed sensors. These devices attach to each of the wheels on your vehicle, measure the speed of the wheel and send a signal to the ABS. Below are the steps for replacing the front wheel speed sensors.

Remove the Malfunctioning Front Wheel Speed Sensor

Park your Chrysler Town & Country 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.

Locate the vehicle's outer frame rail and remove the two mounting screws that secure the front channel bracket and grommet retainer.

Pull the speed sensor cable grommet and wiring connector through the hole in strut tower. Taking precaution to avoid damage to the pins in the connectors, disconnect the wiring harness from the speed sensor.

Remove the speed sensor from the steering knuckle by removing the mounting bolt and gently removing the speed sensor head.

Detach the speed sensor cable grommets from the retaining bracket and remove the wheel speed sensor from the vehicle.

Install the New Front Speed Sensor

Place the speed sensor head into the steering knuckle. Secure it in place by torquing the mounting bolt to 105 inch pounds (12 Nm).

Examine the air gap between the face of the wheel speed sensor and the top of the tone wheel. The air gap must be less than 0.047 inch (1.2 mm), which is the maximum allowable tolerance.

Secure the speed sensor wiring grommets with the intermediate retaining bracket on the strut assembly. Check that the sensor cable routes correctly to the strut assembly on the back side of the stabilizer bar link.

Attach the channel bracket and grommet retainer to the vehicle frame rail. Tighten the two channel bracket mounting bolts to 95 inch pounds (11 Nm). Take care that you don't pinch the speed sensor cable under the channel bracket.

Connect the speed sensor connector to the Town & Country's wiring harness. Securely latch the connector locking tab and seat the connector properly.

Thread the sensor cable and cable grommet through the strut tower hole.

Replace the wheel and tire assemblies. In a star pattern, tighten the lug nuts halfway. Repeat the star pattern and torque the lug nuts to 95 foot pounds (129 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.

Tips

  • check For front wheel speed sensors, check the o-ring and spacer for damage and replace if necessary.
  • check The removal and installation process for rear wheel speed sensors is the same as for the 1996 to 1999 Dodge Caravan.
  • check Apply an anti-corrosive sealant to the wheel speed sensor prior to installation to prevent galvanic corrosion.
  • check You must install the wheel speed sensor properly to ensure your safety. Be sure that you install, route and clip all cables correctly and in the proper locations.

Warnings

  • close Never remove the speed sensor with pliers. If corrosion causes the sensor to seize to the steering knuckle, use a small mallet and punch to remove it by lightly tapping the edge of the sensor ear and rocking the sensor from side to side until it comes loose.
  • close The disconnection of the negative battery cable may interfere with the on board computer function. Upon reconnection, the computer may need to go through a relearning process.
  • close Failure to install a wheel speed sensor properly, such as contact with moving parts or stretched sensor cables, can result in ABS failure and threaten your safety. If in doubt, consult a mechanic for correct installation.
  • close Don't hammer or bang the new wheel speed sensor into the sensor housing. You must push it in by hand.

Items you will need

About the Author

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