How To Replace A Toyota Wheel Speed Sensor
A wheel speed sensor is critical in ensuring optimal performance of the vehicle's:
- ABS system
- Traction/stability control system
- Speedometer data
A wheel speed sensor is also known as a "speed sensor", an "ABS sensor", or a "vehicle speed sensor". It monitors the rotation of each wheel, and then sends the data to the ECU. The ECU uses this data to operate various systems effectively. With the standardization of ABS and other electronic systems, wheel speed sensors are common in all modern cars.
Wheel speed sensors rarely fail on their own. There's usually an outside factor that contributes to the failure of a wheel speed sensor, such as:
- Corrosion of the connector
- Damage to the area in which the sensor is located
When a wheel speed sensor fails, the vehicle loses its ABS and stability/traction control systems. Also, the speedometer won't display the correct reading. This can result in the driver inadvertently driving too fast or too slow.
If your wheel speed sensor fails, you want to replace it as soon as possible. If you're a Toyota owner, you came to the right place. We put together a handy tutorial on replacing a wheel speed sensor on a Toyota vehicle.
Signs Of A Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor
When one of the wheel speed sensors on your Toyota fails, you'll notice the following signs:
- ABS or traction control system warning light coming on in the dash
- An obviously inaccurate speedometer reading (for example, the speedometer showing 20 mph when you're driving fast on the highway)
- The vehicle becoming unstable when braking
- A noticeable loss of traction and stability
- Longer stopping distances
Once you notice these signs, diagnose the issue and then replace the faulty sensor ASAP. If you have a scan tool that's able to read the wheel sensor, use it to determine which sensor may need replacement.
Get A Replacement Wheel Speed Sensor First
Before starting the replacement process, get a replacement sensor. It's always better to get an OEM part for the following reasons:
- OEM Toyota sensors are manufactured with quality materials that will last as long as the original.
- OEM sensors are exact fit replacement parts you can count on.
- OEM Toyota sensors come with a manufacturer's warranty.
None of these features are guaranteed with aftermarket wheel speed sensors.
If you're looking to save money, you can order a genuine OEM Toyota wheel speed sensor from us. We're an authorized retailer of OEM Toyota parts, and we offer wholesale pricing. Check out our catalog of OEM Toyota wheel speed sensors. Keep in mind that wheel speed sensors are specific to the left- and right-hand sides of your vehicle. So be sure to get one that's for the correct side. If you need help finding the right wheel speed sensor for your vehicle, please contact us.
The Replacement Process
Image Credit: Felix Rusu
Once you have the replacement sensor, it's time to remove the old one and then install the new one on your Toyota. Here's what you need to do.
Gather Together All The Tools You'll Need
First, gather together the following tools:
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Wheel chocks
- Ratchet wrench
- Metric sockets
- Penetrating oil
How To Replace A Toyota Wheel Speed Sensor
Take the following steps:
- Park your vehicle and then put the transmission in park (or first gear if it's manual).
- Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel in front of the faulty sensor.
- Jack up the vehicle and then prop it up with jack stands. If the faulty sensor is on the front axle, you can only jack up the front of the vehicle and then chock the rear wheels.
- Remove the wheel in front of the faulty sensor. This step is optional. You don't necessarily have to remove the wheel, but it makes the sensor much easier to access.
- Find the faulty sensor and then remove it. Wheel speed sensors are typically secured by a 10mm metric bolt. Sensors can be difficult to remove if they are corroded. Apply penetrating oil to remedy this. If still difficult to remove, you may need to remove the hub completely.
- Mount the new wheel speed sensor. Depending on your Toyota model, you may also need to disconnect the ABS line before doing this. Once the speed sensor is replaced, reconnect the ABS line.
- Put the wheel back on and then lower the vehicle.
- Turn on the car and then look for the ABS warning light. If it's no longer lit up, then the replacement went smoothly. You may want to take your car out for a test drive to see if the warning light comes on again.
Here are more resources on maintaining your Toyota:
- Online apps, including diagnostic tools, can be found at Online Tools And Software
- For information on upgrading to alloy wheels, visit 3 Great Reasons To Swap Out Your Steel Wheels For Alloy Wheels
- For a tutorial on replacing an oxygen sensor in your Toyota, visit How To Replace Your Toyota's Oxygen Sensor