Can You Drive With a Bad Wheel Speed Sensor?

Can you drive with a bad wheel speed sensor? assumably, you’re experiencing the signs of a failing wheel speed sensor and you wish to know if it’s safe to keep driving the car or wait until the sensor is fixed?

Well, when things go bad in a car – especially things that have to do with the engine – it is advisable to wait until the issue is fixed before you can continue driving.

However, in the case of a bad wheel speed sensor, most people do ignore the signs and just keep driving. Well, don’t be like “most people.”

Here’s what you need to know and what you should do when your wheel speed sensor goes bad.

Can You Drive With a Bad Wheel Speed Sensor?

What Happens When You Drive With A Bad Wheel Speed Sensor

What’s the function of a wheel speed sensor? That should be the first question here.

A clear understanding of how a good wheel speed sensor functions would give a clearer view of what to expect when it goes bad; apparently, you can only expect a contrast of the former.

That said, a wheel speed sensor (a.k.a vehicle speed sensor, ABS sensor, or simply called speed sensor) is integrated into every wheel in a vehicle.

Its function is to detect the speed of the wheel is it assigned to, and then transmit the information – in the form of signals – to the transmissions system or ABS.

The ABS now acts on the signals it received from all the wheel speed sensors installed in your vehicle, utilizing them for the effective operation and performance of the driver assistance technologies available in your car.

Driver assistance technologies include cruise control, lane-keep assist, and many others.

Now, when a wheel speed sensor goes bad, that particular sensor would send wrong signals to the ABS.

Owing to the fact that cars are now designed to be more connected than ever, when the ABS reads a wrong signal, it would alert other systems of a possible danger, which can cause different components and systems of your vehicle to malfunction.

Hence, you may notice a loss of stability, loss of traction, hard shifting of gears, inconsistent changing of gears (for automatic transmissions), and many other abnormalities.

When all these things start to occur, the cause can be linked to a failing wheel speed sensor.

Getting back to the question, “can you drive with a bad wheel speed sensor?” The simple answer is YES, but that could be a dangerous dare.

When you ditch these signs of a failing speed sensor and allow it to linger for a while, it could metamorphose into a bigger problem, which could cost you more money.

Changing one or all of your wheel speed sensors is far cheaper than dealing with a faulty transmission, which could be the aftermath of not attending to the bad sensor in time.

The maxim, “a stitch in time saves nine,” is the perfect way to explain this scenario.

What Happens When You Drive With A Bad Wheel Speed Sensor?

Initially, nothing bad is going to happen – left for the fact you’d find it difficult to drive.

From hard gear shifting to semi-stiff brake petals, to hill climbing difficulties – it’s just going to be difficult to drive the car even though every other component seems to be in good shape.

However, in the long run, a bad wheel speed sensor could cause limp mode and even get to the extent of affecting your transmission.

You surely don’t want to have anything affect your transmission, because that’s going to burn a significant hole in your pocket.

We’d advise you to troubleshoot your vehicle to know which speed sensor is faulty and have it fixed as fast as possible.

If you could, it’d be best to change all the wheel speed sensors at a go; so that you won’t fix one today and another breaks down in a few days’ time.

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Summary

Can you drive with a bad wheel speed sensor? Hopefully, this article has extensively answered this question, and now we’d love to hear from you.

Have you ever faced a bad wheel speed sensor scenario? How did you tackle the situation?

Regardless of the opinions, you may get from drivers in some car fora, always ensure to fix any issue with your car before taking it for a drive.