How Long Can You Drive a Car With a Bad Speed Sensor?

When you’re going this fast, there are some important things you should know about your car sensors. What happens if something goes wrong with your speed sensor? What does that mean for me? How long Can You drive a car with a bad speed sensor?

In this article, we’ll take a look at how these sensors work – both what they do and how they can affect you if anything ever goes wrong with them in the future. 

We’ll also talk about what kind of problems could happen and how to fix them before they turn into real trouble. Let’s get to it!

What is a speed sensor?

The speed sensor (also known as the “vehicle speed sensor” or “wheel speed sensor”) in your car is a type of tachometer that will send a signal to your car’s computer telling it how fast the car is going.

How Long Can You Drive a Car With a Bad Speed Sensor
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The computer then uses this information to adjust things like your speedometer, your RPMs, and (most importantly) your transmission shift points.

Is the ABS sensor the same as the speed sensor?

Yes, the Anti-lock braking system (ABS) Sensor and the Wheel Speed Sensor are both the same part. The speed sensor is measuring the rotational speed of your wheels.

The vehicle speed sensors produce data that allows automated driving aids like ABS to function. This is usually what people are referring to when they say “speed sensor”.

Can you drive with a bad speed sensor?

In general, it is unsafe to drive a vehicle with a broken wheel speed sensor. The car’s computer will not be able to determine the speed that your vehicle is traveling, so it might apply the brakes at a faster rate than necessary or increase the engine power. The effects of this vary by car model but could cause an accident if you are driving too fast for conditions. 

If you have a bad speed sensor and need service, you should contact a mechanic immediately. You may ask why this is so important. There are many reasons, but the most obvious is safety.

Related: Can You Drive With Bad Knock Sensor? 7 Things You Should Know

What will happen when you drive a car with bad speed sensor?

As mentioned above, driving with a bad speed sensor can lead to some safety risks. Moreover, some of the car’s components may start to malfunction. Here are some examples of what might happen:

ABS will not function properly

It’s crucial to tell how fast it’s going at all times. It’s especially important when you’re driving on wet or icy roads, as those conditions can cause your tires to slip and lose traction. Your speedometer is also a major factor in how your car handles and brakes. 

If your vehicle can’t give accurate information, the ABS will act incorrectly and could cause a skid or brake failure. The wheels on your vehicle may lock up and you will either be unable to steer or stop the car at all resulting in a serious accident.

Your speedometer will stop working

There’s no doubt that this is the most obvious sign that something is wrong with your speed sensor. If it’s not sending an accurate reading to your onboard computer, then you won’t know how fast you’re going and this can cause a lot of problems for you in the future.

Your check engine light will come on

Another indicator that your car is having trouble with its speed sensor is the check engine light. If your car’s computer doesn’t have any idea how fast you’re going, it will think that you have a problem and so it may cause your check engine light to come on as a warning sign for you (and other people) to see.

Related: Can You Drive with a Bad O2 Sensor? Read These 8 Facts

Other car issues resulting from a bad speed sensor

While these are the most obvious problems that could occur with a bad speed sensor, there have been reports of this problem causing bigger issues as well including:

-Transmission revving

-Long Shift Intervals

-Rough Gear Changes

-Overdrive Light Blinking

The longer you drive with your car with a bad speed sensor, the worse it can potentially get for you down the line.

How Do vehicle speed Sensors Go Bad?

A vehicle speed sensor can go bad for a few reasons. Your car might have been damaged in an accident where the wheel was completely taken off of your vehicle, which will prevent it from getting power and information as well. 

In other cases, corrosion or dirt could build up on the wires inside of the tire that is connecting your computer to the rest of your vehicle. In most cases, the sensor doesn’t need to be replaced completely, but if you have anything that isn’t working correctly then you should get it checked out as soon as possible.

How do I avoid vehicle speed sensor problems?

The easiest way to avoid vehicle speed sensor problems is by making sure that every part of your car stays in proper working order. You should also get a checkup from time to time so that you can find out as soon as possible when something goes wrong – otherwise, it could lead to major problems!

How much does speed sensor replacement cost?

If you think your vehicle’s speed sensor is bad, then a technician may be able to replace it for about $250 or so – although there are some instances where this will cost more. Still, that isn’t too expensive when you consider the fact that problems with this part can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and lead to an accident.

Can I replace speed sensors myself?

To replace your speed sensor, you’ll need to remove the tire from your car first and then remove the inner liner so that you have access to the wires.

After that, you should be able to remove the old sensor and install a new one. 

However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing any of this, then you should seek out professional help. Otherwise, you could end up making things much worse! Also, you should know which ABS sensor is bad before you proceed with replacing them.


To avoid problems with your ABS sensor, you must take care of your car. This means checking the condition of brakes and tires regularly for any damage before an issue arises. 

In addition, make sure to keep track of what repairs are done on the vehicle so that if something does happen then you can get it fixed right away! 

If you do notice warning lights coming up or feel like the car has a bad speed sensor, don’t hesitate to have a professional look at things ASAP!

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