ABS Speed Sensor Cost

buckyJuly 14, 2005

ABS warning light came on in my 96 Buick. Had it checked out. Two errors showed on computer for front left wheel speed sensor. Cost to replace it. $630.00 Canadian. Pulled the fuse for the system. So much for ABS. Never liked it anyway.


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nice move. You can now kiss your transmission goodby.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 6:36PM
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The wheel speed sensor is part of a the LF wheel bearing/hub assembly. You're not just purchasing the sensor. The big problem with just pulling the fuse attitude is this is one problem. At some point in time something else will break and need service, and then another, and then another until finally, some day, you have no choice but to either dump the car or fix it, and the price then will truly be astonomical. The reason is, if you don't fix everything that is wrong, the car will simply not be fixed and you'll think the money was wasted for sure. If you deal with, and fix each little occuance when it happens, and spread that expense out over a longer time then it's much easier to deal with. Then you can probably do that with cash instead of having to use a credit card and pay interest on top of the repair.

I've actually got a new customer that between two of his three cars is going to break 4K before they are totally up and running correctly. We are doing these repairs over a two month schedule. He was a classic disconnect it, or put it off kind of guy, and now things have changed and he simply will not be able to replace the cars, especially for what it will cost to fix them. From now on, he is planning on keeping up with them no matter what they need, and keep the cost a little easier to swallow with routine service. Thats what we do, and in the long run he will save thousands of dollars U.S!

Kalining, I know your a dealer tech, but you said something that I'm not ready to buy into. Why can he kiss his tranny goodbye? Tech to tech, be specific please.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 9:47AM
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Most speed sensors, and he said speed sensor, do more than one job. They monitor shift points, timing, acceleration,
cruise control, Down shifts, Converter lock up, And above all being A.B.S. the fluid pressures in the cylinders. With
A.B.S. disconnected, as you know, the car reverts back to
standard power brakes. That is emergency backup. The car
was not designed to be that way from the factory. If it was
just the wheel sensor disconnected The abs goes into
backup and hope the signal dosen't get to the trans. It will go to the computer and cause all kinds of fun. Being it is a Buick, and an expensive car they might use all
sensors tied into one. I haven't worked on Buicks for years. I know most of the 4 wheel drives use all 4 sensors
for the wheel lock up. Disconnect one sensor and you have a
normal 2 x 4 vehicle. Hope this helps. The person in question may be ok but as i said the car wasn't built to have " stuff " disconnected. Keep removing and disconnecting things and you revert back to the model T.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 5:37PM
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John G.: I certainly can't argue with your logic on this John. I've always been the sort who maintains his vehicles and repairs them promptly as problems develop. In this particular case I was of the view that running the vehicle without ABS was no biggie as I never have liked it anyway. What I didn't consider though was that the system is also integral with the traction control system which I don't want to go without. I will therefore be biting the bullet and getting it repaired. I'm confused by KALININGS reply regarding saying bye bye to my transmission. Are these systems integral to each others proper operation. If so its news to me but thank you both for responding to my post. Its appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 5:37PM
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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: ABS Speed Sensor Cost
Posted by: kalining (My Page) on Thu, Jul 14, 05 at 18:36

nice move. You can now kiss your transmission goodby.

Oh really, I'd like to hear your theory regarding this ?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 6:20PM
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No offence but if your a G.M.C. ASE tech. your should know.
Bottom line, when you start ripping out the cars electronic
systems your going to have trouble. I had a guy that drove in from 1000 km. every second week for doctors appointments
in town one way. He disconnected his speedometer to keep the mileage down for warrenty. He fried the transmission.
Yes the G.M. boys were down and looked at it. They refused
warrenty. You should know why this happened. I do. As i
tried to say. If the gentleman in question just disconnected an axil inpulse sensor for A.B.S. and it doesn't interfer with the " speed sensor " , and they're
different, he should be fine.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 6:45PM
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Transaxle shift points are determined by the VSS inside the transaxle. Now it is true that in the event that sensor fails the PCM can use ABS wheel speed data through the serial connection in order to control the transmission. Of course if you lose your VSS and the ABS is shut down, then the only thing the PCM can do would be go into limp in mode.

IMO no other problems will occur.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 11:55AM
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This is getting to be a most interesting thread. I'm learning something here. I had no idea that other systems, other than the traction control, were tied into the ABS system. John: What does the acronym VSS represent?


    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 12:23PM
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VSS is Vehicle Speed Sensor. It is the primary input for not only your speedometer, but for your cruise control, and transmission shift commands. On some cars it's the input that sets the automatic door locks. It may be used as part of the AIR Bag system and other systems. In fact, it may be used to slightly change subtle things such as the radio volume. As I said earlier though, since there are several other sensors on the car that also report vehicle speed, you could have a "VSS" fail and still have correct transmission shift points, and speedometer operation etc. because the system through serial data may use one of the wheel speed sensors as an alternate input. However, they do occasionally throw a curve at us. One car may do everything just fine, including illuminate the check engine lamp, and the next may disable the cruise control, or some other function. We always have to be on our toes.

The VSS is not the only sensor that has multiple uses for the information it provides, and can be worked around if it fails. That's just another one of the advantages of the capabilities we find with today's computerized cars.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 2:54PM
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But that $630 cost of the sensor is outrageous,If indeed that is what the problem is..And a man can always use a junk yard as a source..
I would go for a second opinion, or maybe use a true mechanic rather than a parts replacer...
IMO, very little of these "safety/luxury items are that vital..
The Model T, or a model A, a VW 113, or even a '50 Chevrolet were sufficient for a long time..
A man could drive one today if he had no fear of some work and a little risk...

Todays vehicles have become too complex and too expensive to buy and maintain - the manufacturers should back off a bit and give the consumer a break....

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 3:13PM
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Guys: The fellow that diagnosed my problem is a full fledged mechanic with a great reputation so I'm confident of his diagnosis. Thanks a lot for the education John G. and others.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 8:12PM
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After the education I received on ABS Speed Sensors from a few knowledgeable guys on the list I decided to repair the problem myself, being a handy kinda guy. I purchased the complete hub, bearing, and abs sensor unit for $130 CDN and installed it myself in about 40 minutes. System is now back in full and correct operation. Replacing the hub wasa piece of cake. Next project is the O2 sensors. Thanks again to those on the list involved in this thread. Cheers: Bucky

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 5:00PM
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Does this mean I can be glad my 05 Buick Century does not have ABS breaks?It was a $600 option I felt I could live without.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 6:09PM
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I have an ABS, SRS light that come on and stay on when the car is started. Then the TCS light blinks while the gas pedal is pushed until the TCS stays on solid and then the car will go. While the TCS light blinks, the car will not accelerate. This is an Acura 3.5 RL. Based on what you all seem to be saying, I could need a new wheel sensor (is this right? I say this because the lights are saying bad airbags, anit-lock brakes and Traction control system) What kind of repair costs would that be? I have a mechanic whom I trust and would rather go to him as opposed to the dealer. Can a regular autobody repair shop that services mostly american cars perform such a repair? Thanks for any responses

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 11:03AM
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I have a '98 GMC 3500hd the left front wheel speed sensor is $323 just for the sensor, no hub, no installation. This part I can fit in my closed hand. gm abs speed sensor 159567664. Unreal! Why isn't there a after market part?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 7:03PM
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"Replacing the hub was a piece of cake. Next project is the O2 sensors. Thanks again to those on the list involved in this thread. Cheers: Bucky"

Whoa, back up for second. You may get disappointed when you replace the O2 sensors. It is true that the average guy with the correct socket can change these sensors. But, you may not be able to reset the "maintence required" light. In many systems, this code is stored in non-volitle memory and requires a qualified piece of gear to reset it.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 1:05AM
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I have a 95 Olds cutlass supreme that has an ABS code as needing a ABS wheel speed sensor. I can get just the sensor (Raybestos Part number ABS530380) very reasonable. Do I need to purchase the whole wheel hub assembly or can I just replace the sensor in the assembly?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 5:07PM
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ybat.. That would depend largely on which sensor you need and how it is serviced. As disscussed in the earlier posts, many sensors are integral to the hub assemblies. Then again there are those that are not and can be replaced seperately from the hub.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:25AM
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you guys all seemed pretty well informed so I'm going to give you an as-of-yet unsolvable mystery.

2003 Buick Century Custom, mileage about 50,000

problem: occasionally while driving, ABS/TRAC/Service Vehicle Soon lights would illuminate, speedometer/temp/fuel gauges would stick at current readings. Sometimes problem would occur off and on while driving, sometimes would occur when car was started, sometimes not at all. When this problem happened, the car would drive normally. Transmission shifts at appropriate times, even cruise control worked correctly. The issue began happening more and more often until it just stayed that way. Took it to a local mechanic who replaced the instrument cluster AND the ECM (car's computer?). He claimed the problem was fixed, so i took it back. next morning, problem is back and im out $600. Now I have been at a loss for the last year.. I dont want to keep throwing money at the problem but it is extremely inconvenient to use a gps speedometer app on my phone to know how fast im going and to always have to stop and get gas just to be on the safe side. I asked the mechanic to check out the speed sensor when I dropped it off but he was pretty dismissive so I'm not sure if it was checked or not. About 6 months before the issue surfaced, I was hit on my front passenger side basically right on the headlight (she hit me corner to corner at about 10mph). Sometimes extreme cold SEEMED to cause the problem to go away. My theory was that perhaps a wire was not connected properly somewhere and that moisture in the air froze it in place somewhat and kept it connected. Sometimes hitting small bumps would cause the problem to begin or end... I have been bummed out so hard, asked everyone I know, checked online 'til I was blue in the face, even paid an 'expert' at one of those online question answering services only to be told they didnt know

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 11:30AM
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