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Is It Just a Defective Hub Bearing or Wheel Speed Sensor? 
By: Mighty Auto Parts | Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 7:58 pm in Blog

Is It Just a Defective Hub Bearing or Wheel Speed Sensor? 

Noise coming from the wheels, an illuminated malfunction indicator lamp, antilock brake-related symptoms, traction control issues, or transmission-related symptoms are all indicators of potential vehicle problems. But did you know, each of these vehicle warnings could occur with hub bearing or wheel speed sensor failure?  It is always important when having your vehicle inspected for repair to eliminate all possible potential failures.  The last thing you’d want to do is to repair a transmission when it’s only the hub or wheel bearings, replacing a defective wheel speed sensor. Seems unlikely, but we promise, it has happened.

So how does damaged occurring to the hub or wheel bearings? Some hub bearing assemblies contain internal wheel speed sensors while others use external sensors. Some of the problems that can arise and cause damage to the sensors include:

  • Excessive bearing end play
  • Corrosion, affecting the air gap spacing and weakening the sensor’s signal strength
  • Road debris blocking the sensor, rendering it inoperative or causing mechanical damage
  • Particles of metallic debris attached to a wheel speed sensor magnetic encoder ring
  • Contaminated wheel speed sensors

If there is debris, the last thing you want to do is use a magnetic tool to remove it. This can damage the encoder ring. Rather, remove the debris with a soft bristle brush or use a mild detergent to wash the decoder ring. Sometimes removing the hub bearing is necessary to ensure a thorough cleaning, but your trusted auto shop and technician can take care of this easily.

While wheel bearings are designed to last for many miles, the fact is they can still fail for various reasons due to normal wear and tear on your vehicle. When diagnosing symptoms that may indicate trouble with the hub bearing or wheel speed sensor, the technician should focus first on the possibility that it’s a defective wheel speed sensor, wiring, or contamination affecting the sensor signal before other options are considered. That means make sure you take your vehicle in for thorough diagnostics, and making sure line graph diagnostics are performed on each wheel speed sensor and compared to other sensor signals.  To read more about hub bearing inspections click.

Mighty Auto Parts partners with more than 12,000 repair facilities, from independents to large multi-bay specialty shops and tire centers. High-quality OEM parts, personalized local service, and familiar faces that say, “We’re in this together,” make Mighty the dependable partner to the thousands of owners, corporations, and professional automotive repair shops that we serve across the United States. To learn more about how we can keep your car in top running condition with the highest-quality parts, visit us at Mighty Auto Parts today!

One response to “Is It Just a Defective Hub Bearing or Wheel Speed Sensor? ”

  1. JACK WADEL says:

    Strange nioses from car. Missing a few pulses.Corridinating, all speed sensors, (8)TCM,and ECU up, 2004 Saturn 3.0 clearing a few glitches, August 14,2021.

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