How to clean the Wheel Speed Sensor on a Car

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you've probably heard about self-driving cars. But even if you're not interested in that new technology, there's one thing that all car owners should know how to clean – the wheel speed sensor! 

It's an important part of your car that helps keep everything running smoothly, so read on for instructions on how to clean it.

What is a Wheel Speed Sensor?


A wheel speed sensor is a device that measures the rotation of your wheels. It sends this data to your car’s computer, which uses it to calculate how fast your car is going and whether you are driving safely.

If any of these things go wrong, your car will display a service warning light on the dashboard. This means there's an issue with your car's safety features—and you should get it checked out right away!

How to Test a Wheel Speed Sensor?

If you're like most car owners, you don't think about your wheel speed sensors until there's a problem. And by then, it's usually too late! In this section, we'll show you how to test your wheel speed sensors so you can avoid costly repairs.

The wheel speed sensor is an important safety component of your vehicle, and if it fails, your car may not drive properly or at all. The wheel speed sensor sends information about the rotational velocity of each wheel back to an electronic control unit (ECU), which then calculates how fast your car is going based on this information.

Here's how you can test a wheel distance sensor:

Step 1: Turn off your engine and remove the key from the ignition.

Step 2: Check the battery voltage level. If it is below 12 volts, replace the battery.

Step 3: Connect the positive (+) terminal of the battery to the negative (-) terminal of the ECU using jumper cables.

Step 4: Start your car and let it run for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Disconnect the battery and turn off the engine.

Step 6: Remove the key from the ignition and disconnect the battery cable.

Step 7: Now check the wheel speed sensor. If it does not work, replace the wheel speed sensor.

Step 8: Reinstall the battery and start the engine.

Step 9: Let the car run for another 5 minutes.

Step 10: Repeat steps 6-9 until the wheel speed sensor works correctly.

What to use to clean the wheel speed sensor

If your vehicle has a wheel speed sensor, it is very likely located somewhere between the wheel and the hub. If you have a problem with your wheel speed sensor, you need to check whether it is damaged or needs replacing. You can use our guide to locate your wheel speed sensor and learn more about its purpose.

You can use a variety of tools to clean your wheel speed sensor. Here are some of them:

Symptoms of a Dirty Wheel Speed Sensor

If you notice one or more of the following symptoms, then it might be time for a checkup.

  1. Your car has been making strange noises when you drive.
  2. You've noticed that your car seems to be moving in reverse even though you're not pressing the gas pedal.
  3. Your car is suddenly accelerating without warning.
  4. Your car won't start at all.
  5. Your car doesn't have enough power.
  6. Your car isn't shifting gears properly.
  7. Your car is stalling.
  8. Your car is losing control.
  9. Your car is vibrating excessively.
  10. Your car is overheating.
  11. Your car is producing smoke.
  12. Your car is shaking uncontrollably.
  13. Your car is making unusual sounds.
  14. Your car is emitting a foul smell.

How to Clean a dirty Wheel Speed Sensor?

Wheel speed sensors are an important part of a car's braking system. They help the computer determine how much braking power to apply. Over time, they can get dirty and stop working properly. Here is how to clean them:

  1. Park your car on a level surface and set the parking brake.
  2. Remove the wheel speed sensor from the car. There may be a bolt or clip that holds it in place.
  3. Clean the sensor with a brush or rag. Be sure to remove any dirt or debris that might be blocking it.
  4. Reinstall the sensor and tighten the bolt or clip.
  5. Test the sensor by driving around for a few minutes. The brakes should feel smooth and responsive.

Wheel speed sensor is an important safety component of your car.

The wheel speed sensor is an important safety component of your car. It is a device that measures the rotational speed of your wheels and transmits this information to the ECU (Electronic Control Unit).

The computer then uses this data to determine how much power needs to be sent to each wheel for optimum traction and control.

The wheel speed sensor is also known as a stator or tachometer, depending on its function and location within the car. You can find them in both front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive cars on either side of the axle closest to the ground.

FAQs Of How to clean the Wheel Speed Sensor on a Car? 

1. What is the Wheel Speed Sensor?

Wheel speed sensors are used in cars to measure the wheel's rotational speed. It is mounted on the axle and measures the speed by counting pulses generated by a magnet on the wheel.

A wheel speed sensor can detect a flat tire, or if you’re driving too fast for conditions, or if you’re driving too slow. It can also monitor your car’s braking system and warn you when it needs maintenance.

The wheel speed sensor is an important component of your vehicle that helps improve safety and performance.

2. Do I need to remove the Wheel Speed Sensor to clean it?

The sensor is located inside the hub at the end of the axle. The hub is removable, but you must remove the wheel and brake assembly first.

This section will provide information about what a Wheel Speed Sensor does and how to clean it.

3. How to identify that the Wheel Speed Sensor is not working?

Some of the common signs that show that this sensor is not working include:

- The car's speedometer needle moves erratically, but the car's actual speed does not change.

- The car's engine will stall when accelerating, decelerating, or driving on an incline.

- The engine may sound like it is "jumping" and misfiring, and there may be a lack of power at high speeds.

4. How often should I clean the wheel speed sensor?

The wheel speed sensor is an important component of the car. It measures the speed of the wheel and transmits it to the ECU. The ECU then calculates and displays the speed on the dashboard.

So how often should you clean your wheel speed sensor? Well, you should do it every time you change your oil, but if you can't remember, then do it once a month or after driving in rain or snow.

5. What are some easy ways to clean the wheel speed sensor?

There are many ways to clean the wheel speed sensor. Some of the most popular ones are listed below.

  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove debris and dirt from the wheel speed sensor.
  • Clean it with a wet cloth or water and soap solution.
  • Blow compressed air at it to remove any dust or dirt.
  • Locate where the wheel speed sensor is on your car and clean it with a dry towel or cloth that has been moistened with water and soap.

6. When should I replace the wheel speed sensor?

The wheel speed sensor is an important component that detects the rotational speed of a vehicle's wheel. This sensor is used for many functions, including transmission, ABS braking, and traction control. The wheel speed sensor is typically mounted on the differential carrier near the wheels.

It should be replaced when it becomes faulty or fails to function properly after a collision with a pothole or other object.

7. What are the benefits of cleaning the wheel speed sensor?

Cleaning the wheel speed sensor is important because it ensures the car runs smoothly. It also helps to avoid any issues with the car's brakes.

The wheel speed sensor sends signals to the ECU, which then sends signals back to the ABS and ESP systems. This means that cleaning it will help you avoid any issues with your car's brakes and other safety features.


A wheel speed sensor is an important safety component of your car. It can be mounted on the axle, commonly referred to as an ABS sensor, or it can be mounted on the hub and is known as a non-ABS wheel sensor.

This device aims to determine each wheel's rotational speed and send that information back to your vehicle’s ECU (engine control unit).

John D. Archer

John D. Archer is a mechanical engineer and writer based on the area of automotive accessories at, A resident expert and professional, John is passionate about all things automotive and loves to share his knowledge. He has good experience in all kind of automotive accessories. He has worked as a chief mechanical engineer in some reputed automotive garage firm.