In this guide, you will learn how to clean an ABS wheel speed sensor that may be dirty and is triggering the ABS light to come on. Cleaning your ABS sensor is very easy. One or more dirty wheel sensors can cause the system to trigger the ABS light. Most cars since 2000 will have at least two or more anti-lock brake sensors.
If your ABS light comes on, it is recommended to read the fault codes with an ABS scanner, such as the YOUCANIC Full System Scanner, to determine which sensor is defective. If an ABS scanner is not available, all sensors should be cleaned.
What you need
You need a few tools to clean your sensor and be back on the road.
- Jack and Jack stand
- Mechanic Toolset
- Clean rag
- Rust penetrating oil
- Lug nut wrench
- Park on level ground, turn off the engine, and set the parking brakes.
- Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts but not remove them.
- Jack up the car and secure the vehicle with jack stands. Once you have removed the lug nuts, you can remove the wheel. Be sure to keep the lug nuts safe since you will need them to reattach the wheel later on.
- Now locate the ABS sensor and remove it. The easiest way to locate the ABS sensor is to track the electrical wire (not the brake line) that goes to the wheel hub. To remove it, you will need to remove the bolt. Typically, a 10mm bolt, but in some cases, this may require an Allen key or Torx bit.
- Ensure that no additional wires connect the sensor to the frame.
- Remove the ABS sensor bolt, and the ABS sensor should come off quickly. If not, spray penetrating oil and wait 10 min before trying to remove the sensor.
- Use a rag to clean the ABS sensor. It is not recommended to use any cleaning solutions, or you may damage the sensor.
- Once you have wiped clean the ABS sensor, reinstall it.
- Install the wheel and torque the lug nuts.
- Start up the car and go for a short drive.
The ABS light should reset if a dirty ABS sensor triggers the light. If the ABS light remains on, the problem can be an internal failure of the ABS sensor or module. Read fault codes to find out why the ABS light is on.
How to Diagnose ABS Light
The ABS scanner is used to read the fault codes and determine the problem if the ABS light remains on. Cleaning the ABS wheel speed sensor is simple but does not always fix the problem. In some cases, the sensor may need to be replaced. The YOUCANIC Full System Scanner can read and clear fault codes through every vehicle’s control module.
How to Replace ABS Sensor
This video shows how to replace a faulty ABS sensor. Replacing the ABS wheel speed sensor is easy and takes most DIYers approximately one hour. Replacement ABS wheel speed sensors are inexpensive and can be purchased online.
We hope you find the How to Clean ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Yourself guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your vehicle.