You count on your anti-lock braking system (ABS) anytime you get in your car and go somewhere. Even if you don’t realize it, they are working to keep you and your passengers safe. Speed sensors are an important part of that system and they play an integral role in ensuring your brakes work when you need them the most.
What are speed sensors?
Speed sensors go by many names. They may be referred to as the ABS sensor, ABS wheel speed sensor, ABS brake sensor, wheel speed sensor, or even an ABS speed sensor. All of these names refer to the same part, which measures the number of times the wheels rotate to determine the speed of the vehicle.
The sensors are located on the wheel and provides information about the wheel. The ABS uses the information to make important calculations. It can determine if one wheel is slipping and if the brakes are needed in an emergency situation. Newer models have more safety components, such as stability control and electronic traction control, which also utilize the speed sensors.
The number of sensors can vary. Some vehicles have a sensor on each wheel; others have them on the left and right of either the front or the back wheels. Some vehicles even come with three sensors with two on the front or back wheels and the third one on the rear axle.
As part of the ABS, the sensors help ensure your brakes work correctly to prevent an accident. It’s important to have this system inspected and possibly replaced if you suspect any issues.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Sensors Make the ABS Work? and was authored by Joyce Morse.