How to Test a Wheel Speed Sensor with A Multimeter

Today, we’re going to learn how to test a wheel speed sensor with a multimeter. If you’re experiencing braking problems, vibration, or warning lights on the dashboard, it could be due to a damaged wheel speed sensor. By learning how to test this essential vehicle part, you can save time and money and prevent accidents. Let’s get started!

How to Test a Wheel Speed Sensor with A Multimeter

Can You Test a Wheel Speed Sensor with A Multimeter?

Modern cars are packed with various electrical components that keep everything running smoothly. One of the most important is the wheel speed sensor, which provides vital feedback to the car’s computer about how fast the wheels turn. But what happens if you suspect that your sensor is faulty?

Is it possible to test it at home with a multimeter? The answer is yes! With just a few simple steps, you can use a multimeter to determine if the sensor is working properly or needs replacing. By understanding this process, you can save time and money by catching problems early before they become larger issues.

Why Should You Test a Wheel Speed Sensor with A Multimeter?

Wheel speed sensors are a crucial component of modern vehicles. They ensure that the car’s anti-lock brake and traction control systems work effectively, which is especially important in adverse weather conditions. However, like all parts, wheel speed sensors can malfunction over time. This is where testing them with a multimeter comes in.

Multimeters can accurately measure electrical activity in the sensor and determine if it is functioning correctly. By conducting this test regularly, you can identify issues before they become major and expensive problems. It is important to take the initiative to check your car’s wheel speed sensors regularly to ensure your vehicle is running as smoothly and safely as possible.

Multimeters Can Accurately Measure Electrical Activity

7 Steps to Follow on How to Test a Wheel Speed Sensor with A Multimeter

Step 1: Locate the Wheel Speed Sensor

The first step in testing a wheel speed sensor is to locate it. In most cases, the wheel speed sensor is located on the hub of each wheel. However, referring to your vehicle’s service manual for accurate information regarding your specific car model is best. Once you have located the wheel speed sensor, you can test it.

Step 2: Disconnect the Wheel Speed Sensor

To test the wheel speed sensor, disconnect it from the vehicle’s electrical system. This is easily achieved by disconnecting the electrical connector that connects the sensor to the car’s wire harness. Use a pair of pliers to pinch the clip and slide it out from the mounting bracket.

Step 3: Set your Multimeter

After disconnecting the sensor, you should set your multimeter. Ensure that your multimeter is set to measure AC voltage. The wheel speed sensor produces an AC voltage signal, and it is necessary to set your multimeter accordingly to measure the signal accurately.

Step 4: Test the Wheel Speed Sensor

Place the multimeter’s probes on either side of the male connector terminals. Ensure that the metal probes come into contact with the metal terminals. Once the multimeter is in place, you can spin the wheel that the sensor is connected to.

The multimeter should produce an AC voltage reading that increases as the wheel speed increases. In most cases, the multimeter should measure 0.5 to 2 volts as you spin the wheel. If the multimeter reading is not within this range, it could indicate a faulty wheel speed sensor.

Multimeter Should Produce an Ac Voltage

Step 5: Reconnect the Wheel Speed Sensor

After testing the wheel speed sensor, reconnect it to the vehicle’s electrical system. This is done by inserting the connector back into the mounting bracket until it clicks into place and is tight. Ensure that the clip secures the connector and that it is in a stable position.

Step 6: Clear any Diagnostic Trouble Codes

If you have tested the wheel speed sensor and found it is faulty, there may be diagnostic trouble codes stored in the car’s computer. Before replacing the sensor, ensure all these codes are cleared to prevent unnecessary installation errors.

Step 7: Replace the Wheel Speed Sensor

You can replace the faulty wheel speed sensor once you have cleared any diagnostic trouble codes. Refer to your vehicle’s service manual for detailed instructions regarding this step. Typically, it involves removing and replacing the old sensor with a new one and then reconnecting all of the wires similarly.

After completing these steps, it is a good idea to test the new wheel speed sensor to ensure it functions correctly. You can use the same process as before by connecting your multimeter and spinning the wheel or running a diagnostic scan on your car’s computer. If everything checks out, then your vehicle is now back in working order and ready for you to enjoy!

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Test a Wheel Speed Sensor with A Multimeter

1. Set the Multimeter to Ohms

When testing a wheel speed sensor with a multimeter, the first step is to set the multimeter to ohms. This will ensure that you are measuring the resistance of the sensor correctly. When setting the multimeter, ensure it is set to measure resistance in ohms (Ω) and not volts (V). Additionally, it is important to ensure you are using the correct range for your multimeter.

2. Check for Continuity

The next step when testing a wheel speed sensor with a multimeter is to check for continuity. To do this, place one lead of the multimeter on each sensor terminal and check for reading on your meter’s display. If there is no reading or an infinite reading, then this indicates no continuity between the two terminals; therefore, the sensor should be replaced.

Testing a Wheel Speed Sensor

3. Measure Resistance

Once you have established that there is continuity between the two terminals of the sensor, you can then measure its resistance. To do this, place one lead of your multimeter on each sensor terminal and note down any readings on your meter’s display.

The resistance should be within an acceptable range as specified by your vehicle’s manufacturer – if it isn’t, then this indicates that there may be an issue with your wheel speed sensor, and it should be replaced accordingly.

4. Check Connections

Before replacing a wheel speed sensor, it is important to check all its connections for any signs of corrosion or damage. This could affect its performance or cause issues in other areas of your vehicle’s electrical system. If any problems are found, these should be addressed before replacing the wheel speed sensor itself, as they could be causing an issue with its operation rather than being caused by it directly.

5. Replace the Sensor if Necessary

If all other tests have been completed successfully but still indicate that there may be an issue with your wheel speed sensor, then it should be replaced accordingly. When replacing a wheel speed sensor, ensure all connections are secure and free from corrosion or damage before reconnecting them and testing after the installation has been completed successfully.

Benefits of Test a Wheel Speed Sensor with A Multimeter

When it comes to maintaining the health of your vehicle, continuously monitoring its components is essential. One of the critical elements of a car that needs monitoring is the wheel speed sensor. A wheel speed sensor helps determine the speed at which each wheel rotates, which affects the functioning of anti-lock braking systems and traction control systems.

Maintaining the Health of Your Vehicle

Testing a wheel speed sensor with a multimeter can help identify any faults or discrepancies in the readings that may affect the safety of your car. Moreover, regularly testing a wheel speed sensor with a multimeter can prevent unforeseen sensor failures, saving you the added expense of repairs and replacements.

The benefits of being proactive with your vehicle’s maintenance cannot be overstated, and testing the wheel speed sensor with a multimeter is just one simple way to ensure your vehicle remains safe and efficiently functioning.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Test a Wheel Speed Sensor with A Multimeter

Wheel speed sensors are an essential component of any modern vehicle. However, testing these sensors with a multimeter can be challenging, and many people make common mistakes that can cost them time and money. One of the most significant errors is not testing the sensor properly, leading to false readings or inaccurate diagnoses of potential issues.

Another mistake is not understanding the multimeter’s settings and using the wrong range, resulting in incorrect readings that can lead to further problems. Additionally, some individuals forget to disconnect the battery, which can lead to electrical damage or harm to the sensors. Researching the correct testing procedures and reading the vehicle’s manual before attempting any tests is vital to ensure accurate results and prevent any damage to the car’s systems.


Knowing how to test a wheel speed sensor is essential for vehicle owners who want to maintain their car’s braking system and detect speed-related issues. It is a simple procedure you can perform independently with the right equipment. It helps you save on cost, time and prevents accidents.

Remember, failure to maintain your car’s wheel speed sensor can lead to brake malfunctions, vibrations, and dashboard warnings. With these steps, you can test your car’s wheel speed sensor and ensure it’s in good condition. Thanks for reading our post about how to test a wheel speed sensor with a multimeter.

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

Leave a Comment