How Much Does ABS Sensor Cost?

ABS Sensor Cost

Anti-Lock Braking System, shortened as ABS, is an important system comprising several sensors and hi-tech components.

This system uses a suite of sensors to monitor the traction on your tires and prevent them from locking up while you’re at any speed. The most common ABS system components that easily get faulty are the sensors. But how much does an ABS sensor cost to replace?

The ABS system uses as many sensors as the number of wheels on your vehicle. This means that if your vehicle has four wheels, it has four ABS sensors.

The total cost of this service would depend on the number of sensors you want to change. Expect to change just one ABS sensor, around $200 to $500.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the cost of changing ABS sensors, including what makes them go bad!

What Does an ABS Sensor Do?

An ABS sensor, also called a wheel sensor, performs one primary function: monitoring the tire rotation speed on each wheel. The ABS sensors send the wheel rotation speed information - in the form of electrical signals - to the ABS sensor, which then processes the received data to prevent the brakes from locking up.

The main function of the ABS is to kick in during emergency braking in critical situations - to prevent the brakes from locking up.

If the brakes lock up during an emergency brake, the car may summersault; this is one of the main things the ABS system tries to avoid. Also, the ABS system is the reason why your car can hold brakes effectively on slippery paths.

When an ABS sensor fails, your car’s brakes won’t stop working, so the effectiveness won’t be as expected. You’d notice that your car takes longer to come to a halt when you match the brakes finally. That said, knowing the symptoms of a failing ABS sensor and how to fix it is important.

How Much Does ABS Sensor Cost?

A single ABS sensor costs around $100 to $200 in most stores. You may find it listed at higher prices in some online stores.

When you buy the ABS sensor, you can DIY the replacement procedure and save on installation labor costs. However, if you’re having a mechanic do the replacement, you could be paying up to $100 for labor.

That said, it costs around $200 to $500 to replace one damaged wheel speed sensor (ABS sensor). So, if you’re having all the ABS sensors replaced, you could spend an average of $1,500, and the service could be done over 2 to 3 hours.

Sensor replacement requires knowledge of automobile electronics patterns because you’d be dealing with cables.

How To Identify a Bad ABS Sensor

Several signs indicate that your car has a bad ABS sensor that needs to be replaced. You should act quickly and replace the ABS sensor when you notice any of these signs.

But before doing anything, you should run a diagnosis to confirm that the issues with your car are actually due to a bad ABS sensor; use an OBD II scanner to perform the diagnostics test. Hereunder are signs of a bad ABS sensor.

  • The ABS warning light shows on the dashboard all the time you turn on the car.
  • Loss of traction on slippery or icy roads.
  • When you press the brake pedal, it takes an unusually long time for the vehicle to come to a halt.
  • Your car brakes get locked up occasionally.

Of course, you shouldn’t wait until you experience all these signs before troubleshooting your car to find out if you’ve actually got a bad ABS sensor. These signs are applicable regardless of the number of ABS sensors that went bad at the same time.

Can You Drive With a Bad ABS Sensor?

Unless the sensors have been damaged for quite a long time and you ignored it, your car would still be able to drive with bad ABS sensors.

However, the driving won’t be as smooth and “cool” as it used to be because you’re going to have the ABS light illuminated on the dashboard, and your brakes will take so long to respond.

Driving with a bad ABS sensor is possible but not recommendable; doing so puts the entire braking system at risk of failure, which would cost much more to fix when it occurs. Would you rather spend $500 to fix a bad ABS sensor or spend over $2,500 to fix a badly damaged braking system?

How To Replace a Faulty ABS Speed Sensor

While allowing a professional mechanic to work on your car in situations like this is highly recommended, you can still DIY your ABS sensor replacement.

  • Start by running a diagnosis scan on the car to ascertain which of the wheel speed sensors got bad. So you can know which one you’re going to remove and install a new one. The particular sensor that went bad would determine which part of the car would need to be “jacked.”
  • Raise (jack) the car until there’s enough space underneath to access the failed sensor.
  • Remove the tires on the wheel hub where the faulty ABS sensor is installed.
  • Look out for the sensor housing, disable it, and replace the old sensor with a new one.
  • Reinstall the tires and lower the car down to its normal height.
  • Test-run the newly installed ABS sensor to ensure it is working perfectly.

One of the reasons to have a mechanic do this for you is because, sometimes, after installing a new ABS sensor, some other components may need to be tuned or worked on to ensure everything goes back to normal.

What More?

A new ABS sensor costs around $150 just for the part, while it costs around $100 - $300 for the installation, depending on your location and where you’re getting it done. So on average, you’d be spending $200 to $500 for a single ABS sensor replacement.

Of course, the labor cost could be discounted if you change all the ABS sensors on your car at the same time. Ensure to check for other possible problems after installing a new ABS sensor. The ABS sensor is the same as the wheel speed sensor.