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A malfunctioning or dead speed sensor can cause a massive array of problems that are not necessarily inclusive or exclusive to themselves or a malfunctioning speed sensor/VSS respectively. The best way to tell if your speed sensor is malfunctioning is to see if any/all of the following problems occur ( these are for an automatic transmission):
Transmission is revving higher before it changes gears (most common symptom)
Transmission engages overdrive late, or in top gear, never (very common)
Brakes depressing erratically or harder than normal when coasting (somewhat common)
Speedometer is behaving erratically or does not move (more common in late model vehicles)
Check Engine Light is apparent, but sporadically.(More common in older vehicles)
O/D Off light is blinking, either at higher speeds or constantly (more common in foreign vehicles)
If you was told one or both of the wheel hub assemblies need replacing, you can check any play from top to bottom of each wheel (while jacked up and supported) and also listen for whirring noise from each side while driving. These are symptons of faulty/worn wheel hub assemblies.
Your vehicle should be equipped with an ABS Speed Sensor on both sides of vehicle. If you plan on replacing them, I suggest replacing one and if the problem persists, switch the new one to the other side of vehicle. If problem still persists, suspect dealer diagnosis was correct.
Hope this helped.
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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 AT 6:18 PM