3 Causes of Dodge Ram Wheel Speed Sensor Problems

Dodge Ram owners might face issues with their wheel speed sensors, which play a vital role in the vehicle’s safety systems. These sensors monitor your wheels’ rotation speed, working in conjunction with components like the ABS and traction control systems to ensure smooth and steady braking.

If your Ram experiences a faulty wheel speed sensor, you could notice symptoms such as illuminated ABS and traction control warning lights, erratic or jerky braking, and lost stability during turns or sudden stops. Addressing these issues promptly is crucial for maintaining your truck’s safe operation and overall driving experience.

Signs of Faulty Wheel Speed Sensor

As a Dodge Ram owner, it’s crucial to recognize signs of a faulty wheel speed sensor to prevent potential issues with your vehicle’s performance and safety. When wheel speed sensor problems occur, you may notice a variety of dashboard warning lights that hint at the underlying issue.

One of the primary indicators is the ABS warning light coming on inside your instrument cluster. This light signals that the anti-lock braking system is disabled, which prevents your vehicle from functioning optimally during braking situations.

In addition to the ABS light, you may see other warning lights on your dashboard, such as the brake light, stability control light, and traction control light. On some models, the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) might display a “service 4-wheel drive” message.

These various lights alert you to potential issues with your vehicle’s stability, traction, and overall handling, which can be significantly affected by a malfunctioning wheel speed sensor.

A faulty wheel speed sensor may also trigger your check engine light, indicating that there’s a problem with your vehicle’s engine management system, as it relies on accurate wheel speed data for optimal functioning.

Another common sign of a bad wheel speed sensor is if your speedometer isn’t working correctly. Since the wheel speed sensor plays a vital role in transmitting data about your vehicle’s speed, a faulty sensor can result in inaccurate readings or prevent your speedometer from functioning altogether.

If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s essential to have your Dodge Ram checked out by a professional mechanic as soon as possible. Addressing wheel speed sensor problems promptly will help ensure your vehicle’s performance, safety, and overall handling aren’t compromised.

Causes of Wheel Speed Sensor Problems

Physical Damage

Physical damage is one of the main causes of wheel speed sensor problems in Dodge Ram trucks. Since the sensor is located near the wheels, it’s exposed to harsh conditions, debris, and potential impacts. Damage to the sensor can affect its ability to accurately read the wheel’s speed, which might lead to issues with your brakes or the ABS system. To avoid problems, it’s essential to inspect your wheel speed sensors regularly and replace them if you notice any damage.

Corrosion

Another common cause of wheel speed sensor problems is corrosion. Moisture and salt can accumulate on the sensor when your Dodge Ram is driven in wet or icy conditions, eventually leading to corrosion and potential failure.

The buildup of corrosion might affect the sensor’s efficiency and reliability, which can also impact your truck’s overall braking performance. To minimize the risk of corrosion-related problems, make sure to clean your wheel speed sensors regularly, especially during winter months or when driving in wet conditions.

Bad Connector

Finally, a bad connector could also lead to wheel speed sensor issues in your Dodge Ram. The connectors are responsible for transmitting information between the sensor and your vehicle’s computer.

If the connectors become damaged or corroded, it can disrupt the flow of information and trigger ABS warning lights or other braking system issues. So, it’s important to inspect the connectors for any signs of wear or damage and replace them if necessary to maintain your truck’s safety and performance.

By following these guidelines and performing regular maintenance on your Dodge Ram, you can minimize the risk of wheel speed sensor problems and enjoy a safe and reliable driving experience.

Impact on Vehicle Systems

Braking System

When the wheel speed sensor in your Dodge Ram experiences problems, it can significantly impact the overall performance of your braking system. A faulty sensor may cause inaccurate readings, leading to erratic or jerky braking. This could make braking less precise, posing potential safety risks during driving.

ABS System

If the wheel speed sensor is malfunctioning, it may also affect the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) in your Dodge Ram. The ABS system relies on accurate wheel speed information to work effectively. A problematic sensor may cause the ABS warning light to come on, disabling the system and preventing the vehicle from braking safely during emergencies or on slippery roads.

Stability Control System

A faulty wheel speed sensor can also lead to problems with the Stability Control and Traction Control systems in your Dodge Ram. These systems depend on correct wheel speed information to maintain vehicle stability during various driving conditions.

Erratic sensor readings can result in warning lights illuminating on your dashboard and potentially compromise the performance of your vehicle’s safety features, making driving less secure under certain circumstances.

Fixing the Issue

Cleaning the Sensor

One possible solution to fix wheel speed sensor problems on your Dodge Ram is to clean the sensor. Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate on the sensor, causing it to malfunction.

To clean the sensor, locate it on your vehicle, usually, near the wheel hub. Carefully remove it and use a soft brush or cloth to remove any dirt or debris. After cleaning the sensor, reinstall it and test your vehicle to see if the issue is resolved.

Repairing or Replacing the Wire

Another common issue that can cause wheel speed sensor problems is damaged or corroded wiring. In some cases, bad corroded wiring between the driver fender and back sensor has been found to be the root cause.

To fix this issue, you can either repair the damaged wiring by cleaning the corrosion and applying electrical tape or solder, or you can replace the entire wire with a new one. It is essential to inspect the wiring regularly and maintain proper connections to avoid future issues.

Resetting the ABS Light

If cleaning the sensor and repairing or replacing the wire doesn’t resolve the wheel speed sensor problem, then it may be necessary to reset the ABS light. To do this, you can use an OBDII scanner to connect to your vehicle’s ECU and read out the error codes.

Once you’ve identified the faulty sensor, replace it, and clear the error codes using the scanner. This should reset the ABS light, and your wheel speed sensor should function correctly.

By carefully addressing each of these potential issues, you can efficiently fix the wheel speed sensor problem on your Dodge Ram and ensure a safe and smooth driving experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it’s essential to address Dodge Ram wheel speed sensor problems to ensure your vehicle’s safety and performance. Watch out for symptoms such as the ABS warning light coming on and inaccurate speedometer readings.

It’s always best to seek professional help when encountering these issues to diagnose and fix them promptly. By maintaining your wheel speed sensors, you can enhance your driving experience and safety. Happy driving!

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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