Can a Bad ABS Sensor Cause Vibration? (Yes or No)

Can a Bad ABS Sensor Cause Vibration

A vehicle’s ABS sensor has a lot of functions, from preventing the vehicle to lock up while using the brakes, to regulating and measuring the speed of the vehicle, to ensuring the gear is appropriately changed in an automatic vehicle.

As a result, whenever the ABS sensor goes bad or becomes faulty, a lot of things go wrong with the vehicle, and this can range from the vehicle’s misappropriating speed, down to the vehicle shutting down altogether.

Therefore, can a bad ABS sensor cause vibration? Yes, a bad ABS sensor can cause vibration. When the ABS sensor fails, you notice that the brake starts to vibrate upon use and when parking the car.

What is an ABS Sensor?

Have you ever wondered how your brakes function? Well, it is all thanks to the ABS sensor.

ABS sensor, which is short for anti-lock brake system sensor works hand in hand with the wheel sensors attached to each wheel on your vehicle to pass information to the computer controlling the ABS.

This computer then uses the information it gets from the ABS sensor to control the brake of your vehicle, ensuring that it doesn’t lock up once you stop your car.

This is why it is called an anti-lock brake system. As the name implies, it makes sure your brake doesn’t lock anytime you bring your car to a stop.

This is why the ABS sensor is also interchangeably called the speed wheel sensor, or the speed sensor. If the sensor gets faulty, information to the computer controlling the ABS will be misrepresented, and the hold the ABS sensor has over your brakes will continue to wane until it stops completely.

Although the brakes of your vehicle can still work even with a bad ABS sensor, driving without the sensor, or driving with a bad ABS sensor is tantamount to driving with malfunctioning brakes. It is equally dangerous.

What Causes the ABS sensor to go Bad?

Of course, ABS sensors don’t just pack up and go bad for no reason. When you start seeing symptoms that your ABS sensor has gone bad, certain things must have brought it to that state.

The major reasons why ABS sensors go bad are explained below:

1. Faulty Wiring

The wiring of your vehicle, particularly the ABS computers, or the wheel speed sensors can certainly cause your ABS sensor to go bad.

When bad information is passing through into the ABS sensor regularly, chances are the ABS sensor gets a lot of headaches from that and parks up.

Just like in humans, the more unhealthy junk you eat, the worse your health becomes.

2. Brake Dust

When dust or debris gathers in the brake system due to frequent use and also environmental conditions that let dust find its way into systems and accumulate therein, the ABS sensor becomes bad from the foreign element.

3. Metallic Debris

You might be wondering where metallic debris comes from, and how they find its way into the ABS.

Well, metallic debris is a result of wear and tear of engine parts and different metal parts of your vehicle, and when they find their way into the brake system and accumulate, invariably, the ABS sensor starts to act up as it goes bad.

4. Wrong or Eroded Electrical Connections

Some electrical connections might have been fixed wrong by an engineer during servicing of your vehicle, and as a result, causes the ABS sensor to malfunction.

Also, harsh elements can erode the previous, accurate connections that give the ABS sensor validity.

Can a Bad ABS Sensor Cause Vibration?

Yes, the ABS sensor can cause vibration. As long as your ABS sensor is bad, your brake pedals will vibrate whenever you use it and you’re about to bring your vehicle to a stop.

This vibration can be an indication that your brake pedal is very soft and there is something wrong somewhere. A vibrating brake system is a symptom that you have a bad ABS sensor, and you need to fix it as soon as possible.

A bad ABS sensor won’t just cause your brake pedals to vibrate, it will also cause vibration in several other parts of your vehicle, such as your wheels, your exhaust, and other parts.

This is because of how the ABS sensor functions. It transmits information that ensures the proper functioning of your brakes, and also general vehicle function. When the information being transmitted is corrupted, then as the ABS computer tries to work, there’d be a form of rejection and elbowing, which will cause vibration all over your vehicle.

What to do if a Bad ABS sensor Causes Vibration

There are several things you can do when your bad ABS sensor starts to cause vibration to your brake pedal and other areas of your vehicle.

  • Install a New ABS Sensor: Once your ABS sensor is bad and starts to cause vibration, you need to install a new one to ensure that you are driving safe and your brakes are not vibrating.
  • Reset Computer: This is recommended every time you install a new part to your vehicle. You have to reset so that the computer and vehicle come in sync once again. It is called an anti-relearn procedure that allows the PCM to reset itself.
  • Visit the Mechanic: It is advisable that when you want to install a new ABS sensor because the one in the vehicle is bad and is causing vibration, you take it to a mechanic.

When you are dealing with your brakes, a do-it-yourself approach is discouraged, especially if you are not an expert.

What Other Problems Can Cause Vibration in a Car?

Apart from a bad ABS sensor, several other problems can cause vibration in a car:

  1. Loose Wheels: When your wheels are not properly fitted into their compartments, then your vehicle invariably vibrates, and this is dangerous, as more vibration equals more loosening.
  2. Unbalanced Tires: The reason for vibration could also be unbalanced or uneven tires. And this is one of the most common causes. One of your tires could have lessened while the others are still perfectly round. This can cause vibration.
  3. Damaged Wheels: This also causes vibration in your vehicle as you drive. When your wheels are damaged, driving becomes dangerous and unsteady.
  4. Tire Wear: If you are driving with two brand new tires and two tires that you have been using for 5 years, chances are your car will vibrate, as the health of the tires is different, and as a result, they will perform differently.


A bad ABS sensor can cause your vehicle to vibrate, and it is dangerous to drive with a vibrating vehicle.

Vibrations in and around your vehicle are never a good sign. It could be that the ABS sensor is bad, or that there are other hardware problems around your vehicle.

Once you notice your vehicle vibrating for any of these reasons, visit the mechanic as soon as possible, especially when it has to do with your brake system.