ABS wheel sensor issue, non-standard soultion?

I have a 2000 chevy Silverado. The abs wheel speed sensors have not been working properly. The ABS kicks in between 3 and 7 mph on dry roads. There was a recall on the sensors but I am not the original owner and I don’t qualify for the recall. I pulled the sensors and cleaned the metal area as the recall suggests. The problem continues. I am guessing one or both of the sensors are bad. The cost to replace them is a bit high. Until I can afford it, a mechanic friend suggested pulling the abs fuse and driving the truck as if it doesn’t have ABS, because it won’t. Is there any other additional dangers I need to worry about? Is this a good idea? I will replace the sensor eventually but this seems like a good solution for the time being. Any thoughts?

This is common problem with the ABS on GM trucks of your vintage.

If you’ve removed all the rust from the wheel speed sensor mounting surfaces and remounted the old wheel speed sensors, then more than likely the old wheel speed sensors have become distorted enough from rust where they no longer align with the tone rings. This will cause the ABS to engage at slow speeds on dry surfaces.

Replace the wheel speed sensors.


Plan on doing that Tester. Is pulling the ABS fuse a safe option until I can afford to get them replaced?

You can pull the ABS fuse to pevent the ABS from engaging at slow speeds. But you no longer have ABS. But then, how long have I driven vehicles without ABS?


A sensible idea is to do nothing, at least until you are ready to replace the wheel sensors. You will still have the ABS when you need it, at moderate and high speeds. Having the ABS kick in at very low speeds is harmless.

You may have only one weak sensor. It will be difficult right now to determine which it is. Some day this sensor will simply go dead and set the ABS light. Then a scanner can detect the faulty sensor. You would then need to replace only one.

Steve, The main problem I had is that the parking lot I work in is on a hill. I tried to stop yesterday and when I slowed down the ABS kicked in and i started rolling with the abs going, and not stopping. I rolled about 30 feet before I slowed down enough to stop. Was a bit scary. Pulled the fuse this morning and I think I will keep it like that till I can get it fixed. Just have to remember to pump the brakes myself. Thanks for all the advice guys!

Recalls are issued by VIN, not owner, and don’t ( usually ) expire.

Have any Chevy/GM dealer run your VIN and thay can tell you if the recall is still open for yor vehicle.

Did that. The dealer told me it is not open, and I am not eligible because I am not the original owner. Thought that was odd, but that is what he told me.

I agree that is odd. Disregard the dealer’s advice and contact Chevy regional office, customer service. Have your VIN ready.

Until the brakes can be properly repaired, disconnecting the ABS module should improve braking function IF the wheel sensors are the only problem. That’s a BIG IF, though.

Until the ABS is fixed and working properly it is more dangerous leaving the ABS on than disabling it. Pull the fuse or relay and kill the ABS until you can have it fixed and tested for proper operation.

If you’ve never driven a vehicle without ABS it would be a good idea to go to a gravel road or parking lot and practice a few “panic” stops. You will soon get the feel of working the brakes effectively in these situations.

Best option is fix the ABS now. Short of that, disable it until you can fix it. Drive slower and leave more stopping distance if you encounter rain, sleet, snow and ice.