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Mechanic Replacing Wheel Bearing Breaks Speed Sensor?

I had my driver’s side front wheel bearing replaced then discovered after getting on the freeway that just about every warning light imaginable was turned on (not in a sexual way). I took my vehicle back to the shop that replaced the wheel bearing and they told me the speed sensor was so corroded that it must have broken when they removed or repositioned it to replace the wheel bearing. They say I now must replace the speed sensor for around $450 (half parts, half labor). Am I getting bamboozled?

Before anyone can answer your question, they will need to know the Make, Model, Year and mileage of your vehicle…

Make and model of the car could of great importance here.

things do break when they are removed to repair other things.

but that they just happened to know what must have happened tells me that someone already knew what happened.

it may have been only the mechanic that knew, and he just hoped for the best, that it would still function.

IMO, you should have been informed, and it should have been repaired while the car was still apart, saving labor.

that way they could have charged you for the part and lost little to nothing on labor.

bottom line, if it was corroded, as it could have been since something caused the wheel bearing to fail, its not really their fault, and you should buy the part.

sending you out without telling you, if they knew, was wrong tho . and I would not be happy paying the labor cost.

if someone broke it out of ignorance or careless ness , that s another story, but hard to prove.

ask them to show you this corroded part that broke. maybe you can tell by looking at it.

Take it back and ask them to pull BOTH the front or back wheels (wherever the bearing failed) and show you the speed sensors on both sides…If they balk, take your vehicle to a second shop and request the same thing…Get their opinion on the condition of the speed sensors…Ask them to show you the sensors in question…If they tell you customers are not allowed in the shop, try another shop until you find one that is agreeable to showing you the parts in question…

Corrosion can lead to a lot of problems and broken parts through no fault of the mechanic.

What I would object to would be if the sensor broke or problems were looming during the wheel bearing replacement you should have been notified and provided options at that time rather than send the vehicle out the door in that state.

I just about broke a speed srensor today while replacing a lower ball joint.

It was in there so rusted tight that I had to hammer a screwdriver in under the sensor to pry it out.
I was lucky…in the end the sensor works and no damage was done.

But I could have easily have broken it when I was hammering and prying on it.

I think that the mechanic was hoping…like I did that the sensor was ok. I or he couldn’t have known for sure until the car was back together and driven.

So as WESW said parts do break when we are trying to fix other things.
Having them show the sensors like Caddyman said will not tell you a thing. It would if they had already replaced it and then you’d see one new one and the other old one.

I’d just have them replace it and understand that sometimes things break when we are trying to fix things.


After the wheel bearing repair, the shop should have road-tested the vehicle to be sure it was in safe, drivable condition before they returned it to you…By inspecting the damaged part yourself, you might be in a better position to determine if normal wear and tear caused the problem or perhaps improper procedures, like hammering on a screwdriver to free a stuck part…

I’m really impressed and appreciative of everyone’s comments and I plan to follow thru on your recommendations. It happened on a 2008 Nissan Rogue which has been a great vehicle. Thanks again for everybody’s help.

You’re right @Caddyman, but I had no other choice but to try to free it in that manner. It was one of the parts that I had soaked the day before with PB Blaster and it wasn’t budging. I could get the screwdriver between the knuckle and the tang of the sensor, but prying from there any harder and I would have busted the bolt down tang right off. A slip joint pliars wouldn’t even wiggle it, so my last resort was the large screwdriver and tapping to get it free.

I cleaned the hole with a wire brush (a 12 Gauge bore cleaning brush fits just nice for those sensor holes) and cleaned up the sensor with a small brass brush (not the very end where the actual sensor is) and I still had a hard time getting it back in even with a little silicone grease. So you can imagine how tight it was to get out.

If you’ve got a better way, I’m willing to learn.
I’m not trying to be a smart *ss here, but next time what would you suggest. I know I may run into the same problem some day.


The speed sensor is often quite vulnerable to damage when pressing bearings out. I recently had some front bearings replaced and the shop that did it called to warn me that the bearings, clips and everything else was significantly rusted making it very difficult to press them out. The prospect of ABS sensor damage was high and it was $450 for the OEM sensor. I authorized them to proceed and they managed to get them out after a weekend soaking but it’s not uncommon to have them break.

I think they should have at least noticed it was broken when they did the work or during the test drive to check their work. To the best of my knowledge, the built in diagnostic check would show the fault pretty quickly…