When problems occur with the speed sensor, the vehicle does not send the right signal to the speedometer, regulate fuel properly, operate cruise control or regulate ignition timing correctly. Problems with the speed sensor are the result of wear and tear, and have a direct effect on the performance of multiple systems in the vehicle. The most common symptom of a malfunctioning speed sensor is a malfunctioning speedometer.
When the speed sensor is not working properly, the sensor sends incorrect information to the computer regarding how fast the vehicle is traveling. If the speed sensor is damaged or malfunctioning, the cruise control feature does not work correctly. Issues with the speed sensor cause higher fuel consumption and a sudden loss of power. Problems with the speed sensor may occur within the transmission, causing the vehicle to stall or hesitate when shifting gears. The speed sensor can send the wrong signals to the computer, which causes the vehicle to idle incorrectly, the transmission to jump gears or the vehicle to rumble heavy. On many vehicles, the speed sensor is located on the rear axle or the transmission case, but on newer model vehicles it is located inside the ABS system.