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How To Clean Your ABS Wheel Sensor

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Getting Ready For an ABS Sensor Clean Up
A very dirty ABS wheel sensor.

If your ABS sensor looks like this, you might have problems.

photo by Wild Out White GSR
There are many things that can cause your ABS light to come on. Some are serious, so you should never just ignore the light. But there are times when the light comes on, but can be met with a simple solution. For instance, a dirty ABS wheel sensor can cause the system to trigger the ABS light during your ABS computer's self evaluation cycle. You'll be shocked when you see how much road gunk can accumulate on this very important sensor. This sensor is also used in some traction control systems, so if you've got a traction control, or anti-skid warning illuminated you might find that cleaning the ABS sensors will remedy this, as well.

Even if your ABS light hasn't made an appearance, it's a good idea to clean the sensors. A good time to do it would be during brake pad replacement when you have the wheels off anyway. At this point it's a 10-minute job rather than an hour or two.

What You'll Need:

Get your stuff together and you're ready to start. A clean work area really helps you stay organized, keep track of tools and parts, and avoid making costly mistakes. Remember, it's never safe to work on a car supported by a jack, use jack stands!

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