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Old 12-16-2012, 01:49 AM   Thread Starter #1
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Default Wheel Speed Sensor Choices and Other Advice Needed Regarding the TSB

Hello once again, .org.

I installed all of the modifications I was planning over the summer (slotted rotors, Eibach Springs, etc..,.) and installed the R2C intake a week before PTC Sandy. I actually held the MAF in with rubber bands and zip ties for a month because I didn't have that T20 Torx bit.

I finally went to a NAPA affiliate and bought a ten dollar multi-Torx wrench. The Friday before last I was screwing in the second bolt when it fell and went under the wiring harness below. I tried using WD-40 to get that bolt loose, but ended up just using pliers to get the screw from underneath the harness. It was drizzling, not full-on raining by any means, but it stayed damp until the following Tuesday.

On that Monday I was coming to a stop less than a block from my house when I noticed the ABS kicking in. It frightened me, and I thought it was just that factory plastic bottom cover dragging again. I was wrong, and drove all week (VERY LIGHTLY, engine braking all the way and the ABS would only turn on intermittently). A sealership, two mechanics and reading through two full Nissan Maxima forums later, I realize the TSB is just for my problem, and that I need to replace the wheel speed sensors in the rear of my vehicle. That sealership wanted three grand to replace the entire ABS system and four wheel hubs, while a mechanic down the street wants $750.00 to replace the rear sensors.

I will obviously be purchasing the sensors on my own and having them professionally put on (still haven't gotten around to buying a hydraulic jack and axle stands; and, I don't want to mess with electronics) Here come the questions:
  1. The TSB is slightly vague for me: am I able to get away with just replacing the right rear sensor or just I fork over another one-fifty and replace both?
  2. What brand of ABS wheel sensor should I go with? I have narrowed down my selection between either SMP or Beck|Arnley...would any member here suggest something different?
  3. Finally, should I also buy new wheel hubs? Could I only buy the sensors online and ask the mechanic to clean the hubs? What brand of hub would be considered good quality if I really should be replacing them along with the accompanying sensor?

I would take a video of what's going on in my car, but I have read that driving a car with a problem like this can run the actuator, which is another grand I really don't want to spend if I don't have to.

Any and all responses are appreciated. Thank you for your help in advance.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wheel Speed Sensor Choices and Other Advice Needed Regarding the TSB

I believe @1hawaii50 may have some experience with this, maybe I'm wrong. We'll see.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wheel Speed Sensor Choices and Other Advice Needed Regarding the TSB

I will reply shortly...leaving for work...
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:50 PM   Thread Starter #4
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Default Re: Wheel Speed Sensor Choices and Other Advice Needed Regarding the TSB

Thank you for all of your replies, but I was hoping to order the sensors (and other parts if needed) by tonight so shipping begins as soon as possible during the work week. I would still very much appreciate answers to the following questions:

Originally Posted by MDB View Post
  1. The TSB is slightly vague for me: am I able to get away with just replacing the right rear sensor or just I fork over another one-fifty and replace both?
  2. What brand of ABS wheel sensor should I go with? I have narrowed down my selection between either SMP or Beck|Arnley...would any member here suggest something different?
  3. Finally, should I also buy new wheel hubs? Could I only buy the sensors online and ask the mechanic to clean the hubs? What brand of hub would be considered good quality if I really should be replacing them along with the accompanying sensor?
All of the rest of the information is in the OP. Thank you once again and I await your responses.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wheel Speed Sensor Choices and Other Advice Needed Regarding the TSB

1.
I would start with the right rear sensor and see if it fixes the problem, if not, then replace the other one (unless you have an abundance of money).

2.
Brand shouldn't make a difference, as long as it's a name brand...

3.
I'm assuming by "new wheel hubs" you mean wheel bearings? Rear wheel bearings cost about $100-$125. You don't need new bearing unless your old ones are bad (again...unless you have an abundance of money). If you mean the actual wheel hub, or "knuckle", then that chunk of aluminum will set you back $350-$400 PER SIDE, so again...unless you have an abundance of money...

Personally, I would have this done by a reputable shop, or preferably a reputable dealership. The problem is going to be the bolts that hold the ABS sensor to the hub...either one, or both of them are going to break, and are going to need to be drilled out. I say let the dealership do it, because if they break the bolt, then they are responsible for drilling it out and getting it fixed. I realize it is not a cheap fix at the dealership, but unless you have the time and tools to do it yourself, AND the money to buy a new knuckle and the time to wait on shipping (if you damage yours), then this is something best left to a shop...I speak from experience here...
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:55 AM   Thread Starter #6
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Default Re: Wheel Speed Sensor Choices and Other Advice Needed Regarding the TSB

Originally Posted by 1hawaii50 View Post
2.
Brand shouldn't make a difference, as long as it's a name brand...
Thank you for the advice. I decided to go with the SMP ABS sensors I found for a reasonable price on eBay:

Left

Right

And they finally arrived this afternoon:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I am having a trusted family mechanic on the corner do it for cheap, and hopefully I won't have to replace anything else in 2012. I will respond tomorrow after the service is completed and the new sensors are installed into the ground-down housings with either very good or very bad news for those who stumble upon this thread in search of help later.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wheel Speed Sensor Choices and Other Advice Needed Regarding the TSB

Originally Posted by MDB View Post
Thank you for the advice. I decided to go with the SMP ABS sensors I found for a reasonable price on eBay:

Left

Right

And they finally arrived this afternoon:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I am having a trusted family mechanic on the corner do it for cheap, and hopefully I won't have to replace anything else in 2012. I will respond tomorrow after the service is completed and the new sensors are installed into the ground-down housings with either very good or very bad news for those who stumble upon this thread in search of help later.
Make sure whoever does it has the ability to drill out broken bolts, otherwise you are going to be replacing both wheel hubs. More than likely, one or both of the bolts are going to snap off in the hub and will need to be drilled out. I broke a bolt and then snapped a drill bit off IN the bolt trying to drill it out...ended up having to replace the hub...would have been much cheaper to pay the dealership to do it in the end.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:41 AM   Thread Starter #8
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Default Re: Wheel Speed Sensor Choices and Other Advice Needed Regarding the TSB

Originally Posted by 1hawaii50 View Post
...you are going to be replacing both wheel hubs. More than likely...
Thankfully I didn't have to replace both. But, I did end up replacing one. After a lot of trial and error, my mechanic was able to successfully fix my ABS and more; I will outline the steps he took for anyone who encounters this problem in the future:
  1. Get to the wheel hub and assembly by removing the wheel, rotor, etc..,.
  2. Removal of the knuckle itself will allow for cleaning the ABS actuator. My '05, with over eighty thousand miles, had an incredible amount of rust.
  3. That wheel bearing hub and assembly should be replaced, especially if it is in reference to a high-mileage vehicle. If money isn't an issue, the actuator should just be replaced instead of just cleaned. Depending on where the new wheel hub is from, extra clearence must be drilled (on the inside, near the actuator) to allow for better liquid drainage.
  4. Make sure the new ABS sensor is able to read in its housing correctly. This should be checked while the car is up on the lift or axle stands by simply hand-turning the wheel and checking for a speed reading.
A few things to consider for those who are having the same issues as me and are NOT getting the ABS light or a code thrown their way:
  • That knuckle normally isn't cheap; somehow my mechanic was able to get one for well under two hundred bucks, making me assume it was used when it was installed.
  • Depending on how long the car is driven with this problem, replacing the actuator may be more necessary than optional.
  • Always buy your parts online before letting any mechanic work on them.
  • While the stealership knows what it's doing when it comes to your marque of vehicle, I can't imagine it would be anything but the most expensive option, considering a faulty ABS sensor and defective knuckle would have made any Nissan mechanic feel replacing every single part of my ABS system necessary.
  • NISSAN USES SMP. Didn't know this before I chose them over Beck|Arnley.
  • The more times the wheel assembly needs to be taken off and put back together, the longer you are without your car and the more it's going to cost.
  • The TSB and even my mechanic said I only needed to replace the right side, but I did both voluntarily.
This is also a good opportunity for whoever is working on the car to tighten up the independent brakes. My mechanic said this problem was more frequent with the front end of GM cars than the rear of Nissan sedans. I am however, glad my problems were fixed: I say more than one, because a cyclic sound I have been hearing for months disappeared when I got it back yesterday. This sound would get louder as the car went faster, and my only guess was that it was the rusting wheel assembly all along that was causing it and braking would cause it to shift to a more comfortable position for that part and dissipate the noise.

This means that I have unknowingly been aware of this problem for months.

I want to thank the .org [and @1hawaii50] for the help [from past and recent posts] and I might finally be able to post pictures for the modifications I made all the way back in June. I hope I have answered any possible future questions.
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