What does a vehicle speed sensor look like?

What are the signs if that's what's wrong with my car? It hasn't been shifting between 1st and 2nd gear lately&when it's stalling before it shifts the speedometer doesn't move,but as soon as it shifts everything appears normal again. However the last 2 days my car didn't want to start. It was turning over but sounded like it was drained somewhat&I jz got the battery last yr. That may be another issue idk. But I'm very concerned about my transmission. I'm a minister who does outreach with the veterans,homeless,abused/neglected children&so forth&I
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
There may be a couple of things going on at the same time here. Is the Check Engine Light on? A vehicle speed sensor problem may illuminate the Check Engine Light if the lack of signal is causing shifting errors. A vehicle speed sensor can be a 2 or 3 wires sensor and is usually mounted near a rotating object like a wheel bearing or on the extension housing of the transmission. A technician with the proper equipment can hook up to the car and observe the data being offered to the engine control computer and determine where the issues are. A lack of signal may cause shifting errors if the vehicle depends on speed to determine when to shift. A no start may come from loss of fuel pressure from a failed fuel pump or no spark due to lack of maintenance of spark plugs or the engine control computer failing to send spark. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out and asses the problem to offer a more personal diagnosis.

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In fact, most sensors are responsible for actually making the changes to critical systems such as ignition and fuel systems. Since any engine requires the correct air to fuel ratio and ignition timing to start, having a faulty sensor that can`t adjust these symptoms on the fly can cause the engine to not start.
Vehicle speed sensors are usually either inductive or optical sensors. The most common inductive sensors consist of a rod magnet on top of a magnetic pin that is surrounded by a fixed coil. This sensor is mounted a fixed distance from a ferromagnetic rotor with teeth.
When there`s no speed signal coming from the sensors, shifting of gears will be a problem because the powertrain control module won`t control them correctly. This will make the transmission not work properly. It will either shift more quickly or roughly than expected.
Therefore, a speed sensor failure will have a direct impact on the automatic transmission operation. If your vehicle has a failed speed sensor then you might notice signs such as hard shifting, limited gear operation, delayed shifting and rough shifts.
A malfunctioning mass airflow sensor can also make it difficult to start your automobile. This can be due to the air and fuel in balance in the combustion chamber or because the main computer chip has received an error code from the sensor and does not want to start your car.
The crankshaft position sensor monitors the position and speed of the crankshaft and other parameters that play an important role when starting the engine. If the crankshaft position sensor is having a problem, the vehicle may have intermittent starting issues or not start at all.
Common signs include harsh or improper shifting, cruise control not working, and the Check Engine Light coming on.
This sensor consists of a magnet (powered by a speedometer cable) and a reed switch. For every rotation, the magnet turns the reed switch on and off around 4 times. This allows the calculation of pulses per second, which is then used to measure vehicle speed.
Common signs include harsh or improper shifting, cruise control not working, and the Check Engine Light coming on.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Intermittent issue where after a stop car is stuck in first, speedometer at zero. Had output speed sensor changed, no change.
ANSWER : Hello there, a few possible faults could cause the vehicle to become stuck in first. The most common would be low fluid level, shift solenoid, transmission range sensor, or a transmission mechanical fault. I’d suggest getting this looked at by a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, who will be able to diagnose your shifting issue and perform any repairs required.

Where would be the best place to find a used vehicle, and what things should I be looking out for when getting a used vehicle?
ANSWER : Hi there. This is a great question since I just went through this process myself to get a used truck for my job. My first suggestion is to first get a pre-purchase inspection by a qualified mechanic, like one from YourMechanic. The mechanic could possibly find a problem that may be very expensive and save you from buying an unreliable car.

To answer your two questions: "Where is the best place to buy one"? The best place to buy a used vehicle is where you can find a fair price without compromising reliability and quality. You may find an individual or a dealer that has a great deal. My vehicle was from an individual that needed a car for their job and had to get rid of his truck. They had all the service records and seemed to be very honest. I checked and found the vehicle to be a great price and a perfect match for what I was looking for.

Be wary of a very underpriced vehicle. Before you go looking for car, get online prices to get an idea of what it should cost you. Some dealers have great prices when cash and checks are brought forth. Do your research, I looked at several vehicles before finding one that did not have major potential problems. Some of the major things to look out for are: Engine, transmission, cooling system, major under carriage rust, warning lights on the dash, tires and brakes. All these may cost quite a bit to repair.

Getting the code P0500. Changed both NC & NT sensors. Can’t pull out the vehicle speed sensor (VSS).
ANSWER : Hi there. The code P0500 is in reference with the vehicle speed sensor. The possible causes that contribute for this code to appear are:

The vehicle speed sensor (VSS) is not reading properly
There is a broken or frayed wire going to the vehicle speed sensor
The vehicle’s ECM (computer) is not correctly configured for the actual tire size on the vehicle

If you need to replace the VSS, then check to see if there is any mounting bolt and remove the bolt before taking off the sensor. The sensor will have some pressure on it but not a hole lot. You may have to put a pry bar on the sensor and pop it out. Make sure that you have a drip pan under the sensor as it will drain out some fluid. Top off the transmission fluid when you have the new sensor installed. If you need further assistance with the P0500 code, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Check engine light – O2 sensor circuit + speed sensor circuit…
ANSWER : Hi there. O2 sensor low voltage can be caused my a number of things. Mass air flow sensor was only one of them. It can be a bad O2 sensor, coolant temperature sensor, or wiring issue.

What should be done is a proper diagnosis for the Check Engine Light. Using a complete scanner rather than just a code reader gives a technician the opportunity to not only read trouble codes, but to read voltages for individual sensors. While a code reader tells you the relevant system that set the Check Engine Light on, but with a number of possible causes, the full scan tool allows checking of each individual cause. Having a proper diagnosis will help you have this repaired correctly without replacing parts that are not faulty.

When stopping at slow speeds the abs feels like they are engaging.
ANSWER : Hello. If you’ve already cleaned the sensors with soap and water then you probably won’t need to clean them again with stronger chemicals. The ABS sensors function as magnetic type sensors, and only need to be clean and free of excessive debris or metal shavings to function properly. You can test the wheel speed sensor signals with a multi meter or scan tool to see if they are giving a proper signal. If it is not then then there may be a wiring issue, or more likely one or more of the ABS wheel speed sensors may need to be replaced. A few other things that can cause those symptoms are a faulty ABS module, or more commonly, a bad hub assembly. The ABS sensors read their signal off a reluctor wheel that is built into the hub, and can experience problems if the wheel or hub wear out, or have some sort of issues.

What does a vehicle speed sensor look like?
ANSWER : There may be a couple of things going on at the same time here. Is the Check Engine Light on? A vehicle speed sensor problem may illuminate the Check Engine Light if the lack of signal is causing shifting errors. A vehicle speed sensor can be a 2 or 3 wires sensor and is usually mounted near a rotating object like a wheel bearing or on the extension housing of the transmission. A technician with the proper equipment can hook up to the car and observe the data being offered to the engine control computer and determine where the issues are. A lack of signal may cause shifting errors if the vehicle depends on speed to determine when to shift. A no start may come from loss of fuel pressure from a failed fuel pump or no spark due to lack of maintenance of spark plugs or the engine control computer failing to send spark. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out and asses the problem to offer a more personal diagnosis.

My car is putting off code p-0500 vehicle speed sensor.
ANSWER : Hello. The symptoms you describe can be produced by both a wiring and sensor issue. A defective sensor may produce an unreliable, intermittent signal which can cause the symptoms you are experiencing. Faulty wiring can also produce unreliable signal which can cause the code to come and go. I would first verify that the wiring to the sensor is sound, as that could definitely cause those symptoms, and then move on to testing the speed sensor. A certified mobile mechanic from YourMechanic can visit your home or office to inspect your vehicle’s issues.

how to set up the engine speed sensor on a puma 2.4 tdi motor
ANSWER : Hello. It does not appear that a 2.4 Land Rover engine requires a reset procedure for the crank position sensor. Most crank position sensors are hall effect or magnetic type, and operate by reading a signal from the reluctor wheel that is close in proximity. If the engine is not firing after a new bracket has been attached, it may be possible that the new bracket is not properly positioning the crank sensor and throwing off the reading. I would double check to make sure that the new bracket positions the crank sensor in the same position as the old one. If the bracket is okay, it may be possible that there is a wiring issue or the sensor is faulty.