BRAKELIGHT: September 1956

BRAKELIGHT: September 1956

Understanding Passive Wheel Speed Sensor Operation

Passive types of wheel speed sensors are still used in many applications so understanding their operation is important.

As the metal tooth passed by the permanent magnet wrapped in copper wire, the magnetic field was altered and measured by a computer. This is not a sci-fi novel, but how a passive wheel speed sensor works. 

A passive wheel speed sensor is often called a “variable reluctance sensor” by some engineers. The sensor is mounted at a specific gap from a toothed reluctor ring. As the teeth pass by the wheel speed sensor, it changes the magnetic field and produces alternating current or AC voltage. The AC voltage can be seen by a scope as a sine wave. 

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