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I have a 2007 Mazda 3 (2.0L). Recently, I took apart the front axle in order to replace the half-shaft on the driver's side. At the same time, I have replaced my brake caliper because I realized (coincidentally) that the caliper piston was stuck on that side, causing the brake pad to be constantly in contact with the rotor. Of course, this created a large amount of heat, and I've noticed that my ABS speed sensor harness is a little melted now (presumably from the heat) - see image below.

melted abs speed sensor - driver's side front

I have five questions about this:

1) Since my ABS light isn't on on my dash, can I safely assume that it's fine as-is, or is this something that will likely come back to bite me later on? 2) Is there a way to test my anti-lock brakes? It's summertime here, so I can't just go out to a parking lot and slam on my brakes to see if they engage, as I would in the winter when there is ice around. 3) Since the housing is melted around the screw, how can I remove it if I wanted to replace the sensor? 4) How difficult is it to replace? (It looks like I have to take off a few other components to get at the cable as it runs up underneath the vehicle... Can I just cut the wires and re-connect new ones to a new harness with heat-shrink tubing?) 5) It is possible that the inner housing of the sensor is also melted (the socket into which the harness mounts). If so, how do I replace this?

Thanks!

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1 Answer 1

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1) Since my ABS light isn't on on my dash, can I safely assume that it's fine as-is, or is this something that will likely come back to bite me later on?

Yes. If the sensor was not picking up the signal, you won't see it at first (after the self diagnostics are done, that is). Once you start driving, the computer will notice the differential and then turn the light on.

2) Is there a way to test my anti-lock brakes?

You can still put it into a parking lot and dynamite the brakes. Just be careful when you do it to ensure you are not going to bother anyone. You should feel feedback through the pedal. I don't think this is an issue ... see answer #1.

3) Since the housing is melted around the screw, how can I remove it if I wanted to replace the sensor?

Any type of grinding device or even a knife to whittle away at the plastic will allow you to get to it.

4) How difficult is it to replace?

Once you get the plastic removed from around the mounting bolt, it shouldn't be too hard to get it out. You may need to get a pair of Vice-Grips to get at it, but it shouldn't be too difficult.

5) It is possible that the inner housing of the sensor is also melted (the socket into which the harness mounts). If so, how do I replace this?

This is what it should look like when not melted:

ABS Sensor from Rock Auto

Undo the bolt holding into place and pull the old sensor out. Stuff the new sensor back into place. You'll need to snip the wires and get a new sensor lead. Looking online, I'm not seeing the plug itself for sale. You'd probably have to go to a junk yard or find someone who is parting out a car (one which has been in an accident or whatever) and clip a good used one off of their vehicle. You may be able to find one at your local Mazda parts department, though. And yes, your suggestion of shrink wrap is a good one, but do solder them together first.

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Thanks, Paulster2! I really appreciate your information. Your response was very helpful! –  jwir3 May 6 at 17:51

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