Road speed sensor - Hall effect

The purpose of this test is to evaluate the correct operation of a Hall effect speed sensor based on the output voltage and frequency in response to road speed.

Connection guidance

Connection for diagnostic work will vary dependent on application.

Technicians should whenever possible gain access to the test circuit without damage to seals and insulation. If this is not possible then make sure appropriate repairs are completed.

General connection advice:

PicoScope offers a range of options within the test kits.

Dependent on difficulty of access, choose from,

  1. Breakout leads.
  2. Back-pinning probes.

Testing sensors and actuators (to include relevant circuit/connectors):

  • When testing a sensor, it is desirable to gain access at the control module.
  • When testing an actuator, it is desirable to gain access at the actuator.

How to perform the test

  1. Use the vehicle wiring diagram to identify the signal circuit.
  2. Connect PicoScope to the vehicle
  3. Secure the vehicle onto a wheel free lift.
  4. Minimise the help page and with the example waveform on your screen PicoScope has already selected suitable scales for you to capture a waveform.
  5. Select GO or press the space bar to see live data.
  6. Start the engine and with the vehicle securely fixed and lifted off the ground engage a gear and allow the vehicle to drive wheel free
  7. With your live waveform on screen select STOP or press the space bar to stop your capture.
  8. Stop the vehicle and turn off the engine.
  9. Use the WAVEFORM BUFFER and ZOOM tools to examine your waveform.

Example waveform

Waveform notes

The Control Module has the ability to adjust the engines idle speed when the vehicle is slowing or stationary by using information from the Road Speed Sensor (RSS).
The sensor is a 3 wire device and will have a supply at battery voltage, an earth and a digital square wave output also switching at 12 volts.

With the appropriate electrical connection made to the RSS output, raise one wheel with a trolley and place an axle stand under the suspension unit. Start the engine and select a gear, a waveform switching from 12 volts to zero should be seen. As the road speed is increased the frequency of the switching should be seen to increase. This change can also be measured on a multimeter with frequency capabilities.

The sensor will be located on either the speedometer drive output from the gearbox or to the rear of the speedometer head.

Waveform Library

Go to the drop-down menu bar at the lower left corner of the Waveform Library window and select, Road Speed Sensor RSS.

Further guidance

These road speed sensors are now common place on many of today's modern motor vehicles, their function is to provide information to the Engine Control Module (ECM) monitoring the vehicle's momentum.
The control unit now has the ability to determine the idle speed when the vehicle is slowing or stationary and not at any other time during the vehicle's journey. The sensor will be located on either the speedometer drive output from the gearbox or to the rear of the speedometer head.

A typical road speed sensor or Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) will produce either an analogue output from a magnetic inductive sensor, or a digital square wave from a voltage driven unit. These sensors can be either a Hall effect device with 3 electrical connections or a Reed switch with 2 connections.

Figure 2 shows a typical road speed sensor which is mounted between the gearbox speedo drive and the speedo drive cable.

The testing of the inductive pick up is identical to a crank angle sensor, resulting in a sine wave and the normal resistance testing. The Hall and Reed switches will provide a square wave and like the inductive sensor, the waveforms can be viewed on an oscilloscope.

GT026-2

Disclaimer
This help topic is subject to changes without notification. The information within is carefully checked and considered to be correct. This information is an example of our investigations and findings and is not a definitive procedure. Pico Technology accepts no responsibility for inaccuracies. Each vehicle may be different and require unique test settings.

Suitable accessories

  • Premium 6-way breakout lead set

    £269.00

  • Back-pinning Probe Set

    £40.00

  • Flexible Back-pinning Probe

    £3.00

  • PicoScope Battery Clip

    £2.75

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Guided test: Hall effect