Speed sensor dead

Couple of years ago I had to replace the speed sensor on my Focus, as it was on the way out (speedometer would periodically fall to zero whilst driving).
Since fitting the new one, all had been well. Up until last night that is, when I was returning from a long journey.
About 30 miles from home, I noticed the speedometer needle wavering between 50 and 60, despite my speed being constant.
This got progressively worse then it failed altogether about 10 miles from home.
The last time this happened, it was an occasional problem that got gradually worse over several weeks. So to see it die so abruptly was a bit of a surprise.
Again, this sensor is less than 2 years old. Is it common for sensors to fail after such a relatively short period of use and to fail so abruptly?
These things aren't overly expensive, though fitting them is extremely awkward given the limited working space. Don't really want to be doing this too often!
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Simon (Dark Angel)
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On Sat, 24 May 2014 09:46:23 +0100, Simon T wrote:

The early ones failed due to a breakage in the internal connection between the sensor and the connector pins. Replacements were of a modified type to prevent that happening, and subsequent failure is very rare.
The description of the fault you have now seems more likely to be related to the instrument cluster I suspect.
Chris
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"Chris Whelan" wrote in message

Well I've got a new one on order, if it arrives in time (and weather permitting) I'll fit it on my next day off and see what happens.
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Simon (Dark Angel)
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Quick update for those following the thread.
Fitted the new sensor, speedometer is working fine once more.
Looks like it was the sensor then.
Bit strange it failed after such a relatively short period of use (was fitted less than 2 years ago) Just hope this one lasts a bit longer, as they're a right *BLEEP* to access...
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Simon (Dark Angel)
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On Thu, 29 May 2014 13:24:43 +0100, Simon T wrote:

Thanks for the update; they are a pig to do, and it's not unknown for them to break off, sometimes requiring gearbox removal to fix.
Chris
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"Chris Whelan" wrote in message

This time it actually came out relatively easily, compared to the last time. Might have been due to the fact it wasn't fitted that long ago that it was less troublesome.
Think I had the job done in about half an hour, compared to about 2 and a half hours the first time I attempted it.
Again. lets just hope it lasts a bit longer this time...
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Simon (Dark Angel)
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