This paper aims to investigate performance benefits associated with adopting a mobile wireless sensor network (WSN). Sensor nodes are generally energy constrained due to the latter being acquired from onboard battery cells. If one or more sensor nodes fail, possible coverage holes may be created which could invariantly lead to a reduced network lifetime. The paper proposes that instead of rendering the entire WSN inoperative, sensor nodes should physically change position within the region of interest thus adaptively altering the WSN topology with a view of recovering from failures. This type of motion will be referred to as “self healing”. Design / methodology / approach – This paper presents a mobility scheme based on Bayesian networks for predictive reasoning (BayesMob) which is essentially a distributed self healing algorithm for coordinating physical relocation of sensor nodes. Using the algorithm, sensor nodes can predict the performance of the WSN in terms of coverage given that the node moves in a given direction. The evidence for this hypothesis is acquired from local neighborhood information. Findings – The paper compares BayesMob with an alternative algorithm – Coverage Fidelity Algorithm – and shows that BayesMob maintains a higher level WSN coverage for a greater percentage of failures, thus increasing the useful lifetime of the WSN. Research limitations / implications – The physical relocation of sensor nodes will incur energy overhead, therefore the tradeoffs between all application criteria should be investigated before implementation. Originality/value – This paper presents a Bayesian network based motion coordination algorithm for WSN which repairs coverage holes caused by energy exhaustion and/or abrupt node failures.