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Check out the potential issues with car’s speedometer and troubleshoot the problems with simple tips here! – Brought to you by PartsAvatar Ford parts Canada.Untitled

There can be multiple reasons for the speedometer to malfunction, and replacement of car parts need not be only solution.

Even the most trustworthy cars will develop potential problems and perhaps the most frustrating problems are there that have no clear cause.

Where is speedometer located?

A speedometer is an instrument which provides the driver with instantaneous readings of speed. Most modern vehicles use speed sensors for speedometer.

The speedometer sensor is located in the transmission of your vehicle and is designed to register the driveshaft’s rotational speed. The sensor delivers this information through the speedometer cable and to the vehicle’s computer which converts electrical pulses into a numerical speed.

If the speedometer sensor is not working properly, the speedometer will be inaccurate; potentially leading to speeding tickets or unsafe driving situations.

Now check out the symptoms of malfunctioning speedometer.

Dead speedometer

Whether you have a digital or manual speedometer, if it is not displaying accurate information, consider it dead. Either the speedometer needles will move inaccurately or will not move at all.

There could be malfunctioning speedometer sensor that is causing fluctuation in the readings of speedometer resulting in inaccurate readings. It is an indicator that you need to replace your speedometer sensor.

Faulty speedometer sensor is a most likely explanation for a speedometer being glued to zero, and it’s not cheap to repair. You can choose right vehicle financing option when you buy future vehicles, to ensure you’re covered in the case of a broken speed sensor.

A more serious problem could be a faulty speedometer head, which needs expert diagnosis.

Check engine light comes on

A problem that occurs with digital speed sensors is that they may malfunction and stop sending data to the car’s computer. The sensors are located inside the transmission and when the computer tries to calculate road speed it does not receive any information and as a result the “check engine light” glows.

Check engine light is not a good thing to illuminate and should be decoded by a professional immediately. Sometimes the issue is small and the CPU needs to be reset; but don’t take that risk.

Replacing the speed sensor will probably solve this issue.

Malfunctioning cruise control


If the cruise control is not working and the check engine light on, it may indicate a problem with the speedometer itself, and may require a change of the instrument panel.

When the sensor is not working properly, it will not send a signal to the CPU, which impacts the vehicle’s ability to set the throttle for a desired speed. So as a safety measure, cruise control is engineered to disengage when speedometer sensors won’t work.

So, it is possible that speedometer sensors need replacement.

Malfunctioning ECU

In some cars, for reporting the speed of the vehicle from the speed sensor to the speedometer is done by ECU. If there’s an issue with ECU, speedometer’s functionality can be interrupted or not at all working.

So, get it reprogrammed by a professional mechanic.

Bouncing of Speedometer

In case where the speedometer does not settle on any particular reading but keeps moving between speeds, it is always due to bad wiring.

When water comes in contact with certain connections in a car, it can cause blown fuses, each of which controls something different. Speedometer won’t work if this happens.

In most cases, only the wiring needs to be repaired or sensors need to be re calibrated to repair the problem.

Calibration of speedometer

Speedometers are calibrated according to the radius and diameters of the factory fitted tires of your car. These determinants can change, if you get custom tires which are larger, or if they are of different dimensions.

The rate at which your tires cover ground changes and if the speedometer is not calibrated accordingly, it can show a faulty and inaccurate reading.

Replacing speed sensors on front wheel drive cars

Look for the speed sensor behind the engine, above the Trans axle. Remove the connecting hose, air cleaner and electrical connector from above the sensor.

With the help of a 10mm socket, remove bolts’ keeping sensor in place and twist the sensor to take it out. Attach a new O ring to the sensor and clean the sensor flange and exterior sensor housing before re installation.

Place and fix the new sensor in place. Reattach the hose, air cleaner and electrical connector on to the sensor.

Replacing speed sensors on rear wheel drive cars

You will find speed sensors behind the transmission on the driver’s side. Using jacks, raise the vehicle up.

Remove the wheel. Disconnect the electrical components present on the sensor and remove bolts, keeping the sensor in place using the socket.

Remove the sensor carefully, and fix a new one in its place.

Not every time you need to replace the sensors. Take help from a trusted mechanic because there might be trivial replacements like that of dials or speedometer cables.

And, if your car can’t read speed accurately, driving it is a bad idea, so try to stay off road.

At PartsAvatar car parts online, it is our mission to supply you with the right parts you need to keep your car, truck, van or SUV working in tip top shape, at a great discount. So place your order today!

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