By January 31, 20088 Comments Read More →

2001 Jeep Cherokee Speedometer and Odometer Stop Working

Reader Question

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I have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee that while I am driving it, the speedometer and tachometer gauges drop to the bottom, and come back again after a while. This keeps going on and off. I am getting a display on the tripometer………. NO BUS. but nothing seems to affect the performance because it still runs well.

I had it analyzed by Auto Zone and they came up with the code P0455.

It states………..Evaporative system large leak detected
1) defective, loose or missing fuel cap…..REPLACED
2) Evap. canister broke, hose cracked or not connected
3) Purge or vent solenoid defective
4) Vacuum leak at engine.

The car has 101K and I can not afford to invest too much $$$ because I intend to sell it at the end of the year, but I will like to solve the problem (hopefully not major) so the next guy won’t be stuck with a major problem. Could you tell me what would be almost the sure shot to repair it the least expensive way?

Hey there,

Interesting…if the engine performance is not affected during this drop I would suspect a problem with the PCM – power control computer (the computer) or the instrument panel itself.

There is not really much in between…the computer gets a signal from the engine, sends that signal to the instrument cluster. If the signal from the engine was wrong, I would expect the engine to run bad or not at all…since 0 RPM would mean the engine has stopped running.

BUT, since your engine runs fine, I can only assume the computer is getting proper data, it is just not sending proper data to the instrument cluster or the cluster is not interpreting the data from the computer correctly. Since both items are expensive to guess at.

I would have a mechanic look into this further. Both of these items, computer and cluster can be purchased used at a junk yard though to help offset costs.

Keep me posted will ya?


Austin Davis

Reader Follow Up

Good morning Austin,

One more thing,do the message displayed on the tripometer NO BUS and the codes obtained from Auto Zone narrow down the suspected problem and your diagnosis? (you forgot to mention if that was a factor or not)

I was planning to go to a junk yard this weekend…will keep you posted on the outcome so we can share it with the rest of us!!

Have a wonderful day……..

Howdy again,

I think the code that Autozone found was probably just an old code stored in memory; I don’t think that is related at all. The error message….honestly, I am not real sure what is causing that I can only assume that the loss of computer signal or a problem with the control head is the culprit.

Again, I would suggest you spend $75-100 for a dealership mechanic to diagnose the problem for you so you can correctly repair the problem yourself.


Austin Davis

Posted in: Reader Questions

8 Comments on "2001 Jeep Cherokee Speedometer and Odometer Stop Working"

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  1. Richard Bibey says:

    My speedometer stoped working due to gear in transmission coming apart. Its a nylon piece. Bought replacement but it does not make contact with this gear. Are there two diameter gears. Aw4-440 trans.

    • Austin Davis says:

      Not real sure, a transmission repair shop would be the best place to have this looked at. There is a gear inside the trans, but thought you had to replace it from inside.

  2. Jason says:

    Hi I have a 2001 Cherokee sport my speedometer was jumping to 100+ now it’s not working at all it’s stuck on 0 all other gauges are fine. I already changed athe speed sensor on the trans. my check engine light is also on now. Any ideas I’m lost

    • By Austin Davis says:

      Humm, would be nice to know what the code # is. I can take a look in my manuals for anything that I could recommend. You already replaced the VSS, which I would have recommended first. This does not have an old fashioned speedo cable….right?

    • By Austin Davis says:


      Try these.

      1 Disconnect the battery for 15 minutes just to see if a hard reset helps at all
      2. turn the key on, then push in and hold the trip odometer reset stem for a few seconds, should test the instrument panel, possible reset as well
      3. scan the computer for that code, its possible that a wheel sensor has a problem and is not sending a signal to the ABS module. Looks like the VSS sends signal to ABS module then to BCM computer. There could be a problem with a wheel sensor, wiring, or the ring that the sensor receives the signal from on the spindle.

  3. Danny says:

    This is not an unusual problem with this model Jeep. Mine did it. The key is the ‘No Bus’ message. The culprit is corrosion on a pin in a connector beneath the dash. Look on the driver’s side beneath the dash and you will see a large connector with a single bolt securing it to the socket. Remove the negative battery terminal. Remove the bolt and unplug the connector. Clean the connector pin. I used WD40 and an acid brush. reassemble the connector and reconnect the battery negative terminal. It should work fine from now on. Note: The pin that causes the problem is a serial data line from the computer to the instrument cluster. Corrosion stops it from sending information properly to the instrument cluster.

  4. Randall Moore says:

    I started having simular problems today. My 1992 Jeep Cherokee runs perfectly although without any warning the speedometer,tachometer,amp gauge and headlights all stopped working.The jeep continued to run fine.They worked intermittently for about five miles then started working properly again.I have been having problems with my vacuum lines causing the cruise control not to work and the ac/heater fan to only blow through the defrost however,all the gauges have always worked perfectly.After reading online it seems the vacuum leak could cause the gauges to malfunction although I would have thought the gauges were electronically controled.I need to fix the vacuum leak anyway but would this be a good starting point to repair the malfunctioning gauges? Thanks Randall

    • Austin says:

      Ya, I don’t think the vacuum lines are your issue with the gauges. I would suspect a faulty BCM….Body Control Module, VPS – Vehicle Speed Sensor or a problem with the gauge “cluster” itself. I have seen alternators that are bad and cause all kinds of gauge problems and loose or faulty ground wires the same thing.

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