Speedometer Not Working

speedometer in car stopped workingDear Mr. Davis,

I’ve written you before and you’ve helped me and now I find myself seeking your help once again.

Our speedometer is very temperamental and at times refuses to work at all. Could you please give me some advice on the cause? I haven’t a clue as to why it behaves the way it does. Please help!


Hi Daphne

If this is standard, old fashion speedometer I would probably suspect a problem with the speedometer cable or the speedometer “head” the actual moveable part of the gauge. Depending on the year model you will have an electronic sensor on the transmission and not an old fashioned cable system. The VSS (vehicle speed sensor) will send a signal to the engine computer to calculate the speed.

Usually when we see a problem with the VSS, there is a drivability issue as well I.E. car runs bad, check engine light comes on etc.

If this is an electronic speedometer, I would suspect a bad speed sensor, or something wrong with the speedometer “cluster” the actual electronic gauge part in the dash. Depending on where you live, you probably have a speedometer repair shop close by.

Watch this video so you have a better understanding of what is happening.

Look in the phone book for speedometer repair, they would be the cheapest and quickest option for that type of problem. Most repair shops including some dealers will sub that kind of work out to these specialty shops. You might also call your regular mechanic for a referral if you don’t see any in the phone book.

Please share this with your friends,

Austin Davis

Posted in: Reader Questions

4 Comments on "Speedometer Not Working"

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  1. Dee says:

    Could a bad battery cause problems with a speedometer not working?

  2. Charolette says:

    Thank you Austin, I was thinking it was something simple like a fuse that had blown out. I took it to my mechanic and he replaced a speedometer cable that had broken. I just hate going to the mechanic without some kind of knowledge before hand as to what could be the problem.

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