97 TOYOTA RAV4 - Speedometer off & on - $1200 to repair?

I’m having a very frustrating, $$ problem with the speedometer on my 1997 Toyota RAV 4, 4WD, 45000 miles. It was working fine until 2 years ago, when I drove it from Philadelphia to Chicago. On the 2nd day of the drive, the speedometer seemed like it would only go up to about 50mph on the highway, even when I could feel – and tell by how many cars I was passing – that I was really going somewhere around 70mph. A couple months ago, I finally had enough money in the bank to bring the car in to get this looked at. The shop said my instrument cluster had gone bad and charged me about $700 in parts and labor to replace it. Afterward they said that their tests showed it was working just fine. I took the car home and the problem seemed fixed until I drove on the highway above about 50mph, when the same problem happened again – the speedometer would show a speed of about 45mph when I could tell I was really going around 65 or 70mph. I brought it back, they looked at it again and test drove it again, and said that they didn’t witness the problem occurring, so they couldn’t find anything to fix. I took the car home again, and the first time I took a drive onto the highway, same problem again. So I took the car back to the shop a 3rd time, and after several days, they told me that they were finally able to observe the speedometer fail after 45 minutes of test driving and that the speed sensor was failing intermittently. They quoted me about $500 for parts and labor to replace the speed sensor.

Today, they called and told me that with the replacement, the speedometer was working well except for when they took it on a long test drive and after 60 minutes of driving, the speedometer failed again for a few minutes, then started working again.

So, after about 2 months and $1200, it appears that I have a car whose speedometer still doesn’t work 100% of the time. Are these guys ripping me off royally?

Not on purpose perhaps, but through incompetence. They owe you and I would go elsewhere.

I would try to make them put in old speedo and give back money then tell them you will pay for senser.
Question was milage on new spedo from old rav and how many miles does it show.
If you do not know www.rav4world.com very good rav4 site


Sorry to heard that, I have the same vehicle with the same problem, for many years I been fixing my cars and whatever the problem is I always find the way to solve it, some times take me more time to figure it out what the problem is., But with this particular problem on this vehicle I’m literally tired to try to solve it, I did replace the cluster two times, and order few speed sensors and try it on and still the same problem after the vehicle get warm up, and doesn’t go over 45 or 50 MPH when I’m actually doing like 70+
So what I thinking now is that might be there a wiring issue or a malfunction in the computer, honestly I cant think on anything else than that, like I said I had replaced the instrument cluster two times and the speed sensor like other 3 times with new aftermarket parts and OEM parts.
In the worst case scenario can be something inside the transfer case or transmission.
I been looking online for some information to fix this issue but I haven’t find anything, however I will keep going to see if I can fix it, and if I fix it I will let you know.

The post was from 9 years ago. I’d think the poster has gotten rid of the car by now.

Cable driven speedos can be tested to check the accuracy. If the speedo is accurate, then the problem must be at the other end of the cable, or the cable itself. On my 4wd truck the speedo cable is connected to the transfer case as I recall.