Are '96 Toyota Camrys prone to switch odometer units?

I noticed that my car odometer recently began measuring in kilometers instead of miles. Just from searching this forum I’ve seen two other instances of this, both of which were 1996 Toyota Camrys like my own car. Is this a problem specific to this car?

Also, how do I fix it?!

There is either a button on the dash or you push and turn the odometer reset button. Think there was one other option but I can’t remember it.

The directions to reset the odo to miles should be in the owners’ manual. If they’re not, the guy at the dealership parts window should be able to print the protocol for you at no charge.

You didn’t by chance have your battery replaced recently? The issue isn’t common, but in situations where the battery is changed without providing backup power systems can sometimes reboot to a choice not preferred.

I’ve owned Camry’s and serviced Camry’s for years, and have never seen this happen.

96 is when they went from OBDI to OBDII. Which means the signal to the speedometer/odometer isn’t from a cable but from the Vehicle Speed Sensor.

Behind the the instrument cluster which displays the speed/mileage is a logic board. This logic board is what displays the units.

If there’s no Check Engine light on indicating a problem with the VSS, then the problem has to be the instrument cluster and the logic board.


These systems can all be readily changed back and forth from miles to kliks by the owner once you know the programming protocol. The system is standardized for world markets.

Should be push in the trip reset button and turn it clockwise a few times. Let us know if that works for you.

If I don’t see an answer here tomorrow I’ll go out and get my owner’s manual. Mine’s a later vintage, but the protocol might be the same.

Do you have kids? I had a client who had all the read outs in her car changed to Celcius and kilometers. Turns out her grandkids like to play with buttons. It took less than 2 minutes to reset the read outs for her, but she still had her owners manual. That made it super easy.

Many new cars have this since Canada and Mexico are metric and many vehicles are built for the North American market. I had a Ford Explorer as a company car on a project and it was easy to switch between English and metric units.

If it does this all by itself you should see the dealer. The owner’s manual should tell you how t reset the unit.

Why fix it? Years ago, I had a 1990 Ford AeroStar Eddie Bauer edition. There was a button to push to change the odometer and speedometer to metric units. I would switch it to metric every time I drove the car my wife had switched it to English units. I became pretty good in thinking speed and distance in metric units. It’s,rather like learning a newsletter and s language. When you can think in the language, you are on your way to be coming fluent in the language. Why not become fluent with the metric system?

My question would be, does the logic work correctly switching back and forth?

In other words, if you drove 1000 (1609 km) miles, switched to km, would the odo now read 1609, then drove an additional 1000 miles, would the odo now display
3218. Switch back to miles, would it correctly display 2000?

somehow I doubt it.


On my 1990 Aerostat I could switch back and forth and the distance traveled was always correct in either miles or kilometers. I could record 100 kilometers on the trip odometer, switch to the English system and the trip odometer would read 62.5 miles.

Oh c’mon Bill, of course it automatically adjusts the numbers. The data is not stored as mpg or klicks, the data is stored as digital memory. The only thing you change when you go back & forth is the display.