Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Lubricating the speedometer Cable in 1990 Integra

The Speedometer cable in the car has been squeaking for A LONG time. I think maybe it’s lost its lubrication. Needle jumps around a bit at fwy speeds, but still works fine, other than the annoying squeal. I searched briefly for an answer on this site, but found nothing helpful. I know I could just have the whole speedometer removed and replaced, but to me it’s an expense I’d rather save for when it actually breaks, if it ever does. It is not a Dangerous situation in my mind. How would I find where to actually see if the housing is cracked, or is this difficult for someone with limited skills? Thank you.

If the speedo is jumping around, it’s probably a broken or breaking cable. You don’t need to replace the whole speedometer - just the cable. It’s easy enough to DIY, but have a few hours to devote to it if you haven’t done it before. Make sure you don’t lose the retaining clip on the tranny side. It’s very annoying.

I think its self lubricating. I would just replace it. If its what is making the noise. It also could be the speedometer head.

With the cable disconnected from the transaxle, pull the cable out of its housing and squeeze a shot of 90w gear oil into the end and reinsert the cable. That has worked well for many years.

Well, if the cable is breaking, it’s been doing so for YEARS. The squealing ( we call it the chipmunks in the dash) is only really annoying once is a while; otherwise, not that loud. NOW, do I just take it to my mechanic? He said by law, only certified places can work on speedometers ( to keep people honest I guess).
I’m not even sure where to look. One friend said it’s way up under the steering column, but I don’t want to disconnect something bad. I was just hoping for an easy fix, until it does actually break, in which case I’d be forced to fix it :slight_smile:

Remove the speedometer cable from the transaxle. With a pair of pliers pull the cable out of the cable jacket. Clean the cable and apply a thin coat of white lithium grease to the cable. Reinsert the cable back into the cable jacket. While pushing on the cable rotate it so the drive engages at the other end. Reinstall the speedometer cable back onto the transaxle.


Many cables will only come out from the speedometer end…So the big effort is gaining access to the back of the speedo so you can disconnect and remove the inner cable…Coat it with light grease, put everything back together…

@Caddyman…this is what worries me; probably too difficult for someone with my limited skills. Guess I’ll just put up with the chipmunks for now…or go to the mechanic. Thanks to you all for the advice.