CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Spedometer Malfunction

My 1998 Honda Civic DX’s spedometer is malfunctioning. Sometimes it jumps to 20 mph (regardless of the speed, including if the car is stationary); and other times it displays the speed properly. When the spedometer does not function properly, the odometer does not work.



I replaced the vehicle speed sensor (VSS) but the problem persists. The instrument panel is connected via electronic cables (not a metallic cable).



Suggestions? Do I need to buy a new instrument panel, and if so, how do I coordinate the miles on it with my current miles (168,000).

I would learn to live with it.

I have a person with 1998 Accord with the exact same problem. Replaced the VSS even when there was no code indicating a problem with the sensor. Then had me replace the speedo head to see if that fixed it. Nope! Speedo still has erratic readings. He finally realized that the problem is deeper, and isn’t willing to pay to go that far into diagnosics. As long as this old vehicle runs good, he’s not going to worry about it.

Tester

I see your point, although, I would like to know the speed in which I am traveling, and log the miles for maintenance reasons.

A decent car GPS unit should give you speed and distance traveled to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Not an ideal solution, but probably a whole lot cheaper then the ‘correct’ repair.

My son has a 92 Civic with the same problem. Some times the speedometer works and some times it doesn’t. He watched the tach when it does work and now can figure out his speed by the rpms and the gear he’s in.
I had never thought of a GPS unit telling the speed, that’s a good idea!

How much would a used instrument cluster cost and how would I change the miles on it to reflect the miles driven on my car?