Speedometer/odometer problem


A number of months ago I inquired about a problem with my 98 Ranger’s speedometer/odometer; which was soon after I start driving (at variable elapsed times) my speedometer’s hand flutters a bit and then dies–and the odometer stops counting as well. No other dash board gauges are effected and in fact my cruise control continues to function. Over about two years my trusted mechanic has looked at the cause but hasn’t been able to locate a problem (it probably doesn’t help that the problem is only "visible when driving and hasn’t been occurring when I bring my car in). When I lasted inquired on this forum I got a quick response (thank you) that the “The speedometer head electrical connector should be checked for a poor connection by unplugging and plugging it back in.”–next time I took it in to the mechanic I gave him this info and he did but the problem still persists.

Any other ideas–or other places I might contact?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.


Bad instrument cluster?


Well, I’m certainly the epitome of unmechanical, but checking the instrument cluster sounds like something the mechanic might have looked at already in the many times we’ve tried to locate the problem (but maybe not). If it’s not the cluster, any other thoughts? Since the problem seems intermittent, it suggests something loose or badly connected and yet, the dying of the speedometer doesn’t seem to be triggered by going over bumps or potholes and usually only begins after working fine at start-up (if it has occurred on a short trip, it often stays send on my next start up).

Thanks for the feedback,

I’m going to guess the Vehicle Speed Sensor. That’s screwed into the side of the tranny and tells the speedo-odo how fast and how far you’re going.


Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll add that to the list of things my mechanic can check-out. Any further possibilities are still welcome.
Thanks all.


If the OP has factory cruise control, then I don’t think it would be the VSS. The OP says that the cruise still works when the speedometer doesn’t.

Did he try replacing the cluster with another one? That would be just about the only way to rule it out.

Excellent point.

Yes, the cruise control is factory. Any other ideas?

As always I do appreciate any and all help on this.

I think that it is pretty much down to being either the cluster or the wiring to the cluster.