Trip odometer at zero

Recently (at least for Car Talkers - within the last 6 weeks), when I reset the trip odometer on my 1996 Toyota Avalon when I filled up for gas, it stopped working. It reads zero all the time. Does anyone know if this is a cable or vacuum hose issue or if this is something that I even might be able to do myself?

Is your odometer a digital display or is it analog? If it’s digital then I don’t have any suggestions. If it’s analog then I’ve seen similar problems on different kinds of cars, including one I currently own. MAYBE my solution will work for you.

In my 1992 Mercedes if I reset the trip odometer while the car is moving everything zeroes out except for (sometimes) the tenths indicator, which gets stuck in limbo and then the trip odometer remains at zero. You can see that the tenths indicator is just a hair off from zero and it starts to advance slightly then jumps back to the “hair off from zero” position again and again. My solution, have the car completely stopped and press the reset a couple of times. Problem solved (for my car at least). I hope this works for you.

My trip odometer is analog and I had run into the same issues before myself. I have tried resetting while stopped and while moving, noting the ‘hair off from zero’ or right on zero. Nothing helped this time. Thanks, tho.

Most of these are driven by the Vehicle Speed Sensor. The VSS signel is sent to the combination meter to square up the sine wave and drive the speedometer, odometer, and trip odometer. So if the speedometer and odometer are working, the problem is probably in the speedo head. Sorry no cable or vacuum involved.

BTW is the check engine light ‘on’?

No check engine light or other symptoms. I doubt if I want to take on the major job of servicing or replacing the speedo head for the trip odometer alone. Unless you think this is relatively minor. Also, I am guessing that this needs to go to the dealer or an authorized speedo shop. Is any of that right?

I had a similar problem with a 240 Volvo. That turned out to be a common problem with that make/model having stripped/broken gear teeth in a little plastic gear in the odometer. There was a fellow on a Volvo forum who has a home based business making replacement gears for Volvo and BMWs, and maybe some others.

Anyway, is the regular odometer working? The trip odo is probably gear driven off the regular odo. I have heard of the little gears slipping on the shaft and this might be solved with a drop of glue. It all depends on how much trouble it will be to take the cluster apart. Good luck.