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1998 Honda Accord speedometer working only sometimes

  #1  
Old 12-28-2011, 07:56 AM
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Default 1998 Honda Accord speedometer working only sometimes

Hi, I have a 1998 Honda Accord. The speedometer is acting strange. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. It will be working just fine, and then it pops to 0. It works for a month, and then cuts off again. I have been asking around, and can't get a straight answer hoping someone will know.

Is this problem 100% caused by a bad speedometer cluster? Or is it the censor, or could it be both? If it is the cluster, can you give me an estimate of how much it should cost to repair totally at the dealer? Some people say only the dealer can fix the cluster, because only they are licensed to set the mileage on the odometer. But I am wary of bringing it to the dealer - the problem might just be the censor, and yet, they may tell me its the cluster, as that is more expensive to fix, and only they can do it.

Thank you!
 
  #2  
Old 12-29-2011, 10:30 PM
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i would suspect the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) before i'd suspect the gauge. the sensor could be dirty and that would be the first thing to look for.

replacing the cluster is quite easy - you can remove it in about 5 minutes. i can give you a detail on the process if you'd like, just ask. you can get an instrument cluster from a salvage yard for probably $30 or so. the mileage will be off, but you can just note that by taking pics of both at the time of the swap. as long as you aren't trying to be deceptive when you sell the car again you don't get in trouble. just be honest and document the swap.

one thing to consider is if the odometer is changing. if the odometer changes but the speedometer doesn't work then i'd say the VSS is fine and the actual speedometer is bad. if both the odometer and speedo are not working then i'd try the sensor.

the cost depends on the shop. dealerships may charge more than local shops. finding a good mechanic is tricky. i usually start with privately owned shops that have been in business for more than 20 years. ask co-workers, ask on facebook, word of mouth is huge. note that Honda's are easy to work on but still unique. i recommend a mechanic that has over 10 years experience with Honda's.
 

Last edited by keep_hope_alive; 12-29-2011 at 10:34 PM.
  #3  
Old 02-19-2012, 01:56 PM
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Default speedometer now working - thank you!

thank you for replying keephopealive! And I am sorry it took this long to get back to you - deeply busy.

But I did what you suggested as far as having someone clean the censor. A small backyard mechanic who didn't charge very much. He said it wasn't that dirty. So far so good! and it has been about 6 weeks.

Honda dealer had already ordered the speedmeter and had sent it away to get the correct mileage installed on it, which they had to pay for. They didn't charge me yet for the speedometer cluster, so when I told them to hold off, that I was going to see if cleaning the censor permanently fixed it, they were not too happy! They tried to lay a guilt trip on me, that they had already paid for the correct mileage to be installed, so trying to get me to make an appointment to install and pay for the cluster!!

But if the censor holds, then their diagnosis regarding the cluster being bad was all a scam. Why should I pay for ( and they already charged me $55.00 for the initial test to see if was the cluster or the censor), a part I don't need? If anyone should be upset, it would be me. It would take a lot for me now to return to Honda as a customer. This is about the 4th thing they have done that I have suspected not in my best interest. Basically, this is the last straw, and have been a customer for over 10 years.

Anyway, I thank you!!!!! for taking all the time to reply to my initial email. If the censor holds you saved me about $400.00
 
  #4  
Old 02-23-2012, 06:12 PM
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sweet!
 
  #5  
Old 03-28-2012, 01:44 PM
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What's involved in cleaning the VSS?
 
  #6  
Old 03-28-2012, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bilster View Post
What's involved in cleaning the VSS?
Remove plastic intake tube

Remove 2 - 10mm bolts holding VSS to trans

Clean with brake cleaner and soft brush

Pretty simple
 
  #7  
Old 03-29-2012, 09:46 AM
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Nice. Thank you.
 
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