Car Speedometer Not Working? This May Be Why


Think you know everything about automobile speedometers? Are you aware of the GPS speedometer software for mobiles? Speedometers are pretty much easy to read, since it is carved out of numbers, symbols (KPH/Km/h or MPH) and indicator needles for accurate gauging. So your speedometer could stop working because it is dead. It’s truly amazing how technology keeps up with new inventions and provides easy detections solutions to technical malfunctions. Let’s take a look at background checks to determine other things that could make your speedometer stops working.

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The speedometer is a device used to measure the traveling speed of a vehicle. It is fixed to a vehicle’s cockpit and usually shares a housing with an Odometer (a mechanism used to record total distance traveled). Currently, there is a GPS speedometer application for mobile phones (iPhone, Android, Black berry) that shows your current speed, altitude(meters or feet) and distance traveled with a scale for running, cycling, driving and even flying. It also records your top and average speed , trip, time for every activity. And now, designing firms are experimenting with improvements in speedometer readout on the “windshield”, an effort to eliminate the moments of distraction needed for a driver to look down and gauge his or her speed.

A problem where your car speedometer drops to zero(0) can be very frustrating and dangerous – not knowing the speed your on to when traveling on a high way can cause you a lot of problems. So here are the reasons why your car speedometer may have dropped to zero and is refusing to bulge:

Common Speedometer Problems

Speedometer Could be Dead

This could only be for two reasons: for older (before 1990s) vehicles, a breakage of the cable that connects the transmission to the speedometer. Cars produced after 1990s are usually installed with speed sensors (located near the front axle) which may crash and cease to transmit speed reading to the speedometer. A more serious problem could be a faulty speedometer head which needs expert diagnosis.

A Speed Sensor Issue                                                                                                        

If there’s a malfunction with the digital speed sensor they may stop sending data to the car’s computer. When the computer tries to calculate road speed it does not receive any information, and as a result the ‘check engine’ light glows. Replacing the speed sensor will solve this issue, however, if the ‘check engine’ light is not on, and the speedometer behaves erratically or stops working, it is recommended to try the cruise control system in the car, as it uses the same sensors. If cruise control is working, and the check engine light is on, it may indicate a problem with the speedometer itself, and may require a change of the instrument panel. A ‘check engine’ light is a serious issue on its own and must be checked immediately.

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Bouncing or Jerking of the Speedometer                                                                                                                    

At occasions when the speedometer does not settle on any particular reading but keeps moving between speeds, it is almost always due to bad wiring, in case of a cable system, or a faulty speed sensor. In most cases, only the wiring needs to be changed, or the sensors re-calibrated, to repair the problem.

Changes in the Car                                                                                                                                     

You probably didn’t know that speedometers are calibrated according to the radius and diameters of the factory-fitted tyres of your car. These determinants can change, if you get custom tyres which are larger, or of different dimensions. The rate at which your tyres cover ground changes and if the speedometer is not calibrated accordingly, it can show a faulty reading.

A Cut in the Wire Connection to the Speed Sensor

When the wire that connects your speedometer to your engine and gauge has a problem or may have cut along the middle, it could equally make the speedometer to drop.

Knowing the possible problems that can cause speedometer malfunction is the first step to repairing the faults. Although not every speedometer related problem requires a replacement, it depends on the cause. If the dial is the problem, you can easily replace the dial alone. Problems with the inbuilt computer will require replacement. It is therefore important to take your car to a mechanic and run a full diagnostic test, before attempting self-repairs.