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Speedometer Not working

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Old 02-17-2010, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Speedometer Not working

I'm new to the site. Just bought a 95 Civic DX 5 speed from my mechanic. The speedometer was not working but would occassionally start working about 20 minutes after driving it. He replaced the VSS and I unplugged it and checked it out. Still looks good. No corrosion.

Bought a gauge cluster out of a 92 Civic EX automatic. All the other gauges work except for the speedometer. In the old gauge cluster, even the odometer didn't work. My question is, what else can it be?

Another bad cluster? A bad VSS? Which of the 3 wires is the speedo wire so that I can run a new wire from the VSS directly to the back of the cluster or is that even advised?

I searched a lot of the speedo threads in here and after 2 hours, I'm at a stand still. I even unplugged my battery for 20 minutes and still no speedo.
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:39 PM   #2
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Does the CEL work and is it on? If so, check whether code 17 is thrown.
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:45 PM   #3
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No check engine light. I know it works because my mechanic installed a turbo but didn't upgrade the MAP sensor. The 1st day I took it for a spin, the CEL came on and the RPMs started jumping around. I shut it off and restarted it and the CEL went off.
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:50 PM   #4
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Use a multimeter to check the wire that runs between the VSS and speedometer for an open or short. The VSS wire pins to B2 in connector B of the cluster, so also check those terminals in the connector and cluster for damage.





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Old 02-17-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
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When my mechanic replaced the speed sensor, the speedo still didn't work. They checked the wiring and had continuity all the way up to the gauge cluster. That is why he told me that I'll have to buy a new one.

Every other function except the speedo works, as far as I can tell. I haven't had it warmed up yet but I would guess the temp gauge will work as well.
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dluszcz View Post
When my mechanic replaced the speed sensor, the speedo still didn't work. They checked the wiring and had continuity all the way up to the gauge cluster. That is why he told me that I'll have to buy a new one.

Every other function except the speedo works, as far as I can tell. I haven't had it warmed up yet but I would guess the temp gauge will work as well.
I think it's an intermittent wire problem, which will make it tricky to find. As you mentioned, however, the problem typically lies with the VSS connector. Some people cut it off and replace it with one from a junk yard.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:13 PM   #7
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I'm not sure which wire I need to check. I looked at the diagram and it should be the yellow/blue wire. I hooked up a multi meter and turned the dial to every possible one on it and nothing. I'm guessing it's a wiring issue.

I noticed that when I pulled the cluster out to check it, the lights didn't work when I put it back in. I had to jiggle the wires and then I got it to come on. Could that mean it's just bad luck and I have a 2nd bad cluster?

On the VSS, there are 3 wires coming out. They are yellow/white, yellow, and black. At least that's what they look like using a flash light outside. I have no problem cutting the right wire and running a new wire to the proper pin position in the wiring harness going into the gauge cluster.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:03 PM   #8
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If you look at the circuit diagram, you'll see that the wire of interest is Yel/Wht at the VSS and changes to Yel/Blu at the cluster.

You need to check for continuity between both ends of the wire (VSS to Cluster). The multimeter is set to measure resistance or continuity for the test. Post a picture of your multimeter if you want to know how to set it.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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this happen to me, and what resolve the problem was a blown fuse that was in the same circuitry ass the vss. i say check a your under dash fuse box closely. might be that.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:43 PM   #10
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I have to go to work so I will have to finish this tomorrow. I will take a pic of the multi meter and post it so I can set it up correctly and check.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:03 AM   #11
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Called the mechanic I bought the car from. He put a used VSS in but checked the ohms on it before installing it. Had power going to the input but didn't check the output from the ECU. He checked the wire from the harness and from the gauge cluster, but not from the ECU. His guess is that since I swapped gauge clusters and everything works except the speedometer, the ECU could be bad. Is it possible that it could be that simple? I'm just wondering because I found a ton of threads on the ECUs but most are for chipping them. Is it worth a $50 used ECU to see if that gives me a speedo?
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:10 AM   #12
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No, if the wire between the ECU and VSS were bad, it would throw code 17. The ECU has nothing to do with the speedometer, so focus on the unique branch of the VSS circuit running to the speedometer.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:44 PM   #13
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Ron,

I cannot post attachments. So, I have to describe the multimeter to you. It is a Sperry SP-10A. I have a positive and a negative wand. For the Ohm setting, I have 3: RX1, RX10, and RX100. For the ACV and DCV settings, I have 4: 500, 250, 50, and 10. For the DCA setting, I have 250m. And, it has the Battery test, 9V and 1.5V.

I ran a fresh wire from the VSS to the speedometer wire in the gauge cluster. I didn't drill through the firewall or anything, I just tapped into the yellow/white wire under the hood, ran it along the firewall, up through the fender and through the driver's side window. I physically cut the yellow/blue wire in the gauge cluster about 3 inches from the end of the harness and hooked up the fresh wire to the gauge cluster.

Took the car for a drive and still not working.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dluszcz View Post
Ron,

I cannot post attachments. So, I have to describe the multimeter to you. It is a Sperry SP-10A. I have a positive and a negative wand. For the Ohm setting, I have 3: RX1, RX10, and RX100. For the ACV and DCV settings, I have 4: 500, 250, 50, and 10. For the DCA setting, I have 250m. And, it has the Battery test, 9V and 1.5V.

Use the RX1 setting to measure resistance/continuity.

I ran a fresh wire from the VSS to the speedometer wire in the gauge cluster. I didn't drill through the firewall or anything, I just tapped into the yellow/white wire under the hood, ran it along the firewall, up through the fender and through the driver's side window. I physically cut the yellow/blue wire in the gauge cluster about 3 inches from the end of the harness and hooked up the fresh wire to the gauge cluster.

Took the car for a drive and still not working.

Still no CEL code 17? If so, unsplice the Yel/Blu wire and then use your multimeter to measure DCV voltage to body ground from the cut end of the Yel/Blu wire attached to the cluster. Do measure about 5V when the key is turned to ON(II)? Set the multimeter to DCV 10 for this measurement.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:25 PM   #15
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When I do the test, do I need to have the wire unspliced for the ohm test too or can I just test the ohms at the VSS where I exposed the wire on the yellow/white wire?
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