speedometer not working? - Nissan Forum
B14 95-99 chassis 1995-1999 Sentra and 1995-1998 200SX

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#1 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:09 AM
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speedometer not working?

my speedometer works sometimes and sometimes it doesnt. allso the tripmeter doesnt work when the speedometer doesnt work. could it it the speed sensoer?
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#2 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 08:12 AM
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Having problems with my 97 speedo too. If you search through this forum you'll see that there are a few things it could be. Some have reported wear in the gear of the sensor at the transmission, others a problem with the speedometer itself, and some a wiring problem. There are some steps to narrow it down, but you'll have to search for them. I haven't had the time to work on mine. I think mine is a gauge problem since if its not working and I'm going 40-60mph I can bang on the gage cluster and it will start working again. It is also very peculiar that if the speedo is not working, the auto transmission will not shift into overdrive. Again with some searching I found some schematics as far as the sensor, speedo, and computer that could help me with my answer, but not enough time to spend on it. Is yours an auto and does it do the same as mine?
#3 Old Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:18 PM
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well i have the same problem and my car iluminated the MIL so i pulled the codes and it was the vss, its not compleatly bad yet but its going there

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#4 Old Aug 4th, 2007, 09:26 PM
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Had a similar prob on a 99 Sentra GXE. Changed the gage cluster and it fixed the problem.
#5 Old Nov 15th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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My 96 200SX SE-R's speedometer quits working when it is really damp or raining. I changed the VSS after I checked the instument cluster but that wasn't the problem. I have to check the wiring. When it quits working for a while I get codes for the VSS and the knock sensor.

Does anyone know what is causing this problem?
#6 Old Jul 17th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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Looks like I'm in the same boat with PTXer and Burn 17.
Except, I replaced my VSS and that went quite smoothly, but did not chang a thing. the electrical connecto appeared to be just fine, the replacement was an exact match. And, I am experiencing the intemittent results and have been for a couple weeks.

What I have not done is smack the dash, which I will try when my wife get home with the Altima. I has 160,xxx miles and is running great otherwise. If it needs a new speedo, then so be it.

Stay tuned for the next phase and thanks for showing me the way guys!
#7 Old Jul 17th, 2011, 02:52 PM
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Clean the connections for success!

I had some time before I got a chance to smack the dash board and thought about all that fix would imply. Then, as a vintage motorcycle restorer, remembered that dirty contact/connections were probably to blame.

Since the instrument cluster shroud only required the removal of two screws and the instrument cluster itself only required four more, I decided to remove the cluster (just like I would have if I had bought a replacement either new or used unit) and inspected it for obvious issues and found none.

Then, I simply replaced the four multi-connectors that send signals into the cluster and rested the cluster back into place. I drove down the road and ta-da!. Simply removing the connectors and replacing then caused the two metal components to rub against each other and "clean the contact points".

After proving that was the problem, I took a few surgical Q-tips and some P.B. Blaster and cleaned the contacts on both the connector plugs and receiver points on the back of the cluster. That should hold for the next 150,000 miles.

Thanks to all above for your help pointing me in the right direction.

Jack
#8 Old Aug 19th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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Speedo problems

I realize that this is about 1 year after your post. I just got the 95 Altima for my son, (firdt time driver). It is in pretty good shape, and has 166k. The speedo worked fine when we first got it. Now it either works, or doesn't. It seems to work after it warms up a little, and stays working fine. When it is cold, it sticks at zero. Also noticed the speed control doesn't work when the speedo doesn't work, which makes sense. Also changed the speed control sensor, seemed like the easiest thing to do first. No difference. the other thing I did was plug in a reader in the OBDII port. It has the ability to read mph. It also doesn't work when the speedo isn't working. This is telling me there is no signal comming from the ECM. Could this still possibility be fixed be cleaning the contacts like you did? Thank you for any help or suggestions.
#9 Old Aug 19th, 2012, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treads View Post
This is telling me there is no signal comming from the ECM. Could this still possibility be fixed be cleaning the contacts like you did? Thank you for any help or suggestions.
Your wording make me wonder how you understand the signal's routing. the signal comes from the vehicle speed sensor and goes through the instrument cluster to the ECM. that's why you get no signal when you disconnect the cluster.

This problem is relatively common, it seems. most don't have it, but several do. I've been dealing with this one for the last 4 years. I've replaced the VSS as well as the cluster. I still have the problem. mine is in the wiring, so I get to do some more electrical surgery and try seeing if a bypass wire from the sensor directly to the ECM will fix my woes. My speedometer never cuts out, but this problem is making my cruise control inoperable. i digress...

it's definitely worth a try, cleaning the contacts. there are two inputs from the sensor into the speedometer. those are your most likely culprits. look through a wiring diagram to find which they are. I would tell you, but you're asking about an altima on a sentra thread, and it's likely different for you.

1997 Sentra GXE, GA16DE, M/T
#10 Old Aug 20th, 2012, 12:45 AM
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Nissan had a lot of problems with P0500 VSS codes being set and/or erratic speedometer operation during the mid-90's, especially in Sentras, trucks and Pathfinders, but would also occassionally pop up in a Maxima or Altima. The problem was, in most cases, the speedo head unit, itself, and not the vehicle speed sensor. There are screws at the back of the cluster that go through the printed circuit and back of the case and thread into the brass threaded inserts of the speedo head unit. These brass inserts would develope cracks and poor continuity through the printed circuit would occur. In most cases, the screws could be tightened slightly and correct the issue temporarily, but the correct fix is to replace the speedo head unit.
#11 Old Aug 20th, 2012, 08:55 AM
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The problem only seems to happen when the car is cold. After driving for a few minutes, the speedo and cruise control work fine, and they stay working, they are not erradic. After the car cools down, everything stops again. It is not throwing any codes, and the reader is showing the mph when the speedo is working, zero when it is not. Could this be because the signal is stopping at the speedo head and not getting to the ECM?
#12 Old Aug 20th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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The answer to your last question is two posts up from yours. I'll repost it for your convenience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdoggsc View Post
Your wording make me wonder how you understand the signal's routing. the signal comes from the vehicle speed sensor and goes through the instrument cluster to the ECM. that's why you get no signal when you disconnect the cluster.

This problem is relatively common, it seems. most don't have it, but several do. I've been dealing with this one for the last 4 years. I've replaced the VSS as well as the cluster. I still have the problem. mine is in the wiring, so I get to do some more electrical surgery and try seeing if a bypass wire from the sensor directly to the ECM will fix my woes. My speedometer never cuts out, but this problem is making my cruise control inoperable. i digress...

it's definitely worth a try, cleaning the contacts. there are two inputs from the sensor into the speedometer. those are your most likely culprits. look through a wiring diagram to find which they are. I would tell you, but you're asking about an altima on a sentra thread, and it's likely different for you.

1997 Sentra GXE, GA16DE, M/T
#13 Old Aug 20th, 2012, 05:12 PM
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Success

I pulled the instrument cluster out, then unplugged everything. First, I slightly loosened and then re-tightened all af the screws. I then sprayed PBJ in all of the sockets and plugs. Reassembled, and it works like a charm. I can't remember where I saw the post suggesting to do this, but thank you. Didn't cost me a dime, and I am retired, so I have plenty of time. The only problem I had was that a small ammount of PBJ leaked on to the faceplate of the tach, but I can live with that. Next step is to fin out why my mpg is so bad. Thanks to everyone who responded.

Treads
#14 Old Aug 25th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smj999smj View Post
Nissan had a lot of problems with P0500 VSS codes being set and/or erratic speedometer operation during the mid-90's, especially in Sentras, trucks and Pathfinders, but would also occassionally pop up in a Maxima or Altima. The problem was, in most cases, the speedo head unit, itself, and not the vehicle speed sensor. There are screws at the back of the cluster that go through the printed circuit and back of the case and thread into the brass threaded inserts of the speedo head unit. These brass inserts would develope cracks and poor continuity through the printed circuit would occur. In most cases, the screws could be tightened slightly and correct the issue temporarily, but the correct fix is to replace the speedo head unit.
this worked for me
#15 Old Aug 25th, 2012, 03:35 PM
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i'm resisting replacing the head unit in mine because I don't want to have inaccurate miles on the odometer. I'd rather have the signal bypass the speedometer and go directly to the ECU. I tried it today, but only met confusion.
The speed sensor is a 2-wire speed sensor, with both wires going into the speedometer. There are two other screws--one is the output to the ECU (1 wire) and the other leads back to an electrical contact labeled IGN.

Calling all Electrical Engineers (or anyone else who understands this):
When bypassing the speedometer, and connecting the ECU directly to the speed sensor high signal (red/yellow) the ECU thinks i'm going ~100 mph when i'm really going 30. since the speed is determined by the frequency of the pulses, then why does the ECU think i'm going so fast? does the speedometer eliminate 1/3 of the pulses coming from the speed sensor?

1997 Sentra GXE, GA16DE, M/T
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