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'96 Nissan Sentra GXE automatic - 127,000 miles : VSS problem :

Speedo/odometer just suddenly stops/drops to zero
and then by jiggling/pushing in/out/holding in the mileage trip reset button - usually speedo will come back to life. But dreaded CEL Light is ON - cant pass Mass state inspection with that on. (as you know)

............well this says to me that the problem is in the cluster.
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My stupid story:
Last couple months CEL on then off then back on.
Went to Autozone - confirmed code 0500 then when CEL off - code cleared. BUt then now CEL back on.
The speedo acting wacky/dropping off to 0 intermittently.
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I took my car today to official Mass. Emission repair place - garage mechanic guy who specializes in the CEL OBD thing. (He fixed another prior CEL code 0400 EGR thing for me before -only charged me $50)
All he would attempt to do/did was verify code 0500 on computer. Then just looked/checked under hood the VSS on transaxle - said it is prob ok.
(I had already removed trim panel around the cluster guage to help speed things up - save $$).
BUt he would not even touch/dive into pulling out the speedo/cluster guage or check wiring etc...

He said - anything involving speedo/odometer has to be sent out to place in NJ (one place he has used) and Dealerships must do same thing too.
And this "place" either replaces/repairs the speedo/cluster THEN resets the odometer mileage to whatever miles I got on my car. And then paperwork certifies it all and ships it back. All because Federal law or something due to truth with mileage/odometer law.


.............don't think so...
You can go to a Nissan dealer if you change the cluster and they affix a sticker to the door jamb with the millage correction.


IS THIS CORRECT ? Is this what happens or your experience in your state ?

Massachusetts has a pretty stiff/tough emissions inspection test - must pass emissions test every other year and Safety check every year.
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He did at least reset cleared the CEL back to OFF and cleared the code.
BUt he said - still will need to drive car about weeek or 30-40miles city/highway to rebuild data in the ECM computer (ie: like cat converter info, engine rpm, etc etc) BEFORE can think about going for the state inspection test .

IS THIS CORRECT about having to drive around

YES

even after clearing the CEL light and ECM code ???

YES

How much time or miles have to be put on to fill up the ECM database so can take the inspection test ?
NOT SURE but a few hours 50 -100 miles seems about right

At least this guy is nice - did not want any $$ or charge me for slapping computer on or researching on his pc/internet sites or clearing out code and shutting CEL lite off.
(Gave him $20 bucks - least could do for his 45 minutes time)

Real life is: No good mechanic wants to deal with electronic/electrical messy problems like this - not worth their time (his words) and he is so busy with other customers - he/they won't screw around/waste their time (no matter how much $$ you might throw at them - not worth the hassles)
These good mechanics got so much other business/customers they don't need to deal with crappy/messy things like this. They can make easier more money fixing simpler stuff.

Your experience too ?
Yes, and customers get pissed when the expensive repairs don't work !!!
 

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Here in Massachusetts (like most states I think) I believe what this mechanic
saying about only certified place can touch/repair the speedo/odometer problems (and not even dealerships can do it themselves and they also have to send out ) all because of mileage certification.

Also - he said - he sent out about two or more speedos
- for corvette - cost was about $320
- for buick cost was about $120

In Mass when go to sell any used vehicle - must sign back registration saying mileage is original and untouched - on penalty of something bad.

So I'm sure a dealership sticker on doorjam ain't gonna cut it - I would not like/buy any used car if owner shows me some sticker stuck to door saying mileage is so and so

Who can you believe or trust these days anyhow.... reallly tough
 

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Same here but there is an option to say the mileage is unknown.
More than one or two people on the forum have got the dealer certification sticker adjusting the mileage.
So if this is a Mass thing your only option is mileage unknown. what if it breaks and its not fixed...Mileage unknown. they cant make that right if you are signing an affidavit.
Your car is OBDII
its an old car.... millage doesn't matter as much as condition, particularly in the snow belt because of rust.
Get another cluster for 50 - 60 dollars, get one same or near your mileage OVER and don't worry so much.
Look on Car-parts.com that's where i found mine, with a thousand more miles or so over but its close.
 

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Unfortunately many at $50 have not listed the mileage, so you will have to call around and find one
there are several listed at 130 131 K miles for under $100.
Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market
look under instrument cluster, Auto 1.6 L, without TACH, 1995 to 1999
 

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Yehh Buttt.... You're saying (if I buy some used one) you can pass any afterwards state inspection (I'm Massachusetts) with some "unknown" mileage paperwork - and the inspector and state will allow it and put on a new sticker every year thereafter ???

I know the inspector has to punch in your vin number and the mileage currently showing on the odometer every time you go for yearly inspection.
Is that why you suggest to find one with miles Greater than the broken original ?

What would happen if the inspector types into the inspection computer a mileage that is lower than the previous last time the car was inspected ?
What happens then ? They know and computer that car's mileage can not go backwards or be less than prior last test.

The state computer prob will automatically reject it and Fail you - or does the inspector have some privilege/authority to override this mileage thing to allow the inspection to continue ??

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Anyways.... I was VERY LUCKY... I sorta passed my Mass inspection and got my sticker just yesterday !!!! YehhH! That saved me about $200-$300 or who knows.

What I did :
Another mechanic reset/turned off the CEL light ( I had the 0500 VSS code showing up)... I drove my car thru the official OBDII re-cycle steps (see my other post) and put on about 20+ miles under the strict steps for rebuilding obd data for the car's ECM.
The speedo was working and acting normal (except one time when jsut starting up early morning - had to play around with odometer reset buttonstick)
I only drove it about 45 minutes or less and went immediately to gas station.

Went to this good guy inspector and I passed (barely)... Only one of the 4 Monitors
was marked "Not Ready" (fail) but 3 of the 4 were Ready (passed) AND
I had no "hard" faults (meaning CEL light on) (DTC error code) come up.
(the CEL light was still off and did not come back on)

This is inspector told me I could getby/pass and get sticker even "if 2 Monitors are out"
I had just one out I guess.... It was the Cat Converter (as it is listed on state computer and paper handed back to me after passsing)

Anyhow... those strict 13 steps of rebuilding the OBD ECM monitors helped me alot so to enable get me a sticker (for at least another year)
and get by....

Thanks to this good guy inspector and having that "secret" list of 13 steps to rebuild the OBD ECM computer in the car.
 

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Well i am pleased you have your sticker for another year.

Please post your 13 steps to re-set the ECU.

No, i was saying when you sell the car there is an option here to check a box for "mileage unknown" instead of the mileage is Declaration / affidavit.

Yes they record your mileage every year and this shows up on the Carfax check for correct mileage. I don't know what mass does with this except report it as here.

Yes if you get a cluster that's close but above your mileage you can sign the affidavit and not raise red flags on the mileage check on carfax.

If the mileage goes backwards Carfax flags it as an incorrect mileage, don't know about Mass. Clearly then you must declare the mileage unknown or be guilty of Fraud.

I dont know about this book you refer too, not mentioned here before in last 5 years.

Please post your 13 steps to re-set the ECU.

Its been stated here that you have to go through so many start shutdown sequences and get car warm each time, numbers and distances were something like 10 cycles and 3 or 10 miles, cant remember.
 

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I will try to type up the 13 steps I used (but not have lots time now)...
Basically was - start with engine cold (ECT < 158 F ) coolant temp
Start engine (ohh suposed to have a scanner hooked up and running during this driving time - I don't have nor a Tach - they have bunch of tach data to follow too)
(So I just used the mph specs they give)
idle 1-2 min
Drive city like 3 minutes vary speeds
Highway drive 50-58 mph 3 minutes with OD on
then stop
IDLE for 10 minutes
Stop engine for at least 10 seconds
STart up and immediately hit highway
Drive 55-70 mph 3 min w/ OD Off and AC on
then cruise highwy 55-70 for 3 min w/ OD on and AC OFF
then come to stop -
Idle for at least 2-3 minutes. Shut off engine
Then start engine and pray CEL lite not come back on.
CHeck code - if does and repair.

(I did all above best all from memory ) - will re-post better more exact when get paper out of my car.

Main thing I noticed was to Idle for 2 minutes then later 10 full minutes (can hear your fans kicking in while idling) and to use turnon/off the OD (overdrive) and AC on/off during highway driving (50-70 mph ).
These were main things going on during the 13 steps.
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Be better if someone can find/reference the OBDII paperbook fat manual the Emissions Repair facility mechanic xroxed out of the book.

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I only prob started/shut off the ignition key about 5-6 times from time when ECM code was cleared/ lite shut off the day before up til time I went to State inspection test.
And I only put on about 22 miles after going thru above steps.
 

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'97 manual readiness test drive pattern

This is for a '97 manual. this isnt' for a '96 automatic.

very useful. this is the actual photocopy i got from the dealership. hope the image will show. last post i made w/ this pic didn't show up...maybe admin has to approve it?

if you can't read it, save it to your computer and zoom in on it.

 
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