It's pretty bad news if your speedometer isn't working. After all, you need to know how fast you're going if you want to avoid a speeding ticket, right?
If the speedometer on your Honda isn't working right, here are a few possible things that could be wrong with it.
How to Tell if Your Speed Sensor is Bad
A vehicle speed sensor (VSS) sends data to the transmission, traction control, ABS, cruise control, and speedometer. The sensor itself is a magnetic coil which is plugged into the transmission on most vehicles, and it's usually driven by a gear on the output shaft. Most speed sensors are located in the transmission case or rear axle of the vehicle, some have it inside the ABS system.
If your VSS is going bad, your speedometer may only work intermittently or not at all, and your check engine light will turn on. It may also keep your cruise control from working correctly, since the car can't tell at what speed you're driving. Therefore, if you observe these symptoms, a new VSS may be what's needed to get your speedometer working again.
Broken Speedometer CableOlder cars use a speedometer cable instead of a speed sensor. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a cable or its related drive parts not doing what they're supposed to. You may have worn away a plastic gear, which can not only affect the speedometer but also radio AVC, cruise control, and self-canceling of turn signals. Depending on what part of the connection is broken, you may be able to get individual parts and replace a single gear, but you may also need to replace the entire assembly.
Start by visually checking the cable running from the speedometer to the transmission. Check the connections and check for fraying. Damage to the speedometer should be evident. Replace the speedo cable if damage is found.
Changes in certain things like the tire/wheel size, transmission, or rear end gearing will cause your speedometer to put out an inaccurate reading. Most of the time, the speedometer will still appear to work, but it will be off by a certain percentage. Recalibrating the speedometer will require professional software.
Bad Gauge Face
There’s one really good way to tell if it’s the actual gauge that’s bad or not. Get up to cruising speed and turn on the cruise control. If your cruise control continues to work and the speedometer does not show your speed, it’s almost certainly the gauge itself.
If you have more questions about what could be causing your speedometer to stop working, you can always ask a mechanic to diagnose the problem and fix it if they can. These, however, are the most common causes of speedometer failure. Replacing the broken or malfunctioning parts will get your Honda back up and running the way it should be!