You appreciate the importance of your car’s speedometer, which is why you are reading this. If your speedometer isn’t working correctly for any reason, please do not ignore it.
Typically, it’s dangerous to drive when you have no idea at what speed you are going. It would be best if you had answers; whether it’s displaying inaccurate information or the needle isn’t moving, there is a solution to resolve the problem.
Also, there are two main types of speedometers. You’ll find cable-driven speedometers in older vehicles. Those speedometers rely on a system of flexible cables, gears, and magnets to determine the car’s speed.
Modern cars come fitted with electronic speedometers. These electronic speedometers rely on speed sensors and special gears on the vehicle’s transmission to display the car’s speed at all times.
Also, the speed sensors relay their output to the vehicle’s computerized system, showing the information on the instrument cluster.
Some cars have mechanical speedometer displays on the instrument cluster, while others have digital screens mimicking the mechanical type.
Why Isn’t My Car’s Speedometer Working?
When modern speedometers fail, the problem is usually with the sensors, wiring, instrument cluster, or the car’s computer, the ECU.
Faulty Speed Sensors
Speed sensors help control the car’s speed and cruise control management and determining fuel input levels into the engine. As such, any fault with those sensors affects several systems in the car.
The wires connecting the sensors to other components can short or break. In addition, other systems that the sensors support can develop faulty wiring, which in turn affects the speedometer. For example, the surge may cause a short-circuit in parts of the wiring system when you jumpstart the car.
Your car’s computerized system can malfunction due to several reasons. Examples include a computer virus, a mechanical fault, outdated software, and others. You’ll notice other systems malfunctioning as well, resulting in poor car performance or even a breakdown.
Broken Instrument Cluster
In some instances, the instrument cluster display may fail to work correctly. Physical damage may cause the needle and meter not to move as they should. For example, an accident could knock loose components off the cluster, thus preventing proper speed display.
Read Also: What is VSA on Acura TL?
Can I Reset It?
You can reset your car’s speedometer, depending on the type. Modern electronic speedometers don’t need too much technical expertise to reset.
Here is how you do it:
- First, take out your car’s manual to help you locate the speedometer gauge cables. You’ll need to pop the hood to find those cables. Sometimes, the problem is the gauge cables aren’t connected correctly to their respective ports.
- If the connection is okay, find the function button on the speedometer. Press and hold as you turn on the ignition to take the speedometer into function mode.
- You need to use the function button to scroll through the displayed menu until you get to the auto tab. Now press and hold the function button until you see the minus sign-on screen. Now, release the function button. You’ll then see the word ‘Unit’ on the screen.
- After a short while, a line of zeros will display on the screen. You now need to drive the car around until the information on the screen shows you’ve covered a mile. Pull the car over and activate the function button.
That’s it; you have successfully recalibrated the speedometer.
Also Know: 4 Reasons Why My SRS Light/Airbag Light On
It is crucial to ensure your car’s speedometer is displaying accurate speeds. You don’t want to get into trouble driving over the set speed limit on a given road.
Besides the legal issues, you need to be aware at all times of your car’s performance. The speed at which your car moves is a critical indicator of how well your car is performing.
In addition, a properly functioning speedometer positively influences the function of other systems. Fuel regulation is a crucial example.
Modern cars prioritize fuel efficiency in their design. Feedback from the speedometer helps regulate how much fuel flows into the combustion chambers.
All these parts work together, which means you should never ignore one of them when you observe some signs of malfunction.
Your car’s speedometer serves the vital role of communicating the speed of your car to other essential parts.
You should also know that driving a vehicle when you aren’t aware of its speed in many parts of the world is a breach of the law.
Not only will you likely go faster than the speed limit, but you could also quickly lose control of the car.
Several factors could be responsible for a faulty speedometer. Likely culprits include faulty speed sensors, faulty wiring, a malfunctioning ECU, and damage to the instrument cluster.
Furthermore, there are instances where you can reset the speedometer. If necessary, please follow the tips above.
However, if you do not have the technical awareness to recalibrate your car’s speedometer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional for help.