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Virtual Wrench
Virtual Wrench, Honda Mechanic
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 14612
Experience:  35 years Master Mechanic
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My 1998 Honda Civic LX - speedometer and odometer broken

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My 1998 Honda Civic LX is having a problem with the speedometer. No matter how fast I go, the speed needle hovers around 20 mph. Sometimes it jumps to the correct speed for a little while, but then goes back to 20 with no apparent cause. A Just Answer expert suggested that I try cleaning the contacts in the speed sensor, so I did, but it didn't make any difference.

Now the odometer and trip-odometer have stopped turning as well.

Will I need to get the speedometer replaced? If so, how much would this cost?

One other thing - I bought the Civic used with about 92000 miles on the odometer. Now I'm worried that this problem has been going on for a while, and the car may actually have more miles on it than the odometer indicates. Is this a possibility?

Hi there!

If the contact cleaner didnt take care of it, you will most likely need to replace the sensor. Especially if it doesnt work at all now, after the cleaning.

Like i mentioned in our last conversation, there is still a possibility the speedometer/odometer itself is at fault, but the sensor is MUCH more common to fail.

The only sure fire way to tell would require a special scan tool that the dealer has. I know you want to repair this yourself, so about all you can do is replace the sensor.



If you have further questions on this, please feel free to reply.

Happy Holidays!

Virtual Wrench and 5 other Honda Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Virtual Wrench's Post: Thanks. Does the speed sensor control the odometer too? In other words, will replacing the speed sensor fix both problems?

How much should I expect to pay for a new speed sensor?

Thanks for your help.

Your welcome!

Its a bit pricey at $125 but most likely its the faulty culprit, however there is still a chance of the speedometer itself, but without a scan tool you wont be able to tell. The odometer and speedometer both work off the speed sensor.