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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4599
Experience:  30+ Yrs of auto experience, Award Winning Svc. Manager; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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I have a 1998 Toyota Camry LE 6cylinder. We have been having

Customer Question

I have a 1998 Toyota Camry LE 6cylinder. We have been having an issue where the car will be going at speed and the the speedometer will start flickering up and down and the transmission will go into what appears to be neutral as the car drifts down the road. If you press on the gas, the car will just rev up instead of moving as it should in gear. It will eventually find a gear once the speedometer either goes back to reading accurately or holds on zero. If it is holding on zero, it has a much harder time shifting. We think the issue may be electrical as there have been a couple other much smaller electrical issues with the car (i.e. The door looks will flicker between locked and unlocked when someone opens the passenger door while the car is running, the dome light comes on while making a hard right turn while running, and some lights in the center console and gauge cluster will occasionally not work unless pressure is applied to the unlit area). We have not been able to notice a correlation between the issue happening and the environment except that it seems to happen after the car has been running for a while, is shut off, and then starts running again for the second time. We've already tried bending a compasitor in the gauge cluster that supposedly goes bad over time (which supposedly bending it would help get the resistance to be more correct), but that didn't do any good. We also just tried flat out replacing the cluster and that didn't do any good either. We are at a loss with the vehicle because it seems like it is in very sound mechanical shape and has very low mileage on it. This vehicle is currently a daily driver and needs to be running safely back on the road again, so we could really use some quality help fixing the issue.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 6 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. My initial reaction to the speedometer issue would be a faulty vehicle speed sensor. Thsi would explain that the speedometer is dropping to zero and the trans shifts into neutral. The dome light coming on is a faulty dome light switch. The lights in the gauge cluster are inoperative at times because the foil printed circuit board behind the cluster is warped and not making good electrical contact. Over time, the age of the printed circuit foil causes it to shring and warp. A used cluster of the same year may do exactly the same thing, leading you to think that the issue is other than the cluster. The recommendation I have for you is as follows:

1) replace the vehicle speed sensor on top of the transaxle.

2) replace the driver side door switch on the B pillar.

3) get a new PC board for the back side of the instrument cluster assembly

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
There are two parts at autozone I am looking at now that are similar. Do I want the vehicle speed sensor or the trans speed sensor. The vehicle speed sensor is about $100 more expensive than the trans one
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 6 months ago.

The vehicle speed sensor is the one that gives the speedometer the MPH.

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