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Virtual Wrench
Virtual Wrench, Honda Mechanic
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 14620
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.

 

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

Happy Holidays!

Virtual Wrench and 2 other Honda Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 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.