Repairing a Honda Speedometer

Honda is one of the most trusted carmakers. Hondas are always on the road, from Accords to Civics and beyond. While Hondas have a reputation for lasting a long time, you may experience some things starting to break down and want to know how to make the necessary repairs. If you can’t tell how fast you are going because the speedometer on your car has started to malfunction, it needs to be fixed. Even if your speedometer is only occasionally inaccurate you should repair it, because it will probably go out soon. Here’s how to do it.



Replace the Fuse

There are a few reasons your speedometer could be reading wrong. With Hondas, especially Accords, fuse number one could be blown. If this is the case, you need to replace that fuse. It could still not work after this, but don’t worry. The next few steps should get you through the process soon enough. You should be able to find the right fuse for your car at an auto parts store.


Locate the Vehicle Speed Sensor

In order to do any repairs on the speedometer, odometer, or trip meter, you will need to find this. The vehicle speed sensor, often abbreviated VSS, is under the hood. Open up the hood of your Honda and look in the middle area to find the VSS. It is usually around the left-hand side of the top of the engine. It is not hard to see, as it is plugged in on top.


Unplug the Vehicle Speed Sensor

The VSS cannot be worked on until you unplug it. Be sure the car is off before digging around an open-hooded car. The plug is three-pronged, and pretty easy to see because three colored wires all connect to it. You need to disconnect this so you can work on the vehicle speed sensor.


Check Grounding

You need to make sure that the electrical connection is grounded properly. The black cord needs to be grounded, or the entire mechanism will not operate. Trace the black wire to make sure it is connected to a proper grounding spot. If you are unsure of what this is, you would be best advised to ask someone who understands grounding. It is almost a science in itself and takes a bit of understanding. What you do need to know is that the ground wire prevents improper electrical reactions during regular operation.


Test the Yellow Wire

In order to perform this test you are going to need a voltmeter. You may have one lying around the garage; it usually looks like an orange box with an LCD readout on the front and two pointed metal prongs at the end of black and red wires. Use this to test the voltage coming through the car. Turn the ignition to "Start," but no further. Touch the prongs of the voltmeter to the end of the yellow wire. As long as the wire is hooked up properly the entire way back to the battery, there should be no problems. If there is no voltage, check the wire’s connections.


Test the Orange Wire

Just like in the above step, you need to make sure that the orange wire has power. You do not need to touch the key in the ignition if it has stayed in the "Start" position the entire time. Follow the same procedure you did with the yellow wire. The orange wire should run with five volts of power. If there are more or fewer volts running through the wire, something is disconnected.


Reconnect the Wires

If there are no problems with the power running through the yellow and orange wires (which might not actually be those exact colors), you should reconnect the wires to the vehicle speed sensor.


Drive Test the Speedometer

In order to be sure that the speedometer is still not working, take the vehicle for a test drive. Be sure that the VSS is connected properly and that the hood is closed and secure. Drive around a bit to see if the speedometer still doesn’t work. If it doesn’t, your VSS itself may be faulty.


Purchase a Replacement Vehicle Speed Sensor

If your speedometer is still bouncing or misreading, you will need to get a new one. Honda vehicle speed sensors are not too difficult to find. Auto parts stores that have lots of foreign-made parts will almost certainly have a replacement VSS. Just be sure to ask when you buy if it will work for the make and model of your car.


Install the New Vehicle Speed Sensor

Unplug the old VSS and remove the bolts. As always, be sure the car is off. There are a few connections that need to be kept track of, so remember the order you use when you disassemble, because you need to reassemble in the reverse order. Once everything is reconnected to the new VSS, your speedometer should work like new.

Having a broken speedometer can be dangerous and costly. You don’t want speeding tickets, so use the money you would pay for the ticket to get hold of a new VSS. This isn’t an incredibly difficult repair if you have all the necessary parts. If you consider yourself handy enough to do it yourself, give it a try. If you feel more comfortable taking your Honda to a mechanic, that is also fine, but you will end up spending extra money that way.