How to Replace a Broken Speedometer

One of the easiest car repairs to perform is replacing a broken speedometer. This type of repair does not require that you take your car into an auto repair shop. You want to make sure that your speedometer works because it is a safety issue. Without a functioning speedometer, it can be easy to speed or travel too slowly.



Locate Speedometer Cable

Locate the speedometer cable. This will be attached to the transmission and the speedometer. Open your hood and look for a cable that comes out from near the speedometer and attaches to the transmission. It should be black, and it will be somewhere between one-quarter to one-half inch thick.


Remove Cable Fitting

Detach the speedometer from the transmission. There should be a fitting holding the cable in place. Unscrew and remove the fitting.


Look for a Break

Now that you have the cable removed, you want to inspect the end for breakage. Make sure that you can see the cable inside it. You also want to look into the transmission fitting to make sure that there are not any remaining pieces of cable inside.


Remove Holding Attachments

Follow the line up to where it enters the car. There should be several clips that hold it attached. You will need to remove all of these.


Remove Instrument Panel

Now that the cable is unattached under the hood, you will need to disconnect it from the speedometer. The first step for this is to remove the instrument panel so that you can access it. Look in your owner’s manual for the exact procedure to remove the instrument panel. Generally there will be a few bolts that need to be loosened to remove it.


Push Cable Through

The next step is to push the speedometer cable through the dash. Push it from the engine side through to the dash. Now that you have removed the instrument panel, you should be able to grasp the end of the cable.


Unplug Cable

There should be two plugs that hold the cable onto the instrument panel. You will need to unhook the cable from these. It is important to be gentle when removing these plugs. They are easy to break, and expensive to replace.


Unhook the Cable

You are now ready to perform the last step required to unhook the speedometer cable. This will normally be held onto the speedometer by a screw. Simply remove the screw, and the cable should be unattached,


Install New Cable

Now you are ready to start reinstalling the new cable. The process is just the reverse of what you did to remove it. First, attach it to the speedometer. Do this by threading it through the engine side and then screwing the end to attach it. Clip the cable to the instrument panel and then reinstall the panel.


Connect to Transmission

Reattach the clips that were holding the cable in place. This will prevent it from being damaged by the motion and heat of the engine. Once clipped, you need to connect it to the transmission. Simply attach it back to the same plug that the cable was removed from.

Replacing a broken speedometer is a fairly easy process. If the speedometer is still not working after replacing the cable, it is likely that a spindle needs replacement in the transmission. This is a much more complicated issue and may require the assistance of a mechanic to correct. However, broken speedometers are almost always caused by broken cables.