Transmission and gauges are probably unrelated. My '98 Caravan had 2 bad solder connections on the back of the instrument cluster where the connector attached. It takes about 10 minutes to get the cluster out. The bad solder joints were easy to spot on mine. It took 2 years for me to find the problem, but only 30 minutes to fix it and it hasn't happened again since (almost a year).
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My ABS and Brake light goes on alot. Also sometimes my gages will go up and down for no reason. That is what they call the GM shuffel. It happens to alot of GM vehicles.
I never had a problem with loosing power or the tranny stuck in second gear. Sounds electrical, if no one can help here, get that thing to a garage before your hurt.
If the vehicle speed sensor was the cause you would have a check engine light and the transmission would have sifting issues into overdrive, I would think you just have a failing tachometer stepper motor (tiny DC motor) that drives the needle..
have you tried working on one problem at a time? have you check the body computer for any codes? and to also verify the bus line is ok. if you find nothing wrong with BCM or bus, try checking the speed sensor for an output signal or if the gear is bad.
all chevy made in that year have a speedometer issue i have a 2004 chevy that has the same issue the only way to fix it is to replace the dash insturment panel some of them the speedometer goes and the rest of the gages work fine or try replace the speed sensor located at the front of the transmission on the bottom