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Re: speedometer doesnt work
You will need to pull the speedo cable 1st and see that it turns freely at the transmission, then pull it at the speedo end and make sure it is not broken, pull it out of the cable housing to check this, lube it (white lithium grease) and reinstall, if the cable looks good then the speedo head will have to be removed and sent out for repair.
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Phylspilot, my 86 Spider never displayed less than 10 mph. If you look closely, you should see a tiny pin that the needle touches at about 10 mph. That prevents it from ever falling to zero. The needle will not move up until the speed exceeds 10. From my experience, that is normal. In your case, not displaying >20 is NOT normal.
The problem could be a few different things. Since the odometer appears to be working ok (I assume you checked that it racks up the miles at a rate commensurate with your approx speed), the speed needle may be sticking. I had the opposite problem with mine - speed needle okay, and odometer messed up.
I recommend pulling the speedometer housing out of the dash and checking to see if anything is causing the needle to bind. If it isn't, then check the fine spring where the needle is attached to ensure the spring is okay. You should be able to move the needle with your finger smoothly and have it return gently to the start position (in your case 12 mph).
This is a tricky operation. If you remove the needle from the stem, carefully place it back on the stem. Do this without moving the stem. Just reinsert the speed needle on the stem exactly at the small pin that holds the pin at about 10 mph.
Check the entire speedometer housing for cracks. Any crack could be enough to prevent proper operation. (That was the source of my odometer issue.)
If the miles turn fine and the speed arm doesnt move you have a problem with the tachometer this is refeered to as RPM,This get is signal directly at the ignition negaive part if the coil, If the connection at the coil is in good order a RPM gauge or Tachometer will be your solution
You can but you will have some speedometer error and will use more fuel. The vehicle will also ride lower. There is a tire comparison chart on DiscountTires.com. You choose the original tire size and then enter your desired change of size. The chart will show your speedometer error at several speeds.
You can also look up tires on other online sites. The number of revolutions per mile is one measure and it is based on the overall circumference of each tire. If your original tire turned 630 times in a mile and your new tire turns 645 times a mile, every part that turns will be wearing out more for each mile and you will use more fuel with each mile driven. You will be recording more miles traveled on your odometer than you have actually driven.
My 96 did the same thing. The speed sensor is and was fine -- the problem is an open circuit in the wires inside the gauge itself.
The Chilton's manual has pretty good instructions on how to replace the instrument cluster. You can buy just the speedometer gauge, or an entire instrument cluster for $100 or so on eBay. Just be sure you get a cluster that matches your model and trim line -- the LX and DX have different clusters, and of course the automatic and the 5-speed are different as well.
Do be sure to disconnect the battery before you begin the project, as there's a (slim) chance you can discharge the airbags if you don't
There was a recent class action law suit settled with GM for this exact problem. You can google gm speedometer lawsuit and get lots of information. Unforutunately for most people I think the warranty was limited to 7 years and 70,000 miles. Which isn't a lot of miles for most people.
If you car isn't covered by the warranty there is a way to "reset" the speedometer.
You can turn the ignition slowly like you are going to start the engine. There is a very small "dead" space where you will see your guage lights go off.
What you want to do is cycle the ignition switch from off to that dead space. Each time you do it your stuck speedometer will move towards zero about 10 mph. So if its stuck on 40 you will have to cycle it at least 4 times.
At first you will probably actually hit the ignition and the engine will try to start.....just release it and try it again.
I know this because I have a 04 avalanche with 80,0000 miles and it has this problem about twice a month.