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What cause the speedometer to stop working on a 1998 ford contour?

The speedometer was working, i had jack the right front wheel up of the ground and start the car and put the shift lever in drive and speed the engine up to 60 MPH and then i let the engine idle back down while in drive so i step on the brake when the wheel turning would that have cause the speedometer to stop working? how do i fix the problem?

Posted by Joe Russell on

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  • Joe Russell Jan 17, 2022

    The speedometer was working, i had jack the right front wheel up of the ground and start the car and put the shift lever in drive and speed the engine up to 60 MPH and then i let the engine idle back down while in drive so i step on the brake when the wheel turning would that have cause the speedometer to stop working?

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2 Answers

Michael

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  • Contributor
  • 14 Answers

The speedometer sending unit needs replacing, auto's we drive today no longer use say a cable that use to go between the transmission and the speedometer. In today's world they now just are electronic, so look for the speedometer sending unit on the side of your transmission. Good luck

Posted on Jan 15, 2022

  • Joe Russell Jan 15, 2022

    what does the speedometer sending unit look like?

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    JoanMathis Jan 17, 2022

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  • Ford Master
  • 42,942 Answers

I think you should treat yourself to a new vehicle Joe. You are just chasing faults on this one! It is well past its sell by date.

The most common reasons a Ford Contour speedometer isn't working are the vehicle speed sensor (VSS), a faulty speedometer, or an electrical issue.

Reasons a Ford Contour Speedometer Isn't Working - RepairPal

Videos and other articles. It seems a popular fault.

https://www.google.com/search?q=speedometer+to+stop+working+on+a+1998+ford+contour

..

Posted on Jan 15, 2022

  • 6 more comments 
  • Joe Russell Jan 15, 2022

    if the vehicle speed sensor is bad would there be a code when i scan the computer?

  • ADMIN Canada
    ADMIN Canada Jan 15, 2022

    Code P0500 as advised by Jeff below.
    https://fordnews.org/where-is-the-vehicl...

  • Anonymous Jan 15, 2022

    dicates a hard fault.
    P0500 - Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Malfunction Indicates the powertrain control module (PCM) detected an error in the vehicle speed information. Vehicle speed data is received from either the vehicle speed sensor (VSS), transfer case speed sensor (TCSS), anti-lock brake system (ABS) control module, generic electronic module (GEM), or central timer module (CTM). If the engine rpm is above the torque converter stall speed (automatic transmission) and engine load is high, it can be inferred that the vehicle must be moving. If there is insufficient vehicle speed data input, a malfunction is indicated and a DTC is set. On most vehicle applications the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) will be triggered when this DTC is set. Open in VSS+/VSS- harness circuit.
    Open in TCSS signal or TCSS signal return harness circuit.
    Short to GND in VSS harness circuit.
    Short to GND in TCSS harness circuit.
    Short to PWR in VSS harness circuit.
    Short to PWR in TCSS harness circuit.
    Open or short in the vehicle speed circuit(s) (VSC) between the PCM and appropriate control module.
    Damaged VSS or TCSS.
    Damaged wheel speed sensors.
    Damaged wheel speed sensor harness circuits.
    Damage in module(s) connected to VSC/VSS circuit.
    Damage drive mechanism for VSS or TCSS.
    Diagnostic Aids: - Monitor VSS PID while driving vehicle. This DTC is set when the PCM detects a sudden loss of VSS signal over a period of time. If vehicle speed data is lost, check source of where vehicle speed signal originates. Note TCSS does not have a PID, circuitry frequency must be checked for sudden loss of sensor signal.
    P0501 - Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Range/ Performance Indicates the powertrain control module (PCM) detected an error in the vehicle speed information. This DTC is set the same way as P0500, however the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) is not triggered. Refer to possible causes for P0500.
    Refer to diagnostic aids for P0500.
    P0503 - Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Intermittent Indicates poor or noisy VSS performance. Vehicle speed data is received from either the vehicle speed sensor (VSS), transfer case speed sensor (TCSS), anti-lock brake system (ABS) control module, generic electronic module (GEM), or central timer module (CTM). Noisy VSS/TCSS input signal from Radio Frequency Interference/Electro- Magnetic Interference (RFI/EMI) external sources such as ignition components or charging circuit.
    Damaged VSS or driven gears.
    Damaged TCSS.
    Damaged wiring harness or connectors.
    Malfunction in module(s) or circuit connected to VSS/TCSS circuit.
    After market add-on.
    Monitor VSS PID while driving vehicle, check for intermittent vehicle speed indication. Verify ignition and charging system are functioning.
    P0503 - Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Intermittent Indicates poor or noisy VSS performance. Noisy VSS input signal from Radio Frequency Interference/ Electro-Magnetic Interference (RFI/EMI) external sources such as ignition components or charging circuit.
    Damaged VSS or driven gears.
    Damaged wiring harness or connectors.
    Malfunction in module(s) or circuit connected to VSS circuit.
    Verify ignition and charging system are functioning correctly. Check for good VSS (-) to ground.

  • Anonymous Jan 15, 2022

    you need a new instrument cluster

  • ADMIN Canada
    ADMIN Canada Jan 15, 2022

    Thanks for the education Jeff. Joe actually needs a new vehicle. He has been chasing faults for months. We fix one and another appears.

  • Joe Russell Jan 17, 2022

    does the vehicle speed sensor works against a gear can you explain how it work?

  • ADMIN Canada
    ADMIN Canada Jan 17, 2022

    It is fully electronic. It is a Hall Effect receiver.
    https://autoditex.com/page/vehicle-speed...

    and
    https://www.carparts.com/blog/bad-speed-...

    This says the Contour Automatic has cable, manual doesn't. Perhaps Jeff can find out as he has access to AllData.
    https://www.2carpros.com/questions/1998-...

    This shows them
    https://www.oreillyauto.com/shop/b/brake...

    ..

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