1997 Toyota Camry 4cyl speedometer/tranny issue!

Asked by Mar 05, 2017 at 08:45 PM about the 1997 Toyota Camry LE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

  My name is Peter. I currently have a mind boggling issue
with my 1997 Toyota Camry V4. It has this wierd issue
where the speedometer needle goes crazy(jumps to 90 and
falls to 0); note that while the speedometer goes haywire if
I am driving the transmission will shift up and down and
also slip. Once the speedometer stops acting up the car is
drivable again. If I am at a stop while the speedometer is
acting up and I am trying to take off it will struggle to go
into 1st. I have done some research on this matter. So far
this is what I've tried.
-Changed the instrument cluster
-Cleaned throttle and Idle Air Control Valve thoroughly
-Disconnected VSS attempting to stop erratic
The codes that may car has are
-P0304 Misfire Cylinder 4
-P0300 Multiple cylinder misfire detected
-P0301 Cylinder 1 misfire
-P0135 HO2S-11 (Bank 1 Sensor 1) Heater Circuit
-P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction
-P0773 A/T Shift Solenoid "E" (SL) Circuit Malfunction
-P1780 Park/Neutral Position Switch Circuit Malfunction
-P0135 HO2S-11 (Bank 1 Sensor 1) Heater Circuit
-P0171 Fuel System Too Lean (Bank 1)

Please help :)

15 Answers


-P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction -P0773 A/T Shift Solenoid "E" (SL) Circuit Malfunction -P1780 Park/Neutral Position Switch Circuit Malfunction are the ones directly responsible for the speedometer and transmission problems, those 3 codes need to be repaired before it will start shifting properly and then tackle the lean codes, after that clear the system and run the drive time to reset everything and then recheck for any other codes.


Changed speedo Cluster? New? Used? Rebuilt?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

It was a used speedo cluster from junk yard.

And I will start looking into what repairs I need. Did not want to spend all that cash


Ok...with out a Scan Tool analysis.....I would be inclined to replace the VSS. There may be more than one. A good auto parts store should be able to look that up. Get back to us with your progress.

Okay I will see if I can change the VSS

Last night I unplugged each spark plug wire one by to test to see if maybe it's a bad spark plug, wire, or bad spacing on spark plug. Test went good. Nothing wrong with the spark plugs or wires.

So I tried removing the VSS entirley, opening it up, and cleaned the inside and out so no oils or debris was on. Still same issue after reinstalling the VSS. Could it be the connectors maybe?

Just trying to save some cash before resorting to purchasing the parts :)


Connection? Possibility. We really need a digital volt ohmeter to pinpoint the root cause of this issue. Absent that...we are left with the .....keep changing parts methodology. I am inclined to think you may have a cluster problem. If you search this issue here at cargurus....you will see opinions concerning a bad .....resonator....in the speedo head. Check it out. .


Peter...did you ever resolve the issue with this vehicle?

I haven't had a chance to work on it yet. Been busy with work and school it's ridiculous haha I'm currently getting ready to get my hands dirty and try and fix the issue. Wish me luck. I'll keep this page open and will update you :)

And to answer your previous question I had changed the cluster but only with one from a junk yard.

Hey guys. Figured out what was wrong with the car. Turns out when wires are exposed to extreme external heat the resistance in those wires is high. My wire housing that leads from the engine to the firewall was actually sitting on top of the manifolds/engine block. A ground wire that ran to my alternator was also sitting on top of the engine block. I moved the wires aside, zip tied the wire housing the main cables to where the bracket that holds em up is. I haven't had a engine studder or erratic shifting since. My speedometer gauge doesn't jump or act funny either. The car is running good and strong. Hope this is as easy as a fix for the rest of you Camry owners (with a similar problem) as it was for me.


Hooray....good eyes and nice repair. Good for you. Talk about saving a few bucks. Nice job and congratulation.

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