1999 Camry Speedometer/Odometer not working, transmission slipping
First off, I would like to say that I am very much a novice when it comes to automotive things, so bear with me.
My 1999 Camry LE (4 cylinder automatic) recently started acting up. The speedometer stops registering anything (needle remains at 0mph when car is moving), and the LCD odometer goes blank. The tachometer seems ok. Check engine light comes on. Shifting will be rough and the trans will slip slightly and the shifting points will be "off.". This will last a while and then go back to normal. Sometimes the check engine light will come on by itself without the speedometer and odometer issues and the transmission will act more normal. I took it to Advance Auto Parts for a diagnosis and got a P0500 code (vehicle speed sensor). We replaced the vehicle speed sensor, and my first trip to work with the new sensor was fine. After 3-4 hours in the sun in the parking lot, I started the car, and there was the check engine light again and the odometer and speedometer non-functioning. I took it to a mechanic who disregarded the code generated by the Advance Auto folks, did his own diagnostics, and said the speedometer cluster was the issue. He re-calibrated the speedometer and reset the check engine light and said it would probably solve the problem for a while. I drove the car home with no problem and left it in the driveway in the heat. Two hours later I went to start the car, and the problem was there again. I'm at wit's end.
Would a gauge cluster problem cause a trans to slip? I'm not convinced the gauge cluster is the problem. Instead I'm beginning to think it's some issue with the communication between the VSS and the speedometer/odometer (wiring??), and not the vehicle speed sensor itself. I think heat may be exacerbating an electrical problem. Does that make any sense? I don't have a whole lot of money to start throwing around at expensive possible solutions that do not turn out to solve the problem, so I would like to see if someone has a suggestion for a solution that makes the most sense. If you have a suggestion or a good idea of what the problem may be and how to fix it, please explain to me in simple terms why you think that way. Thanks in advance!
2 hours ago
Do you live in an extremely high heat and/or constant direct sun area? In my opinion (if the transmission is actually doing odd things) i might point my finger at the ECU. I would try soft reseting it. From what ive found this is the reset procedure: Disconnect battery for 30 minutes, Reconnect the battery and let the car idle for 10 minutes with all accessories off. Turn the car off, disconnect the battery for 30 seconds. Reconnect the battery and take it for a drive. It may shift slightly erratic for the a bit until it reestablishes all of its parameters but see if thats does anything.
I do know that the Cressidas will shift erratically if the speedometer cluster is not working properly. My father had the same issue with his Cressida, and he had to replace the speedometer unit. Apparently the computer shifts in accordance with all the info from the speedometer. If it's not getting any info, it shifts like crap.
I did not think the speedometer would have anything at all to do with shifting, but after trying the ECH soft reset suggested by Seth above and not getting any results, my son replaced the speedometer cluster today, and, so far, the shifting is much better and there has not been any check engine light or speedometer/odometer issues. I am hoping my problem is solved. Thanks, Reelin68, for your input. I learned something through all of this.
gmvalentine, I have the same problem with my corolla 1999, did you fix it?. . how did you do it??..
Replacing the speedometer cluster solved the problem. If you can buy the gauge cluster, it is a relatively easy thing to replace yourself.
Ok, just by replacing the Speedometer?, or it's necessary replace the whole instrumet cluster, bc it's relatively expensive between one to another... Thank you. . .
I replaced the entire gauge cluster. Look on Ebay for a used replacement. I paid about $85 for mine. I did not bother with a new one; it was too expensive and the age of the car did not justify buying new.
I'm gonna take a stab at this. I have a 99 Corolla, I had the exact same problem now in 2013. Im an electronics engineer. The instrument cluster is very easy to take out, and the speedometer removes with 5 screws that serve as connections. They are labeled IG (ignition I guess) B+ (Battery Voltage) SI BI and 4P. The failure first started happening to me 2 months ago, and I could get it working again by pushing the trip meter, which put some pressure on the speedometer circuit, but it would always go out again. The transmission would start out shifting badly, then get progressively worse until 4 days later it was almost undriveable. The speedometer/odometer chip needs only 3 connections. Speed input (1025 revs per mile) B+ and GND, I guess ignition is there for some reason also. I speculate that one of the other connections is some sort of feedback to the ECU, which tells it to shift progressively worse, to prevent people from fooling with their odometer. Otherwise it would be very easy to disable the input to the odometer. I have to say I replaced my speed sensor, and I don't believe that could be the problem because the speed sensor is just a hall effect sensor, if it was broken, the speedometer would just think the car is not moving, no reason to blank the odometer. I was able to temporarily restore my speedometer by bending over the ceramic resonator (its a blue glob with 3 leads next to the odometer chip). The odometer chip is some sort of microcontroller, and when your clock oscillator stops, the microntroller stops, you lose all displays and outputs get stuck. The ceramic resonator is the timebase for the clock oscillator. It appears to me that the denso engineers did a poor job of capacitor loading the resonator, and I suspect after 13 years the microcontroller aged until the oscillator did not have enough gain to keep the resonator going. Bending the resonator may have slightly lowered its impedance. If it fails again, I can add two 10 picofarad caps from the outside leads of the resonater to the center (gnd). If that doesnt work I can add 100kohm across the two outside leads to lower the impedance even more. And if that doesnt work a 10pf on one side and a 20pf on the other will make miller effect voltage gain to make up for the odometer chip oscillators age loss.
so did changing the speed sensor resolved the problem "james"? or should i stick to the "speedometer cluster" gmvalentine? the problem with my 1999 camry is exactly as described by gmvalentine.
The speed sensor had nothing to do with the problem. The speedometer chip was not working, and as I indicated, you can probably fix it by just bending the ceramic resonator component on the speedometer itself. It's a 3 legged blobular component next to the speedometer chip. Take the cluster apart down to the speedo itself and you can't miss it. It's under the odometer display. Update to my earlier post. Bending the resonator definitely fixed the problem, it's been 2 months without a problem. 0$ 10 minute fix. I suppose you could replace the whole cluster if you really wanted to spend some more money.
can i open it and fix it myself? any suggestions and advise
Yes, the answers are all in my explanation from November 2013 above. The instrument cluster comes out with 5 screws. The speedometer assembly comes out with 5 screws. Look under the odometer display for the speedo chip, and right next to it, the blobby looking ceramic resonator. Bend the ceramic resonator over about 45 degrees. If that doesnt fix it then buy a new speedometer assembly.
Thanks James will try it over the weekend.
Please post if this helps you.
Hello Mr James, In camry there were two screws to on the front and then typical 4 screws to take the speedometer panel out. Then on the back there is green magnetic kind sheet.... and if i take the front transparent plastic off i am down to the metal and needle of the place. so my question is to reach to the blobby looking ceramic resonator do i have to reach it from the back i mean take the connections off and then somehow get to the back or from the from screen unscrew two small screws and get to it sorry i am not very technical hope you know what should i go from here? to get to the resonator
Ok i am able to do as directed and bent the ceramic resonator to a 45 degree. didnt drove the car yet will update about the result.
Thank God for this thread, same problem 99 Camry on 3/30/2014, speedometer quit working and transmission shifted erradically. Checked the VSS wires okay, then decided to do what was recommended above. Removed to screws holding the cluster bezel, luckly my mechanic buddy show up and showed me how to remove the bezel (just becarefully pulling it out). Then 4 screws to remove the cluster, then three electrical connections to unplug. Then careful remove the clear cover lens, then the black faceplate (again helps if two folks are involved). Then 5 screws in the middle of the back, this allows you to take the speedometer out, then you'll see the blue blob capacitor next to the odometer, just bend it up or down to 45 degrees. We did this put the unit back together, put back into the car and now the speedometer is working. I also hooked up my scanner, cleared the P0500 code and monitored the speed the ECU was showing (which was the same as the speedometer). Hopefully this works for awhile, if not then I'll by a replacement speedometer.
Is it safe to assume this is the same reason I am having this problem in my 94 Toyota Corolla?
If it has a computer and your speedo is not working and it's not shifting correctly, then yes.
If you have a moderatly old toyota with an odometer that blanks. This probably applies. Please post on this thread if the fix works for you. My car is working 7 months after I tried it. 320,000 on the odo.
I have the exact same problem with my 98 Corolla. I have been reading the posts and they seems helpful but I am having a hard time following them. Would anyone be so kind to post pictures or a video?
dwong, sure. You need to take out your instrument cluster. There should be 3 screws holding the plastic bezel (plastic around the instrument panel) then 3 screws holding the instrument panel. Then there may be about 5 screws holding your speedometer/odometer assembly in place. when you take out your speedo/odo assembly if you look under the LCD display for the odometer you will find a Integrated circuit chip (black rectangle) and a Ceramic Resonator ((probably blue) blob with three leads) bend the blob/resonator over at 45 degrees and that might just make it start oscillating again. Put everything back together and you will find your transmission, odometer, and speedometer working again. If not just replace the speedometer assembly with one you can get from a junkyard. Good luck and report on your results here. -James
James, I bent the resonator and the next day I felt like the transmission was starting to be erratic but it didn't! BUT the next day it did and the check engine light turned on, odometer went blank and speedometer stopped working. I really thought it was fixed but it didn't work. Any suggestions?
Check engine light is not a normal part of the problem. If the odometer is blank the transmission will start acting up only because of the programming of the odometer chip. If the odometer is not blank the transmission will not act up. Bending the resonator is a weak fix, if your odometer keeps blanking you have to replace the speedometer cluster itself. The blanking of the odometer indicates the odometer chip is not running, that is what causes the transmission to act up. You have to get the speedometer/odometer running. If bending the resonator dont unblank the odometer then you need a new speedometer/odometer
Plan B - The fix worked for about month then the speedo went out, but odometer still worked on and off, just put a replacement cluster in last night and thought problem was fixed but daughter called after driving about 5 miles with odometer and speedo both out. So she limped it back home, so ordered a vss, going to replace as soon as it arrives and will let you guys know. So no speedo, no odometer and p0500 code.
I have been getting a few questions about my solution so I thought I needed to clarify the problem. I'm a Test Engineer by trade, so I know that it's really important to define the symptoms. The symptoms in this case are 1) blanking odometer LCD display 2) Speedometer needle goes to zero 3) Transmission starts cutting out after a day or two IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A BLANK LCD ODOMETER, YOU DO NOT HAVE THIS PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION I SPECIFIED WILL NOT WORK FOR YOU. FIND ANOTHER FIX. THIS ONLY WORKS WHEN THE ODOMETER LCD DISPLAY GOES BLANK. Hope this helps, Regards, -James
The gear is in the appeal speedo itself The gear is part of speedo meter
01bigjon: this answer only applies to electronic speedometer's. Not older mechanical speedos.
Bottom of sensor is gear top is electric If not fix ch speedo head it has gear on it Please ck look up Look it up
01bigjon: This failure mode has nothing to do with Speed Sensor. Please follow thread or start a new thread on the topic you are reporting on.
James! Thank You 100 Times for all the info you took time to share here! Thanks to You, the transmission in my 1998 Corolla is not slipping anymore, but I am keeping my fingers crossed, cause as you have said, "it is a "weak fix." My problem was just as others have described. The LDC was blank and speedo not working and tranny slipping. The Trans is shifting properly now, but the speedo starts at 40 miles per hour and goes to 100 when going about 50. I don't care about that. I have lived in Florida for 25 years now. I grew up in the New York City area and I'm a very experienced driver, so I have no problem not knowing exactly how fast I'm going. Like to tell you about the time I had 3 flat times in Manhattan at 3AM. LOL :) Thanks Again James!!!! P.S. Maybe I bent the "blue blob" too much and that caused the speedo issue. But I'm not gonna mess with it as long as the tranny does not slip and odo shows the miles. I only have 102,800 on my '98 Corolla. I bought it 10 years ago with 50,000 miles on it.
If the LCD is not blank and fuse 10 is blowing when passing into neutral, with a new Neural Safety Switch, VSS disconnected, what could the problem be? With Fuse 10 blown, the vehicle functions fine, except the transmission cannot use the top gear. Fuse 10 not blown, the speedo goes crazy, transmission won't shift right, etc. Wiring problem?
I can confirm that the instrument cluster is the problem to blame. I have a 1997 Toyota Camry. After spending a few hours in the hot sun, the car would shift irradically, and the whole instrument panel would go out except for the check engine light. Like some, i initially thought it was the speed sensor, so i replaced it. That did not do it. I also did the suggestion that some made in here to bending the resonator, but that did not work. I replaced the whole instrument cluster and voila! I had my black Camry sitting out in the direct sun in 85 degree heat all day yesterday and never had a problem after testing it a few times. Tested it the day before also in 80 degree heat as well. So far so good.
I did the 45°trick.... did not work.... what about to replace the ceramic component?
Not sure if you will even be able to find one. I would just replace the entire cluster. There are places on line that you can ship your current cluster to and they will rebuild it. Or get one from local salvage yard. If bending the component didn't fix it, that's the only other fix.
2015 update. The Speedometer would work for month or two and bending the ceramic resonator would get it going again. I finally got tired and went to the junkyard and easily found a Corolla speedometer, (they call it a gauge as opposed to the full instrument cluster) Cost me $12 and 5 minutes to install. Now my problem is my odometer only displays 150,000 miles instead of 360,000 like before. Everything is fine now.
Ok 1999 camry, speed sensor signal goes through the cluster and then to ECU. ECU will set a code for speed sensor and will no show speed. People who have already replaced speed sensor and the problem still not solved, replace or have yr cluster repaired . And then see the magic. VERY VERY rare ECU or speed sensor goes bad. There is an update kit for speed sensor plastic gear from dealer and very cheap. 90 percent bad speed sensor code is the cluster and 10 percent is worn out gear of the speed sensor.
Bad Speed sensor (or gear) will not cause a blank display. It will show as 0 mph.
@James & Everyone / 2015 Update My Speedo / Odo worked for a month after bending the blue blob ceramic resonator. But after it got humid / car sitting in the sun, I had same problem. Speedo at zero, blank odo, Trans Slipping and car was Not Driveable !!! I bought the entire Cluster for $30 from LKQ U-Pull-It salvage yard here in Daytona Florida. My car is a 1998 Corolla, no Tach, with Security. The part I bought was from a 2000 Corolla and that's OK because the same cluster was used for the 1998, 1999, 2000 Corolla. I have 134,000 miles on my car now (about 25K more) and that's OK cause Everything has been Working Perfectly for about a month !!! I still keep my fingers crossed... Thanks So Very Much for all the INFO here. P.S. I read here that "the check engine light on is not a normal symptom of this problem." My check engine light was on from time to time with the bad cluster. Installed the "new" cluster and check engine light went off after about 5 miles. Took it to my mechanic and he did a computer diagostic for free. He said the bad cluster may have caused a "glitch" making the check engine light to come on because the Transmission Sensor detected the fact that the Trans was slipping.
Thanks for the info, my own car camry 1998 only malfunction when packed in the sun, the odometer goes blank and auto gear shift difficult. what should I do, since it happens during sunny day
Shetik, you will have to get a new cluster from the salvage yard. It will only get worse. Then it won't shift at all and you will be unable to drive it.
Thank you So much for the solution to this issue, Mr Caldina 98 has Ben parked for 6 months with mechanics telling me to drop the gearbox. In my case a component on the board behind the odometer had fallen off ans had to be soldered back, then voila
This is for James. I am also an engineer (mechanical) by trade and would like your recommendation for a permanent fix, not bending the blue blob (micro controller) One of your first posts had reference to soldering some capacitors or resistor in place to overcome the aging suspect component. Did you or anyone else ever try this? I am looking for a permanent fix and am apprehensive of buying a used cluster from a salvage yard as it my have the same problem. Please give me your opinion on a permanent fix that does not require me to buy a new speedo. Thanks.
Hondakelly, It appears James has left the building. He might be worth pursuing for his expertise as he showed quite an understanding of oscillators. I will attempt to answer your question as I troubleshoot my own speedometer. I am also an electrical engineer who, like you, would much rather fix something than throw it away. I have been troubleshooting and researching this problem of the intermittent speedometer/gauges. I tried the "bent oscillator" fix which worked for about two months and then the issue came back. I took the speedometer apart again and looked at the part numbers for the individual components. The microprocessor is a Denso MG7362. My plan was to look up a data sheet for this microprocessor and find the clock signal that the data sheet recommends and simply replace the oscillator with a new one. Unfortunately this data sheet has proved quite difficult to find. So plan B. Looking at the markings on the oscillator it appears to be a 4.00MHz oscillator with a center grounding pin. I could not find the data sheet for the oscillator based solely on the markings (4.00CMG) but I was able to find a similar one available from Digikey for a mere $0.70. (http://www.digikey.com/product- detail/en/ZTT-4.00MG/X902-ND/82182) I will purchase one of these when I next place an order from Digikey and attempt to replace the oscillator when it comes in. For the time being I have soldered two (22pF) ceramic capacitors to the oscillator. (One leg of each capacitor going to each of the outside legs of the oscillator and one leg of each capacitor soldered to the center ground terminal-- as pictured) I will let you know how/if this fix works. If this does not work, James was dead on with the 10/20 pF capacitors counteracting the aging effect. I will try a 10pF and a 22pF capacitor along with a 1Mohm resistor as opposed to James' suggestion of 100Kohm. Again I will update whether this fix continues to work and will only replace the oscillator as a last resort.
I was able to exchange some emails with James and he was kind enough to give me additional advice. His final recommendation was to buy a used speedo. Prior to that I tried to bend the "blue blob" just to get by for a bit and much to my chagrin, it cracked into pieces. The next day I bought a used speed from a wrecked 2003 Camry, installed it and my problem is now solved. I hope that the fla_gunnman's solution works as $0.70 vs $120 for a used speedo sounds like a much better solution to me.
fla_gunman, thanks for identifying the digikey replacement part, although I would caution anyone that wants to try this that it may very well not be the resonator that is aging, but the Speedo chip itself. It would be very interesting if someone was to try replacing this part and report back.
Update: After 2 weeks of considerable improvement and no spontaneous shut-downs the problem has reappeared. If the car is left in the shade and not allowed to heat up (again, I live in Florida) there is no problem. But if the car heats up to a certain temperature the speedometer/odometer will not display anything until the car begins to cool down. I am referring to interior temperature of the car as opposed to engine temperature as the gauge cluster is inside the cab of the car. I have ordered the oscillator and will replace this part as a last effort to repair the speedometer. I will let you know if/how it works.
Well, that sounds like a lot of work to save yourself a trip to the junkyard. But Im really curious how it turns out. The question is whether the problem is the aging resonator, or the aging clock oscillator transistors. If you still have problems after changing the resonator, you could always make your own clock with a 40106/74HC14 maybe using hot melt glue to attach it to the PCB. If you do that be sure to attach a picture, that would be quite impressive to see. =D
I have a Toyota Camry 1998. Odo needle is fixed at 0 mph. Trans shifting erratically. But, as for LCD (the one that shows total number of miles I reckon?) is on. The mechanic who worked on it replaced speed sensor a couple of times. Didn't fix the problem. After reading this thread I'm inclined to replace the instrument cluster? Should I go ahead with it?
Unless you are very techincal a feel like experimenting with some of the ideas our Electrical Engineer friends have suggested, I would go for the cluster. That is what I did recently and for me that was the permanent fix. You can find the cluster on the internet from salvage yards for under $100. I am pretty tight with my cash, but in hind sight I wish I had done it sooner.
I was able to buy the gauge itself at a junkyard for $10. Munzir, is The Odometer LCD on, but is it counting miles? If the Odometer is working but the speedo is displaying zero, then it is likely the speedo driver is burned out. Replace the gauge or the whole cluster if you wish.
i just bought a 2001 Pontiac sun-fire i drove it for 3 days and everything was good , i charged the air conditioner and it seemed to work fine for a day or two then the engine started overheating checked the fuses relays ect and realized the fan motor was going out i replaced it and it seemed to fix the problem ,then about 10 hours later the speedometer went crazy up down all over then about 24 hours later the transmission started slipping and has gradually gotten to where it is not driveable their is no check engine light on i hooked up the od meter and no codes, said everything was ok but it is obviously not ok my odometer seems fine at 183 and my rpms look good .could this be the cluster needs replaced any advice is appreciated thank you tracy
I can't comment on the Pontiac Sun-fire. If it were me I would be looking for a blog for that specific vehicle / problem. Sorry.
Depending on the make of your vehicle, when the speedo or the tach fails, it will affect how the transmission shifts. You can try changing out the VSS or Vehicle Speed Sensor and see if the speedo straightens out. If not, I would replace the gauge cluster.
This thread is about a certain make of Toyota with a very specific failure mode. It wouldn't be a very good idea to start speculating about Pontiacs or other makes with very different failure modes. You should start another thread, IMHO.
By the way, with the 10$ junkyard Speedometer Gauge I got from Pick and Pull, my car is running fine ever since. Took about 5 minutes to pull apart the cluster and replace the 5 screws for the gauge. Toyota Corollas are famously long lived. I am so impressed with mine, This is just a weak point for 99 Corollas. =D
If you replaced the speed sensor and you still have the same problem the The speedometer
If you replace the speed sensor and you still have the same problem the Speedometer in the cluster is your problem
Ok it has now been about a month and after replacing the resonator the problem has disappeared completely. I have had no problems with the speedometer since I did the swap. I bought 2 of them from digikey and with shipping the entire cost was under $5. If the link does not work just go to digikey.com and type in "ZTT-4.00MG". The resonator was very easy to replace. Simply heat up the solder on the bottom side of the board while applying upward pressure to the component on the other side with a pair of tweezers. I found that there was enough room to solder the resonator onto the opposite side of the board to I laid it flat, soldered the three pins down (orientation does not matter) and then slightly bent it up so that it was not contacting the board. Hope this helps.
Ok, is my first day since i replace the resonator (I bought on Amazon with the specs provided here...Thanks!) on my Corolla 1998, is working perfect, now LCD screen shows digits and needle move again, no failure on transmission, I just followed the instructions of James and fla_gunman, i will keep you informed about performance
Great Job man! You have proven scientifically that the problem is the aging ceramic resonator and not the Speedo Chip. Thanks for reporting back, I bet a lot of people will use you and Fla_gunmans info and get their Toyotas back. Me personally, I replaced the whole gauge on my beloved 99 Corolla, its close to 360,000 miles and running strong. Man Toyota makes a great car. So easy to fix and runs simply forever. Great job, I hope anyone who uses your instructions will report back here.
Rleal, great picture to accompany your analysis, Thanks!
This post is a life saver!! Been experiencing this problem on and off since May with my 98 Corolla. Did research and was set on the Speed Sensor...ordered through dealer/ installed and flushed $400 down the drain when the problem came back. Only happens when leaving in direct Sun (I'm in Florida too), make a habit of parking in shade or under a tree. Now will definitely have the cluster replaced thanks to you all. I was getting so frustrated and hate playing Russian roulette if my Odo/Speedo will start and will affect my transmission....Thank you! So I need a gauge cluster or instrument cluster confused on the difference. Thanks...
You don't really need to replace the cluster, just the guage itself. Or if you know someone who knows how to solder. Replacing the "ZTT-4.00MG" part is pretty straightforward and would take about 5 minutes.
Six month before I give my car to mechanic. All cluster and transmission working fine. After break repairing. He put my car under direct Sun for two days. After receiving car I observe my speedo and odo not working since now. Also my car hesitate shifting from first to second gear when ever I stopped my car.I replaced speedo sensor($120) but no effect on cluster. Yesterday I wrote this answer and happy to know for solution.I am living in Dubai let's see I can find ZTT-4.00MG and will replace resonator and update if it's work.
Verrrrrry Happppppy, Deal All above especially James, fla_gunman and RLeal. Today I change 400G MH resonator which I taken my faulty remote control. When I change as above discussed I am very surprise that my odo and speedo meter working 100% OK and also observe the shifting/hesitation problem from 1st to 2nd shift solved magically. I am very thankful this question, which solved my problem which was since 6 months. by the way my car is Lexus es300 1999 model.
Haha that's amazing! You mean you were able to find the exact correct Cermac Resonator in your broken Remote Control? That's really taking DIY to a new level. Congratulations on that save!
I have a 97 Camry would this cause the gauge fuse to keep blowing. I tried changing the gauge panel and it hasn't blown yet I'm just trying to make sure that was the reason
My symptoms was blank odometer, speed meter didn't move, transmission slipping (bad) and fuse keep blowing out everytime I shift out of park. Also code said shift cylinod
Since the gauges being replaced, did it cure the slipping transmission? It should have. As for the fuse, there must be a pinched wire someplace. If it blows every time you shift out of park, I would check under the shift lever first.
Hi I did change according to the blog, Many thanks for the help, Almighty help us to understand each other, knowledge spreed = knowledge gain. Regards Majid
I have the same issue. Here in Florida, when I drive my car the speedometer and the odometer stops working and the car doesn't shift gears properly. I have a 98 Toyota Camry and I spent $2,000 on the transmission now it has the same symptoms. I have no knowledge on cars. Can you break it down in steps for a regular person or extremely slow to understand ?
It is simple. Buy a used cluster and have it installed. Speed sensor signal goes through cluster then to computer. I have fixed many times same problem in camery by changing cluster. U can buy yrself at used parts place. Should cost u around 100$. Installation another 75$. Goodluck.
By the way i also live in south florida for the last 30 years. Seen this problem many times.
If you know someone who has a soldering iron, you can just change this component on the speedometer. http://www.digikey.com/product- detail/en/ZTT-4.00MG/X902- ND/82182 The details are in the thread. At the worst just buy a speedometer from a junkyard. Easy to find for Toyotas, cost you 10$ and about 5 minutes to install.
Replacing the cluster is too much, just replace the speedometer.
I'm in California, it's not a Florida Problem, it's just the aging Resonator needs to be replaced.
Sorry you spent so much money on the transmission, It's obvious that the transmission isn't the problem.
The key to troubleshooting this is if the odometer display goes blank. If it goes blank there's no way the transmission is at fault.
@ the best rookie are you in Miami area ? Maybe you could install it ? I'm willing to pay @james Ok thank you so I just buy a speedometer and have it replaced ? That will fix the slipping and the odometer going away and the speed at 0 mph ? I really hope this works . I'm so grateful for your responses
@Ashleyrenee1090, you don't need to buy a new speedometer, please read carefully instructions from fla_gunman and James 4 months ago, you can find on you tube how to remove cluster and speedometer and replace the ceramic resonator described above, it is very simple to do it at minimum cost.
@rleal I have and I don't get it. I'm sorry I just don't. I've been reading this thread trying to make sense of what the permanent solution is
Ok I purchased the ceramic resonator off of the website . And I'm waiting now for it. I'll try to search on YouTube how to replace the ceramic resonator . Thanks
I can explain the details that I saw, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don't find anything on replacing the resonator on YouTube (I doubt you will, it's a pretty uncommonly-known fix) I can tell you it is very basic soldering for anybody who is slightly familiar with soldering (you can find that all over YouTube- it will be very similar to changing a resistor or capacitor, as far as "how to do it") Its a slightly tight spot, as the speedometer drive motor is close to it, but I managed to remove the old part with the help of a small screwdriver. You could simply cut away the old one (or just pry it off the board) and replace the new one on the other side of the board where the traces are- what is important is the circuit is completed, not the physical location of the part- just make sure that where you solder it in will not be in the way of properly putting the circuit board back into the housing! If I remember right, I did mine in the back of the board and it fit and worked out perfectly and I haven't lost my speedometer/odometer since last summer when I did the job! As for removing the housing from the car, that is easily done- the plastic bezel comes off with a little prying (be careful not to crack it) and the speedometer housing is held in place with 4 screws. Then there's 3 multi-pin cable connectors that have a push-button release. Im sure you could find guides for that on YouTube also. The speedometer assembly circuit board is then held in by 5 screws, which also are the electrical connections from the main board to the speedometer board.
Ashleyrenee1090, If you do replace the ceramic resonator, please post your results on this thread. We would like to know how it turns out. If you really want to be a hero, videotape the process and post on youtube so you can share it with the world. I would do it but my speedometer works now so I cant really show the before and after in the video. -Jay
I'll try . Please be patient lol . I'm not familiar with cars.
@rleal emailed me some cool pics and I think I can do it !! I'm waiting for the part now.
I will share the pics here...
Update: ordered the ceramic resonator from digikey , now I actually took out the cluster but I cannot get the ceramic resonator off(back of the speedometer). It's welded pretty good. Even if it off, I might not be able to put it on.
Scratches head now I understand why James suggested to get a used speedometer.. Off to the junk yard I go lol. If I can't "solder" it on. Whatever that means
Use a jewelers screwdriver to pry it off while heating the solder joints where the solder is. If you need to you can simply snap it off by bending it back and forth a few times (the part is broken anyway). The new part can be soldered directly to the back side of the board where the solder is- it doesn't need to get pushed through the same way the old one was. Just make sure the center pin is wired to the center trace; the other two pins can go on either of the two traces- it's not specific. I'll try to pull mine out and take a pic. If you can't get it seems me a message, i am in fort Lauderdale and may be able to help you.
Actually I was able to put it in the right place on mine... I was worried I may not be able to when I did it, I did "tear" the old one out, but then I was able to remove the legs from the old pins and clean the holes, and carefully get the new part in the right place. Here's my completed job...
And from the component side of the board...
@ashayinfla there's no option to message you ? Email?
Not sure why,, pm sent to you.
Find someone with a soldering iron, it only takes a few seconds to solder the part, I'm sure they would be happy to do it for you. I would suggest go to Radio Shack and buy a soldering iron and do it yourself but Radio Shack don't exist no more I guess. =D
Update: @ashayinfla came and saved the day!!!! Finding someone to do this isn't easy. however knowing what I know now this is the best option. Drove the car last night and this morning no problem. Wasn't able to record a video , too much going on at once . I don't suggest anyone purchase a soldering iron, unless you are extremely careful or have experience with cars. I will post updates but this is the key to the issue.
Ashleyrenee1090 Great. thanks for reporting back! One more datapoint for the thread.
I have a 1999 Toyota Camry...last year my Speedometer/Odometer did the same thing I went to a mechanic & they said is was the sensor I had it replaced & it worked fine for a year...it is now doing the same thing again
Do You know exactly what was the part he replaced?
If it's the speed sensor (goes into the transmission) that will fix faulty or no speed readings (except some, like mine, the actual speedometer reads about 8mph higher than the car is going, but ecu/odometer gets the right readings, that's a different problem altogether) BUT the problem seen here is the speedometer and odometer completely turning off (speed reads 0 AND odometer LCD stays completely blank!) Usually when the interior of the car is hot it causes the problem; and the service engine light comes on (odbII code 0500) and due to lack of speed readings after a couple of drives/days it may cause your transmission to act up also. In many cases this problem corrects itself when the interior cools down, and the service engine light will also go away after a few trips without recurring speedometer issues. If that's the problem your having then the problem is the part mentioned in previous posts, and is responsible for the operation of the computer chip inside the speedometer circuit board inside your dash board- unless they fixed that part, they didn't fix the problem (maybe your car interior didn't get hot enough to cause the issue again- as the part gets worse it will take less heat to fail) A standard car repair shop or even dealership WILL NOT PERFORM THIS REPAIR and if your lucky enough for them to even properly diagnose the problem (speedometer) they will want to change out the whole speedometer or cluster which will cost alot of money and you will need to report to the dmv that your odometer reading was altered (because the new part will have a new/different reading than your old odometer - its not illegal if reported). The above repair can be done by anybody with a little desoldering/soldering skills (electronics repair technician or hobbyist). The part is literally about a dollar + shipping (1/2 the size & weight of a dime) and can be fixed in about 10 minutes + removal/replacement of the cluster which should take about 20 minutes for both!
KWES, the key to troubleshooting this problem is to see if the odometer goes blank (No display at all) If so the problem cannot be the speed sensor and is very likely the ceramic resonator failing on the speedo gauge.
No the odometer does not go blank when it happens
What is your exact symptoms, when & how often does it happen? The above repair would not be your solution if the odometer does not turn completely off when the problem presents itself.
it happened the 1st time last year I had the speedometer sensor replaced & it did not happen til about a month ago...the gauge just drops down to 0....then it usually goes back to normal sometime the check engine light comes on, but then it goes off by itself the car does not stall it runs normal even when the gauge shows 0....nothing happens to the odometer
Next time your speedometer goes out, pay attention to your odometer, particularly if it still counts the mileage you're driving. If it is not, then the problem really could be anywhere (except the particular component causing the problem we discuss above) but if it is still counting then part of the cluster is damaged (speed gauge driver chip or motor or associated circuit) but if you're service engine light is coming on then the ecu is not receiving speed data from the speedometer, which leads me to expect that your odometer won't be either. The problem could be the speed sensor or the cluster gauge. Have a reliable/reputable mechanic "test" the speed sensor by running the car (actually in drive with wheels spinning, while on a lift) and put a test light or ohmmeter on the sense wire coming from the sensor, you should see fast pulsing (it may appear to be on, as the pulsing may be really fast). Since your problem is intermittent, it may be hard to diagnose as obviously it's working some of the time. Since your speed sensor is only a year old it shouldn't have failed so soon, maybe it's a dud or another problem is causing it to corrode or fail prematurely? Or the problem is in the cluster...? If the problem happens too often or for too long you will probably start to have transmission slippage due to the ecu not receiving speed data.
This post is very helpful. My transmission (1999 Camry) has been slipping only on warm days. I'll be looking at the odometer and speedometer to see if they act weird. Thank you all!
I took the car back in & they replaced the speed sensor since the part was still under warranty I drove the car for a week seemed to drive ok...but now I am having the same problem.....this time the transmission seems to be slipping
Please can someone give me an equivalent capacitor for the ztt-4.00mg resonator. Finding it difficult to get.
Its not a capacitor. It's a Ceramic resonator, a capacitor wont work. fla_gunman gave the link 9 months ago for where to order the part from Digi-Key, couldn't get much easier than that.
Here's another link to the parts. http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/ECS/ZTT-400MG/?qs=jVl71O%2Frr735X6dB780dCg%3D%3D
James fla_gunman and marshad_78. I was able to locate the 4.00 Yb resonator blue blob on the Pcb of a Panasonic Vieira series Led TV remote control. I desoldered the chip and swapped it with that of the speedo/odo and now speedo/odo are working very well. Left it under the very hot sun today and the array still works. Gear shifts from one to two without any slips or jerks. Resoldered the resonator of the speedo onto the remote control and that also works fine too. And since no remote control sits under the sun for hours, I say the swap is justified. THANK YOU GUYS FOR THIS DIY
Please share some pictures
My 1998 Camry speedometer every now and then shows the speed I'm going then down to zero back up then back to zero and stays there and when it's showing 0 the digital part where it shows how many miles on the car blanks out any idea what could be causing that?
But my transmission shifts fine when it's like that
Hi Melinda. The transmission takes a few days to start acting up. This seems to be something programmed into the Engine Control Unit (ECO) I think it's that way so you cant just ignore a defective speedometer, so the programmers at Toyota programmed the ECU to start messing with the transmission. It takes awhile so you probably haven't gone that long when the speedo/odometer is dead. The fact that the Odometer is Blanking along with the year (98) tells me that you are seeing the same failure mode we are describing. Solution is to have someone replace your ceramic resonator (Cheap) or replace the Speedometer gauge (little more expensive) or replace the whole instrument cluster (expensive). Let us know how that works out for you. -James
I'm really surprised to hear some members have found the replacement Ceramic resonator inside of a TV remote control. I guess this is a pretty common part. You might try that, but if you can't just order the part from one of the online sources I linked to above and get a friend who knows how to solder to replace it. Shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.
Melinda, please post your results to the database. Thanks!
So I've changed the instrument cluster and the odometer and speedometer are back up and running in my 98 Camry. However, the rpm still hiccuping mainly when I accelerate. It also does it when I'm in neutral(not as badly) and when I'm in park as well. Several questions and I am completely new to this, so please forgive my ignorance: 1) does my speed/acceleration from speed sensor translate through the cluster to the transmission to tell it when to shift? 2) if this is the case, it shouldn't feel like it's hiccuping or loosing power when I am standing still, correct? 3) Could my scenario be simply be two issues? One where I needed to change the cluster to get the odometer and speedometer working and another issue that's causing the hiccup (which also feels maybe like cylinder misfire) Bonus question: would a faulty or old O2 sensor cause the misfire or hiccup or loss in rpm? Thanks all for this thread... I have combed over it so many times in the last three days and it fit my scenario so well. I Feel like I'm SO CLOSE to figuring this one out on my car.
So I replaced the instrument cluster in my 99 toyota camry & it still is doing the same thing where the speedometer gauge & tachometer gauge goes crazy & the check engine light comes on..the the gauges reset themselves...any suggestions as to what else it could be?
Davo78, your skip could be numerous things. It sounds separate from the cluster issues. A bad O2 sensor can cause a misfire. As well as bad wires, or plugs. If you have a check engine light on, it's most likely a bad O2 sensor.
KWES, get the error codes read. You may have another issue such as a bad VSS.
I have already had the speed sensor changed twice
@reelin68 went back to have my car scanned and it is still showing the o2 sensor as the problem which is what I deduced it would be from what I've been reading and your comment. Ordered one last week and should have it replaced middle of this week. Also picked up a bottle of air intake and throttle body cleaner which should help with the choking I've experienced in idle and with shifting. Hopefully the combo of the sensor and the cleaner everything should be back to square and I will start taking better care of my car with the little know-how @james and everyone else for that matter, changing the gague cluster seemed to do the trick clearing a po500 (vss code) I had when all of this started. I didn't trust my soldering skills for the ceramic resonator
@Davo78 Excellent feedback, thanks for posting.
Omg litterly the same thing Just happens to me in my 98 Camry LE
hi! yesterday and today (103 and 105 degree days, according to my car's temp. display [i am also in florida]) my 1997 toyota camry xle started doing this exact thing. last night, the odometer blinked on and off a few times when i started my car, then was fine before i left my parking space. tonight, it was off and staying off when i started my car. as i drove, it began to blink back on, which made my speedometer needle jump around and the transmission was shifting really poorly. glad this page was here. it sounds like a somewhat common problem for a specific group of car owners!
update: bent the blue glob today. still hot outside, but no car troubles. i have a new resonator on order. thanks for the info!
Great, thanks for posting your findings. Good to know another poster was saved a wasteful trip to the transmission shop.
hello everyone,,,today i had a 1998 toyota camry 2.2 engine with no speedometer movement and the odometer digits screen looks like its burnt from the sun..i changed the VSS thinking thats the problem.but was not...i started reading every post on this site.was amaze to know that everyone has this problem with there toyota camry and corolla. tomorrow i will buy a cluster from LKQ or anyone that has a good working cluster..will let you all know how it goes but i feel this is the problem thanks to James and everyones input...
Rogerhulse if there's an electronics components/parts supply store in your area they may have the ceramic resonator you need, it'll only cost a few dollars at most... a little soldering and you'll have the car as good as new without your client needing to report their odometer as tampered with! If they can wait a day then order it online for next day delivery. Usually this problem only occurs when the interior of the car is hot, if you start it at night or drive for a while with the AC on (until the internal components in the dash cool off enough) you likely won't see the problem happen unless it has gotten progressively worse over a year or two in a hot climate to the point that it may just quit altogether! If it just quit one day out of the blue and never worked again (even when cold) then anything within the speedometer/odometer circuitry (including feedline/12v+/gnd) could be the culprit.
Rogerhulse, I wouldn't replace the cluster, it costs a lot more than the speedo gauge itself (75$ or 100$ versus $10). Of course ashayinfla is right, if you order the resonator it would only take a minute to solder it and your odometer would still be accurate. Digikey has the part and can overnight deliver. Let us know what happens. Thanks,
I want to replace the resonator on my 1997 Toyota Camry, and I found this in an old remote that I don't mind getting rid of. Will this work or is there not enough information?
cedwaalo. It looks like a 4MHz resonator but the one on your speedometer should be a 2 lead device and this has 3 leads. It may very well work if you leave the center lead (ground) disconnected. It is not an exact replacement, you might just want to buy one.
Actually I think it does have three leads. That was the best picture I could get last night, but it does appear to have three, it's just hard to see, even with my own eyes. Or do I misunderstand? My next question is what tools will I need. Obviously a soldering iron, but do I need a particular type of metal soldering wire? I could go the route of replacing the whole cluster with one from a salvage yard, but the resonator on it could be bad or close to it too, so why bother? I was heartened to read that fixing the resonator fixed a shifting issues from 1st to 2nd for at least one person. I have the very same problem since March and I'm hopeful that it will resolve, even though it may be unlikely in my case.
as someone who just did "the surgery" today, i can tell you that the original resonator had 3 leads, as well as the replacement part that i ordered based on the links earlier in this thread. new part is in, and everything is running correctly, though i have no long-term feedback yet, of course.
@James, I misread your message. The resonator in my speedometer has two leads? I think the one you linked to before (digikey) has three. Can you confirm?
@James Wake up! (J/k- you are one of the "knowledged ones" on here) the resonator we are talking about has 3 leads, not two! See the pic I posted like half a year ago of mine. If your pulling any other 2 lead part then it will likely be a capacitor, that's not the bad part and you definitely don't want to replace it with this resonator! As for the solder, any regular solder should do fine, you don't need anything special or particular. Just keep in mind it's in a hard to reach spot (unless you remove the speedometer drive motor) so using a replacement part out of something else may be hard depending on how much lead you have to work with. Worst case scenario, it should work fine if you solder it on the solder-side of the PC board.
Also considering this is a heat sensitive part, try to get it in (and/or out of the old device) with as little heat as necessary, or you may shorten the life of the component.
Ok yes, I am sorry, I must have been mistaken about the number of leads on the resonator. I can't take my Instrument Panel apart to see so Im going to say I was wrong and that the resonator has 3 leads. Then the Remote Control Resonator should work.
James, I have a 1995 Camry with a similar issue as the original posting. The only difference is that the odometer is mechanical and show the mileage. The mileage does not change, but also is not at 0. The speedometer stays at zero and the transmission slips when shifting through gears. Can you please give me a clear idea as to what the problem is and how I can fix it. Thanks
My 1998 Toyota camry does the same as the original thread. I have replaced the speed sensor twice now. The previous owner replaced the transmission. Reading everyone's answers I know I have the same problem. I can't replace resonator, don't know anyone that solders so that's not an option for me. So what should I do in my case? Also does this only happen with heat or will it happen when it gets cold in the winter? I've only had my camry for about a month now trying to figure out what the problem is. Thanks
@Vmlr The instrument cluster is really easy to swap out. I would find an equivalent unit at the junk yard. ($30 at LKQ) It's been 2 mons since i've changed mine out and it works perfectly. Contrary to what I've heard the milage is not stored in the cluster, so there will be a discrepancy as to what your actual milage shows.
...also, the misfire i was experiencing was due to a bad coil that controlled both #3 and #6 Cylinders
@ Davo 78 thanks, what is LKQ? Since the milage will differ what would I need to do?
Infinite, this thread doesn't apply to mechanical Odometers. Only LCD odometers can go blank. Sorry
Vmlr, I replaced my Speedo Gauge for $10. Like Davo78 said, the odometer reading will be off then. Soldering the resonator is really easy, it might be worth your while to try it.
@ James thanks I'll look into it. I have to find someone that can do that for me.
@vmlr & @James obviously the mechanical odometer won't "go blank" and I an not familiar with the methods/circuits used in the older mechanical version, but I would make a good bet (maybe 60/40 chance?) That the overall circuit is similar but the mechanical odometer is driven by a motor fed off the system. If I am correct then you may still have the part in question (if you look at the back of the speedometer/odometer when you remove it you can verify). If you could keep the same mechanical odometer in place then changing out the speedometer gauge will work for you (provided it is not falling too) and obviously you don't lose your odometer reading! Let us know what you find.
I am having the exact same problem in my '98 corolla, extremely hot day, speedometer reads zero, odometer completely blank, shifting issues..I have ordered the replacement ceramic resonataor as suggested. Does anyone have photos to accompany the "procedure"? It would be greatly appreciated! I will update once the resonator is replaced.
Thank you! thank you!fla_gunman and james and all else who contributed info..the cermic resonator replacement seems to have solved my problem!!!
toyt99 Thanks for following up. Glad the solution worked for you. Good Luck!
I sure appreciate all of James and the other info above. Yet, I cannot find an opinion on my particular symptom - for my 1997 Camry -- same no speedometer function, same occasional tranny slip-feel, BUT my odometer does register but just does not roll-upward with travel. I do get a P0500 code. When the car cools down, all these usually go away and it seems to work fine until the next extended use. VSS? Bad speedometer? Which to do first? Opinions welcome?!
@hhc123 it sounds to me like a vss (more likely), or possibly the wiring between the vss and the speedometer (less likely unless it was previously tampered with). The reason I think that is because your odometer displays, which means the circuit is working. When you drive, the vss needs to send signals to the odometer board which will make the speedometer move and the odometer count, and it will also tell the ecu how fast your going so the transmission shifts properly. I would have someone test the vss, it will likely show as bad. -Adam
Adam - I think you're on the right track. Just today I looked closely at the VSS electrical connection and it's got a lot of oil & grease on it. I sprayed it off best I could, then carefully blew it off with a long air-wand, and now it only acted up twice over 20 miles. It was getting close to not-driveable. I did recently have the valve-cover gasket replaced due to a dribble that included some toward the VSS. So - next, more cleaning, of oil that I think is not coming back. Thanks for your comment! Any others are most welcome too. hhc123
I have the exact same problem with my 1998 Toyoya Corolla LE. Speedometer doesn't work and odometer is blank. Tranny tends to "hunt" at shift points. Tried bending blue resonator - NG. Got an old instrument cluster from a 1998 Toyota Corolla and confirmed that it worked in that old Toyota. However, when I put the instrument cluster in my Toyota, I still have the exact same problem - speed0meter and odometer don't work. Any ideas?
Well it definitely sounds like the issue we had, but there could be other electrical problems that could cause this, particularly bad ground or b+ getting to the cluster. The likelihood of other issues us not very likely (unless ur was messed with previously) and I would say there's a bigger chance that the junk yard part is also bad. One of the main points to note as your figuring it out is that this problem initially shows itself when the car interior is very hot, and when it cools off the problem tends to go away until it heats up again. As the problem gets worse, it takes less heat to kill the cluster. If your cluster just stopped one day and never worked again I would say you have a different problem (other wiring issue or possible blown fuse- problem is likely not related to transmission or speed sensor) but if it started only when the car was hot and slowly got worse then it definitely is the "blue blob" (multi-vibrator oscillator)
Sorry just read your post again, I missed the fact that you certified the past working on the old car- that will pay much tell you the problem lies somewhere else in your car- again, don't look at the transmission or speed sensor, those will not make your odometer not turn on (and is probably the first thing the mechanic will blame it on) problem will be somewhere between battery + or - and the cluster, or possibly the switched +12v (wire goes live when you turn your key). I don't remember the exact color codes of the cluster wiring, but generally (in just about all cars, standard wiring colors) the black is usually always ground (should be connected to car chassis and - terminal of battery), yellow is usually always on/ b+ (this should read ~12-14v with a voltmeter whether the car is on or off) and red is usually the switched b+ (will read 12-14v but only when car key switch is turned on) those would be your most likely suspects that will fail the speedometer/odometer lighting up. If you get a volt Meter and don't get these readings then you will first want to double check that the colors mentioned above are accurate to the cluster wiring harness.
Thanks very much for replying so quickly. The Toyota I got the cluster from was in good enough shape that we were able to put in a battery and start thre engine. The front end was lifted so the wheels could spin. The odometer came on when the engine started and the speedometer worked when the wheels were spinning. The problem with my car began over two years ago. Heat/sun did not have any affect. Two years ago, the odometer and speedometer would only very occasionally not work when the engine was started and both would magically begin to work in less than 5 minutes. It's gotten to the point where the speedometer and odometer never come on when I start the car and will only begin to work if I am driving it for an hour or more -. It will just magically start to work again only to have the same problem the following day. and, if I just make short trips, never comes on at all. The tachometer and all other guages work, and the car runs just fine with the exception of the Transmission "hunting" at shift points which I can easily eliminate by manually shifting my automatic trans, and in any case, once I reach normal hwy speed, it is not a problem. I think you may very well be right about an electric problem. I'm not very good at trouble shooting electrical connection problems. Is there anywhere I can download a schematic? Maybe a mechanic would be better equipped to trouble shoot this? Thanks again for your input.
I just found this thread, very educating. I have a 2000 Camry LE 4 CYL that experiences the same symptoms minus one. The odometer DOESN'T blank. No codes set. I'm using a Bosch OBD 1050 scan tool. Uphill seems to affect it worse. Interior temp seems again to affect it too, maybe. Hard to tell exactly since it's kinda cool outdoors. Engine not overheating. Transmission service with full fluid change-out done. Speedo will start acting up with wild swinging ranges and THEN the tranny will follow with its weird shifting. It's like its lost its mind. I've noticed that speedo sometimes will not track acceleration smoothly - jump from 30 mph to 40 in a snap but doesn't affect the tranny. A lot of zero mph too with it dropping out of gear trying to go uphill. What little I can see on scan tool live data stream, while driving, is that ECU sees the weirdness with mph too. Could the VSS be bad considering there is an uphill angle that seems to affect it? I'm just guessing here now.
FOHTon80, I had very similar symptoms as you on my 1989 Camry - see my post above - and after reading all the posts on this thread came to the conclusion that when the odometer remains lit during the other symptoms occuring then the speedometer is not the problem. I finally had my VSS replaced and all is fine now. Your uphill comment could be a reflection on the electrical connection to your VSS, or, maybe an improved oil- path to shorting inside the VSS when on an angle. I suggest gently spraying off your VSS with carb-cleaner, see if it helps, and if not get your VSS replaced or DIY. The key to your situation is that your odometer remains reading-out, not going blank. Good luck !
Well, I found the sensor and saw a lot of coolant residue on top of it and its plug. De-greased that area. Couldn't find any coolant leaks at hot idle. Wondering if a heater hose above it is leaking under higher pressure. Have to wait and see Friday.
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