4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Speedometer

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The speedometer on a car is located on the dashboard, and displays how fast the vehicle is going while it is in motion. Today, speedometers are electronic and come standard on all vehicles.

Common Problems With Speedometers

Speedometers can have problems caused by components that make up the mechanism. Sometimes speedometers do not work at all, which can be caused by a faulty speedometer head. Another problem is the Check Engine Light comes on after the speedometer stops working. This can happen when the speed sensors stop sending information to the car’s computer. If this occurs, the speed cable may need to be replaced.

Signs Your Speedometer Is Not Working Properly

Common signs your speedometer is not working include; the speedometer not working or behaving erratically while you are driving, the Check Engine Light turning on and off and the overdrive light going on and off for no reason.

Speedometer Inaccuracy

The speedometer can have an error of plus or minus four percent in the United States. For lower speeds, this means you could be going faster than what the speedometer says. For higher speeds, you could be going at least three miles per hour slower. Tires can be the cause of this, as over inflated or under inflated tires impact the speedometer’s readout. The speedometer is calibrated based on the factory tires of your vehicle. Over time, the tires on the vehicle become wore down or are replaced. Worn tires can throw off your speedometer and if the new tires are not rated for your vehicle, they can make the speedometer inaccurate as well.

How to Test Accuracy of Speedometer

If you think your speedometer is inaccurate, you can use a stopwatch to check how accurate it is. Start the watch as you pass a mile marker while on the highway, and then stop it once you pass the next marker. The second hand on your stopwatch will be your speed. Another way to test the accuracy is to have a mechanic look at the vehicle. This way, if there is a problem they will be able to fix it at while the vehicle is at the shop.


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Eladio

8 years of experience
128 reviews
Eladio
8 years of experience
Honda Civic - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Greensboro, North Carolina
Eladio arrived at the scheduled time and was great to work with. He was very professional and I am very satisfied with his work. This was my first time using YourMechanic and I am very pleased with how easy and convenient this service has been from start to finish. Definitely would recommend.
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Greensboro, North Carolina
Eladio was on time, expedient, and very professional. Very pleased with provided service (brake shoes replacement).

Chris

13 years of experience
107 reviews
Chris
13 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Port Richey, Florida
CHRIS IS THE BEST MECHANIC I HAVE EVER MEET IN MY LIFE. HE IS HONEST AND HE KNOWS HIS STUFF. VERY PROFESSIONAL AND KNOWLEDGEABLE. THANK YOU CHRIS!!!

Pardeep

19 years of experience
587 reviews
Pardeep
19 years of experience
Dodge Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Pradeep was early to my appointment and during his work he showed me that I didn’t need rear brake shoes saving me money.He cleaned and serviced the existing shoes and he also adjusted my parking brake cable. Great job. I will always use Your mechanic for any car repairs.

Oreste

12 years of experience
117 reviews
Oreste
12 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Miami, Florida
Orestes is very professional. He explained what was done to my vehicle and suggested upcoming maintenance needed. Great person

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