How Long Does a Speedometer Cable and Housing Last?

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Your car’s speedometer is a crucial component. It’s responsible for telling you how fast you’re traveling. If you have a newer car, your speedometer is electronic, even if the readout is analog. In an older car, it’s mechanical, which means you have a speedometer cable that attaches to the back of the housing and runs down to the transmission and driveshaft.

The speedometer cable spins in time with the transmission and driveshaft. This motion creates an electromagnetic current that is used by the magnet, hair spring and needle in the speedometer housing to display the speed of your car. Because the speedometer is in use at all times when you’re moving, the cable (and other components in the housing) is subject to a lot of wear and tear.

There are many other things besides age that can affect a speedometer cable. These include kinks and bends in the cable, gearbox oil getting onto the cable, incorrect routing and many more. The housing itself is pretty durable and should last for the life of the vehicle, but the inner workings of the speedometer are another story.

Some cars have speedometer assemblies that can be repaired when something goes wrong. Others have to be replaced entirely (the entire housing, including the cable, the magnet, the pointer and hair spring must be replaced). There is no definitive use life for the cable or the speedometer itself, though. Age, use, and damage all play significant roles here.

Given the fact that a problem with the speedometer cable could render the readout inaccurate at best or inoperative at worst, it’s smart to know a few of the signs and symptoms that point to a problem with the system. These include:

  • The speedometer needle moves back and forth, without indicating a particular speed
  • The needle bounces
  • A loud noise is heard from the speedometer housing at higher speeds
  • At lower speeds, the needle drops to 0 and then back frequently
  • The Check Engine Light is on
  • The speedometer needle vibrates
  • The speedometer doesn’t work at all

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, the professionals at YourMechanic can help. One of our mobile mechanics can come to your home or office, inspect the system and replace the speedometer cable and housing if needed.


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Recent Speedometer Cable and Housing Replacement reviews

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YourMechanic Speedometer Cable and Housing Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

124,836

Rating Summary
116,442
4,699
941
646
2,108
116,442
4,699
941
646
2,108

Allen

34 years of experience
444 reviews
Allen
34 years of experience
Mazda Miata - Speedometer Cable and Housing - Deltona, Florida
Allen was on time very pleasant and very professional. He explained everything and made some useful recommendations. Would use his services again and would recommend him to friends and family.

Devin

15 years of experience
12 reviews
Devin
15 years of experience
Mazda 3 - Shock Absorber Replacement (Rear) - Baltimore, Maryland
This was the coolest mechanic I've ever dealt with. He put my rear shocks on in a fraction of the time it would have taken me, and he was very courteous and professional the whole time. I'd definitely choose to use him again in the future.

Matthew

8 years of experience
36 reviews
Matthew
8 years of experience
Ford E-350 Econoline - Steering wheel feels loose - Saint Louis, Missouri
Matthew called around noon and said his afternoon freed up and he could come earlier than my scheduled appointment if that was OK. I said great. He was very friendly, and got down to business. He was very professional and told me what the problems appeared to be and his recommendations were. There was no pressure to do the service by him. I will definitely use him again for any service or evaluations needed.

John

18 years of experience
431 reviews
John
18 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - Spark Plugs - Altamonte Springs, Florida
Great guy, very professional. I recommend him to anyone.

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