How to Replace a Speedometer

The speedometer is a critical part of the vehicle. It tells the driver a greatly important detail: how fast he or she is going. This is a safety feature of all vehicles and driving without out a working speedometer is not only not recommended but can also result in an unintentional speeding violation.

Speedometers can seem like complex pieces of machinery, but this article is going to cover just how to replace your vehicle's speedometer.

  • Warning: Some speedometers also house the mileage counter, or odometer, for the vehicle. This can either be in the form of a mechanical counter or one that is programmed in to take mileage readings. Be aware that tampering with the odometer of a vehicle is illegal and can result in hefty fines. Vehicles with a computer-controlled odometer will have to be programmed by a manufacturer’s computer to read the correct mileage.

Part 1 of 2: Removing the old speedometer

Materials Required

hands removing the negative battery cable

Step 1: Remove the negative battery cable. The first step is to locate the negative battery terminal. The negative battery cable should be removed so there is no chance of electrical damage when working with the speedometer.

Loosen the battery cable bolt and remove the negative battery cable. Set the cable aside so it can not touch the battery.

removing the instrument cluster

Step 2: Remove the instrument cluster. Locate the screws holding the instrument cluster in place.

Some of these screws may be hidden behind other panels that will need removed. This varies by make and model.

Once the screws are located, begin to remove them. Once all the screws are removed, make sure the instrument cluster is loose.

Pull the cluster out just enough for the cluster’s wiring to be visible. There may be multiple plugs. Unhook all the connectors to the instrument cluster so it is completely free. Remove the instrument cluster entirely from the vehicle and set it on a safe work area on a towel.

plastic cover removed from the instrument cluster

Step 3: Access the speedometer. To be able to access the speedometer, the cluster’s plastic cover must be removed. Using a small screwdriver, pry up very lightly on the cover’s tabs to release them.

Continue this all the way around the cluster until the plastic cover is able to be removed.

screws securing the speedometer

Step 4: Remove the speedometer from the instrument cluster. With the plastic cover removed it should be a simple matter to locate the bolts that hold the speedometer in place. Remove the bolts securing the speedometer to the instrument cluster.

The speedometer should now lift free easily.

Part 2 of 2: Installing the new speedometer

hands installing the new speedometer into the instrument cluster

Step 1: Install the new speedometer into the cluster. Place the new speedometer in the space vacated by the old speedometer.

Tighten the bolts that hold the speedometer into place. Make sure the speedometer is secured into the cluster.

Step 2: Replace the plastic cover over the instrument cluster. Reinstall the plastic cover removed previously onto the instrument cluster.

Carefully lock the clips into place without breaking them. Make sure the cover is secure.

instrument cluster being installed

Step 3: Reinstall the instrument cluster into the dash. First, reconnect any connectors or plugs that were previously disconnected to remove the cluster.

Then, place the instrument cluster back into the dashboard. Install all the screws that hold the cluster in place.

Install any other panels removed to gain access to the cluster.

Step 4: Reconnect the battery cable. Go back under the hood and reconnect the negative battery cable. Tighten the cable to the terminal.

Step 5: Test your new speedometer. Drive the vehicle at a low speed in a safe location and check that the speedometer is reading the correct speed.

Confirm that the speed changes as the vehicle drives slower and faster.

Replacing the speedometer can seem like a large job, but when broken down into steps, many are able to complete it themselves. If you have any questions along the way, you can always Ask a Mechanic. If this task seems like too much for you to do on your own, YourMechanic also performs speedometer service and repair. The technicians at YourMechanic are standing by to assist.


Next Step

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Recent Speedometer Sensor Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(77)

Rating Summary
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Chris

22 years of experience
2223 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Chrysler Sebring V6-2.7L - Speedometer Sensor - Costa Mesa, California
As always Chris dignosed the problem quickly and correctly. The repair was almost as quick and very reasonably priced. He has worked on six of my cars over the years and I wouldnt even think about using anyone else
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD - Speedometer Sensor - Menifee, California
Good knowledge of vehicle , answered all my questions , knew what he talking about , very competent mechanic . I highly recommend him .

Rigoberto

11 years of experience
739 reviews
Rigoberto
11 years of experience
Jeep Liberty V6-3.7L - Speedometer Sensor - Chicago, Illinois
Not only did Rigobertos did an excellent job in repairing my car, I actually saved some money from the original price quote.
Jeep Liberty - Speedometer Sensor - Chicago, Illinois
Rigobertos brought my car back to life after it was not drivable for five months. His knowledge and professionalism is top notch.

Jose

15 years of experience
213 reviews
Jose
15 years of experience
Pontiac Grand Prix V6-3.1L - Speedometer Sensor - Duluth, Georgia
Jose was very professional, was on time (actually a bit earlier than expected which was just fine for me) and did the job in a timely fashion. There was a mix up with the part but he went out and was able to get the correct one, at no extra charge for me, and he even made sure that everything was working afterwards. Did a great job and would definitely recommend to friends and family.
Buick LeSabre - Speedometer Sensor - Roswell, Georgia
Jose was punctual and professional. He did an excellent job fixing our speedometer. We've already booked him for another gig. Thank you for this service!

Stacy

24 years of experience
366 reviews
Stacy
24 years of experience
Ford Transit Connect L4-2.5L - Speedometer Sensor - Stockbridge, Georgia
Stacy Smith did a marvelous job. The wrong sensor worshipped with him. So he tried to fix the one I had. He was pleasant and thorough throughout the experience. I would highly recommend him.

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