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Jim Oaks 05-21-2008 02:54 AM

Speedometer Problems [Check here first] --->
I see these problems pop up all over the place so I figured I would try to consolidate the information in one place.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong or contribute to what I write here.

Problem - "The speedometer in my 1999 Ranger fluctuates or doesn't work until I hit 30MPH. What's wrong?

Answer - The 1998-2000 Rangers are not equipped with a VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor). The PCM (Powertrain Control Module) receives vehicle speed information from the antilock brake system rear wheel speed sensor. The raw signal from the ABS/VSS sensor on the rear axle goes directly to the Explorer 4WABS module where the signal is corrected for tire diameter. Then the corrected signal is sent out on the gray/black to the PCM, speed control, cluster, etc. In this system, the PCM is an end user of the corrected VSS signal.

The problem is usually found in the ABS speed sensor on top of the differential in your rear axle.

Remove the rear wheel speed sensor from the axle housing.

Connect a Digital Volt/Ohm Meter (DVOM) across the two sensor terminals and record the reading.

The reading should be between 0.8 and 1.4 k Ohms.

If not, replace the sensor.

Problem - "The speedometer on my '96 Ranger quits working sometimes."

Answer - From 1995-1997, check the VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor) on the transmission/transfercase. Could be bad.

Turn off vehicle and disconnect the VSS cable. Using a Digital Volt-Ohmmeter (DVOM), measure the resistance (DVOM ohmmeter function) between the sensor terminals on the VSS (not the cable). If the resistance is 190-250 ohms, the sensor is okay.

Problem - "The speedometer in my 1993 Ranger fluctuates. What's wrong?"

Answer - Your 1983-1994 Ranger uses a speedometer cable (mechanical). The problem could be anything from binding, worn or broken gear teeth on the speedometer gear, a worn out cable assembly or dirt/contamination causing the needle to stick.

I don't see much on the 2001 and newer Rangers with speedometer problems, they have a different set up then the 1998-2000 models. Starting in 2001, the raw speed signal from the OSS (Output Shaft Speed) sensor on the transmission goes directly to the Ranger PCM (Powertrain Control Module) where it is corrected for tire diameter and axle ratio. The PCM then outputs the corrected VSS pulse the speed control and the cluster. In this system the PCM is the correction and distribution point for the VSS signal.

Forrest 08-26-2008 12:12 PM

Have they been known to leak.

Forrest 08-26-2008 12:15 PM

Have they been known to leak. I have a 2000 XLT that seems to leaking gear oil.

prsguitars42 09-13-2008 07:42 AM

Jim, the vss on my '97 ranger is good(measured 230 ohms). What else could it be?

cheyennesn 11-20-2008 05:32 PM

odmeter on 1995 ford Ranger xlt
Shortly after i purchased my Ranger i noticed the odemeter would work when it wanted to. the speedometer works just fine, i asked ford about it and they said after so many miles ( mine has 252, 000 miles on it) that it didn't matter that i would have to relace all the gages.
it does work from time to time and i still have no clue what is wrong with it does anyone else have this problem?

Kedyn's Crow 11-26-2008 10:08 AM

I have a 1990 Ranger 4x4 and the speedometer just stopped working. When I check stored engine codes I get a code of 29 which means Insufficient input from the Vehcile Speed Sensor (VSS). Do the 1990's have a Vehicle Speed Sensor as well as the cable for the speedo?

land2634 12-10-2008 02:53 AM

Ok, so my dad bought a 96 Ford Ranger brand new (manual transmission), and I've been driving it for close to 5 years now. It has run great for a long time, but even when he drove it, the speedometer was never right. I've done my due diligence and know I need a new speedometer gear with more teeth (most likely one more). My speedometer is 6mph off. If it shows 70, I'm actually going 64. I want to go to my local Ford dealership to get the part, but want to know what I need when I get there. Does anyone know what the standard number of teeth on the speedometer gear is for this model?

canoeman 02-23-2009 10:34 AM

It still doesnt explain why the odometer doesnt work but the speedo does. I swapped out the same model year, just plug and play.

oldjohnny 02-23-2009 02:49 PM


Originally Posted by canoeman (Post 347376)
It still doesnt explain why the odometer doesnt work but the speedo does. I swapped out the same model year, just plug and play.

Odometers on Rangers tend to go bad quickly. Mine started acting up at 165K. It would stop and the numbers used to skip a lot. Usually, a big hit on top of your dash would fix it and make the odometer work again. I'm at 168K right now, and my odometer has completely stopped working.

You could have probably gotten a bad odometer.

ati190 03-16-2009 08:47 AM

bad odometer? not likely. More likely the odometer worm gear attached to the little motor is broken. Cheap and easy to replace.

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