Speedo and cruise not working

Tiny
MR.BRASHEAR
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 SUBARU LEGACY
  • 163,333 MILES
Hi there I just bought a 1991 subaru legacy L wagon. My speedometer does not work and neither does my cruise control. The cruise button lights up when I push it and the relay clicks but it will not set the speed. The speedometer is stuck at 40 mph and sometime goes up a little bit but the odometer doesnt work either need to get this fixed soon I am very handy with tools and I dont mind getting dirty, so if anyone has an idea please help.
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 5:04 AM

13 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Both items are related to the vehicle speed sensor. That wouldn't explain though how the speedometer could be stuck on 40 mph.
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 6:07 AM
Tiny
MR.BRASHEAR
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Okay is that the sensor in the transmission and if so how do I remove so I can replace it. My buddy has the same exact car and he said I can use it for parts cuz the motor is toast and he was just gunna scarp it. What should I try first the sensor or a new insturment cluster?
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 6:57 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The speed sensor will be in the transmission. Start with that. Sorry, I can't tell you how it's held in, but most commonly you'll find a single bolt holding a bracket or tab on the side. Remove that bolt then pull the sensor out. There will be a gear on the end of it. If your old gear has a different number of teeth or is a different color, switch the gears so the correct one stays with your car. Different numbers of teeth are used for different final drive ratios and tire sizes.
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 7:49 AM
Tiny
MR.BRASHEAR
  • MEMBER
Thank you at least now I know what to do, im sure I can figure out how to remove it. The tranny is gone in my parts car so do u know where I could buy that sensor and how much it would cost?
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 8:41 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
It's not a high-failure item so I would head to a salvage yard. If you do an internet search for "Pull-A-Part", see if there's a location near you. They have about two dozen very clean and well-organized yards. You pay your buck, throw your tool box in one of their wheel barrows, and you can spend all day there. Parts are very inexpensive and employees and customers are real friendly. There's similar yards all over the country but none as clean or inexpensive.
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 9:28 AM
Tiny
MR.BRASHEAR
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Okay I think im going to go this weekend I hope I can figure out its location and how to remove I have a lot of tools but nobody can tell me where they are or how to remove so wish me luck haha
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 7:32 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I did a search last night on rockauto. Com but couldn't find any reference to a speed or distance sensor. Normally I have real good luck on that site and they show nice pictures.

A '91 model might still use a speedometer cable. If so, follow it to the transmission. It will likely screw into the speed sensor. If there is no cable, you will only have a speed sensor and the speedometer will be electronically-controlled. That sensor will have two or three wires connected to it.
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 9:51 PM
Tiny
MR.BRASHEAR
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Someone on a different sight told me it could be my instrument cluster but I dont think that would have affected my cruise control so im going to try and go to the wrecking yard this weekend and pull both parts the cluster and the sensor(depending on what they charge me).
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 AT 10:23 PM
Tiny
MR.BRASHEAR
  • MEMBER
So I pulled both parts and the instument cluster was the culperate. Works fine now but my cruise control does not work. Id like to get it fixed because I have a lead foot and this car is manual tranny.
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Thursday, July 14th, 2011 AT 4:55 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Did you try a different speed sensor? You might also try holding the brake pedal up with your toes when you set the cruise. If that works, check the adjustment of the switch.

Tug on the throttle cable that comes from the cruise control servo to see if it's broken or disconnected. There should also be a vacuum hose going to it. Be sure it's attached solidly and not cracked or dry-rotted.
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Thursday, July 14th, 2011 AT 8:11 AM
Tiny
MR.BRASHEAR
  • MEMBER
That didnt work so I went and got a new switch and im about to install it. I will repost with how it goes.
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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 AT 1:08 AM
Tiny
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Switch didnt work so now I need to follow the cable and check the vacuums like you said hope I can fix soon I need to drive a 8 hour round trip next weekend.
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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 AT 10:52 PM
Tiny
MR.BRASHEAR
  • MEMBER
Well ive checked everything attached to the servo and all seems okay so I guess it needs replaced ill post again after next trip to the u pull it lol
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Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 AT 10:42 PM

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