1999 Ford Taurus Vehicle Speed Sensor

Tiny
TAURUSTROUBLE
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 88,000 MILES
My 1999 Ford Taurus SE suddenly began experiencing multiple problems. The service engine light & brake light both came on. The speedometer stopped working, transmission wouldn't shift out of 1st gear and the brakes failed all at the same time. I believe the VSS needs to be replaced and have found information elsewhere on the internet that indicates that the speed sensor can affect all the above mentioned problems. When I spoke to a service tech he disagreed that the sensor would affect the brakes. What are your thoughts on this?
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Monday, August 17th, 2009 AT 11:45 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi taurustrouble,

Thank you for the donation.

I would agree with the tech that the sensor should not have affected the brakes.

What is wrong with the brakes? The brake lights coming on could have indicated to you that the brake fluids are low and this could be the reason the brakes have failed, a leak has occurred somewhere.
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Monday, August 17th, 2009 AT 8:01 PM
Tiny
TAURUSTROUBLE
  • MEMBER
The brakes failed completely, along with speedometer failure & the car wouldn't shift out of 1st gear. The service engine soon light & brake light came on. All these things happened at the exact same time. I went out to my car one morning & these symptoms presented themselves all together. The day before I had the oiled changed and all the fluids were checked. I am including some information I found on the internet below:

P0500 OBD-II Trouble Code
Technical Description
Vehicle Speed Sensor Malfunction
What does that mean?
Basically this means that the vehicle's speed as read by the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) is not working properly.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:
" loss of anti-lock brakes
" the "anti-lock" or "brake" warning lamps on the dash may be lit
" the speedometer or odometer may not work properly (or at all)
" your vehicle's RPM limiter may be decreased
" the shifting of an automatic transmission may become erratic
" other symptoms may also be present

I have a very limited amount of money to spend on repairing the car & my hope is to replace the VSS and see if it corrects these issues. If not, I would need to investigate further.

Thank you for any help you can provide.
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Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 AT 3:11 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Sorry if I did not make myself clear in my last reply.

The VSS failure as shown by the P0500 is responsible for all of the symptoms described except for the complete loss of brakes.

Replacing the VSS should get the following solved.
Sevice Engine Soon light
Gear not shifting out of 1st.
Brake indicator light ( remenber to check the fluid levels)

Since problem occurred after oil changes, there is a possibility of VSS wires being dislodged and it would not hurt to check them first.

As to complete failure of brakes, What are the symptoms?
Brake pedal low?
Hard?
Or is it just not effective? If not effective, then it could be caused by the ABS so would be resolved once the VSS is repaired/replaced.
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Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 AT 10:30 PM

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