One day the speedometer and odometer on our 98 Honda Accord stopped working. At times the idle would become rough and the engine would nearly stall. It’s always frustrating to have car problems. You ask yourself: should I just take it to an auto repair shop? It’s much easier that way, but it is more expensive. I ended up fixing this this Vehicle Speed Sensor problem myself, here is how I did it.
I had suspected it was a problem with the speedometer cable since I had a non-working speedometer and many years before. In that particular case the speedometer cable became disconnected from the transmission.
Being unable to find a speedometer cable on my Honda Accord, I got on the Internet and started doing some research. The Internet led me to believe it could be a vehicle speed sensor (VSS) issue. I realized through my searching why I couldn’t locate the speedometer cable on my Honda – it doesn’t have one. The system is all electronic.
The pictures of Speed Sensors on the Internet did not look like anything on my Honda, I later discovered that most of the pictures on the Internet are for Speed Sensors from 89-94 models. So I headed down to the nearest auto parts store to confirm my suspicion and yes, the OBDC II codes showed that it was a failed Vehicle Speed Sensor.
Most Auto Parts stores didn’t have Speed Sensors in stock or employees who were familiar with them so it was hard to get a good idea of what it looked like, but one store was able to pull up a picture and I eventually found a good picture on the Internet.
Speed Sensor Location
The Vehicle Speed Sensor is located in the back passenger side of the engine compartment. It is down on top of the back of the transmission. The sensor is pretty far down and you will need a pretty long extension with your socket set to get access to it. I had connected both a 10 inch and a 6 inch extension to my ratchet; this allowed me to get to it pretty easily. A light source will come in handy.
Speed Sensor Replacement
The 98 Honda Accord VSS is easier to get to if you take off the air intake hose and filter. One screw holds the sensor in place and it has an electrical connector on the top. After removing the electrical connector, remove the screw. Once the Screw is out you can remove the Speed Sensor. Mine was stuck in there pretty good, but it came free with a little wiggling and pulling. The new one went in pretty easily, there was a slight snap when it goes all the way in and makes a good seal. replace the screw and the connector, then replace the air intake hose and filter if you removed them.