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Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, GTI: 1993-1999, Cabrio 1995-2002 (A3) Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off


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Last Post: Feb 13, 2014 1:33 PM Last Post By: BobD
Joev6

Posts: 35
Registered: 09/20/05
Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Sep 29, 2005 5:35 PM
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Just bought a 96 jetta Glx v6 ... The speedometer and tachometer work on and off. Every morning they work but if i turn my car off they stop working. Some one please help me

Message was edited by: Joev6

BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Sep 29, 2005 9:59 PM   in response to: Joev6 in response to: Joev6
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Does everything else work?
When the speedo isn't working, do you recall if it's just vibrating quite fast around 0?

Do you have cruise control, if so, does that work when the speedo & tach drop out?

Do you know notice anything else?

BobD
Joev6

Posts: 35
Registered: 09/20/05
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Sep 29, 2005 10:40 PM   in response to: Joev6 in response to: Joev6
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When the Speedometer works the Odometer works too.
The cruise control Works when the speedometer and odometer work.
when the speedometer and odometer don't work the cruise dosent work.

I notices something weird when everything was working good i had the cruise set at 55 and suddenly it went crazy to like 60 without me doing anything.

Oh and yes when the speedometer and odometer don't work the neddl like vibrates on 0.when i turn the car off it just vibrates for like 30 seconds and then stops .....

Ill post pictures in the next message were it hink the Spedommeter senor is....
Or so someone could point me in the right direction of whats going on

Message was edited by: Joev6

Message was edited by: Joev6

BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Sep 29, 2005 11:33 PM   in response to: Joev6 in response to: Joev6
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That's odd the odometer drops out as well.
My diagnosis is the cluster.

The speed sensor (VSS) is probably good.
You could disconnect it, but I'll bet the farm the needle still vibrates around zero with the VSS disconnected.

Pull the cluster, and look for the VW p/n. "1HM XXX XXX"
Watch ebay for a used cluster, or run by the junk yards.
You can switch them easily, but your odometer will be wrong.

US or Canadian cluster?
BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Sep 29, 2005 11:43 PM   in response to: BobD in response to: BobD
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Attachment DSCF1.jpg (116.8 KB)
Attachment DSCF6.jpg (95.8 KB)
Attachment DSCF8.jpg (104.7 KB)
These clusters are repairable. I have one now I'm playing with. The board is quite simple. 1 Microcontroller, and lots of tantalum caps...which I'm guessing, one of them is the faulty component. The pictures I've attached are of a cluster I'm trying to fix. The cluster on the bench does the exact same needle vibration, as in the car.

The first two pictures show the circuit board with the gauges removed.

If you buy a new cluster, and your not sure what to do with the old one...let me know! I send a few bucks your way for it...I'd actually want it as a lab rat!
And if I happen to fix it....I'll send it home.
Right now I have just the one...so I'm not really qualified fix these just yet.

Bob
Joev6

Posts: 35
Registered: 09/20/05
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Sep 30, 2005 12:42 AM   in response to: BobD in response to: BobD
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Actually i removed the sensor and the odometer was working but not the speedometer. I turned the car off and the odometer and speedometer didn't work...
US cluster i live in chicago

Message was edited by: Joev6

Message was edited by: Joev6

BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Sep 30, 2005 11:15 AM   in response to: Joev6 in response to: Joev6
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What sensor did you disconnect?
Are you saying you disconnected the VSS and the odometer worked while driving?
stevedab

Posts: 6
Registered: 10/04/05
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 4, 2005 7:58 AM   in response to: BobD in response to: BobD
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I have a 95 Cabrio with the exact same problem! I replaced the speed sensor to no avail...Please let me know so I can follow you...Thanks Stevedab@comcast.net
BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 4, 2005 5:45 PM   in response to: stevedab in response to: stevedab
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I've spoken with a few speedo shops and they want $200 to $300 to fix this problem.
Another solution would be to buy a used working unit off of a trusting Ebay'r. But, the odometer will be wrong.
That could be a problem. In my part of the country, the gov't records your odometer every year with sticker renewal.
You can get the odoemeter programmed, but the speedo shops want money for that as well.
Not including delivery fee's.....

Again, I don't think it's the speedo sensor...
Stevedab, when your speedo craps out...does your odometer continue to work? if so, then the speedo sensor(VSS) is probably good. ALso, if you have cruise, does that work all the time?

I'll keep posting what I can all.
stevedab

Posts: 6
Registered: 10/04/05
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 5, 2005 7:38 AM   in response to: BobD in response to: BobD
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My odometer always works...It's the speed/tach/cruise that don't work...and when the speed/tach do work; once every 4 days, for one engine cycle, the cruise doesn't seem to work when I try it. I took it to one of the local big dealers, and they told me it was a gear in my tranny, and it would be 950.00 to rebuild my manual tranny.
BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 5, 2005 8:07 AM   in response to: stevedab in response to: stevedab
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$950, wow. And if that doesn't fix the problem?
Will the dealer still make you pay the $950? Of Course!
Sounds like they're fishing for work!

My only question back to the dealer would be. When the car is running, and sitting still, explain why the tach doesn't work? The(Hall effect)tach sensor, is mounted in the engine block.

I know not having a working speedo sucks....
But remember....
When you get pulled over for speeding, and trooper asks...
"Sir, do you know how fast you were going"

You can honestly answer "no".

BobD
stevedab

Posts: 6
Registered: 10/04/05
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 6, 2005 1:11 PM   in response to: BobD in response to: BobD
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Bob...I don't believe it. If the tach worked, I would probably buy it. I'm thinking cluster, and I'm going to replace it. Thanks
BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 6, 2005 2:06 PM   in response to: stevedab in response to: stevedab
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If it's cheap...I'll buy the old one.
I need lab rats.
herrB

Posts: 2
Registered: 10/09/05
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 9, 2005 1:44 PM   in response to: Joev6 in response to: Joev6
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I just got finished repairing my daughter's golf; same symptoms. Intermittent operation over bumpy roads was another symptom. After removing the instrument cluster and examining the PC board (PCB) connector headers I noticed some suspicious solder connections where the headers penetrate the PCB solder pads. A check with a magnifying glass and a wooden stick (to push on the pins) indicated broken solder joints. I re-tinned all the pads and everthing works fine. I'm an electronics person so this was no big deal. Handle the board carefully, preferrably w/ rubber gloves and hold by the edges. Use some 60/40 solder and ~20W soldering iron (not a gun)
IMO, the electrcal connectors are too light-duty and probably in most cases of intermittent operation I would suspect broken solder joints just from road vibration over time.
herrB

Posts: 2
Registered: 10/09/05
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 9, 2005 1:54 PM   in response to: herrB in response to: herrB
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Another thing, the speedo sensor is very easy to check out. It;s essentially a Hall Effect switch. Pull it from the tranny, hook up a 9-12VDC power source to the +/- pins (they're clearly marked, they're normally the two outside pins). Connect a multimeter in ohms mode with the neg(black) probe on the neg (-) terminal of the sensor. Connect the pos (red) probe to the middle terminal (the output). As you rotate the shaft of the sensor you'll see the multimeter switch from infinity or overload to 10 or so ohms.
BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 15, 2005 5:27 PM   in response to: herrB in response to: herrB
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Done, And working.

I fixed my friends cluster.
For the past week it's been on my bench hooked up to my scope and function generator. I figured out this VDO cluster!, I know it inside out. I've spent many hours on it!

Now they can tell how fast they are going!

Nothing to this cluster, VDO also uses a microwire EEPROM for holding the odometer.....that's easy to "adjust" as well.

There was also a defective UNL2004A (tansistor array), a chip VDO uses to turn on some of the idiot lights. Changed that out as well. Now his Low Fuel light works!

BobD
Joev6

Posts: 35
Registered: 09/20/05
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 19, 2005 6:46 PM   in response to: Joev6 in response to: Joev6
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Hay its me again,

Well I've tried everything to fix the speedometer
* I changed the Speedometer sensor (on top of the Trans)
  • I've checked all the fuses and relays
  • I took of the Cluster and re tined the connection that the last Person posted
  • Checked the ground connections (even tough i haven't found the one ground connection that supposed to be on the engine block)
  • I re weld the Ground connections the VW connects into one wire under the battery
  • I've even taken all the wires, relays and fuse of the fuse box under the drivers dash and cleaned ever connection with (Electric wire and Connection cleaner)

Bobd i saw the post and if theres something that you can help me with please help I have ok electric knowledge so if i have to any replacements or changes to the board. PLEASE HELP!

I did fix one thing though my turning signals work properly all the time now. The connection at the rear on the car was all messedup the ground wire was all burnt and DIRTY so i welded a wire from the connection directly to a different ground.
BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 19, 2005 11:59 PM   in response to: Joev6 in response to: Joev6
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Attachment 1hm919035.jpg (19.6 KB)
Well JoeV6,
First, I've attached a pic of a cluster.
Your cluster looks like this right?

First, can you clear something up for me?
In one of your previous posts you said something about disconnecting the sensor, and the odometer kept working?
So, did you have the wrong sensor disconnected?
Or, did you mean to say the odometer "wasn't" working.

I have now had the luxury of playing with 3 clusters. The problem is't really that easy to fix. You will need a scope, 4meg would be nice, and a good supply of tantalum caps in vaues from 1nF to 10uF. The board is slammed with caps. A function generator is a must.

One cluster had a failed 5v reg, and it's not an average 5v reg. It's a L4938E, Nice!, not popular nor cheap.

This not an easy thing to repair through a forum.

The only thing I can suggest.......send it to me?
Send me your cluster with $50.

If I fix it, $50 will cover parts and shipping back to you. If I can't fix it, I'll send it back with the $50.

I have a little test "jig" that allows me to test the speedo, RPM, fuel & temp gauges. Plus some idiot lights.
I can also test the shift indicator if yours is auto.

I know this sounds crazy, but it's all I got to offer.
The cluster would be in my hands for an overnight.
And then right back to you.

You can drive without the cluster....
And if you don't have speed or rpm anyway...all you really have is the fuel gauge.

Think about it.......sleep on it.
And if the cluster is good I'll know for sure.

Anyway...

With delivery times, it would probably be about a week in turn around time.

You previously said the needle vibrates around 0.
Thats a board issue, and I would say I'm about 92.5% sure I can fix it.

BobD

Joev6

Posts: 35
Registered: 09/20/05
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 20, 2005 9:23 PM   in response to: Joev6 in response to: Joev6
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hay bobd
um well about the first post what happen is that i disconnected the sensor on top of the trans (the speedometer sensor) i turned the car on and the odometer worked but not the speedometer. i turned it of then on again and it didnt work.

About sending you the cluster i guees im up for it i have nothing to lose and it seems like your a honest man. I get pay next wensday Ill send the cluster on wensday night or tuesday morning. i really hope you can fixit cuz it sux to drive without knowing how fast eventhough im already usto it. Iguess it just would be nice to have the car working all good you know.
Well send me you adress to my e-mail moralito6@hotmail.com

do you know how much shiping would be ?
BobD

Posts: 1,815
Registered: 11/29/04
Re: Speedometer and Tachometer Work on and off
Posted: Oct 20, 2005 10:45 PM   in response to: Joev6 in response to: Joev6
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Joe, I sent you an email. It may show up in your junk folder.

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