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speedometer out / "OD off" light blinking ???

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Old 09-05-2007, 01:58 PM   #1
77
tucson az
1996 explorer xlt 4dr 4x4
 
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speedometer out / "OD off" light blinking ???

hi everyone

I was hoping to get a little help.

I think my vehicle speed sensor is bad or broke.

let me start off with:
I own a 1996 Ford Explorer XLT, automatic trans, 4x4, 4.0 liter, 4 door, power door locks/windows, leather interior, with 108k miles.

I was driving home Monday afternoon from the desert and my speedometer went to 0, I was doing about 40 mph. about a mile later the "OD off" light started blinking. I did not notice a change in performance nor did I hear anything. We got home about five minutes later. I pulled into the drive way shut off the engine and then restarted it. the warning light was no longer blinking, I decided to try it and see if the speedometer was still dead. drove about 20 yards down the street and heard some rattling (kind of like when the U-joints go out). I parked and gave the driveshafts the shake test and they felt solid.

a friend said it was probably the speedometer cable that broke and was rattling (made sense to me). I called the Ford dealer to ask how much for a cable, they informed me that it does not have a speedometer cable but rather a vehicle speed sensor (VSS). Money is tight right now so I figured I could live without a speedometer for a while.

after a little research on the web it seems the VSS does a lot more than tell you how fast you are going. I drove to work this morning to try it out and notice the "OD off" light blinking again and now the "check engine" light is on. also it's shifting gears hard. its gonna need some attention.


first off is there a fuse for the VSS? (it can't be that simple can it?)

can I go to Autozone and have them plug in a code reader?

will they be able to tell me if it's the VSS or something else?

if it turns out to be the VSS where is it located? (I assume on the tranny somewhere but can't find anything on the internet or the owner's manual)

how hard is it to replace?

and

would the VSS going bad make a rattling sound? (which is gone by the way)

any help would be great

thanks

77
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:01 PM   #2
SRoberts006
Kannapolis, NC
'96 XLT
 
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My sister-in-law borrowed my explorer and hit a log in the road, and had the same thing happen. It was the speed control sensor. Located on the transmission somewhere. We were going out of town, so I just took it to the shop. $200 later it was fixed. About 2 hours for them to do it. Hope that helps.
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:04 PM   #3
77
tucson az
1996 explorer xlt 4dr 4x4
 
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thanks

I took it to Autozone, they confirmed it was the VSS.

bought the part there $17 and change pulled the old one out after work. realized I need to change the gear that goes on the front of it, not availible at Autozone, made to the dealer before they closed. paid $20 something for the gear then replaced the whole assembly. the two wires had been stripped, and that's most likely what started the problem. It was kind of hard to get to but that's because I'm a big guy. was too bad getting the old one off, but getting the screw started wasa pain, luckily my 10 year old boy has tiny hands and arms and he got started, then I tightened it.

the whole thing took a couple of hours but that's because I had to go to the store then the dealer for the gear.

runs good now.

77
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