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Old 08-02-2010, 17:39   #1 (permalink)
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P0500 VSS code

I just bought a 1998 Ford Escort ZX2 with 196K miles. It's a 2.0 DOHC 4 speed auto. Driving home from work last night I got the dreaded "Service Engine Soon" light. I plugged in my code reader and it gave me p0500 which is described as a VSS problem.

Driving around today I noticed:
-Speedometer needle bouncing around not keeping steady speed.
-Rough idle & engine stuttering while accelerating.
-Cruise Control inoperable.
-Brake light constantly on despite the parking brake being disengaged.

Am I safe to assume that I should replace the VSS ($55) myself or could their possibly be another problem at hand?

Also, where is the VSS located on this model?
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Old 08-02-2010, 19:10   #2 (permalink)
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Re: P0500 VSS code

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpokezx2 View Post
I just bought a 1998 Ford Escort ZX2 with 196K miles. It's a 2.0 DOHC 4 speed auto. Driving home from work last night I got the dreaded "Service Engine Soon" light. I plugged in my code reader and it gave me p0500 which is described as a VSS problem.

Driving around today I noticed:
-Speedometer needle bouncing around not keeping steady speed.
-Rough idle & engine stuttering while accelerating.
-Cruise Control inoperable.
-Brake light constantly on despite the parking brake being disengaged.

Am I safe to assume that I should replace the VSS ($55) myself or could their possibly be another problem at hand?

Also, where is the VSS located on this model?

Hello and good day:

Yes...Speedometor is the classic sign.. I would suggest you get a Haynes, or Chilton, and replace the VSS..

Any further help give us a Yell!!
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Old 08-03-2010, 16:40   #3 (permalink)
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Re: P0500 VSS code

Went down to autozone and got the new VSS. Should have gotten a Chilton's or Hayne's because I cannot find the darn thing anywhere on the transaxle. Granted it's pretty packed down there, but no luck on my end.
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Old 08-03-2010, 16:53   #4 (permalink)
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Re: P0500 VSS code

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpokezx2 View Post
Went down to autozone and got the new VSS. Should have gotten a Chilton's or Hayne's because I cannot find the darn thing anywhere on the transaxle. Granted it's pretty packed down there, but no luck on my end.
Hi slowpoke!

I hope this helps.

REMOVAL

1. Raise and support the vehicle.

VSS1.gif

2. Disconnect the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) electrical connector.

VSS2.gif

3. Unclip the heated oxygen sensor wire clip from the VSS bracket.

VSS3.gif

4. Remove the bolt and VSS.

Install:

VSS4.gif

Hopefully that gives you a better idea of where you are looking.


Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2010, 18:59   #5 (permalink)
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Re: P0500 VSS code

Thanks for the reply KStromberg. I found it right where everyone said it would be. The problem was that I couldn't get it out from underneath the car. So I removed the center portion of the air hose and pulled it straight out from the top. There was no retaining clip or bracket holding it in.

-Service Engine Soon light gone
-No more stutter on acceleration
-No more rough idle
-Brake Light is gone

-Haven't tested the Cruise Control

The problem now is:
-The Speedometer does not work at all. Speedo, Odometer and Trip Meter are all inoperable. What did I do wrong?(yes I made sure it was plugged in and yes I reset the ecu)
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Old 08-04-2010, 15:36   #6 (permalink)
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Re: P0500 VSS code

Quick update.

As I was driving to the gym today (30 min drive) the engine started sputtering on acceleration again and the Service Engine Soon light came back on. I checked it and it gave the same code, P0500. I am totally lost. The Speedometer, Odometer & Trip Meter still don't work.
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Old 08-04-2010, 17:20   #7 (permalink)
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Re: P0500 VSS code

There's either a connection problem to the sensor or the PCM has a problem. Look at the wiring from the sensor and follow it up through the harness. I could have gotten rubbed through somewhere along the line. My guess is that it's the wiring due to the fact that the speedo doesn't work. Heres's a link to the code and a wiring diagram for the speedo circuit. OBD-II Trouble Code: P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor Malfunction
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Old 08-04-2010, 17:45   #8 (permalink)
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Re: P0500 VSS code

Awesome, thank you for the diagram. I pulled the VSS again and it is not damaged or anything. Plugged it back in and the engine light is gone but the speedo and cruise still don't work. I'll start tracing the wires. Kinda funny how you fix one thing and something else goes bad.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:58   #9 (permalink)
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Re: P0500 VSS code

Cruise control and brake light fault usually caused by brake light switch at top of pedal either needing adjusted or replaced if faulty , simple job .
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Old 09-07-2010, 19:52   #10 (permalink)
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Re: P0500 VSS code

I was having the same problem with my escort. Changed the speed sensor and it didn't help any. Of course I had checked the fuse before replacing the VSS, and it looked good. However, to be through, I went ahead and changed the fuse, and it started working! So maybe thats your problem, a bad fuse that looks good
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