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Old 12-27-2006, 12:08   #1 (permalink)
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1995 Contour Speedometer not working

Speedometer, odometer, & trip meter not working on my 95 Contour. Guage needle started to get bouncy about a month ago. Would flicker back and forth about 1/2" while moving at around 20 mph and reduced flicker at about 65 mph. The other day while driving at about 60 mph, guage needle bounced from 60 MPH to 20 MPH and back to 60 MPH. About 15 minuted later when I slowed to a stop, the guage moved to 0 mph and hasn't moved from there since. And the odometer and trip meter haven't worked either.

Don't know what could be causing this. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 12-28-2006, 15:18   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1995 Contour Speedometer not working

Could be the vehicle speed sensor (in the gearbox) or the speedo head itself. VSS would show up on a diagnostic, speedo head wouldnt IIRC
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Old 12-28-2006, 20:35   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1995 Contour Speedometer not working

"Could be the vehicle speed sensor (in the gearbox) or the speedo head itself. VSS would show up on a diagnostic, speedo head wouldnt IIRC"

Thanks for your reply. I'm not sure how to perform the diagnostic on the 95 Contour. Would this diagnostic be one of the fault codes that the computer records and stores? If so, do you know what the code number is that I would expect to see if it were the VSS at fault?

I suspect that it's a simplier problem, tho. I also have my son's 95 Mustang, and the odometer and trip meter were not working, although the speedometer seemed to be working just fine. I was able to isolate the problem to a destroyed rubber based drive gear the operated the odometer and trip meters. All 95 Ford products apparently used the same poor quality rubber based drive gear, and it will dry out and eventually crumble and fail. I replaced the gear and everything is working fine. I suspect that the same thing has happened on my 95 Contour, but I haven't as yet removed the dash guage panel to look at the spedometer, odometer, and trip meter.

But I'm still looking for alternative solutions to this problem, and welcome any further discussion and ideas.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:08   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1995 Contour Speedometer not working

You need a garage equipped with a code-reader, VSS would be P0500. I've never heard of the failure you describe, but I am in the UK; most times it's the sensor, occasionally the head, plus very rarely do you get 2 easy repairs one after the other!
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Old 12-29-2006, 18:27   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1995 Contour Speedometer not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordtech.
You need a garage equipped with a code-reader, VSS would be P0500. I've never heard of the failure you describe, but I am in the UK; most times it's the sensor, occasionally the head, plus very rarely do you get 2 easy repairs one after the other!
I'm planning on tackling this failure within the next week if time permits. The code that you talk of, P0500, is that the code number that the 95 Ford vehicles will record and store in the computer, or is it for the models 96 and after? From what I've been able to understand, the codes produced by the 95 and earlier cars is different from that produced by the 96 and later models. I can read the codes from my 95 contour using the check engine light and a paperclip jumper to produce a sequence of flicker signals on my dash. Whether you can do this with the 96 and later models, I don't know. But the codes are different for the two model years.

As far as having two easy repairs one after another, you may be right. Probability tells one that it shouldn't happen frequently. But in this case, I wouldn't be too surprised if it doesn't happen. It's two different cars, and the symptoms have almost been exactly duplicated. Anyway, I've not tried to work on it yet, so I really don't know what's going on.
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Old 01-21-2007, 17:21   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1995 Contour Speedometer not working

this year of contour doesnt have a sensor, its an old fasion cable design. its sounding like the speedo itself... it maybe worn out, if you go to a junk yard to can pull one out of a scrap car and replace it, 97 or 98 is when they equiped with a sensor. the cable runs in beside the brake master cyl. through a rubber peice in the firewall
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Old 01-24-2007, 13:10   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1995 Contour Speedometer not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by azr racing
this year of contour doesnt have a sensor, its an old fasion cable design. its sounding like the speedo itself... it maybe worn out, if you go to a junk yard to can pull one out of a scrap car and replace it, 97 or 98 is when they equiped with a sensor. the cable runs in beside the brake master cyl. through a rubber peice in the firewall
Hmm...

All of the data that I've been able to find indicates that only the very early 95's have a speedometer cable. Later on they had VSS. Don't know whether mine has a spedometer cable or not, because I haven't tried to take the dash out yet. Been too cold for me to bother to work on it. Also, I don't have the symptoms during driving that would occur with a faulty VSS. Looking at the 95 contour wiring diagram, looks like the VSS feeds the PCM which in turn feeds the instrument cluster. So normal engine and trans operation seems to indicate that correct signal is getting to the PCM. Now the question is about the signal from the PCM to the instrument cluster. I should be able to figure that out when I remove the instrument cluster itself, and check the mechanical gears that drive the odometer and trip meter. Although I do not understand how the speedometer itself works - mechanically, or electrically? But if there is a speedometer cable attached to my instrument cluster, then it's a mechanical operation, and there is not a VSS on my contour as you suggested in your message. I'll be working on this when It gets warmer around here.
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Old 02-07-2007, 17:19   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 1995 Contour Speedometer not working

Well, I finally got around to looking under the hood. And it's like you suggested, AZR, the spedometer cable is broken. Another one of those wonderful preplanned failures that FORD apparently designed into their cars, so the dealers can get more business.

Went to Autozone, Napa, and O'Reilly Auto parts to see about a replacement cable. No luck, because they don't carry the replacement cable.

Just looking at it, seems like it should be an easy thing to replace. Any information on where I can find replacement procedures? Looks like I've got to remove the dash instrument cluster to detach the cable from the back of the speedometer guage, and then find and detach the other cable end from somewhere on the transaxel, or transmission. That's what I would like to find the procedures for.

Need help on this....

richie
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:56   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1995 Contour Speedometer not working

Finally, I received a replacement speedometer cable for my 95 Contour. Had to special order from Pep Boys. Took a month to get.

Spent about two hours trying to get access to remove the old cable where it connects to the Vehicle Speed Sensor. The design of the car isn't very friendly for the owner to replace, because the access is so difficult and blocked by too many other things. Some of the instructions I've seen say that you use two wrenches to disconnect the cable from the VSS. Well, there isn't even enough room for one wrench, never mind two.

Finally, got the cable disconnected and removed it from the car. When I compared it to the new cable, in addition to the broken off white plastic connector of the cable that connects to the speedometer guage, I realized that the 1" shaft extension of the cable that is inserted into the VSS had been sheared off at the seat. That's why my speedometer doesn't work. Obviously the end of the cable shaft that was sheared off is still in the VSS. Tried to remove the VSS, but I couldn't got to the electrical connector to disconnect the VSS because of the lack of room. Not enough access room for my hand no matter how I tried. Biggest hinderance is the bottom structural beam that crosses right below the location of the VSS almost blocking it.

Anyone have any idea where I can find instructions that tell me how to remove the VSS on the 95 Contour? Seems like it would be a simple jpb if I only could gain access to it.
Speedometer cable-VSS Conn.JPG Speedometer cable-Dash Guage Conn.JPG
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