Why Your Car Odometer Not Working?

You can see the odometer and speedometer on the dashboard of the car. Speedometers are not exact, but they are precise. And when you stare at the odometer you notice that the car odometer not working. In reality, it does not happen with the new car. Once the car reaches 200000 miles, owners face this type of problem. Even there is no guarantee that new cars don’t have this type of problem.

This is the most common problem usually have with car owners. There is a problem with gear and the teeth fall off. The problem arises with the turning in the odometer. The good thing is that it can be quickly repaired.

What Causes Is Car Odometer Not Working?

In the car, an odometer is used for measuring the distance traveled by a driver. In the older car, it makes use of gear and wears for the same purpose. The odometer stopped working when the sensor doesn’t work or get malfunctioning to the wiring to become bad.

Follow the cause below to know why the car odometer not working.

1. Malfunctioning Sensor

An odometer sensor is a counter that measures the distance the vehicle has traveled. It is installed on the car’s dashboard in the section for the speedometer, The odometer helps the driver to record the distance traveled. The odometer may stop working due to the bad sensor. Plus affected cruise control can disrupt the function of the car. Any problem with the sensor can make the engine light sensor turn on.

2. Issue With The ECU

The Engine Control Unit(ECU) is literally the hub of engine activities. It acts like a car’s computer brain. The odometer which giving a wrong reading can be due to the ECU problem.

3. Defective Wiring

The other reason for the car odometer not working is due to the defective wiring. The wire can be short out due to any reason such as causing the fuse to blown out and stopping the operation of the odometer. It mainly happens in the older cars.

How To Fix An Odometer Of Your Car?

Depending on the type there is only one repair solution for a bad odometer replacing either the sensor or the wiring. With the proper knowledge, you can fix the odometer in your garage. In case you do not fix the odometer by yourself, take the car for professional help.

1. The Negative Cable

Disconnect the negative cable from your car’s battery.

2. Remove The Gasket

Using a flat head screwdriver, gently pry the gasket around the face of the odometer gauge away from the dash and remove the gasket. Now pull the entire odometer gauge out of the dash. But be careful not to disconnect the electric wire.

Before detaching the electric wire, note all the electric wires how it is connected. Then grasp it near the connection and pull slowly.

3. Removing The Screws

Lay down the gauge on the work surface and remove all the screws from the back of the gauge. With the help of a flathead screwdriver remove the screw. Then lift the gauge out of its casing and turn it face up on your work surface.

4. Reset The Trip Odometer

Grasp the post that is used to reset the trip odometer and gently pull the gauge. Do this slowly. If you feel any resistance as you are pulling, place the finger under the dial of the gauge and press upward. The post passes through and connects the motor casing. The motor casing looks like a small plastic box attached to the reverse side of the dial. It will separate with the metal housing of the gauge that contains the speedometer.

5. Remove The Odometer Needle

Remove the needle by pinching the round base of the needle and turning the round base of the needle clockwise until it stops. Then pull up slowly and gently while rocking the needle back ad forth sightly. It is easy to take off the needle. So take your time to do steps and do not forcibly take off the needle.

6. Pull The Motor Casing

Unscrew and remove the two screws in the face of the gauge by using a mini flathead screwdriver from the computer tools kit. Once the screw is removed, pull the motor casing from the odometer out from the dial.

7. Reassembling

Pull the gear pod off the top of the motor casing. The gear pod is attached with the lid of the casing and will come off as soon.

Move the odometer planetary gear from gear by using the mini flathead screwdriver from the computer kit tools. Place the replacement gear in that position. Reassemble the gauge by reversing the steps you took to remove the odometer.

Is It Illegal To Drive If The Odometer Is Not Working?

You may drive the car with a broken odometer, but you should inform the buyer when you sell the car. Car dealers are subject to strict laws to prevent odometer tampering.

Although odometers are important gauges in the vehicle for mileage tracking and reference, they are not essential to operate the vehicle. Car engine and necessary parts are not affected if the odometer stopped working, although the legalities of driving with the broken odometer state by state.

What Is The Cost To Fix The Odometer?

If you visit the mechanics, the maintenance cost will go from 200$ to 500$ and you have to consider whether or not this is the best decision for you. But to save the labor cost you can follow the above procedure to fix the odometer.


Problems with the odometer of an old car are very common and often occur. Through this article, we have described the most possible problem that could occur to make an odometer act funny. Every car after a certain mileage needs regular maintenance not just due to the manufacturing desire. Mechanism and system after a certain time need to be repaired.

As well as we also have put some solutions that may help you with the odometer issue. These solutions may not be absolute or optimal. But they will show you visible results as you go through them.

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