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How to fix your speedo needle when it does not work

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Old 08-01-06, 03:53 PM   #16
Bigg-Momma
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Default Gauge fix

I actually had the same issue on my 1993 LS. Gas needle and console lights never worked. Speedometer, tachometer, and temp worked whenever the hell they felt like it. I looked up on the net on how to fix this and was instructed to replace 3 (cheap OE) capacitors with some sexy new ones. Took a whole 15 minutes and all was well. Oh yeah, I have been a backyard do it your self mechanic for 20 years or so. And my girlfriend solders like no bodies business. If I don't know something I just get on the net or take it apart to see what happens...see post on Transmission...

Either way, if you can't do this your self than there is a guy out of Canada that will do it for about 180 including shipping: http://www.mrwhizard.com/

You might want to check it out.

Good luck!!

Big Momma out.................
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Old 08-02-06, 12:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigg-Momma
I actually had the same issue on my 1993 LS. Gas needle and console lights never worked. Speedometer, tachometer, and temp worked whenever the hell they felt like it. I looked up on the net on how to fix this and was instructed to replace 3 (cheap OE) capacitors with some sexy new ones. Took a whole 15 minutes and all was well. Oh yeah, I have been a backyard do it your self mechanic for 20 years or so. And my girlfriend solders like no bodies business. If I don't know something I just get on the net or take it apart to see what happens...see post on Transmission...

Either way, if you can't do this your self than there is a guy out of Canada that will do it for about 180 including shipping: http://www.mrwhizard.com/

You might want to check it out.

Good luck!!

Big Momma out.................
How do you identified and replace the capacitors. Where do you get the new one from?
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Old 08-02-06, 02:38 PM   #18
Bigg-Momma
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Default Capacitors

Check out this site...

[url]http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t26776.html[/url

I got the capacitors at Fry's. You can get them at any electronics store. Try not to go with cheap ones or you will be doing this again sooner than you would like.

Last edited by Bigg-Momma; 08-02-06 at 02:41 PM.. Reason: adding info
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Old 08-21-06, 03:22 PM   #19
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Hello guys,

I have changed my sensor for a few months now, then the problem returns when the moist got worst here in Mid-west and my speed ometer stops working again. I when ahead and swap my new sensor from back to front one, but it does not seem to take effect where mater the new sensor is. Now, I am start bangging on the dash when the weather gets bad (high humidity) I am going to keep tapping on the dash board for awhile until I really know for sure the cause of sticky needle is from the humidity. By then, I will start taking it apart and lub it with WD40. Does anyone here done any lubrication on this sticky needle yet?
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Old 09-06-06, 09:22 AM   #20
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Hi guys,
I also have a similar problem and the banging in the dash board does the job for the speedometer and tachometer but not for the fuel gauge needle. The thing is that my fuel gauge doesn't accuratly show the fuel level in the gas tank. It shows that the tank is empty when it's actually half full. In order to get it to work I ordered a completely new buoey and the whole new fuel gauge instrument from Lexus Austria in Vienna. Installed the new instruments and the bouey but the problem presisted and got even worse. It started kind of a chain reaction, my speedometer and tachometer started gettin' lazy during high humidity and temperatures here in Belgarde, Serbia.

Please help on how to get the all those instruments working again normally beacuse there aren't any Lexus services except Toyota ones.
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Old 09-06-06, 12:14 PM   #21
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^wow, Serbia....that's different, never met anyone from there.

Welcome to Club Lexus, search around..there's a TON of GREAT info on this site that can save you A LOT of $$$$!!
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Old 10-20-06, 02:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHUBYBALL View Post
I Finally I got my speedo needle to work right again. The problem that I had was the needle sometimes play dead and sometimes work fine. It is weird when it does not work properly. The symptom is that that the speedo kind of jumpie when it does not work right.

For example, one morning I started up the car and drive and the speed needle still play dead but the odor meter still work fine. I tried to change gear or accelerate the car, hopefully the yoke of the sensor may get the needle to work again. Well, it did. The needle bounced real quick up to 20 or sometimes 40 miles/per depend on the speed you were driving.

The solution to this problem is replacing the speed sensor, I purchase the sensor at Autozone for $80.00. I only need to bought one even though there are 2 speed sensor. If you look at my attach document you will know why I only bought one sensor.

How troubleshoot the problem, first you need to disconnect the sensor from the electrical wire then drive it around the block, you will see the odometer and speedo needles, both are not work because they both are connected to the same sensor, where it connected near the drivesharft (end of transmission).

Replace the old one with new one with clean them real good. Don't over tight it, the sensor will damage from cracking. My advice to those who works under the car, donít get under unless you know your car is on the ramp or the stand, and donít forget to place a stop at your rear tires to prevent the car from moving.
I always solved this problem with a good whack at the dash... speedo and tacometer will work right... if you have problems with the speed sensor transmission will NOT shift correctly..
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Old 10-22-06, 09:51 AM   #23
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I totally agree with CUMan,mojoda 27,having same problem with speedo & tacho,solving the problem for almost a year with banging the dash over the panel,but only during hot weather.It seems they are both working last 15 days becouse temperature is around 45 F at a cold start in the morning.Also think that banging the dash has anything to do with speed sensor at end of transmission?Now when is cold in Serbia,Europe I have new problem-at cold start in the morning the whole inst. panel is dark-not illuminated except P light,after mile or two of driving after few blinks of the whole panel illumination comes back,banging the dash does not help in this case. Any ideas on what could be causing this ?
To introduce myself; as a former manager of Hertz car rental for 17 years and being a manager of National and Alamo car rental for the past 3 years I have experience in maintaning 3500-4000 vehicles of different brands (ford, VW, opel GM,toyota all models except Lexus,fiat and mercedes) I have never had a vehicle problem that could not be solved!
The only difference between those 4000 cars and this LS400 '93 is that this Lexus is my private car and it drives me mad because the more I care about it the bigger the problems arise. Car is in perfect condition except inst.panel which is our mutual problem! Cheers, Branko 77
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Old 10-23-06, 08:02 PM   #24
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branko77, you are dealing with two separate problems. The non-illuminating instrument display during cold weather involves bad capacitors in the instrument display assembly. If you are handy with a soldering iron, you can replace your bad capacitors yourself by following the instructions that have been posted in this forum. Or, you could remove the display and send it to Mr.Whizard, Jim Walker, or one of the others that provide this repair service. They all charge in the area of $200.00 for the repair.

Unfortunately, this repair does not fix the sticking tachometer and speedometer needles. The one repair service that states that they can fix this problem wants an outrageous price ($400, as I recall) that I am not willing to pay. Furthermore, I have not read of anyone on any of the Lexus forums who has used their repair service and confirms that they can do this repair as they say they can.

Read the sticky thread at the top of the LS forum about the repairs for the non-illuminating display. This is a very common problem.
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Old 10-29-06, 08:37 AM   #25
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thanks for the info. i'll let you know when I solve the problem.
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Old 11-03-06, 10:22 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by CUMan View Post
Replacement of the speed sensor on the transmission may solve some of the problems involving a sticking speedometer needle; however, I don't think it will fix the most common problem.

It does not strike me as logical that a bad speed sensor is causing this problem. How do I overcome a bad speed sensor by rapping on the dash directly over the speedometer? It seems more likely to me that the problem is related to some kind of binding that is caused by heat expansion within the instrument panel. Another possibility is a solder or other kind of wiring connection that loses continuity because of heat expansion.
You may have something here. I don't have this problem but while trouble shooting my flickering instrument light problem I noticed that the meters make contact with the power control board through screws and flat washers that connect to a large pad on the control board. As an engineer I have seen this kind of connection fail many times.

The problem is that the board has a different coefficient of expansion than the metal screws. This coupled with a little corrosion on the screw or pad will result in an open circuit between the board and meter. The problem gets worse the lower the voltage and current of the connection. In other words it takes a minimum amount of VA to break through the corrosion of the connection. One way to overcome the problem is to use a star washer or a spring washer under the screw. When you tighten these you dig into the board pad and form a gas tight connection that won't corrode. Also, the spring washer allows for the different rates of expansion and therefore maintains contact.

This is a good theory but I would have to try it out on a board experiencing this problem to be sure that it is a good fix. Perhaps someone can try it and let us know if it works.
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Old 12-29-06, 09:23 PM   #27
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We should all file a civil lawsuit against Lexus for making a POS for a gauge cluster, and refusing to resolve the problem.
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Old 03-30-07, 08:06 PM   #28
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I recently purchased a 93 LS400.

Has anyone been able to resolve the Sticky Needle problem, regarding Tach & Speed Needles? I hate pounding on the dash board to get them working!
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Old 03-31-07, 08:31 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by 74kdd View Post
I recently purchased a 93 LS400.

Has anyone been able to resolve the Sticky Needle problem, regarding Tach & Speed Needles? I hate pounding on the dash board to get them working!
To my knowledge, no one has come up with a repair for this problem (other than the dash pounding). It is obviously related to heat and is probably something inside the cluster binding due to heat expansion.

My problem starts around March and ends around October or November.
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Old 04-15-07, 06:46 PM   #30
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Welp, as many of you know, last summer I bought myself a gorgeous 94 LS400 in mint shape, only to have it stolen and stripped by some scumbags. I found it two weeks later, and it was missing basically the whole interior - seats, center console, gauge cluster, and other misc stuff. Since I didn't opt for theft insurance, I had to chose to either rebuild it, or junk it, and decided to give it a shot at rebuilding it.

Anyhow, I found a replacement cluster at a junk yard with 170k on it, and of course it suffered from all the symptoms that these clusters are prone to. I could've bought a working cluster, however the bastards that stole my cluster didn't disconnect the wires, but cut all the harnesses, so I had no choice but to get one at a junk yard, together with harnesses.

So right away I sent it to Jim Walker, and he did a wonderful job of repairing the backlighting - the cluster lights up bright, and doesn't blink. Much thanks for his great and lighting fast service - I am in Brooklyn and he is in Cali, and I had the cluster returned to me in three days!!!

But of course the cluster still suffered from the sticky RPM and Speedo needles, and the only solution I've found it to slam the dashboard with great force... only to have the speedo needle freeze up the next time I pull to a stop sign/red light. But from my observations, the needless only freeze if they are all the way down at 0, even if i'm driving 1mph, the speedo needle doesn't freeze.

So I decided to give it a shot at trying to repair it myself. I took the cluster out (there are plenty of tutorials on that on lexls.com). I took off the plexiglass cover from the top (its help by two screws and a few clips, very easy to remove) and exposed the needless.

The I got a drill with a very small drill bit, such as the picture below.

Click the image to open in full size.

I drilled two holes, about 3/16" deep, just a tiny bit above the "0" reading, both at the speedo and tach, while gently lifting the needle with my finger - just like in these pictures.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Then I got two paper pins, like the ones you buy in staples. I've only had clear ones, but black ones would probably look much better. I clipped off the tip of each pin, to be only 1/8" long, just like so.

Click the image to open in full size.

Then, I got some quick setting two part epoxy adhesive, which is found at home depot, in the paints department.

Click the image to open in full size.

I mixed it up, and put a tiny bit of epoxy on the tip and base of each pin, and inserted them into the predrilled holes. Before I put the epoxy on, I made sure that the pins properly fit into the predrilled holes. You dont want to put the glue on, just to find out the pin doesn't fit, then it becomes a mess to clean it out.

Now I let it dry for 30 minutes and reassembled the cluster. Of course I took an opportunity to clean out all the dust that collected inside over the years, as well as the particles from drilling. This is what it looks like with the pins in place.

Click the image to open in full size.

I haven't tested it yet - I just finished with it. I'm going to put it back in the car, and test drive it later on, and I'll let you guys know if it works.

Last edited by Och; 12-29-09 at 09:49 PM..
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Old 04-15-07, 06:46 PM
 
 
 
 
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1999, 400, electronic, fix, ipod, ls, ls400, needle, odometer, rx350, speedo, speedometer, sticking, stop, tachometer, whizard, working

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