How to Change a Broken Speed Sensor on a Chevy S10 Speedometer

by Dan Ferrell

The Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) on your Chevy S10 is an electrical detector with an internal coil. This sensor reads the speed of a rotating toothed metal disc mounted on a shaft inside the transmission or transfer case, and sends this information to the vehicle computer. Then the computer transmits this information to the speedometer on the dashboard to inform you how fast you are moving as you drive. If the VSS on your S10 model is worn out or has failed, follow this simple to guide to install a new unit.

Disarm the Air Bags

Turn the steering wheel so the front wheels on your Chevy point straight ahead.

Turn the ignition switch to the "Lock" position and remove the key.

Disconnect the negative, black battery cable using a wrench.

Remove the air bag fuse from the fuse block located inside the engine compartment. If there are more air bag fuses, remove them as well. Consult your car owner's manual, if necessary.

Detach the steering column underside cover using a Phillips screwdriver.

Unplug the Connector Position Assurance (CPA) and yellow two-way connector located at the base of the steering column. If the passenger side of your S10 is equipped with an air bag, unplug the yellow two-way connector located behind the glove compartment as well.

Remove the VSS

Raise the front of your Chevy using a floor jack and support it on two jack stands.

Chock the rear wheels and apply the parking brake.

Locate the vehicle speed sensor. If you have a 2WD model, it is located on the transmission tailshaft on the driver's side. On 4WD models, the sensor is mounted on the transfer case tailshaft (driver's side as well.

Unplug the VSS electrical connector.

Unscrew the VSS mounting bolt using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

Pull the speed sensor off the transmission or transfer case.

Install the VSS

Apply a light coat of clean transmission oil to the O-ring seal of the new speed sensor.

Set the new sensor on the tailshaft of the transmission or transfer case.

Start the sensor mounting bolt by hand first. Then tighten the bolt using the wrench or ratchet and socket.

Plug the electrical connector to the VSS.

Lower your S10 and remove the chocks from the rear wheels.

Arm the Air Bags

Plug the yellow two-way electrical connector behind the glove compartment if your S10 is equipped with a passenger air bag.

Plug the CPA and yellow two-way connector at the base of the steering column.

Install the steering column underside cover using the Phillips screwdriver.

Re-install the air bag fuse on the fuse block and any other fuses you had to remove.

Connect the negative, black battery cable using the wrench.

Sit at the passenger side of your S10 and turn the ignition switch to the "Run" position. The air bag warning lamp should flash seven times. If not, check the electrical connections.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera IFCAR: Wikipedia.org