How to Replace a Speed Sensor in a 1998 Dodge Dakotaby Kyle Sanstrom
The transmission speed sensor on a 1998 Dodge Dakota is located in the overdrive gear case. This sensor actively monitors the speed of the transmission output shaft and relays this information to the powertrain control module, or PCM. The PCM uses this information to make decisions about how to properly manage the engine, transmission and other vehicle systems. When this sensor fails, the PCM gathers information from the vehicle speed sensor, or VSS. Replacement transmission speed sensors are available from most local auto parts stores and licensed Dodge or Chrysler dealerships.
Shift the vehicle into park, engage the parking brake and turn off the engine. Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery terminal using a battery terminal wrench. Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels.
Raise the front of the vehicle using an automotive jack and support it with jack stands. Crawl underneath the vehicle and locate the transmission speed sensor; it protrudes from the rear-left side of the transmission’s tailshaft housing and has a two-wire connector attached to it.
Disconnect the sensor’s electrical connector. Place a drain pan beneath the sensor to catch any transmission fluid that may drip out. Remove the sensor and O-ring seal using a metric socket and a ratchet.
Install a new O-ring seal on to the new speed sensor. Install the sensor into the transmission using a ratchet and metric socket. Tighten it to 20 foot-pounds using a torque wrench.
Reconnect the sensor’s electrical connector and exit from underneath the vehicle. Lift the vehicle using the automotive jack, remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle back to the ground.
Pull the transmission dipstick from underneath the hood and add in the same amount of Mopar +4 automatic transmission fluid, if any, that spilled out during the installation and removal of the speed sensor.
Replace the dipstick and reconnect the negative battery terminal using a battery terminal wrench. Close the hood and test drive the vehicle in order to ensure that it operates properly.
- Alldata Repair Database: 1998 Dodge Dakota: Transmission Speed Sensor: Service and Repair
- Haynes Repair Manual: Dodge Dakota & Durango: 1997 thru 1999; John Haynes, Jeff Kibler
Things You'll Need
- Battery terminal wrench
- Automotive jack
- Jack stands
- Wheel chocks
- Metric socket set
- Drain pan
- Transmission fluid
- Never crawl underneath a vehicle when it's resting on the jack. Seals inside the jack can give out at any moment, causing serious injury or death. Always ensure a vehicle is securely supported by jack stands before working near or underneath it.
Kyle Sanstrom has been writing professionally since 2008. His articles have been published on several websites including eHow and Automobile Insight. Sanstrom has undergone advanced automotive training at the Dunwoody College of Technology, holds an Associate of Arts in general studies from Century College and has more than 10 years of experience in all aspects of automotive repair and diagnosis.