What does the speedometer cable do?Car speedometer cable replacement in Hamilton

Most modern cars use electronic speedometers, which don’t have a speedometer cable. However, there are still a large number of older vehicles with analog speedometers equipped.

The speedometer cable, also known as the speedometer drive cable, is a mechanical component found in older vehicles (typically those manufactured before the widespread use of electronic speedometers). Its main function is to transmit the rotational movement of the transmission or drivetrain to the speedometer, allowing it to display the vehicle’s speed.

As the vehicle is in motion, the rotating parts of the transmission turn the speedometer cable, which, in turn, rotates the speedometer gauge. The speedometer cable provides a direct mechanical connection between the vehicle’s transmission and the speedometer, allowing for the measurement and display of the vehicle’s speed.

Learn more about how speedometers work


Causes of a broken speedometer cable:

Since the speedometer cable is constantly being used it can become worn and fail over time. There are several things that can cause the speedometer cable to break. These include:

  • Wear and tear: Over time, the speedometer cable can experience wear and tear due to its constant movement and exposure to various elements. The cable may become frayed, corroded, or weakened, eventually leading to a break.
  • Excessive tension: If the speedometer cable becomes overly tight or experiences excessive tension, it can put stress on the cable and lead to breakage. This can occur due to improper installation, incorrect routing of the cable, or damage to the cable housing.
  • Misalignment or binding: If the speedometer cable is not properly aligned or gets pinched or bound up during installation or vehicle maintenance, it can cause strain on the cable and lead to breakage over time.
  • Contamination: The speedometer cable can become contaminated with dirt, debris, or moisture, especially if the cable housing or connections are damaged. Contamination can cause increased friction, leading to accelerated wear and eventual breakage.


Symptoms of a failing speedometer cable:

  • Speedometer fluctuating – When the cable begins to fail, it can cause the signal from the transmission to be interpreted incorrectly. This can lead to the speed displayed on the speedometer to fluctuate while driving, especially at higher speeds.
  • Speedometer does not work – When the cable breaks, there will be no signal. This can will cause the speedometer to not move at all.
  • Grinding or squealing noises – A failing cable may produce noises from your dashboard. These noises are caused by wear which is causing the cable to stretch, bend or function incorrectly.
  • Dashboard warning lights – In some cars, a faulty speedometer cable will cause a warning light such as the check engine light to appear on your dashboard.


Is it safe to drive with a damaged speedometer cable?

A damaged speedometer cable won’t affect the way your car drives. However, it is important that you are able to see what speed you are going while you are driving. This allows you to judge how long it will take you to stop.

Not being able to see your speed can also cause you to accidentally speed, resulting in an increased risk of getting a speeding ticket.

Please Note – you will require a working speedometer in order to pass a Warrant of Fitness (WoF).


Speedometer Cable Replacement & Repairs in Hamilton

Is your car in need of a speedometer cable replacement? If so, we can help! At Grimmer Motors, our team of skilled mechanics can inspect your speedometer system and determine if the speedometer cable isn’t working correctly. If the cable needs to be replaced, we can install a new one for you.

For speedometer cable repairs or replacement in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!


Book Now