VW "speed sender" question


- geek -
29 Sep 2003
I have read many a post on this forum by people that really seem to know cars like a mechanic might. My hope is one of you wouldn't mind giving me some advice. I will give an explaination of the problem below. As for car details, it's a '97 VW Jetta GL and auto-transmission (I know I suck but I can't drive stick).

Ok so I've gotten my 2nd ticket for this lovely problem. Anyhoo the problem is that while 0 to ~55(mph) works all well and good(off by little to none) 60+ becomes extremely inaccurate. My speedometer will hover around 60mph and I will actually be doing much faster (cop this time says 80mph .. was 88mph last time).:( If I quickly accelerate it will go past 60 but will drop back down w/out really droping in mph at all if any.

Well after the 1st time I took it to the dealer(yeah I know probably a bad thing) as I thought if anyone could figure out what was wrong with my car they would seeming as how they work on VW's daily. Well after 3.35hrs of them trying things, test driving, trying another, ect. they say it's the "speed sender" in the tranny. They tried a new "speed gear", "cluster" and checked the "speed sensor" as well.

Apprently this "speed sender" is in the transmission they say. I was just wondering if any of you out there know if this is accurate and have any idea of how much it would cost to go about replacing this "speed sender"?

Anyhoo if you would like more info I'll try and provide it. Oh and thanks in advance to anyone trying to help. :)
Mate goto www.sussexcarz.com go to forum sign up and ask! quite a few VW owners who know how they go, and there is also a VW specialist on there that will be able to explain the problem and how to fix it straight away!

Someone call? :p

I look into it.

There could be a T.S.B. (technical service bulletin) on yer prob. Then... maybe not. :)

Need to know what engine is in it. 2.0L 4 cylinder or 2.8L V6?

I'll guess it's the 4 banger. :D
I took your advice SkazzyUK and registered/posted on that site and I'm still awaiting any posts. I tried yours Jimbo but after registration it didn't wanna work so I closed it. :p I also went and posted on some huge auto board so hopefully there I'll get an answer as well .. I can use all the help I can get. :)

*edit* - a look at vwvortex and my question has already been bumped to the 4th page w/ 15 views. I really hope it doesn't get lost. :(
Vehicle Speed Sensor (Road Speed Sensor G38)

Vehicle Speed Sensor is located in the Gearbox housing. It senses the speed of the Gearbox via the teeth on the impulse wheel.

This speed signal is required by the Digimat control unit to initiate the gear shifting and to give smooth gear changes.

To remove and replace the VSS is about half an hour (1/2) of labor.
At our shop about $40.00 U.S.
At the dealer prolly $60.00 U.S.

I don't have a price on the part. But this could be yer prob. Also, when was the last time you serviced the transmission?

You may have some fine metal filings (worn off of the trans inner parts due to wear and tear) on the Sensor's tip since it is magnetic.
gonaads said:
Also, when was the last time you serviced the transmission?
Hmm.. other then having the fluid checked during old change *hanging head* ... never. :p I've never done anything with a transmission in any car I've owned (this is only my 2nd hehe).
Part is likely in the $50-100 range depending on dealer and manufacturer. I couldn't find it in our online cataloging, but I'll see if I can find it in a paper catalog tomorrow if that'll help.
gonaads is this "sender" located in the transmission or on it? If in it, is it really possible to replace it in only 1/2hr? I have looked myself for the part and have found it in the ~$50 range. My fear is that it's inside the transmission and they are going to charge me a ton to replace as they will have to open up the transmission basically kinda like a rebuild. I really have no idea though as my mechanical skills on a car are VERY limited .. if only she was a pc. :p
It is located on it (on top of the trans). You have to disconnect the electrical connector that goes to it and then the bolt that holds it into the tranny. Then remove the VSS. Reverse this procedure to install.

3) On models with 2.0L engine, remove bolt and vehicle speed
sensor from transaxle.

You could do it if ya have some tools (ratchet & sockets, or wrenches).

And have the damn fluid replaced and the filter! Sheesh... :p
This first image is of some components on or in the trans. The squared off component is the VSS.

The second image is of a manual trans (5 speed). But the location of the VSS is the same. :)

Third image shows location again.
I also found a TSB on the V6 model that had to do with the Instrument Panel/Dash Panel doin funky things (Speedo???) and it had to do with bad grounds under the Battery, Battery Tray. Only problem is that ya have to disconnect the Battery, remove it and then undo the ground connections and retighten them, making sure they are a clean solid connection. And ya need the Radio Code if it still has the Factory Radio.

Has the "Check Engine Lamp" (Malfunction Indicator Lamp [MIL]) come on???

wow thanks for all the info gonaads you've been very helpful. When I had it at the dealer last time they made it sound much more like a tranny rebuild to replace this "speed sender" thingy when you say it's on top just like another forum I found talking about it. I wonder if perhaps they just wanted me to leave as it was getting to almost go home time for them. :) I think I'll give one of the local dealers a call tomorrow and see what they have to say now that I have more info. ;) Thanks again gonaads your a life saver.

Oh and no warning lights at all (including check engine) that I have seen.
Big pic of what it looks like.


Now If I remember correctly there may be two of them, But one has a drive gear that goes with it. If I am not mistaken. But I am pretty sure this is the one.

Good Luck :)
gonaads is there any other sort of "sender" or sensor actually IN the transmission? Apprently whatever they say I need isn't on the transmission but IN it. I gave them a call to get a quote and they said the part couldn't just be replaced, would have to replace (rebuild?) the transmission and it would be around $2600 ($2000 for tranny $600 labor). If this is the case I think i'll be looking to replace the car as that's like 1/2 its worth if not more.
It could be the ring gear that is for the VSS.

I would get a second, AND third opinion. Find a good independent VW repair garage and have them dianose it. This was you are 100% sure as to what is truely wrong with it.

I will look some more and try to gather more info. :)
kinda off topic, but fyi the jetta here in the middle east is the bora, why do they do that name it different in different areas

The part that they could be refering to is in the first image (No. 53). the price for the part is in the second image. Price can vary from source to source, but not by much. But if this IS it. they have to remove and disassemble the trans in order to get to it. Cheap part expensive to get to. :(

I still thing there is something off about the diagnosis of this problem. Get a second opinion. But don't tell whoever ya take it to that it has already been looked at. Go and get it checked like if you never have done anything. So this way you get a fresh diagnosis.

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