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  #1  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:05 PM
llynn llynn is offline
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Default Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

Hi folks! I hope this is the right subforum for this...big apologies if I'm posting in the wrong spot. (And double big apologies if nothing I say here makes sense.)

Several weeks ago my 2000 Ranger (automatic trans) started jerking hard and suddenly between gears when it changed or it didn't seem to want to change at all (so rather than push it and cause it to jerk/lunge forward, I'd just put it in 2nd to get forward motion). When this started (the very moment it started, when I first experienced the jerk) the "O/D Off" light started flashing. I've had a "check engine" light on for a while and the ABS light too. I took it to Autozone for a free scan and the only code it read was for a VSS-Sensor, so I bought the part. I was happy that the code indicated the VSS because I'd been googling my "symptoms" like crazy and after seeing a lot of random internet posts describing the same problems, the VSS kept coming up as a common issue on Rangers. I've been driving the truck around town with the jerking, putting it into 2nd when I had to while waiting to get the sensor swapped out. I finally got the sensor switched out tonight (had to wait for a friend to do it because I have no tools). The guy who switched it said the old sensor wasn't connected because the wires had been cut at some point and loosely taped back. He replaced it and got it all connected. I drove it slowly for a couple of blocks but there didn't seem to be any change. So, my questions are these: Do I need to take the truck out and get it up to higher speeds (I was driving 25 at the most) to really know if the sensor is the only fix it needed? If the truck is doing the jerk thing and I give it a lot of gas to get it to shift on, could I possibly be exacerbating some kind of transmission problem? My biggest fear is that there is some simple problem that's cheap to fix going on here and that I'm going to turn it into a major problem by destroying the transmission or something else pricey like that.

I hope this all makes sense? I'm a total auto noob, but willing to admit it and dying to learn. I love, love, love my truck and want to treat her right, so any guidance here is appreciated. Thanks!

-Loretta

Edit: Failed to mention that the Speedometer went wacky when all this started too. Sticks at zero, then suddenly jumps to around 40 or more when I speed up.

Last edited by llynn; 08-27-2010 at 09:10 PM. Reason: extra info
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2010, 08:40 PM
llynn llynn is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

I'm thinking about trying some of the Lucas Transmission Fix stuff. Is that a bad idea? I'm so paranoid about making a bad situation worse.

If the trans fluid is reading max, I need to drain some before I can add the Lucas stuff, right? Do I need to get under the truck for that or is it possible to suck some out with a turkey baster or something?
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:23 PM
ecdak ecdak is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

if you do not know what you are doing take it to a pro.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:50 PM
llynn llynn is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

Send me some dough and I'll take it to a pro.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:03 PM
mickblock mickblock is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

You said you had correlating symptoms with the speedometer. So was that consistent enough to now use as an indication that a problem has been solved?
Drive it nicely and let it change gears. You had symptoms related to the VSS, A code that indicated the VSS circuit, and your friend found faulty wiring in that circuit.
Heck if your RPMs start getting up there with no gear change, you can ease off the gas.
But to me your post describes a diagnosis and repair. Reset not necessary. Unless you're talking about erasing the code. The code may stay for awhile after a repair until the circuit checks out after multiple self tests.
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Last edited by mickblock; 08-31-2010 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:05 PM
llynn llynn is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

The speedometer still sticks. What does erasing the code do? It's all really Japanese to me, but I'm trying to learn the language.

Could having too much transmission fluid mess it up? It reads a little overfull, but I hadn't added any before the problem started, so I assumed the fluid level wouldn't have anything to do with it? Until I can afford to take it to a shop, I'm just going to keep my driving limited to in town, only when necessary, and avoid any high mph driving. When the RPMs get up there with no gear change and I shift it down to 2, just to keep traffic moving, am I harming the transmission?

Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:16 PM
SmokeyMcPot420 SmokeyMcPot420 is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

Clearing the code means unplugging the neg battery cable for ten mins, then drive 10 miles for the computer to relearn its strategy.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:16 PM
SmokeyMcPot420 SmokeyMcPot420 is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

worth a shot ya know?
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2010, 08:38 PM
mickblock mickblock is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

Quote:
Originally Posted by llynn View Post
The speedometer still sticks.
Sounds like that wiring splice might be a problem.

Quote:
What does erasing the code do? It's all really Japanese to me, but I'm trying to learn the language.
It does absolutely nothing beneficial besides turn off the check engine light. If a problem is still there, it'll be back on.

Quote:
Could having too much transmission fluid mess it up? It reads a little overfull, but I hadn't added any before the problem started, so I assumed the fluid level wouldn't have anything to do with it?
Too much transmission fluid is not desirable.

Quote:
Until I can afford to take it to a shop, I'm just going to keep my driving limited to in town, only when necessary, and avoid any high mph driving. When the RPMs get up there with no gear change and I shift it down to 2, just to keep traffic moving, am I harming the transmission?
Thanks!
Don't shift it during high rpms. Driving in 2nd will have you motor revving high.

The VSS wires need to be repaired, and the transmission fluid level brought back to normal.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:10 PM
llynn llynn is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

Thanks! Can I get some of the fluid out with a turkey baster or do I need to get under it and pull the plug?
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:19 PM
mickblock mickblock is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

Ok familiarize yourself with this and also show it to your friend.
And enough with the turkey baster. Your gonna poke someones eye out.

Technical Service Bulletin 2000-2001 Ranger electrical connector
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2010, 09:22 AM
llynn llynn is offline
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Default Re: Replaced Vehicle Speed Sensor - Do I Need to "Reset" It?

That's definitely intriguing! I'll pass it on. Thanks!
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