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Answered 2010-01-09 15:32:21
  • Transmission Range Sensor - aka Neutral safety / start switch.

    See "Related Questions" below

  • Vehicle Speed Sensor - aka Output Shaft Speed Sensor
  • PICTURES - (yes, photos!) - See "Related Links" below
Symptoms - (See "Related Links")Symptoms (Each bullet point is a symptom that doesn't necessarily happen at the same time):
  • Speedometer inaccurate
  • Speedometer needle not working
  • Speedometer needle jumping around
  • Bad/harsh/no shifting
  • Car not shifting out of first or hold out first a lot longer
  • Cruise control not working correctly (speed jumps up and down)
  • Cruise control not working at all
  • No Overdrive

The vehicle speed sensor is located on the rear, left hand side of the engine as you stand in front of the car looking at the motor. When you look at the back of the engine , under the exhaust manifold , there is a small heat shield that you can pull off [it is spring clipped on the back, so you can pull it off without damaging it] and there it is.

It's hard to see the sensor from the left side ,I had to place a light by the exhaust , then look at it from the right hand side of the car. I removed it by working from the right side stretching over, the only way I could see it and get to it.

There are 2 types of sensors available depending on your transmission. I bought both ,1 was special order, and both appeared wrong, till someone told me I had to reuse the gear from the old sensor and place it on the new one. Came off easily by removal of clip. One of the new sensors already had a gear, but it was too large [special order one] the other had no gear and was the one I needed and had to switch gear from old sensor to new


if its the same as a 98, then with the hood up and your looking towards the rear of the car, its on the left side of the engine, at the back, look way down over the exhaust manifold and you will see a two wires in an insulated sleeve disappearing into a rectangular heat shield, pull on the heat shield and it will come off and slide up the wires and voila there it is. mine was a swine to get out, the top part of the vss sensor came off, i had to thread a 5/16 lag bolt into the thing and pound it out with a slide hammer gear puller, but the shop wanted $400 to replace it.. i was successful and went to dinner with the savings lol


The trick is to snake your arm down the back, adjacent to the manifold pipe, and unplug the wiring harness. I used a 10mm socket to unscrew the bolt that holds the sensor in place. Once the screw was out it was easy to pull the sensor out and rush to Auto Zone and get a new one. Reverse the process in putting the sensor in(20 min flat), test drove that bad boy and it works like a charm. All done it cost me $20 that's a far cry from $150 to $250 to have it done at a garage. Yoah! I'm a happy camper.

Later, Will


When standing in front of the facing the motor, the speed sensor is on the left hand, back side of the motor in the rack & pinion. Just unplug the sensor and get a strong grip on the sensor and pull it straight up and out. To put the new one in, just push it in the hole where the old one came out until it snaps in over the o-ring. I had to change mine about 2 years ago and that's all there is to it. I hope this will help!!! Good Luck!!


The speed sensor is on the passenger side top of the transmission! It's not on the rack and pinion! I'm a student at Albany Technical College in the automotive technology class and I recently had to replace the one on my Grandmothers car. The best way I found to do it was remove the passenger side tire and then remove the passenger side motor mount and...voila! It's right on top of the transmission and the 10mm bolt is on the drivers it is a little tricky to get to! You take the bolt out and pull the old one out...and put the new one in and reverse the process! it's time consuming but...thats the easiest way I could find to do it! Hope this helps anyone else that has to replace this!


Remember that there is one nut (10mm) that needs to be removed before the sensor will pull out. The sensor might (should) have a silver heatshield around it, so it might blend in with the surroundings.


I just did the VSS on wife's '96 Taurus. A much easier way is to remove the air tube from the air cleaner to the throttle body, disconnect the charge air temp and the MAF sensor and set it out of the way. Put the transmission in the lowest position to move the trans lever out of the way. It is a straight shot from the drivers side. Pull the sensor up from the right side to make it easier to disconnect.

And when you replace a sensor it sometimes helps to disconnect the battery to zero-out the ECM and allow the ECM to learn the new sensor.

Which speed sensor are you referring to? There are as many as 6. There is one at each wheel for the ABS system, there is a TSS(Turbine Speed Sensor-that helps the PCM decide which gear the transmission should be in and whether the transmission is performing correctly), and there is a VSS(Vehicle Speed Sensor-which also helps the PCM do transmission functions, operate the speedometer, and provides speed information for the cruise control).

It is in the back of the engine under the exhaust manifold. It can be accessed from the drivers side with a 10mm socket, universal elbow and a couple drive extensions. Hard to get at, but not to bad once you locate it.

At the top of the output shaft housing on the passenger's side of the transmission. If you reach down behind the back of the engine on the passenger's side, down to the transmission housing, you will probably put your hand right on it. It will be covered by a cardboard and foil protective cover.

ok here is the right answer for your question it is located on top of the tranny under the #2 cylinder between engine and fire wall and it is easier to see if you remove the air intake hose and have a good flashlight. hope this helps just changed mine last week.


It is called the "vehicle speed sensor". If i remember correctly it about $35 dollars at the parts store.

This sensor will make your car not shift out of first or hold out first a lot longer, and at times you may not have a speedometer. It is located on the tranny directly below the intake manifold. This is a hard one. I crawled on top of my car and laid the side of my face on the manifold. please do this when its cold. Arms on both sides till you find this thing sticking out at a 45 degree angle pointing towards the driver seat. Its only one bolt 10mm, I think. finding where that bolt goes back without being able to see it is the hard part. Good luck 20 minutes for me.

Answer - 1993It's not easy. The (VSS) sensor itself is only held in with one 10mm bolt, that isn't the problem. It's getting to the sensor. The sensor is located in the hardest spot imaginable to get to. On top of the transmission output shaft housing, sandwiched down behind the engine and the passenger's side area of the firewall.

You will probably have to jack up and remove the RF wheel, and it will probably take a combination of working down behind the engine from the top with a super long socket extension with a 10mm flex socket, and working inside the RF wheel well. the sensor is at the end of the speedo cable, buried under a cardboard and foil covering.

After you get the old sensor out, make sure you transfer the speedo gear. It is held on with a metal clip.

The only other problem here is that, once you fight half a day to replace this sensor, your problem may still not be fixed. I find that many times, the sensor is not the only problem. Deep inside the transmission there is a plastic gear that drives the VSS. Often the VSS is misdiagnosed because the real culprit is that the drive gear is stripped. If it is, the transmission will have to come apart to fix. You are doing the right thing by replacing the VSS though, because there is no way to determine if the drive gear is the problem until you try a VSS first. Click Component Location.

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