How to Troubleshoot Common Issues with an ATV Speedometer

Any time your speedometer starts to jump sporadically or completely shut down, you know it’s a stop and fix moment. A speedometer doesn’t sound like it’s that important if you aren’t riding on the road, but in reality it can help keep you safe. Plus, a broken speedometer will bring other issues along with it like a four wheel drive ATV that won’t go into four wheel drive. This is why you must learn how to troubleshoot common issues with an ATV speedometer.

To troubleshoot these common issues with your ATV’s speedometer, you need to understand how a speedometer works. How can you fix you ATV speedometer? Well, you get to know it and then you can find the parts that are out of sync, misplaced, or completely broken. Once you have a general understanding of your ATV, you can get the speedometer back up and running in no time.

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Check the Wiring

The best place to start when troubleshooting your ATV’s speedometer is with the wiring. A lot of things can get bumped out of place when you ride through rough terrain, and the speedometer is definitely one of them. If you have a speedometer that doesn’t move at all, you’ll want to check the wires and their housing.

Start by looking over the wires that connect the speedometer to the sensor. You may need to actually take the wire out of the sensor to see if it has a proper fit inside. To do this, remove the wheel and find where the sensor is located. A speedometer works through a sensor that detects a magnet on a disc connected to the wheel. The speed of the magnet spinning provides the speed that the rig is moving.

If that wiring seems alright, check the wires that connect to the speedometer itself. If all of the wiring is in the right place, you’ll have to start looking elsewhere.

Faulty Speed Sensor

A faulty speed sensor could easily give you issues with your speedometer on an ATV. It will give you the wrong readings often, and sometimes will just sit at zero. This is usually going to only show up as an issue with the speedometer, rather than in other places on the dash.

If the speed sensor is misaligned, you may see the speed jump around and skip often.

Faulty ECU

If you see a lot of lights going crazy on the dash, including the speedometer, you may want to have someone look at your Engine Control Unit (ECU). This is the brain of your ATV, so once something goes wrong in there, there are a lot of things that can appear on the outside as symptoms.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy one to fix at home, so you may need to take it into the shop to have it checked out. There are a lot of reasons why the speedometer isn’t working inside of the ECU, but you’ll need someone with the right tools to tell you exactly what.


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