Intermittent speedometer - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Intermittent speedometer

Greetings,
I have a '99 Outback with a manual transmission. 151,000 miles. The speedometer ramdomly drops to zero. When it works the speed indicated is steady and correct. All I can think of is a bad connection somewhere. Is there a common failure mode for this? Can anyone tell me where the speed sensor is?
Thanks!
Dave
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2011, 04:10 PM
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That is a common problem on '99 Outbacks. It can be fixed by removing the speedometer circuit board and re-flowing all of the solder joints on it. We (my son and I) tried re-soldering only the ones that looked questionable, but that wasn't good enough. Not sure if there is one particular joint that is always bad, but hitting all of them with a soldering iron did the trick.

Most people just get a new speedometer head, but if you can solder, you can fix it for free.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks. I never would have thought of that. I can solder, so I'll give it a try.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 11:52 AM
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There is a thread here somewhere that points to the problematic area on that circuit board. I've tried soldering that point and doing the suggested wire jump, but it only works for a short time. I'm going back in and hitting all the points before i give up and replace the head.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 10:41 AM
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Make sure you flip the circuit board over and see that you didn't lose the solder from each point. Experience talking here - i had to go back in a week later and do it again !
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 04:11 PM
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Where is speedo circuit board located?

I have a 1999 Outback with MT and 89,000 miles. The speedometer works intermittently...seems to be related to cold temperatures as it starts working when the outside temperature rises.

I can solder, but where is the speedo circuit board located? By the way, if the problem is the circuit board, how does replacing the head correct the problem...unless of course the circuit board is in the head? Thanks
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 12:42 PM
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 01:37 AM
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This vehix411 youtube link on how to diagnose or test subaru speedometer not working
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 07:55 PM
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Just fixed my speedometer using the vehix 411 youtube solution. The jam-screw method. Three days later no problem.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 01:55 PM
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Reflowing solder

I tried the method of reflowing the soldered pieces, and adding solder to the pins, I took out the circuit board and did every point on the board except for the processor chip, put it back together and test drove it over a variety of driving conditions, including some Outback off-roading. it is still working perfectly! Has 190,000 on the OD.

Last edited by Rotorhead98; 12-19-2012 at 01:57 PM. Reason: forgot mileage
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