speedometer question

I've been looking to buy a new (well a new used car) and I finally found the one I wanted, a Punto 1.2, 51 plate, everything seemed fine until I took it on a test drive today and half way round we noticed the
speedometer stopped moving and was stuck on zero then started moving after about 5mins. We asked at the garage and the man mumbled something about it was fine, it was because the lights were on all day yesterday and it was because it was electric or something but I didn't understand.
My question is, is what the man at the garage said right or is this a problem? It seems to me if the speedometer doesn't work then its not clocking miles hmm
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Proceed with caution.
The speedo is not cable driven (as in the old days) but driven by a sender unit on the gearbox. These do fail, and even go intermittent. When intermittent this can be temperature related. The sender is best replaced (after checking that the connections, are not dirty or damaged and the wires in the vicinity of the sender are OK. They are fairly cheap (10 to 30) BUT far cheaper than a new speedo head/unit.
The chances are it is the sender unit, or a loose connection behind the dash. Either way the garage should rectify the problem, with written guarantee and you should extensively test drive again before purchasing. If you have to pick up the bill for a new instument cluster/repair, after purchase, you will be not too pleased.
Nick /////
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stellartuesday wrote:

I'd left the cabin light on in my Punto overnight and it drained the battery (battery was on it's way out). Had to get the RAC out to start it. Speedo worked fine immediately. Obviously not conclusive, but just one persons experience.
Regards,
Tim
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