potential speed sensor issue

89 civic, making a wierd "flickering" noise behind the speedo dial. needle is steady, but the noise concerns me. if trying to drive 55, the
engine's been stuttering a bit. nothing serious, but if you have the stereo off, you can hear a brief "ptt" change in the exhaust note every few seconds. fine at higher speeds & below 40.
so, is this engine behavior a symptom of speed sensor problems? there's no code, yet.
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