I was driving my '98 Taurus on the highway today and all the sudden the
speedometer started going crazy and jumping everywhere. Also the car would
accelerate and backfire. I was pulling over when all the sudden the
speedometer gave one final lurch and broke and is now stuck 0. My car is
still backfiring and sputtering too. Does anyone know what this could be
I'll hazard a guess at the vehicle speed sensor. Used for speedometer, as
well as the PCM (powertrain control module) to determine shift points, and
other performance information, since it isn't getting accurate reading, it
can't figure out some of the settings. Does it idle and rev fine when
Another possibility is something exploded in the transmission.
WARNING: If you have an electronically controlled automatic transmission,
get the vehicle speed sensor fixed immediately! The inability to properly
select functions causes overheating within the tranny, and will destroy it
very quickly. If you must, drive short distances only - and manually shift
the tranny. This is what my local Ford repair shop told me when my 97
Mercury Sable had a broken speed sensor, and I confirmed it with several
other experts including a local tranny shop. It is not good to drive in
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