[ba] Re: Wanted: speedo shop recommendation in the Bay Area

Dave Haupt quattrodave at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 1 21:00:15 EDT 2002

Yep, speedo works fine, but the odo has quit.  It's a
known problem with every VDO speedo/ODO that's ever
been built, and there's apparently no belief by
anybody in the industry that it's an engineering
problem worth fixing.

The worm gear that drives the odo digits is plastic,
and over a number of heating/cooling cycles (seasons),
cracks, and the shaft spins inside it.  This is purely
an issue of number of seasons, and getting another
instrument cluster from a yard guarantees to have one
at the same age.

Every European car I've ever owned suffered this
problem between 9 and 12 years old.  When I lived in
Denver, I yanked the speedo, and took it to Denver
Speedometer, who was a VDO-authorized repair centers,
and therefore had access to the magic plastic worm
gear.  They charged me fifty bucks for the gear,
installation of it, and good clean and lube, and I
re-installled the speedo and it was good for another
9-12 years.  'had this happen on Audis, VWs, BMWs and
Volvos, predictably.  Probably here in California,
since most areas don't get as cold OR as warm as
Denver, they may last longer.

Anyway, I really don't want to ship this thing to

I'll call Palo Alto, and find out what "really
expensive" means.  I'm still groaning under the notion
that a $65 per hour mechanic is "cheap" (not that I've
found one that I would trust with the Audi).



... so I take this to mean that the speedo is working
well?  If so you may
have a different problem than most ... there are well
known issues (and
fixes) for the speedo on the 200.  I think I heard
that the techniques were
documented on Scott Mockry's site:


you may want to poke around there for info.  If you
want to take it
somewhere I have had good luck with Palo Alto
Speedometer down in the south
bay ... but they are *expensive* ... you might well
consider purchasing a
complete instrument cluster from a recycler ... if it
truly is just the odo
which has flaked out it may well be a mechanical issue
that you can fix
yourself (BTDT several times on older cars with
mechanical speedo/odos).

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