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Discussion Starter #1
Help! I have a 2004 xterra and the check engine light went on, when I start the car all the gauges work except the speedometer. this causes the car to sputter and jerk but when the speedometer does work (Sometimes) the car runs great?
I pulled the codes and got
P0328 knock sensor 1
P0500 power train vehicle speed sensor
I love this car and got it for my fire academy graduation but if its a whole transmission problem I wouldn't know what to do please help! thank you!
 

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The vehicle speed sensor is located on the drivers side of the tail shaft housing[rear] of your transmission. It is inserted in to the side of the transmission and bolted in place with a signal wire harness running back to a connector. You could check that wiring and connector to see if it has been disconnected or damaged somehow underneath. If it looks good, you can carefully disconnect the connector at the wires end and look for corrosion or mud that might be an issue. If nothing else, you will have reset the connection when you plug the connector back in. If you are real lucky, this might resolve your P0500 speed sensor issue and transmission problem. Otherwise, your Nissan dealer has the part for approximately $140. Aftermarket replacements are probably not in your vehicles best interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Would the vss be the main problem and cause the car to sputter like that?
thank you for the quick response
 

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Would the vss be the main problem and cause the car to sputter like that?
thank you for the quick response
Yes the vss could very well be the main problem causing your issues. That sensor talks to both the TCM [transmission control module] and the ECM [engine control module] and those two systems have a whole lot to do with how the vehicle runs. Make those two happy and they will do the same for you!
 

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@Orew

Agreed with the poster above. Check for obvious fraying, dirt/grime in the connector, etc. I'm not sure if dielectric grease is recommended on a part like this or not, but I would search the forums to see what others have said in the past.

If everything checks out, I might do a bit of testing with a multimeter before investing in and installing a replacement cable, given the cost. There's always a chance that an electrical issue elsewhere in your system could be shorting out other areas downstream. Speaking from experience where poor grounding caused me a lot of other headaches - now would be a good time to spend a few bucks on beefier ground cables at the battery, if yours are the stock gauge size, rusted, or in otherwise in poor shape. 2/0 gauge or 4/0 gauge cables can usually be found for $10-20 at the local Autozone / Advance / Walmart, while premade, higher gauge 1/0 ground cables can be found on Amazon/Ebay. I'd grab one to replace the battery negative to the chassis bolt and then another for the chassis bolt to engine bolt (this cable is often labeled a "starter cable" on the packaging because of the dual ring lugs). Use the smallest length that will fit for each of them. It's a $20, 20-minute investment, but I've fixed so many issues for friends and family members' vehicles over the years by doing so. Poor grounding can be quite insidious, manifesting itself in fried circuits and components all over the vehicle.

NissanPartsDeal is usually a bit cheaper than the dealerships for OEM components.

In addition to the speed sensor issue, the knock sensor is really no big deal if your X is a first gen and non-supercharged. The knock sensor code is pretty much universal to any first gen X and wont even set off the check engine light if it's the only issue you're experiencing. On a supercharged model however, it's been known to cause significant performance issues.

Some folks will look to replace it, relocate it through a bypass, or even replace it with a resistor to trick the computer system. If you arent doing other work that requires a decent teardown under the hood, I wouldn't bother worrying about it (assuming you aren't actually feeling any significant knocking and dont have a SC model).
 
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