You’re happily driving along your state highway, enjoying the scenic beauty of your state. Suddenly the check engine light of your car turns on, and the ABS and traction control systems get disabled. It can be quite a chaotic situation! The best thing to do is to use an OBD-II scanner to determine the actual issue. And the scanner identifies a P0500 code! What is it?
P0500 indicates that the engine control module (ECM) gets incorrect or no signals from the vehicle speed sensor (VSS). This DTC is a generic code that applies to all OBD-II equipped cars, including Ford, Toyota, Dodge, BMW, Subaru, Honda, Lexus, Mazda, and others. Although the repair steps are common, they may vary depending on the make/model.
So, what does the P0500 code means? What causes it? This article has everything covered about this diagnostic trouble code (DTC).
What is code P0500?
P0500 code stands for ‘Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Malfunction.’ The code activates when the ECM detects incorrect speed readings or no signal from the vehicle speed sensor. When the code gets set, there will be a problem with the readings from your transmission’s speed sensor.
The speed sensor collects data and routes it to your ECM, speedometer, and other systems. So, when the code activates, you can’t rely on your speedometer to tell you how fast you’re driving if the speed sensor malfunctions. The check light will illuminate immediately when the code activates.
How serious is code P0500?
P0500 will not stop your car from running but may cause discomfort while driving. When the P0500 code activates, immediately take your car to a skilled mechanic. A properly functioning speed sensor is essential for driving safely.
Your car’s speedometer cannot precisely display how fast you are driving without the information collected by a speed sensor. So you’re more likely to get a speeding ticket. In the worst-case scenario, you could total your car. Suppose the ABS and traction control systems get disabled. In that case, you must take extreme caution while driving, especially in adverse weather conditions.
What is code P0502? Here’s the answer!
Is it safe to drive with engine code P0500?
Though you can drive a car with a P0500 code, we don’t recommend it if serious symptoms are present. Suppose the car’s ABS and traction control system are faulty. In that case, the driver will be in danger of driving in extreme weather conditions. So we recommend you do not delay getting your car inspected as soon as possible.
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What causes code P0500?
There are a few standard issues that cause this code to activate.
- A faulty vehicle speed sensor
- Damaged electrical connection
- The vehicle speed sensor drive gear gets faulty
- Problems with the ECM
- The VSS harness or connectors are either open or shorted
What are the symptoms of the P0500 code?
Identifying DTCs are very crucial if you’re a driver. So you can know that code P500 code got activated if you notice these symptoms other than the check engine light illuminating.
- The speedometer doesn’t function
- Automatic transmission erratic shifting
- ABS is either performing poorly or not performing at all
- Traction control is not working or is working when it should not
- Because the ECU uses car speed to help decide when to shift, the transmission may not shift properly
Can I fix the P0500 code myself?
It will be best to take your car to a professional mechanic because rightly identifying the source of a P0500 engine code is very difficult. Though the fix could be as simple as replacing the old speed sensor, the issue could be in a different system, like the circuit connections, wiring, or the ECM itself.
How do I fix code P0500?
If you’re confident enough and want to inspect your VSS for a simple home repair, follow these steps:
- Examine the wiring harness and connectors on the VSS.
- Inspect for damaged or faulty components.
- Check for broken, bent, pushed-out, or corroded connector pins.
If replacing these does not resolve the engine code, you must take your car to a mechanic immediately.
How does a mechanic diagnose the P0500 code?
A skilled mechanic will follow these steps to fix the issue.
- Skilled technicians will connect a scan tool to the car to check for any codes, noticing all codes found and the freeze frame data.
- They will clear all the codes. Then they will go for a road test to check the presence of the DTC.
- The technician will inspect the speed sensor and all related wiring for noticeable damage or wear.
- They will use the scan tool again to determine the presence of a vehicle speed sensor (VSS) signal while driving.
- Finally, the technician will use a multimeter to measure the voltage of the vehicle speed sensor.
What repairs can fix the P0500 code?
The following repairs can rectify the issue.
- Replacing the vehicle speed sensor drive gear
- Wiring harness repair or replacement
- Replacement of vehicle speed sensor
- Resolving a faulty electrical connection
How much will it cost to fix code P0500?
Replacing a speed sensor can cost between $15-$35. A P0500 engine code does not always indicate that the speed sensor is faulty. Anything from the speed sensor to the wiring or the ECM can lead to this error code. Depending on the exact part that needs replacement and the time required, the total cost can range from $90-$185 or more. You should take your car to a skilled mechanic for a more accurate diagnosis to ensure that the problem gets fixed correctly. The rate can vary based on the shop you visit.
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