Feb 072014
 

Toyota KLUGER & HIGHLANDER P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Malfunction Code Introduction…

Tracking down sensor problems are normally straight forward with scan tools and workshop manuals. So when pulled out a P0500 in a customers Toyota Kluger we went straight for the speed sensor on the front diff housing but thats where things got interesting. Now any other car you would look straight to the diff housing of the transmission but there is no sensor its just blanked.  So how does the vehicle get its vehicle speed for the instrument cluster and ECM?

The Sensor & Signals…

The Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) wheel speed sensors detect wheel speed and sends the signals to ABS ECU. The ABS ECU converts the signals into a 4-pulse signal and outputs the signal to the instrument cluster.  The Instrument cluster converts the signal to a more precise waveform and outputs the signal to ECM. ECM determines the vehicle speed based on the frequency of these pulse signals.

Codes Set…

DTC is set when ECM does not detect any Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) signal while the vehicle is in motion.

Code…

DTC P0500: VEHICLE SPEED SENSOR (VSS) MALFUNCTION (ES 300 & HIGHLANDER)

Possible Causes…

  • Faulty wheel speed sensors.
  • Open or short in VSS circuit.
  • Faulty instrument cluster.
  • Faulty ECM.

Diagnosis & Repair…

Toyota ECU Replacement for P0500 Code Kluger and Highlander

Toyota ECU Replacement for P0500 Code Kluger and Highlander

  1. Test drive vehicle and check operation of speedometer. If speedometer is not operating correctly, repair speedometer as necessary. If speedometer is operating correctly, go to next step.
  2. Raise and support front of vehicle. Shift transmission into Neutral. Access ECM behind glove box. Using DVOM, backprobe terminal No. 22 at appropriate ECM connector. Turn ignition on. Slowly rotate a drive wheel while observing voltage on DVOM. Voltage should fluctuate from zero volts to 4.5-5.5 volts as wheel is turned. If voltage is not as specified, locate and repair open/short circuit between terminal No. 22 at ECM harness connector and appropriate instrument cluster connector. If voltage is as specified, go to next step.
  3. Check for loose or poor connection at ECM connector E8. Repair as necessary. If connection is okay, replace ECM and retest system.

CAUTION…

If ECM replacement is instructed in following testing, always ensure ECM harness connector and ground circuit are okay. If either are suspect, repair and repeat testing to confirm ECM malfunction. If ECM is replaced, ECM must be programmed with proper ignition key code for engine immobilizer system.

Diagnostic Aids…

Using a scan tool, read freeze frame data. Freeze frame records will indicate engine conditions when malfunction is detected.

Affected Vehicles/Transmissions…

2001-2013 Toyota Highlander  AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS U140E (FWD), U140F (AWD), U241E (FWD) & U151F (AWD)

2001-2013 Toyota Kluger AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS U140E (FWD), U140F (AWD), U151E (FWD) & U151F (AWD)

2001-2006 Lexus ES 300 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS  U151E (FWD)

See also…
Changing ECM
Programing ECM
Servicing Automatic Transmission
List of Toyota Transmission