XF and XFR ( X250 ) 2007 - 2015

Speedometer accuracy/calibration

 
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:26 PM
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Default Speedometer accuracy/calibration

Today I realized my speedo is reading 3-4 mph too high, according to GPS. Does anyone else notice this? Can it be calibrated?
 
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:54 AM
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GPS yields only a ballpark figure for speed. They are reasonably close on a ruler straight and completely flat road, but any deviation from straight and flat will give a low reading.
3-4 mph is a big difference however, so your speedometer may be slightly optomistic.
 
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:09 PM
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I have the same issue on my 2011 XF Premium, but the speed is off by 2 mph yet the odometer is right on! Go figure.
 
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:16 PM
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At what speed? In the absence of any practical way to make the speedo accurate it is deliberately made to read high. That way even the worst speedo will still read no more than actual speed. The usual tolerance is 3-5%. So, if your speedo reads 62 mph at an actual speed of 60 mph it is working correctly. I agree that reading 64 at an actual 60 is not acceptable but it would be to read 93 at 90 mph.

GPS speed readings are pretty accurate. The comment about the speed displayed by a GPS as reading low on bends leads to interesting philosophical questions about speed itself. The GPS remains accurate as it measures the actual change in position of the antenna over time but relative to spherical geometry. This raises the interesting question about what type of speed the posted limit relates to. After all, the speedometer technically only gives the speed of the wheel from which the speedometer takes its input. Usually that is the faster of the two drive wheels. So, on bends the speedo will over read actual vehicle speed by one half of the difference in drive wheel speeds. Which is a better indicator of actual vehicle speed? GPS which measures how rapidly you are approaching your destination or the speedo which measures how quickly your faster drive wheel is approaching your destination, which alternates for left and right hand bends.
Technically your car is travelling a range of speeds when traversing a bend, the left door mirror travels at a lower speed than the right door mirror in a left hand bend. How fast is your car travelling? If the average speed of all parts of your car is the correct speed then on average your speedo will read high in bends.

Finally, any official efforts to measure your speed will be pessimistic anyhow unless the officer stands directly in front of your car to measure its speed (or directly behind in which case an arrest is less likely). All other measurement attempts will be off axis and induce cosine error.
 

Last edited by jagular; 04-30-2012 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:48 PM
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What he said!

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Old 05-01-2012, 04:34 PM
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Other factors to consider:

Have you changed the size of your wheels?
Have you measured the speed the "old fashioned" way, using a pre-known distance, cruise control, and a stopwatch?
 
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:19 PM
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As per Jagular's comment, what speed were you going when you noticed the difference? Is it a constant 3 to 4 mph or is it a % of your road speed.

Speedometers often read 5% too high and I read somewhere that BMW speedometers are set to be always as much as 7% too high which seems a little excessive (I have checked the BMW we have and it is definitely higher than it should be but I have not had chance to accurately check calibration).

Notice that they always read higher speeds than the actual speed. That way you will not run into trouble with the law while trying to maintain speed limits.

If it is a fixed amount too high (ie. 3 to 4 mph at all speeds), then it may be a calibration issue and you need to have the car looked at.
 
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:25 PM
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Mine reads 3-4kph high. but my OBD speedo reads exactly the same as GPS. I set ACC and ASL to 104kph and my OBD speedo reads 100kph. Works for me
 
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:37 PM
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Obd?
 
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jagular View Post
Obd?
Sorry,I meant the different devices you can plug into the OBD Port. I use the ultragauge.
 
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:09 PM
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When I got stopped for 74/55 I looked down and was doing 74
 
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by vs2 View Post
Sorry,I meant the different devices you can plug into the OBD Port. I use the ultragauge.
Sorry, still don't get it. OBD stands for what? Where's the port?
 
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:02 AM
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The On Board Diagnostics port below the wheel.
http://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/index.htm

 
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:43 PM
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Wow!
That product looks amazing!
They don't post to the UK though... can anyone help me with that, please?
 
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:10 PM
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They sent to me in NZ. I checked the site and they do send to the UK as well. (fedex $25)
 
 
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