What is the Fuel Gauge Sender?
The fuel gauge sender is a fairly simple device that is situated in your car’s fuel tank. It comprises of a float that is linked to a metal rod. The end of this thin rod is fixed to a resistor, which measures electrical flow. When there is more resistance, less current flows. A slider linked to the fuel gauge slides on the metal strip, and delivers current to the resistor from the gauge. If the slider is close the grounded side, there is less resistance, and if it’s at the end of the strip, there is more resistance. The fuel gauge on your dash interprets the resistance and shows the fuel level with a needle on your cluster. If the fuel gauge sender isn’t functioning, you will get an incorrect reading on your fuel gauge.
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Bear in mind:
Fuel gauge incorrectness may not be due to a defective fuel gauge sender – something as simple as the shape of the tank can affect the position of the float and throw the reading off.
How to Fix:
The battery is disconnected and the fuel tank is removed
The faulty fuel gauge sender is removed
The new fuel sender is fixed and attuned
The fuel tank is reinstalled and the battery reconnected
The repair is confirmed and the fuel gauge sender tested for proper operation
Variations in gas gauge readings are common, but if you notice a major difference in what the gauge tell you, and what you know is in your car gas tank, have one of your expert mechanics analyze the problem with the fuel gauge sender and replace it if necessary.
Common signs indicating you may need to change the Fuel Gauge Sender:
Fuel gauge only reads empty
Fuel gauge only reads full
Fuel gauge reads inaccurately or erratically
Importance of this service:
The fuel gauge is a convenience item; if you run out of fuel, you may be stranded. If your fuel gauge sender has failed or is working erratically, have it replaced when you can. Make sure to fuel up frequently to avoid running out of fuel.