Q: Fuel gauge is not working and stays on empty.

asked by on November 06, 2016

When not started both tanks read 1/4. When started reads empty. What can the be issue and how can i fix it. Thanks

My car has 154000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Fuel Gauge Sender Replacement $125.41 - $1062.69 Get a Quote
Fuel Pump Replacement $120.92 - $1186.72 Get a Quote

The false empty reading on your dashboard can be caused by several different components. One of which is the fuel modules themselves. If they both have failed, it is likely do to an electrical power or data connection feeding into them. If the signal has gotten cut off after the floats, it would cause the same symptoms. You can test the signal being sent from the fuel modules, and see if the sending units or sensors have failed. The mechanical floats can also fail, sending the signal you are receiving. Even the gauge itself can fail. This is less likely. The other components work harder and are more prone to failure than the gauge. If the mechanical floats have failed, you will need to replace the entire fuel module.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

i replaced the cluster and disconnected the battery. when i connected everything again the theft alarm was on and car doesnt start

Hello, thank you for writing in. The first thing we need to determine is if this is a stock alarm or an aftermarket that was installed later. There may be a technical issue with the alarm module itself. The keys...

'72 Mach 1 with 351C. Runs, idles, revs in park. Sputters, chugs and coughs in Drive. Any suggestions?

Check for proper advance of ignition timing. In particular, verify that advance curve you observe matches factory spec. Measure fuel pump output/pressure against factory spec. If engine compression is good and balanced, apart from timing check and fuel pressure check,...

Difficulty accelerating, car jumps while idling, burnt fuel smell

A few different things can cause all of these symptoms. The most likely would be a failing fuel pump, bad spark plugs and wires, a MAF sensor issue, vacuum leak, or a faulty oxygen sensor. A qualified technician, such as...

Rear Brake light and turn signal not working on driver side

Lighting problems like this can seem very confusing, so it is best to start with the basics. Check for power and ground at the turn and brake light sockets. I suspect in your case you will have a good ground...

Can I swap steering columns? 1996 FORD Ranger

Hello - Probably not. The model was redesigned for 1993, and it's likely the steering column changed at that point. I would check with local recycle companies, and Ford Ranger internet forums for advice from others who may have faced...

I might be having transmission issues but then i think it could be a engine problem.

Hello, From what you describe it appears that whatever problem your vehicle may be experiencing has caused it to go into limp mode. Limp mode is a precautionary mode where the power and speed of the vehicle are severely limited....

How do you work the Rear Window Defroster?

Your car is equipped with both front and rear defrosters. While the front defroster is controlled with the fan speed/blower knob and ties into your air conditioner, the rear defroster is different. Here’s how to work it: Locate the...

Bad alternator? 1996 Chevy Blazer

Hi there - the fact that the engine won't stay running when jumper cables are removed suggests that either the alternator has failed, or the battery has a dead cell, preventing it from conducting current. Both components can be checked...

When should I change my transmission fluid after 100000 miles?

Generally, Ford recommends that the transmission fluid be changed every 30,000 miles, however this is a bit conservative and many transmissions can go much longer in between fluid changes. This is a very heavily debated topic and depends largely on...

Related articles

5 Essential Things to Know About Fuel Economy
Fuel Fuel economy, which is how far a particular car will go on a gallon of fuel when driving in the city or on the highway, is almost always an important consideration when purchasing a vehicle. However, while the car...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're an Undercover Cop
If If you're an undercover cop, when you choose a used vehicle, your main purpose is to look like anything but a cop. That means, of course, that an unmarked Crown Victoria is probably not the wisest choice. We’ve...
How Can I Keep My Fuel System Clean?
Proper Proper maintenance of the fuel system is crucial for consistent long-term performance of a vehicle. The most easily clogged parts of the fuel system are the fuel injectors themselves. There are a number of ways this can happen: ...