Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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.

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Fuel gauge is not working and stays on empty.

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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Brakes not working and brake booster possible failure causing the engine to stall.

Hi there. If the engine tries to stall out when the brakes are applied, then look at the brake booster for any external damage. If there is no damage to be seen, then the diaphragm inside the brake booster is...

Q: Won't start - 1996 Nissan Pathfinder

Yes, a possibility is the timing belt has failed. However, it is also possible (and greatly preferred) that the gear driving the distributor has sheared off. Your engine is "probably" in that class of engines known as "interference engines" which...

Q: What does the loose fuel cap Warning Light mean?

The loose fuel cap Warning Light is located on the instrument panel. This light illuminates when the fuel cap is not properly secured. When you notice this light, secure the fuel cap as soon as is safely possible.

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.