Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Fuel gauge light and level indicator problems

asked by on

If I were to drive my car to what the cars gas level says to be empty, the fuel indicator light will not be on. Now the gage that reads the gas level in the take has been kinda sketchy. Like for example it randomly will have the needle fall and slowly rise back and when I engine brake it'll read that there slightly more gas then previously. I would like to figure out/ know if my fuel indicator light is a more accurate reading and if it works.

My car has 162600 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. If your fuel gauge is behaving erratically, it may be possible that your vehicle’s fuel sending unit is faulty. The fuel sending unit is the component in the fuel tank that the fuel pump is mounted to. It uses an arm, float, and variable resistor to read the vehicle’s fuel level. Over time, this component can wear out and begin to give off inaccurate signals.

It may also be possible that the gauge inside of the instrument cluster is bad, and needs to be replaced. I would recommend looking at the fuel level sender first, as it is more likely that this has failed, as opposed to the gauge. If you need some help having this checked, a certified technician from YourMechanic, can come to your home or office to pinpoint the cause of the fuel indicator light.

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

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: Why doesn't my turn signals work unless I press the emergency lights first and why does my hot & cold meter not moving

Hello there, you have a few different faults with your 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. If the turn signals do not work without the hazard lights than the most common failure would be a turn signal stalk failure, wiring harness fault,...

Q: Engine sometimes cranks, sometimes doesn't. Battery is fine.

Hello. There are a variety of reasons for why the car may not start. This may very well be a loose wire or bad grounding to the battery or potentially even a bad starter relay (this is usually noticed by...

Q: When turning left, car dies

Hello. This is a very rare and strange problem to have in a car. My thought is that something is putting too much load on the car when you are turning left. A load is when a component of the...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.