Q: Fuel gauge light and level indicator problems

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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.

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