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.

A: Hello. If your fuel gauge is behaving errat...

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

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!

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: Oil light bar gauge

Hello. It is possible that the oil pump is not operating properly and this is causing the oil light to come on. You could try switching the low pressure and high pressure sensor wires to see if that fixes the...

Q: Engine check light on and cruise control not working, but speedometer works

Hi there, thanks for writing in. Usually the P0717 OBD-II error code is associated with a speed sensor problem inside the transmission. This part helps to monitor the cruise control along with the speedometer. If the sensor is damaged or...

Q: Car turns off while driving

The stalling you are experiencing may because by the crankshaft position sensor or a failing distributor which has a camshaft position sensor inside. During the no start, if there is a lack of spark, these sensors may be at fault....

Related articles

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...