Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My gas gauge is doing a funny little dance.

asked by on

As I was driving along, my gas gauge began to rapidly and randomly jump between empty and full. I know the car has nearly a full tank, and sometimes the gauge would stop in empty,while other times it would say the tank was full. What could be going on?

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The fuel pumps are all inclusive on what they call a fuel module or assembly. These modules include a float (quite like the float on your toilet) that tells the computer and your dashboard where the fuel level is at.

The issue may be with the pump’s float, with the sensor on the float, the instrument cluster for your dash board, or the wiring between the two. If you have never replaced the fuel pump, it may be time. If the float is wearing down, the rest of the components are getting close. Are any other parts of the dashboard acting funny? If not, the pump is likely the culprit. Be sure to have a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, take a look and replace the fuel pump.

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: Can gasket cover leak. Can this make the car struggle or jump/ jerk when driving?

Hello. Yes, if the valve cover gasket is leaking, oil can leak down into the recesses where the spark plugs live, soak the rubber boots from the coil, and cause the plugs to misfire. If severe, considerable misfiring and stalling...

Q: reconnected cylinder=gasket leak issues?

Hi there. Unfortunately, there are way too many variables to assume that this theory would be accurate or correct. Typically if coolant and oil have mixed, it's due to a head gasket that has broken or is damaged. This could...

Q: Do i have to use synthetic oil in my bmw

The manufacturer recommends 5w40 or 5w30 full synthetic oil only for your car's engine. I would recommend only using full synthetic oils.

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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...