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 1,000 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. My gas gauge is doing a funny little dance.

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: What could be wrong with my car after slight impact and antilock light comes on? 1995 BMW 525i

Hello - there are a couple of possibilities here. You may not have noticed, but quite likely the anti-skid brake system (ABS) was energized during your skid. This may have caused one of the valves in the system to stick,...

Q: Were is the code p0001

Hello. P0001 is the code for an issue with the fuel volume regulator circuit. This code is set off when the computer detects that there is an issue with the electric circuit that goes to the vehicle's fuel pressure regulator....

Q: Engine Computer Issues (spark plugs & coils were changed 5 months ago as well).

Do you have ANY aftermarket electrical equipment in the car? Such components can impact the function of the PCM. Also, check the alternator output and stability. If the power supply to the PCM is not within specification, that could damage...

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
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.