Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: the lights on my dash board do not work and my gas gauge always says its empty with the gas light on even though i fill up my tank

asked by on

My boyfriend tried installing a stereo in the car and thats when the lights on the dash stopped lighting up. With the gas gauge we replaced the fuel pump and after that the gas gauge always reads empty and the gas light is always on even when i fill up my tank.
My car's mileage is 177000 miles.

A: Hi. It sounds like your instrument panel cl...

Hi. It sounds like your instrument panel cluster or IPC needs to be rebuilt or replaced. Over time, the bulbs eventually burn out as do the bulbs in your lights at home. The gauge’s movement is controlled by an electronic stepper motor that receives input from the sensors. More often than not, the signals are good, but the stepper motor no longer moves. This can be checked with the use of a high end scan tool that has functional testing of each gauge within the IPC. If the needle doesn’t move when commanded, then the stepper motor is bad. Consequently, if the needles don’t move when commanded, the sensor or wiring is bad.

I suggest having a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect the electrical components in your vehicle to see what is occurring.

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: After installing 2 new tires on the rear, the ESC Active light routinely comes on.

This is common anytime the wheels and tires are removed. Your car is equipped with wheel speed sensors at each of the four wheels which monitor wheel speed while relaying this information constantly to the ABS and traction control system...

Q: Vehicle stalled while driving and will not restart

Hello, thank you for writing in. The first thing you will likely want to look into is the fuel on the spark plugs. It sounds like one of your fuel injectors may have failed. If they are leaking and too...

Q: Engine wants to bog out on idle

Hello. It sounds like you have an issue with your idle air control valve, weak fuel pressure, or carbon buildup blocking your throttle body. More than likely it is the idle air control valve. It is meant to regulate engine...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
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...
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...