What is the Fuel Gauge Sender all about?
The fuel gauge sender is a fairly simple component that is located in your car’s fuel tank. It consists of a float that is connected to a metal rod. The end of this thin rod is mounted to a resistor, which measures electrical flow. When there is more resistance, less current flows. A slider connected to the fuel gauge slides on the metal strip, and delivers current to the resistor from the gauge. If the slider is close the grounded side, there is less resistance, and if it’s at the end of the strip, there is more resistance. The fuel gauge on your dash interprets the resistance and indicates the fuel level with a needle on your cluster. If the fuel gauge sender isn’t working, you will get an inaccurate reading on your fuel gauge.
Keep in mind:
- Fuel gauge inaccuracy may not be due to a faulty fuel gauge sender – something as simple as the shape of the tank can affect the position of the float and throw the reading off.
How it's done:
- The battery is disconnected and the fuel tank is removed
- The defective fuel gauge sender is removed
- The new fuel sender is installed and adjusted
- The fuel tank is reinstalled and the battery reconnected
- The repair is verified and the fuel gauge sender tested for proper operation
Variations in gas gauge readings are common, but if you notice a significant difference in what the gauge tells you, and what you know is in your car gas tank, have one of our expert mechanics diagnose the problem with the fuel gauge sender and replace it if necessary.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Fuel Gauge Sender?
- Fuel gauge only reads empty
- Fuel gauge only reads full
- Fuel gauge reads inaccurately or intermittently
How important is this service?
The fuel gauge is a convenience item; if you run out of fuel, you may be stranded. If your fuel gauge sender has failed or is working intermittently, have it replaced when you can. Make sure to fuel up regularly to avoid running out of fuel.