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Old 05-31-2005, 06:29 AM
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Gas gauge not working

hey eveyone,
heres my situation, i have a 1986 gas gauge and it aint working...hasnt sincei bought the car and my question is can i fix this in a day or two or a i going to have to pay someone else to do it? cause if its not the gauge itself my best guess is the floats are bad?what do you think i should do? me fix it or get it done by a "pro" thanks,

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Old 05-31-2005, 08:00 AM
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You didn't say what the gauge is doing other than not working. If it pegs full all the time it could be a "sunk Float" which would require removing the sender from the tank and replacing the float or the whole sender assembly. If it's working erratically it could be a bad ground or faulty sender. Try cleaning the connections on the sender where the wires hook up to it. If there is a separate wire that attaches to the frame from the sender and not the harness, make sure it is clean and tight too.

If all else fails and you are not a good troubleshooter or know how to use a voltmeter, replacing suspect parts with known good ones is another route you can take. Junkyard gauges and senders are cheap at "pick your part" type yards. Some yards will actually check senders and gauges for you.
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Old 05-31-2005, 07:35 PM
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Doc here,

To include or eliminate the Gauge as a possible defect, go to rat shack and get a 100 ohm 1/4 or 1/2 watt resistor...(about 49 cents)

Note where the gauge is with the key on, either full or empty, Crawl underneath the car and Disconnect the gauge wire..

The gauge SHOULD give you the full opposite reading..if full before, it should show empty.

If this happens jumper in your resistor, and check the gauge...It SHOULD be somewhere about half scale(or anywhere but full or empty)..If so the gauge and wire are good going forward.

In thats the case, Drain & drop the tank (if necessary) and remove and replace the sender..reverse the procedure and it should be "All Good"

If not, check the wire for shorts to ground between the gauge and sender.If that is good, check the laminate card behind the instrument cluster for bad connections or open circuit traces..If that is good, replace the gauge.

You will need an ohm meter set to R x 1 or auto-range to perform the tests.

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Old 05-31-2005, 07:47 PM
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20-year-old GM gas gauge not working? Join the club My Suburban will go 300 miles on a full tank, so I just try to remember to fill up every 200 miles or so. This works well except when I forget.

Does it give any reading at all, or is it pegged on Extra-Full like most? An extra-full reading is often caused by broken or disconnected sender wiring. Check the wire that goes from the gauge to the sending unit, and also the wire that grounds the sending unit. An eternally empty reading probably means there's a short to ground in the gauge-to-sender wire.
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Old 06-01-2005, 07:26 AM
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well i looked this morning at the gauge and its at dead empty...dont move or nothing,what should i do first?
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