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Re: innaccurate fuel gauge
What i mean is how do you know wether its the gauge or the sender.You need to check before pulling anything apart.Admittedly its usualy the sender unit that fails. Id be suprised if the fuel tank has to come out as pumps are a servicable unit.and maintenance access is always there.
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It is the sending unit, usually the veryable resister and arm. Remove and replace sending unit. It is , unfortunately, located inside of the fuel tank. To confirm gage operation reverse wiring to the guage and it will reverse the guage, confirming tha the gauge.is ok.
In most cases this is a problem caused by just one thing the fuel level sending unit inside the gas tank. To replace this part you must replace the fuel pump module (about $300.00). which contains the fuel level sensor.
The fuel sending unit has a rhetrostat its a variable resitor ..As fuel is added the fuel lever mover along the rhetrostat and gives resitor signal to the fuel guage, the fuel gauge interpets this as level indicators to show on the gas tank.
These usually have large tanks, although the guage is attached to the fuel sending unit located in the gas tank. Essentially a level in the tank that tell the guage where the level of fuel is. I would start with the sending unit, usually sold with the fuel pump.
The computer does a sweep test everytime it senses power. Check it next time you turn the key to run the gages do a little self test. However the fuse and gage won't be your problem. They are very bad for the fuel level sensor in the tank getting corrupted or dirty and doesn't read properly. You can try to add port fuel injector cleaner to the tank, but problem will usually reoccur. You will need the fuel tank dropped and the level sensor replaced.
I would check my oil pressure gauge and the oil level as well. the fuel level guage also malfunctions on those models so make sure it is working properly and not floating from full to empty that will cause the light to come on as well as overheating of the engine(low coolant levels)low oil level,low fuel level,and low charging volts from your alternator.if all is well suspect a short in dash.
If the fuel gauge is ok, but the sending unit for level in the tank is stuck, then replace the sending unit by lowering the tank and disassembling the sending unit on the tank which contains the pump and the level sensor.
If you disconnect the sending unit and the meter still says 1/2 tank, the gauge itself may be bad.
Your sending unit for the guage is part of your fuel pump in the tank. But first try your fuel pump relay, may be working intermittenly when you hit a bump or something. Or possibly a loose wire somewhere along the way. Much less expensive (worth a look).
GM vehicles ,especially trucks it seems have alot of problems with their fuel guage sending units. The sending unit is the most likely reason but it can still be wiring or the guage itself.
Does it function at anytime or is it inoperable all the time ?
Most of the time (but not always) when a sending unit is not working properly it is usually when you have a certain amount of fuel in the tank and when it gets to that level it dont function but any level above or below that level it functions.
If this is your case then I feel comfortable in saying it is the sending unit. If not you need to do further testing to be sure it isn't wiring or a guage problem.
And no this is not a indication that your fuel pump is getting ready to go out. Your best protection to keep that from happening though is regular replacement of your fuel filter.
I hope this helps.
The most likely culprit is the sending unit in the tank. They are relatively easy to change, as long as you don't have much fuel in the tank. It's a mechanical unit that has a float that raises and lowers with the fuel level, however with age, the floats can develop leaks and no longer float, of the electronic portion of the unit can go bad and not register the proper level. They are replaced and an entire unit, so it doesn't matter which happened, you will need to change the fuel tank sending unit.