Question about 1979 Chevrolet C/K 3500

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Fuel tank switch quit working and fuel gauge tacks out full now. Can't find a thing on it in the chilton's manual. Any help would be appreciated.

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If you have replaced the switch itself, check the connection leading to the tank. if there is no loose wires or connectors then chances are that either there is a a bad connector to the float inside the tank, or the float itself is faulty. also if you flip the switch and the gauge still shows no change the it is the gauge it self that needs replacing because the odds of both flo9ats being faulty is very slim to none

Posted on Apr 17, 2009

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Gas gauge won't work and it has a full tank of gas. Is there a fuse I can change.


There might be but it is unlikely a fuel gauge is fused alone; usually if it is a fuse other things will stop working too but I suggest you are guided in this matter by your car handbook.

Problem is probably wiring and in particular the grounding of the fuel tank sender unit. It could be a faulty sender but they are usually quite reliable.

Test by disconnecting the wire from the sender unit at the fuel tank and short to a good ground and the gauge should read full. If the gauge wire is in a block with other wires it will be necessary to positively identify the gauge wire before testing.
If the gauge reads refit the wire and duplicate the ground wire to a known good ground. If the gauge still reads the fault is a bad ground to the tank sender unit and if it doesn't the sender unit itself is probably faulty.

If grounding the gauge wire does not produce a reading the fault is the wiring to the tank, the supply to the gauge or a problem with the gauge itself.

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if you have 2 fuel gauges working of a tank switch there may be some resistance in the circuit of the second circuit that increases the reading of the gauge. Personally I have the tanks balanced out with a levelling hose between them the the gauge reads the capacity left in the tanks IE full-- both tanks-- full, 1/2 both tanks 1/2 With the way you have it set up then if one gauge is faulty and shows full when it is empty you can find yourself in a spot of bother when you need the other tank

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One thing you should remember, always disconnect the power when playing with electricity, no matter what the voltage is, you can cause spikes and shorts all of which fries circuits and resistors, you need to get a very good manual with the resistances and voltages for every thing including your BCM

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I have a 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis Ls with a fuel gauge that does not work (gauge may be reversed)??? help please.


The fuel level indicating system is a magnetic type system, which consists of the sending unit located in the fuel tank, an anti-slosh module located on the back of the instrument cluster, and a fuel gauge located in the instrument cluster. The sending unit changes resistance according to the level of fuel in the fuel tank, which varies the current flow through the gauge.The pointer position varies proportionately to the current flow. In this system, the sending unit resistance is low (22 ohms) when the fuel level is low and high( 145 ohms) when the fuel level is high. The pointer of the magnetic gauge remains in position when the ignition is turned to the Off position. On some models, an anti-slosh module is used to dampen out fluctuating fuel signals from the sender. Some vehicles are equipped with a low fuel warning indicator. The anti-slosh module will also actuate the low fuel indicator when the fuel level in the tank reaches 1/16 to 1/8 full.


Do your other gauges/warning indicators work properly with the ignition on? If not, check for power at the fuse panel/fuses.

If they do then partially remove your cluster with connector still installed and check for voltage at cluster connector and gauge. Check continuity of cluster and gauge for ground.

Sometimes the anti-slosh module (if installed) goes bad in the Grand Marquis but not likely.

Sender troubleshooting:
  1. Perform test with resistors as follows:
    1. Disconnect wiring connector at sender unit, then connect resistor between gauge lead and a suitable ground.
    2. Turn ignition switch to On position.
    3. With 145 ohm resistor, the gauge pointer should contact the Full mark.
    4. With 22 ohm resistor, the gauge pointer should contact the Empty mark.
  1. Perform test with fuel sender of known quality as follows:
    1. Turn ignition to Off position.
    2. Disconnect wiring connector from sender and connect it to test sender.
    3. Move float rod away from fuel filter against Full stop position. Wait approximately 30 seconds, then turn ignition switch to On position. The gauge should read on or above the Full mark.
    4. Move float rod toward fuel filter against Empty stop position. Turn ignition switch to Off position. Wait approximately 30 seconds, then turn ignition switch to On position. The gauge should read on or below the Empty mark. If gauge works properly replace sender, which involves dropping fuel tank.

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hi it can really only be two things, first is the fuel sender on the pump inside the tank it could be stuffed or sticking causing a false reading, second it can also be a faulty fuel gauge on the dash.

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You will need to remove the wire for the sending unit on the tank and ground it to the frame with your selector switched to the tank you are working on and the key on. If gauge comes up to full then the sending unit is bad and gauge is good. Repeat process on other tank. The fuel tank switching valve on the frame also switches the wiring signal from either tank for the gauge. If no change with first test you will want to check the valve.

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