Question about 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue

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Fuel gauge stuck behind peg at FULL mark

I have a 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue, and the fuel gauge needle is stuck behind the peg at the FULL mark. Because there is no peg near the EMPTY mark, it would seem at some point the needle continued to move counter clockwise until it rested on the peg.

This gauge problem happened right after my battery had died during a double feature drive-in movie, and the car wouldn't start. Attempts to start the car made the instrument cluster flash and the needles jump all over the place. After the car was jump started, everything was okay, except for the fuel guage.

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  • Frank Buehner
    Frank Buehner May 04, 2017

    Same thing, you can fix it yourself. See pictures. The face of the instrument cluster looks like it is sealed to the instrument face but it is not. You can list the glass away and just touch the needle back over the peg. Cool.

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One thing you can try is to get one of those magnetic pick up tools at a parts store.......prefferably one with a large magnet...and put a cloth around the end of it so you dont scratch the plastic on you gauges and try to pull it back to where it belongs,i have done this a few times with good results,hope this helps

Posted on Sep 26, 2009

Testimonial: "Thanks for the tip. A strong magnet to the right side of the instrument cluster was used to reset the needle clockwise to its proper position."

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  • christina682 Oct 06, 2010

    This worked great, and I'm sure saved a ton of money!!

  • rmmarquett May 01, 2011

    I just did this yesterday and it worked! :) It saved me $200, which is what my mechanic wanted to charge me so that they could take my dash apart to move the fuel gauge hand manually. I find it hard to believe that they did not know that that they could just use a $3 magnet from Home Depot and drag the hand back in about 5min! But I'm going to let them know so they can save other customers a lot of trouble.

  • jason_andric Jul 06, 2011

    Thank you it work for my 99 alero!!!

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I had the same thing happen. I removed the instrument panel and took it apart (loosened the screws) just enough for me to separate the peg from the needle so that it flipped by itself to its resting condition. then I put it all back together and is working fine now. took a little bit longer but worth it.

Posted on Nov 07, 2009

Testimonial: "This would have been my solution had I not found that a strong magnet put near the right side of the fuel gauge reset the needle perfectly and quickly"

  • Marshall Moore
    Marshall Moore Jun 13, 2014

    The magnet worked for me, had to remove the trim in front of the instrument plstic panel to get closer to the guge with a strong magnet, after some sweeping moves it was back in the correct position. 1998 Olds Intrigue

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Happened to me. Very, very easy fix. Caused by minute electrical shorts when hooking up battery (that sizzle noise you might get when you first press the cable to the battery by hand before tightening it). Solution? Avoid that: instantly press the cable against the battery HARD, and then keep pressure on while fastening. Jiggling it will cause "micro-shorts" and if you had someone sitting in the car at the time, they will tell you the gauges are going nuts bouncing around. Anyway, once it's happened, here's the solution: sitting in the car, just above your knees is a dash panel (the one with the little tip out cargo cubby built into it). You need to "unsnap" this. There is a seam along the top of it (about level with the steering column). Put a bladed screwdriver behind it and pry by twisting the screwdriver. It might be tight, but don't worry, it will "unsnap". Do this on both sides of the steering wheel until it tilts down and rests on your knees. Have the door OPEN at this time or it will interfere, and DON'T shut the door until after you have re-attached this panel. The panel will "hang" if you get out. That's fine. Don't undo the lower snaps. Now, above the instrument cluster on the black plastic are two fasteners (philips head screws). Remove. Tilt steering all the way down. Hook your fingers in the black fascia panel surrounding the instrument cluster below the speedometer and tachometer (the top of the fascia is no longer fastened now). Pull toward you. There are two "snaps" holding the bottom of that fascia. Pull until they release. Once the fascia is loose, move it out a bit, and you will see there is a trip/ODO reset switch "built in" to the fascia molding. Reach behind the molding and unplug the wire from the switch (or you can remove the switch from the fascia by gently prying the release tabs on either side of the switch and leave the switch plugged into the wire harness). I recommend the latter, because these switches are famous for losing their illumination (they will continue working they just won't light up anymore) if you unplug the wire harness from them. once the switch is unplugged or free from the fascia molding but still plugged in, you can remove the fascia molding from the dash area. It's a bit tight, so put your pull the tilt lever and put your chin on top of the steering wheel and you will get an extra inch or so of tilt. While keeping your chin on the wheel at maximum down-tilt, remove the black fascia. Now, there are 4 fasteners that hold the instrument cluster in. Remove them. Unplug the instrument cluster, and remove it from the car. The trick is this: the clear face of the instrument cluster comes off. It's straighforward, but the problem is there's lots of tabs around the edge, so you have to have a bunch of shims. If you have a magentic bits screwdriver set, take all of the bladed ones out of the set, and on either the top or bottom of the clear face on the cluster, put them in the tabs to place those tabs in the "release" position. It helps if you have lots of these sorts of shims, and/or an extra set of hands to assist. Do this in the house or at a workbench, not in the car. Once the face if separated, the needles are exposed. Gently lift the fuel needle back over to the proper side of the peg. Snap the clear face back on the instrument cluster. Install everything by reversing the above directions. Note: that big panel with the cubby built in is a little bit tricky to refasten. Watch for the snaps to start going into the "snapholes" on the dash before pushing it in until it snaps into place. Viola. pain the behind, but easy. Avoid this in future by being more careful with the battery cables as indicated above. PS: don't worry that the fuel needle seems limp and floppy once you lift it back over the peg. Until it gets power again, it will be. Be gentle.

Posted on Jan 26, 2015

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I just tried this experiment and it worked fine. The mechanic wanted to charge us $120 to check and he gave us several things that can be wrong and it could add up to $420 more dollars.

Posted on May 15, 2011

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Your fuel guage was toasted in aa attemp to jump your battery in the dark I believe that the terminals were crossed and that is when your guage was hit. Thanks, Dana

Posted on Sep 26, 2009

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