Question about 2003 Pontiac Sunfire

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I have a 98 Pontiac Sunfire. Recent purchase. The tank was almost on E. I put in $10 at about $3.19 per gal. That put me just under half. After driving around for 30 miles (city), I now read just about 1/8 tank. If I turn off the car and rotate the key forward, the needle goes up slightly above half. Tapping on the cover raises the needle about 1/12 every tap until it reaches full. Am I really burning that much fuel or is it some error somewhere? SE Coupe 4 cyl, 2.2 Liter.

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If taping the guage raises the level you have a problem with the guage.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010

  • 4 more comments 
  • wolfetundra Dec 30, 2010

    Tapping the gauge only has an affect when the car is off and the key is rotated forward. Once the car is started, tapping the guage has no effect. Also, I can tap the guage to FULL and as soon as the car is started, the guage drops to its respective level (assuming it is the correct reading at 1/8 tank). I find it odd that I've consumed 3 or 4 gallons in 30 miles. I also find it odd that 3 or 4 gallons of gas raised my tank to half when I'm suposed to have a 15 gallon tank.

  • jamie Dec 30, 2010

    what i would do is run it till you have just enough gas to make it to the gas station fill it full then take a note book and rite the millage down and how many gallons and the cost run it till the tank is almost empty again but when the guage gets to the 1/8 mark or marks record the millage again doing this will give you a better idea of your gas millage and weather or not the guage is faulty.

  • wolfetundra Dec 30, 2010

    I will give that a try. If it's just a faulty guage, how hard would that be to fix?

  • jamie Dec 30, 2010

    the problem with the instrument cluster is that its all one peace and will have to be replaced but there not hard to do you should have a few screws that hold the plastic on around the cluster once you remove that you can see the screws that hold the cluster in there will also be a few plugs that will need to be removed as well.

  • wolfetundra Dec 30, 2010

    Thank you. I have a long drive tomorrow so I will have ample time to test this. Does the 98 Sunfire have a "low fuel" indicator light? And would the faulty fuel gauge have an effect on the warning light?

  • jamie Dec 30, 2010

    it should have a low fuel light but im not sure if it does and a faulty gauage may have a affect on the light if your worried about running out of gas a 5 gallon gas can filled and in the trunk is a nice thing to have incase you run out of gas.

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