Fuel gauge not working – how to fix?

Is your fuel gauge broken? Are you confused about what to do when you don’t know how much gas is left in your tank? Don’t worry – this article will provide you with everything you need to diagnose and fix this issue. You can get back on the road in no time!


If you’ve ever experienced a situation where your fuel gauge suddenly stops working, you know how frustrating it can be. A malfunctioning fuel gauge can leave you guessing about how much fuel you have left in your tank, making it difficult to plan your journeys and causing unnecessary stress.

There are several reasons why your fuel gauge may stop working, ranging from a faulty fuel sender unit to an electrical issue with your dashboard. Identifying the root cause of the problem is essential to fix the issue and restore your fuel gauge’s functionality.

If you’re not comfortable working on your vehicle’s fuel system, it’s recommended to seek a professional mechanic’s help. A skilled mechanic can diagnose the issue, provide accurate solutions, and help you avoid any costly mistakes.

Remember to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your vehicle and ensure safe driving.

Causes of Fuel Gauge Not Working

If your fuel gauge is not working, there could be several reasons why, such as a broken fuel gauge sender, a faulty wiring system, or a blown fuse. Here are some of the most common causes of a fuel gauge not working:

  • Broken Fuel Gauge Sender: The fuel gauge sender is a device that measures the amount of fuel in your gas tank and sends that information to the fuel gauge. If the sender is damaged or worn out, it can cause the fuel gauge to stop working.
  • Faulty Wiring System: If the wiring system that connects the fuel gauge sender to the fuel gauge is damaged or corroded, it can cause the fuel gauge to malfunction.
  • Blown Fuse: A blown fuse in the fuse box that controls the fuel gauge system can also prevent the fuel gauge from working properly.

Pro tip: If you suspect that your fuel gauge is not working correctly, it is best to have it checked by a professional mechanic to determine the root cause of the problem.

Symptoms of Fuel Gauge Not Working

When the fuel gauge on your dashboard stops working, it can be a frustrating experience. Here are a few symptoms that can indicate that your fuel gauge is malfunctioning:

  1. The fuel gauge reads empty, even after you’ve just refilled your gas tank.
  2. The fuel gauge continually shows a full tank or a level that is different from the actual fuel level.
  3. The fuel gauge fluctuates and gives inaccurate readings.
  4. The check engine light comes on when the fuel gauge is not functioning correctly.

These symptoms can indicate a variety of issues, including a faulty instrument cluster, a broken fuel level sensor, or a wiring problem. It’s best to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic to diagnose the issue and avoid any potential safety hazards.

Diagnosing the Problem

When your fuel gauge stops working, it can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous problem. Here’s how to diagnose the problem:

  1. Check the fuse – A dead fuse can cause your fuel gauge to stop working. Locate the fuse box and check the fuel gauge fuse. If it’s blown, replace it and see if your gauge starts working again.
  2. Check the wiring – If the fuse is fine, check the wiring leading to the fuel gauge. Look for any breaks or loose connections in the wiring. Tighten any loose connections and replace any damaged wiring.
  3. Check the sending unit – The sending unit is responsible for measuring the fuel level in the tank and sending that information to the gauge. If it’s malfunctioning, your gauge won’t work properly. Test the sending unit by disconnecting the wiring and using a multimeter to check the resistor. If the resistor is faulty, replace the sending unit.

Pro Tip: Keep track of your fuel usage and fill up your tank before it’s too low to avoid running out of gas unexpectedly.

Repairing the Fuel Gauge

If you are experiencing problems with your vehicle’s fuel gauge, there are a few potential reasons and solutions to consider before taking it to the mechanic.

Firstly, check if the problem is due to a blown fuse or a faulty wiring connection in the gauge circuit.

Secondly, inspect the fuel sending unit that measures the fuel level in the tank; it might be corroded or damaged. If it is highly corroded and cleaning doesn’t help, you may need to get the sending unit replaced.

Another option is to replace the fuel gauge sensor in the tank, which could be damaged or malfunctioning.

Lastly, if none of these solutions work – take your vehicle to a mechanic for an advanced diagnosis.

Pro tip: If you notice the fuel gauge having problems, try not to run too low on gas to prevent damage to the fuel pump!

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is the key to avoiding fuel gauge issues in your vehicle. Here are some simple steps to ensure the proper functioning of your fuel gauge:

  • Inspect the fuel gauge regularly: Check the gauge for signs of wear and tear or damage to the wiring leading up to it.
  • Keep the fuel tank clean: Regular cleaning of the fuel tank will prevent debris from clogging the fuel gauge and other components.
  • Check the fuel sensor: The fuel sensor is responsible for giving the fuel gauge an accurate reading. If it is damaged or not functioning correctly, it can cause the gauge to malfunction.
  • Use the recommended fuel type: Your vehicle is designed to work with a certain type of fuel. Using an inappropriate fuel type can cause damage to the fuel gauge and other components.

By following these simple preventative maintenance steps, you can avoid fuel gauge malfunctions and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

Cost of Fuel Gauge Repair

Fuel gauge not working can be a concerning issue for car owners as it can affect the fuel efficiency and cause potential safety hazards. The cost of fuel gauge repair varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the location of the repair shop, and the extent of the damage.

In general, the cost of fuel gauge repair ranges from $150 to $800. This includes the cost of labor and replacement parts, such as the fuel level sensor, which is the most common cause of fuel gauge malfunction.

However, some car manufacturers might cover the cost of repair or replacement of fuel gauge components under their factory warranty or recall programs. It is recommended to consult with a certified mechanic or the dealership to diagnose the issue and to determine the most cost-effective solution for fuel gauge repair.

Pro tip: Regular maintenance of fuel systems, including fuel gauge components, can prevent malfunctions and prolong the life of your vehicle.


In conclusion, a fuel gauge that is not working properly can be caused by several issues, including:

  • a faulty fuel gauge sensor
  • a stuck or dirty float
  • damaged wiring.

It is important to diagnose the root cause of the problem before attempting any repairs to avoid wasting time and resources. If you are not familiar with automotive repairs, it is best to consult a professional mechanic to fix the issue. Regularly monitoring your fuel levels and keeping your fuel system well-maintained can help prevent fuel gauge problems from happening in the first place.


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