Why Is My Fuel Gauge Going Crazy? (3 Obvious Symptoms)

The fuel gauge is one of the instruments that we regularly check while driving because we want to make sure that we have enough fuel to make the trip.

As such, it is important that the fuel gauge is working properly so that we would know if it is already time to gas up. However, there might be times when the fuel gauge is not working properly.

Why is my fuel gauge going crazy?

The only probable explanation why a fuel gauge is going crazy is due to how the fuel gauge sender has become faulty or bad. This can also be accompanied by some of the other symptoms of a bad fuel gauge sender. As such, it is best to have the fuel gauge sender replaced or repaired.

You cannot overstress the fact that the fuel gauge is very important because it will become very difficult to tell how much fuel you have left if the fuel gauge isn’t working the way it should be.

As such, it is vital that you watch out for some of the symptoms of a bad fuel gauge sender so that you will be able to quickly have this issue checked and remedied by a professional.

Why is my fuel gauge going crazy?

While you are driving, probably one of the gauges you are always looking at is the fuel gauge because of how the fuel is basically the lifeblood of your engine.

Without gas or fuel, your engine won’t be able to run, and that means that your car won’t be able to function as well. This is why the fuel gauge is something that you should always be looking at as it tells you how much fuel you have left.

As important as the fuel gauge may be, there may be times when you will be shocked to see that your fuel gauge actually isn’t reflecting how much gas you have left.

This can happen when you just made sure to fill your tank up but your fuel gauge’s readings seem to be erratic or inaccurate. Such an instance isn’t quite common but it isn’t rare as well.

With that said, why is the fuel gauge going crazy? Or why isn’t it reflecting the right fuel reading in relation to the fuel remaining in the tank?

The most common reason why your fuel gauge may be going crazy can be attributed to a bad fuel gauge sender in your car.

Now, this is something that can happen from time to time and is not the fault of the fuel gauge. Instead, it’s the fuel gauge sender that’s at fault here as this is the unit that is responsible for sending the signal that operates the fuel gauge.

So, if the fuel gauge sender is faulty, that means that the signal it is sending the fuel gauge is inaccurate, and that is why your gauge may be going crazy.

While not as common, your fuel gauge may be going crazy due to a problem with the entire instrument cluster or dashboard itself.

This can happen when some of the other instruments are not working the way they should. Such can happen due to a blown fuse or because of a problem with the electronics inside the ECU.

Nevertheless, this isn’t as common as a fuel gauge sender that’s faulty.

What are the symptoms of a bad fuel gauge?

So, on top of how your fuel gauge may be going crazy, there are other symptoms that may lead to the conclusion that the problem is in relation to the fuel gauge sender. As such, if these symptoms are present, then your fuel gauge sender may be faulty:

1. The fuel gauge behaves erratically or crazily

As mentioned, this should be one of the most common symptoms related to a faulty fuel gauge sender.

So, when the fuel gauge is behaving erratically while all of the other instruments on the dash are perfectly fine, then that means that your fuel gauge sender is broken.

What we mean by your fuel gauge behaving crazily is that the pointer on the gauge suddenly changes position for no apparent reason.

At times, it might give an inaccurate reading that you know for sure is inaccurate. It might appear that your engine is full but, after a few minutes, it is now down to half. This is what we mean when we say that the fuel gauge is behaving crazily.

2. The fuel gauge is always stuck on empty

So, if you notice that your gauge has become empty even if your car is actually running, then that could mean that the fuel gauge sender is faulty.

Even if you tried filling the tank up and you noticed that the gauge is still empty, this is a sign that will make you understand that the fault is not on the gauge itself but on the fuel gauge sender, which you need to have fixed as soon as possible.

3 The fuel gauge is always stuck on full

Let’s be honest about feeling good when the fuel gauge is at full because you want to be able to drive well enough without having to worry about your fuel.

However, when you noticed that your fuel gauge hasn’t budged from full even after a full day of driving, then that should mean that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

A faulty fuel gauge sender can send a bad signal to the instrument cluster such that the fuel gauge will still read full even though you have already been driving for a while after you filled your tank up.

This is an issue because you wouldn’t know when you need to refuel again as the gauge is always stuck at full.

How much does it cost to fix a broken gas gauge?

So, now that you know the symptoms that are related to a bad or broken gas gauge sender, how much would it cost you to have the issue remedied?

In most cases, the only way to fix the issue is to replace the fuel gauge sender because fixing it may already be out of the question. However, what you need to know is that the price greatly varies depending on the make and model of your car.

Usually, a fuel gauge sender has a price that can be somewhere between $250 and $800 depending on the make and model of your car. In most cases, the more expensive the vehicle is, the more expensive the replacement will be.

So, from there, you can see that the replacement cost isn’t cheap and might even be more than what you had bargained for.

However, when you think about the fact that knowing how much fuel you have left can be a matter of life and death because you don’t want to end up getting stuck in the middle of nowhere when you thought you had enough gas, you would never regret the decision of spending hundreds of dollars on a fuel gauge sender replacement.

Sources

Your Mechanic: Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Fuel Gauge Sender

Automotive Forums: Fuel gauge going crazy

AutoBlog: Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Fuel Gauge Sender