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Old 06-18-2008, 07:14 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
4,257 posts, read 4,276,436 times
Reputation: 1393

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Thought I would ask the car buffs here at CD before running around trying to find a place . Anyways, as the title suggests, my fuel gauge is broken. It's kind of funny really, at the end of the trip I have more gas than I left with! But on a more serious note, how much would it cost me to have it fixed? Or better yet, could I do it myself? I have a 2001 Silverado if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,804 posts, read 22,944,898 times
Reputation: 4783
Well, in general when a dash gauge won't read right it's usually the sending unit. Check a manual for your truck, but in general if you unplug the sending unit, which is usually mounted on the top of the gas tank, turn the ignition on, the fuel gauge should read empty, if you ground the sending wire, it should read full, if not, the problem is with the gauge itself or the wiring.

HTH.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,392 posts, read 11,853,615 times
Reputation: 5073
That vehicle has an in tank fuel pump/gas gauge combination. To repair it you have to empty the tank and drop it down. The gauge is part of the pump, so you will have to replace the whole assembly. Even doing it yourself will cost you plenty. You can check with your local auto parts store for the part cost. It will be several hundred dollars. Check with your local independent garage or Chevy dealer for an installed price. It's an expensive operation because, like I said, the fuel has to be removed and the tank dropped to gain access to the pump/gauge assembly.
That's the price of progress. You have a modern, fuel injection system which makes the vehicle more efficient, but repair cost go up accordingly. In the old days with carburetors, the pump bolts to the engine, and you go buy a pump for $20-30 bucks and bolt it on in an hour. Times have changed.
You might drive it with a non-working gauge, after you price the repair. Wait for the pump to die before you spend some serious money. I would be surprised if you could get it repaired for under $500, and that is conservative estimate....
Just make sure the tank is full and continue on your way..
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:51 AM
 
631 posts, read 294,815 times
Reputation: 127
when in doubt with electrical problems always check your grounds first, might be a smaller prob then you would think ( hopefully) otherwise what the guys suggested above are right on, if your not mechanically incline electrical probs can get tricky. Taking it to a mechanic to get it looked at might save you time and money from fawking it up yourself. that sucks a gas gauge going bad these days. haha ( not laughing at u)

good luck man
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:56 AM
 
Location: NH. NY. SC. next move, my ground condo
3,542 posts, read 9,034,876 times
Reputation: 4448
Talking sounds like a bad wire

Quote:
Originally Posted by okie333 View Post
when in doubt with electrical problems always check your grounds first, might be a smaller prob then you would think ( hopefully) otherwise what the guys suggested above are right on, if your not mechanically incline electrical probs can get tricky. Taking it to a mechanic to get it looked at might save you time and money from fawking it up yourself. that sucks a gas gauge going bad these days. haha ( not laughing at u)

good luck man

YES, this is very right. check your ground on your fuel gauge. i had a bad ground on my once and it made the gauge read full when it was empty and empty when it was full. come to find out it was a bad ground. the wire had been rubbing and the insulation had come off and it was broken. once it was reconnected it worked fine. in another case i had the insulation get rubbed off the power wire and the gauge would jump around when i was driving. evey time the wire would hit the metal on the body it would cause the gauge to do that. i found the problem in the trunk since it was a car.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:44 PM
 
1 posts, read 25,828 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for the info. I'm sure I need a repair. I'm straped for cash and can't get fixed right away. I try to keep track of how much gas I put in and guess my car get's 25mpg. I'm still concerned about running out. Any TRICKS that I can use until I get it repaired. A friend suggested putting marbles in the tank and when you hear them roll, rattle, you need gas ASAP. Any truth to this?? Or other suggestions.
Thanks from the unemployed driver
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:33 PM
 
6,347 posts, read 7,276,634 times
Reputation: 5550
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Keenan View Post
Thanks for the info. I'm sure I need a repair. I'm straped for cash and can't get fixed right away. I try to keep track of how much gas I put in and guess my car get's 25mpg. I'm still concerned about running out. Any TRICKS that I can use until I get it repaired. A friend suggested putting marbles in the tank and when you hear them roll, rattle, you need gas ASAP. Any truth to this?? Or other suggestions.
Thanks from the unemployed driver
I actually did laugh out loud at that one. Thanks for the chuckle

Last edited by Gimme3steps; 03-22-2010 at 02:51 PM..
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,804 posts, read 22,944,898 times
Reputation: 4783
I think the marble thing is BS. Does your car have a trip odometer? Just reset the trip odometer when you buy fuel, if you get roughly 25 MPG, a 10-gallon tank would take you 200 miles no problemo and still have about 2 gallons in it. If no trip odometer, just write down the mileage (perhaps on a yellow sticky that you put over the non-functional gas gauge) when you last bought fuel.

If you possibly can, fill the tank and keep it full, the temptation is to drive around on fumes if you are broke, but that can lead to fuel pump damage, condensation in the tank, yadda yadda.

You just fill the tank up and have the self-dicipline to keep it nearly full.

Good luck finding your next job.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Vermont / NEK
5,365 posts, read 8,694,381 times
Reputation: 6443
That's the advice I was about to offer. A trip odometer or the regular one would become my new fuel gauge.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Yucaipa, California
8,327 posts, read 10,388,612 times
Reputation: 4621
Be a lil more conservative & base your mpg on 23 mpg. Yrs back my gas guage didnt work & i kept track of my mpg on my 19 gallon tank. I never ran out of gas. Fixing your gas guage will be expensive. Marbles dont work. If you have a 10 gallon tank then 230 miles per fill up sounds about right.
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