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Old 01-02-2013, 12:41 PM
Location: Boone, NC
1,049 posts, read 2,147,570 times
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My fuel gauge on my '91 Cutlass Ceira SL is always almost a full third off-balance, to the point where it goes past full when filled up and the one-third mark means I actually only have a couple miles left. However, I can't rely on this offset as the needle often move erratically (I'm talking about from full to empty and then back to half, not just because of gas sloshing around from hills) while the vehicle is in motion.

As it stands, I have to use the odometer to guestimate when I need more gas. Because of the gas tank being at weird angle (I'm assuming since the car is so old) gas pumps won't shut off automatically when filling it. So really buying gas is just a whole bunch of guesswork.

Is this a very expensive fix? If so I wouldn't mine just leaving it, it isn't really a major problem, just really annoying.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:56 PM
Location: WA
5,565 posts, read 23,192,857 times
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Probably not worth the expense to fix unless it really bugs you. I have a friend with an older car that has used the odometer method for years... he has a marker and writes the mileage on the inside of the window at every fill.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:26 PM
15,255 posts, read 21,349,602 times
Reputation: 17847
it's likely fuel gauge sending unit. that one is tucked inside the tank. no worries, I have similar weirdness in my 2000 Silverado and I simply live with it. Not worth dropping the tank.
Now, in your case, you may be lucky and fuel pump might as well be right underneath the rear seat. You may want to go to Autozone website>repair guides>look up how hard it is to get to the fuel pump, which equals fuel sending unit.
Sometimes, even cleaning oxidized connector on harnes helps.

Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:29 PM
Location: Earth
4,237 posts, read 23,045,359 times
Reputation: 2245
Sounds like you have a sending unit float that is sticking in the tank or the needle on the gauge itself sticks. My 87 Regal has this problem. If I bang on the plexiglass, sometimes the needle will move to where it's supposed to. I already swapped out the sending unit with no success. A little bit of lube on the needle would probably help. But as most have said, it's a lot of work for a little gain.
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