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Why is the Gas Gauge in My Chevy Truck Not Working Right?

by Maria Hernandez

A broken gas gauge can lead to considerable frustration for drivers. Until a fix is made, some drivers resort to guesswork and attempt to estimate their gas consumption by keeping track of the number of miles driven since the tank was last filled.

Known Problems

The most common problem with the fuel gauge reported by Chevy truck owners is a complete failure to register the fuel level. The fuel gauge sits on empty, even after you've just filled up the tank. This malfunction is often coupled with a temperature gauge failure.

Causes

Over time, gasoline corrodes the fuel gauge sensor. In some cases, problems in the electrical system, such as a faulty ignition switch or instrument cluster, are to blame. In newer vehicles equipped with an on-board computer, a faulty reading sometimes can be "cleared" and the fuel gauge restored to working order by resetting the computer, which involves disconnecting the battery for a short time.

Solution

Disconnect the battery for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, reconnect the battery and test the fuel gauge. If the fuel gauge still malfunctions, you may need to replace the fuel sensor, ignition switch or instrument cluster.

About the Author

Maria Hernandez began writing professionally in 2007. She served as a romance novelist for Cleis Press, Ellora's Cave and Samhain Publishing, later moving into freelance writing for online publications. Hernandez studied biochemistry and genetics at Texas A&M University.

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Photo Credits

  • detail: glowing dashboard image by davidcrehner from Fotolia.com