How to Troubleshoot a Malibu Fuel Gauge & Dash Light Not Working

by Patrick Nelson

The fuel gauge indicates the fuel level in a Chevrolet Malibu's tank. The Malibu should be topped up when the needle is near the empty mark. In addition to this visual indication, the central Driver Information Center display also provides fuel information. Some things that appear to be anomalies relating to the gauge are in fact normal. The dash lights illuminate the controls and gauges, such as the fuel gauge. Problems with these functions can be corrected.

Turn the ignition on if the fuel gauge reads empty, but you know that there is fuel in the tank. The fuel gauge only works when the engine is on, or the "ACC" position is selected with the ignition key.

Use the gauge as a guide only if the readings appear to be varied. For example, when cornering, speeding up or going up and down hills, the gauge can be less accurate than when stationery on a flat surface. This is normal and you should compensate for it. Allow the Malibu's fuel gauge to stabilize when fueling at the pump. The gauge is working when the pump shuts off because the tank is full, even though the gauge only shows 3/4 full. Just give it some time to register.

Adjust the instrument panel illumination control if the dash lights don't come on. The knob for this is found on the instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel. Turn the knob clockwise if the dash lights aren't working. The lights will illuminate.

About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera gas pump image by Tammy Mobley from