Fuel Gauge and Issues


Out of all the equipment that you get to see in your car, you get to see the ones inside the most. After all, you purchased it to drive it and that can only happen once you sit inside. On the inside though, if there is one area that gets the most attention by any and every occupant, on an average, it is the instrument cluster (speedometer, tachometer, etc). Here is one gauge that matters the most to you. It is the Fuel Gauge.

You wish to disagree? Sample this. You are rushing out for an important event when you see your fuel gauge needle pointing to E, indicating that you need to pay a visit to the petrol pump (Ouch!). The situation we just pointed out to is common. We are here to tell you why it happens and what you can do when it goes bad.

What indicates fuel gauge issues?

Take note if the reading on your fuel gauge does not change, i.e. if it always reads the same or always shows empty or full. The gauge may also behave erratically. The possible reasons include a bad gauge, defective voltage supply to the gauge, a faulty sending unit, poor ground connection or a wiring issue between the gauge and the sending unit.

If the temperature and oil pressure gauges are not working then the problem might be in the instrument voltage regulator or instrument panel wiring. But if only the fuel gauge is malfunctioning, then the voltage regulator is not the cause.

Whatever seems to be the problem, its best to visit the automobile technician at the earliest to get a checkup done and get the necessary repairs done.

But why did it happen?

The fuel gauge consists of two important parts – the sending unit and the measuring unit (this is what you get to see from the driver’s seat on the instrument cluster). The sending unit is placed inside the fuel tank and the measuring unit is always there for you to see. The sensing unit is a combination of a float, rod and electrical resistor. Now that you know the components, the next question is why. Here are some of the reasons:

  1. Short circuiting
  2. Blown fuse
  3. Faulty wiring
  4. Faulty sensing unit

How much would it cost you in terms of money and time?

First off, in cars which sport electronic gauges, the occurrences are rare and pertain to faulty parts from the time when the vehicle rolled off the showroom floor. In case of analogue units, the occurrences have become rarer and few bother with noting where they spotted the fuel gauge needle at the last time they checked. So, it is all a matter of when such occurrences happen and how alert you are of such happenings. If it is a defect from the very beginning, chances are your car’s manufacturer should fix the issue free of cost. If it happens after your car’s warranty has expired, the only workaround for you is to get it replaced.


All we can say when it happens, it happens and there are little workarounds for this issue. So, we at CarDekho would be happy to offer you the best solution i.e. provide information about what you will be paying for. All you have to do is log on to services.cardekho.com.