Mechanic Help: Gas Gauge Issue on Car

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Signals, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Signals

    Signals Suspicious looking stranger

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    I have a 1986 Pontiac Parisienne. Mechanically it's in great shape runs really good, but there is a couple things that have been getting on my nerves, and that is the gas gauge and the gearshift indicator.

    The gearshift indicator is stuck in the Park position. That doesn't bother me so much but I would like to get it unstuck. The thing that is really grinding on my nerves the last year and half is the gas gauge indicator.

    The gas gauge does move and works fair when I've got over a half a tank. However, when it gets below a half of a tank it seems to have a mind of its own. Sometimes it registers properly and sometimes it does not. When it registers E when I know it's got a quarter take more, if I take the butt end of a screwdriver and bang on the dashboard sometimes it will register correctly and sometimes it will not.

    Anyone have a suggestion as what the problem may be? Do you think the problem may be originating with the sensor in the tank, or do you think it's just perhaps the spring on the gas gauge needle?

    Does this seem like a problem that a weekend mechanic may be able to fix fairly easy, or is this going to be a little bit more involved?

    Would it be a fairly simple task to install an external gas gauge and just forget about trying to fix the old gas gauge on the Car?

    Anyway, hit me with what you got I am just looking for suggestions on the simplest way to solve the problem.
  2. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler

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    I had a similar problem on a '66 Mustang with the gas gauge. I had to replace the whole gas tank(new sensors were included and I think is part of the tank itself in the Mustang).. It was something I had to take into repair and wasn't too expensive. This was a few years ago, not in 1966 BTW.
  3. jobberone

    jobberone Kane Ala Staff Member

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    Either the signal is not being processed properly or the sender is not always sending the proper signal. You need a real mechanic for this IMO (unless you know someone who can do this....just ask). The sender is either side mounted or top mounted. If the gauge works when you bang on it then I'd first check the connections to the gauge. The gauge has to be calibrated for the strength of signal sent by the sender and that's above my pay grade. If you can get to the positive and negative terminals yourself that's an easy check. It may need to be grounded as well so check that, too, if applicable.
  4. jimmy40

    jimmy40 Well-Known Member

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    Keep more than half a tank of gas in the car.
  5. Keifer

    Keifer Well-Known Member

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    Its probably the sending unit. I am having a similar problem in my Tahoe and unfortunately it is located in the gas tank with the fuel pump so I'm going to have to drop the gas tank to replace it.

    I would start with a google search of the symptoms and see where that takes you, hopefully it is something easier.
  6. Signals

    Signals Suspicious looking stranger

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    :laugh2: Thanks jimmy40. Right when I hit send button to post this I just knew someone was going to say this.
  7. jimmy40

    jimmy40 Well-Known Member

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    just trying to help. :laugh2:

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