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Author Topic: Fuel Gauge Malfunction...AGAIN  (Read 3812 times)
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RichUF
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« on: 02/25/05 07:38 AM »

My fuel gauge is doing a similar thing to the last time I had to have it repaired.  The first sign of gradual malfunction was after filling up tank and starting truck, gauge would show empty, complete with a ding ding ding and a DIC low fuel message.  Then the needle would gradually rise to full (over about 2-3 minutes).  It did this for about 3 fill-ups.

Now the needle stays pegged on full for about 150 miles ("normal" used to be about 50 before it would move), then goes down to about 3/4 at 200 miles.  Jury still out on what it will show when almost empty (usually around 380-400 for me).

I had this "fixed" in September of '03 under warranty.  That repair involved dropping the tank and replacing the sending unit that I believe is at the fuel pump.  Many of you have had this done.

My question is, what pidly cheap a$$ part is this exactly that is yielding $550 repairs to something that I've never had break on any other vehicle I've owned?  Roll Eyes  Anyone think I'll get the work done again for free (out of warranty) citing a faulty part?  Undecided
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« Reply #1 on: 02/25/05 08:06 AM »

Sounds similar to what happens to my folk's AV.  They got the part replaced after finally convincing the service center that it was bad.

I wish you good luck!
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« Reply #2 on: 02/25/05 08:19 AM »

I had a similar experience. Sitting at a stoplight the guage went to E and the DIC low fuel message came on. As soon as I accelerated away from the light all went back to normal. Added a bottle of Gumout at the next fill-up. Hasn't happened since.

The problem appears to be a sticking float in the sending unit loacated in the tank. Regular use of a fuel additive, injector cleaner is the best prevention. Also, avoid over-filling the tank. When the pump clicks off, you're done.
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« Reply #3 on: 02/25/05 08:33 AM »

High sulfur fuels too. They build up a coating on the sensor.

A bottle or two of fuel injector cleaner may help it. (Amount depends on how full your tank is..)
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« Reply #4 on: 02/25/05 08:39 AM »

will try the fuel additive as suggested, but with all of the people around here reporting bad sending units, I'm not getting my hopes up.

Thanks for the tip  Smiley
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OviedoAv
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« Reply #5 on: 02/25/05 08:42 AM »

Changing gas stations and some fuel additive fixed mine, and it has not happened again.
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RichUF
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« Reply #6 on: 02/25/05 08:50 AM »

I forgot all about the gas station thing, and I have started using new station recently (Hess).  I seem to remember Shell was the culprit, but I'll try swithing anyways.
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« Reply #7 on: 02/25/05 08:56 AM »

I think the gas station may have been the culprit for my mal-function. It happened while I was in San Antonio...Had just filled up at Military and I-35. I now recall, that the milage for that tank was about 3mpg less than normal as well. Never had a problem with the gas I get at my normal stops in DFW.
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« Reply #8 on: 02/25/05 09:06 AM »

I forgot all about the gas station thing, and I have started using new station recently (Hess). I seem to remember Shell was the culprit, but I'll try swithing anyways.

Not sure about that, but switching stations might help Wink Try to put some good stuff in there, Mobil super unleaded or something. As soon as I change up gas, and stations, I don't have the problem again.
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« Reply #9 on: 02/25/05 11:36 AM »

we have had problems with fuel gauge for years now.  On some trucks there is a pcm update to fix it and on most it is the fuel level  sensor. If you have 50000 miles or less you can ask for goodwill asst.
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« Reply #10 on: 02/25/05 11:39 AM »

Mine does the first part ON OCCASION.

Doesn't register immediately, then slowly creeps up.  Next start, it's normal.  Nothing I've been terribly concerned about.  When/if it fully fails, I'll turn a wrench.
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« Reply #11 on: 02/25/05 12:19 PM »

Document ID# 1580327
 Chevrolet Avalanche

Cranks But No Start, Stall, Inaccurate/Incorrect Fuel Gauge Reading, No Fuel, Vehicle is Out of Fuel and Fuel Gauge Reads Above Empty (Replace Fuel Level Sensor) #04-08-49-018E - (Jan 5, 2005)

2001-2004 Cadillac Trucks

1999-2004 Chevrolet and GMC Trucks

2004-2005 HUMMER H2

with Gasoline Engine (VINs Z, X, V, T, U, N, G,6, 8 -- RPOs LU3, LR4, LM7, LQ4, LQ9, L59, L18,LK5 , L52 )

This bulletin is being revised to include information on the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 04-08-49-018 D (Section 08 - Body and Accessories).

Condition

Some customers may comment on the vehicle stalling and will not restart, vehicle ran out of fuel, vehicle appears to be out of fuel but the fuel gauge reads above empty. The fuel gauge may read 1/4 tank.

Cause

Contamination on the fuel sending card may cause inaccurate/incorrect fuel gauge readings.

Correction

Follow the service procedure below for diagnosis and repair of this concern.

   1. Confirm that the vehicle is actually out of fuel.
         •    If the vehicle is not out of fuel but Engine Cranks but Does Not Run, refer to the appropriate Service Information.
         •    If the vehicle is out of fuel and the gauge does not read empty, test the fuel gauge. Refer to the following information:
         •    Fuel Gage Inaccurate or Inoperative Single Tank (SI Document ID #850196)
         •    Fuel Gage Inaccurate or Inoperative Dual Tanks (SI Document ID #850195)
         •    Fuel Gage Inaccurate or Inoperative HUMMER H2 (SI Document ID #826250)
         •    Fuel Gage Inaccurate or Inoperative Colorado and Canyon (SI Document ID #1292631)
   2. If testing reveals that the fuel gauge is operating correctly, replace the fuel sensor assembly and auxiliary tank fuel level sensor if equipped.
   3. Replace the fuel level sensor. Refer to the following appropriate service information:
         •    Fuel Level Sensor Replacement 4.8L and 5.3L Engines (SI Document ID #1332662)
         •    Fuel Level Sensor Replacement 6.0L Engine - Front Tank (SI Document ID #1333086)
         •    Fuel Level Sensor Replacement 6.0L Engine - Rear Tank (SI Document ID #1333087)
         •    Fuel Level Sensor Replacement 8.1L vehicles with Front Tank (SI Document ID #1333104)
         •    Fuel Level Sensor Replacement 8.1 L vehicles with Rear Tank (SI Document ID #1333105)
         •    HUMMER H2 vehicles refer to Fuel Level Sensor Replacement (SI Document ID #861702)
         •    Fuel Level Sensor Replacement 2.8L Engine (SI Document ID #1220030)
         •    Fuel Level Sensor Replacement 3.5 L Engine (SI Document ID #1219948)
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« Reply #12 on: 02/25/05 12:31 PM »

That's nice information, but unfortunately would cost me about $550 for something that would potentially stop working again Undecided  Again I ask is the part faulty?  Poor design?  Poor impementation?

This is the kind of little crap that would keep me from buying another Avalanche, as much as I like it.  Oh yeah, that and the now near-$50K asking price  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: 02/25/05 12:35 PM »

Who cares about all that, I love the new avatar!!
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« Reply #14 on: 02/25/05 12:53 PM »

It's the crap gas, not really the Av. But how were you to know? And I would imagine they would be conferring with the oil companies on this, or will use a different sender design in upcoming models.

Likely too, the reason for the "top tier" gasoline thing their doing along with Honda, Toyota and BMW.

I believe the high-sulfur fuel affected more than just GM.
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« Reply #15 on: 02/25/05 01:14 PM »

I thought the "crap gas" issue was over last summer.  How is one to know which brand of gas will not cause damage to my vehicle? 

This is frustrating.  Hope fuel additive and changing brand will reverse the problem.

edit:  and now that I thought about it some more, has the gas changed in the last few years (excluding last summer's Shell incident)?  If not, then I'm blaming GM, not that that will get me anywhere.
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« Reply #16 on: 02/25/05 01:29 PM »

You certainly have a good point! (But I did say "But how were you to know?")

Call them and raise hell (well, maybe not unless they give you some lame crap). It may work.
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’03  Z71 3:73 LPM Cladded. Fact. Roof Rack, TowPk, XM, Gen 6.2 OnStar, leather & heated/mem. Delphi OEM (UM8 INR Nav System W/Bose Luxury audio). BkUp Cam & entertainment on Nav . DIC, DIO’d Esc. Platinum cluster, Console DVD W/3 Vizlogic 7” 16:9 (two in articultng. '02 HR's & one in pass. visor), 3  A/V inputs/FM headph's. SS893 Fogs, Amber DRL's, All4onHi, All4OnBrake.
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« Reply #17 on: 03/04/05 08:25 AM »

**UPDATE**

I switched brands of gas, and poured in two bottles of fuel additive.  Marvel Mystery Oil, not that I really think brand is important.

Gauge is acting normal again  thumbs_up  Thanks for all of the info and tips all.

I've always thought that fuel additives were snake oil, and maybe they still are.  The fuel gauge may be coincidental, or may have more to do with switching brands of gas, but I do not believe that I am just imagining that my AV is running better.  For just a few bucks, I'll probably dump in a bottle every other oil change or so (15-20k miles for me).
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« Reply #18 on: 03/04/05 08:37 AM »

Just pour Snake oil in the tank RIch....

Maybe a new product we can sell.....

PURE SNAKE OIL....

WIll fix everything wrong with your truck or car or go cart.....hehehehe
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« Reply #19 on: 03/04/05 09:26 AM »

Yes I'm still skeptical, but for a couple of bucks, it was worth a try.  All I know is that my gauge works now.

PS - I received my other snake-oil (Armor dillo) in the mail the other day.  Watch for my report of results of using that miracle product soon  Tongue

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« Reply #20 on: 03/23/05 09:56 AM »

What brands of fuel additive / injector cleaner would you guys suggest.

I just had to spend $400 to replace my fuel pump for my 02 AVA. Would not start and when it finnally did it would shut off intermittantly.
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« Reply #21 on: 03/23/05 10:03 AM »

Berrymans.  Not sure that would prevent the fuel pump from going out though. Some say to always keep at least 1/4 of a tank of gas because the gas is what cools the pump!

Butch
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« Reply #22 on: 03/23/05 11:13 AM »

Thanks Z66 BUTCH, the dealers said something similar, in that they sais that if the tanks it allowed to go down to "E" too often that could cause the pump to fail.

BTW I had some bottles of STP Gas treatment and Gumout Xtra Fuel Injector Cleaner (Pennzoil). I will start using when I fill up my tank.
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« Reply #23 on: 03/29/05 03:37 PM »

Had the same problem on the '04 Suburban (actually, I think it's had most of the "common" problems so far), and it too required the dealer dropping the tank and replacling the sender unit.

Towards the end of December/beginning of January, noticed it seemed to be staying on full longer than usual and then it did the "dance" one Sunday after church, going from 3/4 to full to 1/2 and then back to 3/4 again.  After that, pretty much stuck on full FOREVER.

The dealer never mentioned anything about what kind/brand of gas we were using, but had diagnosed the problem pretty much after hearing it over the phone, apparently because they had delt with it before.  Seems fine now after the fix in January.
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« Reply #24 on: 04/25/05 01:29 PM »

OK, fuel gauge is acting up again.  Will try changing brands of gas again.  If that doesn't work then I'll try fuel additive again.  Will report back in a week or so.
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