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Old 27-01-2013, 14:27   #1
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Fuel Gauge Not Working

Hi all,

My fuel gauge is not working and I can't work out whether it's the gauge itself or the mechanism in the fuel tank that's not working. Before I go tearing both apart, does anyone know of a way to work out which one it is that's broken?

Thanks for your help, as always!

Tasha (Turf to Surf)
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Old 27-01-2013, 15:01   #2
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Re: Fuel Gauge Not Working

See ➥ Basic Engine Gauge Theory and Testing

Basic Troubleshooting of Gauges:

All Gauges:

1. Remove Sender Wire from “S” Terminal on Gauge, and Turn ON Instruments Circuit.

2. Test Voltage between “I” Terminal (External Power Supply) and Ground Terminal “G”.
Tested voltage must match nominal voltage of the Gauge (ie: 12V Gauge must test between 10 - 16VDC), and the Battery Voltage.
If no voltage - check Ignition or Instrument Switch(s) and/or Fuses.
If tests less than battery voltage, repair or replace (Violet) wire from Ignition or Instrument Switch.

If a Sender fails “Open” (Infinite Resistance), one or both (if Dual Station) Gauges will read Zero Scale.
If a Sender Fails “Closed” (shorted - Zero Resistance), one or both Gauges will read Full Scale.

Other confusing Ohmmeter results, such as readings lower than expected, could indicate a poor Ground Connection at the Sender Body (Sender to Engine Block). Check for pipe dope or tape on Sender Threads.


4. Disconnect Tan PINK Wire from Sender on Engine Block.

5. Test continuity of Tan PINK Wire.
Zero Ohms from Block End to Gauge End - If not, repair or replace Wire.

6. Measure Resistance from Sender Terminal (on Block) to Ground on Block.
Should read as per (3) above - If not, replace Sender.

Fuel Gauges:

1. Disconnect Pink Sender Wire from Gauge, and turn power ON.
The Fuel Gauge should read ZERO Scale (< Empty)

2. Short the Gauge Sender Terminal to Ground.
The Gauge should read FULL Scale (> Full).

3. Measure resistance of Pink Sender Wire to Ground.
American Floats: 240 Ohms (Empty), 103 Ohms ( Full), & 33 Ohms (Full)
European Floats: 10 Ohms (Empty), 95 Ohms (Half), & 180 Ohms (Full)
Automotive & other Float Switches may use other resistances such as 0 - 90 Ohm, 73 - 10 Ohm, & etc.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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