HomeWhatChevy Fuel Gauge Not Working: What are the Causes?

Chevy Fuel Gauge Not Working: What are the Causes?

A Chevrolet truck is very durable and dependable, but one of its major common problems is a Chevy fuel gauge not working.

Despite being very reliable vehicles, Chevy trucks occasionally have other notable problems related to the fuel gauge.

In this article, we’ll discuss the fuel gauge on a Chevy truck and what causes it to malfunction.

Let’s dive in to learn more!

Table of Contents

The Working of a Fuel Gauge Unit

A fuel gauge works by receiving data from the fuel-sending unit.

Normally, a fuel-sending unit will measure the fuel in the tank and send this information to the fuel gauge. 

Therefore, the purpose of a fuel gauge is to display the fuel level in the car.

Additionally, it alerts the driver if the gas tank is almost empty.

How To Determine the Fuel Tank Levels Using a Fuel-Sending Unit?

Every manufacturer designs their sending unit differently.

For most cars, a full tank will direct the arrow within the variable resistor to move further from the ground.

The arrow will move toward the ground on a full tank for other cars. 

As much as cars can have different sending units, every tank has to have a floater.

A floater in the tank moves according to the fuel level in the tank.

So, when a car runs low on fuel, the floater should be at the bottom of the tank. 

Consequently, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications, the arrow will deflect toward empty. 

a different gs gauge design

(a different gs gauge design)

How to Check the Fuel Gauge on a Chevy Truck?

It is easy to check and know when there’s a fault in your gas gauge.

You have to follow each of these steps when diagnosing your fuel gauge. 

Firstly, you’ll need to turn on the engine. Do not start it. You should see some light on the dashboard when the engine is on.

Turn off the engine immediately after you see the light. Repeat this process sometimes.

This aims to test whether enough power is reaching the dashboard. 

Secondly, open the hood of your car. Do this if your car passes the first step.

Now, locate the negative terminal on the battery and disconnect the black connector. Leave it disconnected for approximately 30 mins.

Thirdly, reconnect the battery. Turn on the engine and observe the gauge if it gets a deflection.

If it fails to deflect, the problem should be the wiring between the ignition button and the fuel gauge. 

Lastly, look for a jumper wire and connect the positive terminal of the fuel gauge to the ignition switch.

It should make the arrow in the fuel gauge deflect. If it still fails, the wiring should be the problem. 

Now, replace the wiring system between these two points.

Otherwise, the wiring is okay, but there’s a fault in another area within the car’s electrical system. Get a professional to assist. 

a fuel gauge showing a fuel tank.

(a fuel gauge showing a fuel tank.)

Why is the Fuel Gauge in my Chevy Truck not working?

A non-functioning fuel gauge will likely lead to frustrations.

It is because estimating the amount of fuel consumption in a car can be a difficult task.

Therefore, when your fuel gauge stops working, it’s important to know some of the causes and how to fix them. 

The most common problem for Chevy drivers is the gauge failing to register the fuel levels.

This happens when the fuel gauge reads empty even after filling the fuel tank. 

a fuel gauge showing an empty tank.

(a fuel gauge showing an empty tank.)

The most common cause of this situation is fuel corrosion on the sensors by the gauge.

Sometimes, failure of the ignition switch or the instrument cluster might be the cause.  

The solution to such a problem is disconnecting the battery for almost 30 minutes and then reconnecting it.

Then, test the gas gauge. If the problem is still evident, you’ll require to replace some car and wiring components, like the instrument cluster.

a vector illustration of a fuel gauge

(a vector illustration of a fuel gauge.)

Where Can I Get an Instrument Cluster Fuel gauge Replacement?

An instrument cluster houses several displays that allow a driver to operate a car.

If this tool fails, finding a replacement can be difficult.

So, the best option for a reliable replacement is a remanufactured unit from a licensed company.


  • Can the fuel pump make the gas gauge malfunction?

The fuel pump typically transfers fuel from the tanks to the engine.

The engine won’t have enough fuel if the pump malfunctions.

As a result, even when there is petrol in the tank, the fuel gauge will read empty.

  • Could the fuel tank cause the gas gauge to malfunction?

Fuel tanks that are spoiled bring about issues with the gauge. A fuel tank connects to a fuel pump.

If the fuel pump is bad, We should remove the fuel tank to access the pump. 

A fuel pump repair should fix problems in the gauge.

a truck fuel pump

(a truck fuel pump)

Why is my gas gauge shaking?

Various factors can shake a gas gauge, like a fault gauge, bad sending unit, or faulty ground wire.

The sending unit keeps an eye on the fuel amount.

The sending unit connects with the ground wire, which helps link with the gauge itself.

How do I reset my Chevy fuel gauge?

You can restore your Chevrolet Fuel Gauge in two different ways.

For modern cars, press and hold the button at the end of the turn signal lever for around 10 seconds. It will switch on the turn signal. 

Alternatively, you might try unplugging the positive battery cable for ten seconds.

Doing this lets you delete any stored codes and reset the engine computer.

Then, reconnect the battery and start the engine. The fuel gauge ought to have been reset and should now be operational.

On the other hand, older trucks’ fuel gauges require manual resetting.

For only 30 minutes, unplug the cable on the negative terminal on the battery.

Then plug it back again. Next, turn on the engine.

The gauge should be up and working at this point. 

an ignition key

(an ignition key.)

What causes the instrument cluster to stop working?

An instrument cluster may stop functioning if a fuse blows or a wire frays. Hence, if the instrument cluster suddenly stops working, check the fuse box first.

Replace the fuse box with a new one by removing the old one. Check the new fuse box now.

If the gauge is still not working, look for and tighten any loose wires in the system.

Check the gauge’s operation once more.

Remove the entire cluster if the issue is still present. Change it out for a brand-new, dependable one. 

a car’s instrument panel.

(a car’s instrument panel.)


A fuel gauge is an important feature in every car. When it is not properly functioning, it can lead to frustration.

Therefore, always ensure your fuel gauge is always in perfect working condition.

We hope our guide helped you learn why your Chevy fuel gauge is not working.

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

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