Your gas gauge is essential. It tells you how much fuel you have left and is a good indicator of whether you’ll need to stop and get gas. Without it, you have to know your car well and kind of guess where your fuel tank is at.
You might start to notice that your gauge says empty after a fill-up or notice that it starts to fluctuate from empty to full after a full day’s commute. Whatever the case, you’ll have to fix your gauge if it starts to act up. How much does it cost to fix a gas gauge, and how can you check for signs? We’ve got the details coming on up.
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How Does Your Gas Gauge Work?
Though it just seems like your gauge automatically works by some miracle, it’s actually connected to a very detailed mechanism that gives you an accurate reading of the amount of fuel in your tank. It’s made up of a float that rests on top of the fuel in your tank, which is connected to some wiring.
All of this works to send a small burst of electricity across the cables, indicating the resistance. This small resistance is what moves the gauge you see on your dashboard, making you aware of whether or not you need to fuel up or not.
Why Won’t It Work?
There are lots of small parts that go into powering your gauge. For that reason, it can be challenging to diagnose the issue just by looking. Unlike other problems with your vehicle, when you know you have an issue, there is not much you can do without the help of a professional. Common problems with your gas gauge come from:
- Faulty gauge
- Blown fuses
- Worn out wiring
Due to the use of electricity to give you an accurate reading, there are fuses involved. If something is wrong with the wiring or the pulses that come through the wires, you may need to take out your owner’s manual and check where your fuse box is. Be sure to check the one that connects to your gas gauge.
Driving with A Faulty Gas Gauge
When your gas gauge is not working correctly, you can still drive your car. While there are no major issues involved with the driving of your can, you still will need to use caution to make sure you don’t run out of gas. Running out of fuel at the wrong moment could be dangerous for several reasons or put your car at risk for further damage like accidents or theft.
That’s why you should fix your gauge and be sure that you know how much fuel you have at all times, so you don’t run out.
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How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Gas Gauge?
So, just how much does it cost to fix a gas gauge? Like many other car issues, the total cost will depend on the severity and area you live in. Your fuel gauge might not damage other parts of your car unless there is a high amount of electricity that winds up blowing out your fuse box. Typical repairs and the cost you can expect are listed below.
Issues with your Sender
When you have issues with your gauge, this is likely the first place that mechanics will look. It’s not only the most common but the most expensive, coming with an average price tag between $250 and $800. While you can save some money doing the repairs yourself, you shouldn’t mess with it if you’re not sure.
Gas Fuse Replacement
If you have an issue with the fuse, you lucked out. This is not only inexpensive but fairly easy to replace. You’re looking at about $10 to $20 bucks unless you have a system that requires some specialty fuse. Always check your owner’s manual before doing anything, and make sure you’re ordering the right parts.
Gas Gauge Replacement
If it’s the gauge causing all of the significant issues, you can replace it for about $200 to $400. This price includes both the parts and the labor, so it’s not going to leave you flat broke. Issues with the fuel gauge are simple to diagnose and pretty easy to fix, so you should be done and on your way in no time.
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Self-Testing your Gas Gauge
Luckily, you won’t have to rely on a professional for every issue with your gas gauge. Because of the way that cars are made, you can check a few issues on your own. To test out your car for problems with your gas gauge, check:
With most cars, you can hold down the odometer and start the car for a quick check-up. See what it says in your owner’s manual about checking the diagnostics and follow the steps.
First of all, you should locate your fuse boxes. This can help you check if there are any faulty fuses and help you find the ones you need to replace. If you don’t see issues, you can cross that off your list and keep on testing.
This is the most common issue, but it’s not one that you can readily test for. You will need a tool (a multimeter) and knowledge of your vehicle’s normal resistance. If you’re handy, you can do this on your own. If not, you may need a mechanic.
Keep Your Gas Gauge Working Properly
When you start to see weird fluctuations in your gas gauge, it’s time to start testing it out. Getting to the bottom of the issue, you can better understand what you can do to fix it or what it’s going to cost you.
When you have issues with your vehicle, it’s better to know than to just guess. Avoid any costly surprises by understanding your gauge and what the average costs are in your area.
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