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Fuel Gage Problem on 2000

 
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Badger_Bob
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2000 Chevrolet Impala


PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:03 am    Post subject:  Fuel Gage Problem on 2000 Reply with quote

OK, this is my third thread in less than 24 hours, but I think I'll be done for a while after this. Everyone here has been tremendously helpful.

Car: 2000 Impala, 3.4L, +100K miles

Problem:
The fuel gage went bad about a year ago. It will stay pegged near full even after I drive 100 miles or so. Then it will act eratically. I use my trip odometer and typically fill up when it hits 300 miles. So far, I've been safe with that approach. The low fuel light comes on sometimes, but it's not always accurate. The light has come on when I still have a few gallons left.

I was told by a mechanic that the tank float is bad and that it's probably a $500 repair bill. I assume that he's right and it's not an electrical problem.

Any thoughts?
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IffyG
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2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue
2009 Chevrolet Malibu


PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:10 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Well you are just hitting all the common problems in one go around. Laughing

It sounds like it is indeed the fuel level sender that is bad. Have you ever had the gauge just drop to zero, trigger the low fuel light and bump back up to full? If so, it's definitely the level sender. If not, it's still a likely candidate. It could also be a bad stepper motor in the cluster, but if that was the case I'd expect you to be almost empty when the low fuel light comes on.

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bigdog60
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:40 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Quick chime in here..It is likely the fuel sending unit, there are after market units available, I believe your car has an access hatch above the the fuel pump under the back seat, so the gas tank does not need to be removed.
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Badger_Bob
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:05 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

IffyG wrote:
Well you are just hitting all the common problems in one go around. Laughing

It sounds like it is indeed the fuel level sender that is bad. Have you ever had the gauge just drop to zero, trigger the low fuel light and bump back up to full? If so, it's definitely the level sender. If not, it's still a likely candidate. It could also be a bad stepper motor in the cluster, but if that was the case I'd expect you to be almost empty when the low fuel light comes on.


I can't say that I've seen it do exactly what you said, but it's possible. It's only been recently that I've noticed the low fuel light come on, mostly because I've been more daring with the odometer mileage. Laughing

Or more forgetful about looking at it every time. Embarassed




bigdog60 wrote:
Quick chime in here..It is likely the fuel sending unit, there are after market units available, I believe your car has an access hatch above the the fuel pump under the back seat, so the gas tank does not need to be removed.


So how involved is replacement? Any estimates of how much one of these fuel sending units would set me back, aftermarket and/or new?
EDIT: Nevermind about the pricing. I found some other threads here. The Search function is my friend. Very Happy



Also found this fuel sending unit repair thread here:
http://www.naioa.com/v2/module.....p;p=520534

That looks promising. Might have to give that a try first.
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DennisW
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:10 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Badger_Bob wrote:
IffyG wrote:
Well you are just hitting all the common problems in one go around. Laughing

It sounds like it is indeed the fuel level sender that is bad. Have you ever had the gauge just drop to zero, trigger the low fuel light and bump back up to full? If so, it's definitely the level sender. If not, it's still a likely candidate. It could also be a bad stepper motor in the cluster, but if that was the case I'd expect you to be almost empty when the low fuel light comes on.


I can't say that I've seen it do exactly what you said, but it's possible. It's only been recently that I've noticed the low fuel light come on, mostly because I've been more daring with the odometer mileage. Laughing

Or more forgetful about looking at it every time. Embarassed




bigdog60 wrote:
Quick chime in here..It is likely the fuel sending unit, there are after market units available, I believe your car has an access hatch above the the fuel pump under the back seat, so the gas tank does not need to be removed.


So how involved is replacement? Any estimates of how much one of these fuel sending units would set me back, aftermarket and/or new?
EDIT: Nevermind about the pricing. I found some other threads here. The Search function is my friend. Very Happy



Also found this fuel sending unit repair thread here:
http://www.naioa.com/v2/module.....p;p=520534

That looks promising. Might have to give that a try first.


You can pick the sender unit up for around $100 from places like Rock Auto. I would recommend sticking with the AC Delco unit, worth the extra few bucks.

The job isn't too bad, just be careful working inside the trunk with gasoline fumes, open doors, trunk, fold down the back seats and get a fan to circulate air thru there just to be safe. Also disconnecting the battery would be a wise safety precaution. There are how-to articles that show you step by step how to do it, and you'll save yourself $400 in the process.
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Badger_Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:36 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Thanks for the help guys. I'd love to get that gage working right again. It's such a pain in the butt dealing with the odometer. It really is amazing that nobody in my family has run out of gas yet. I've been using the car almost exclusively as a commuter vehicle since September so the usage is easy to track. But my son takes it out sometimes now that it's summer and he's home from college.
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Badger_Bob
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:27 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Sorry to sound stupid, but how do you fold down the back seat?
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IffyG
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:13 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

If you have a fold down rear seat there are some loops up at the top that you will pull to release the back seat. It's possible you might not have a fold down seat though.

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grimsin
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Badger_Bob wrote:
Sorry to sound stupid, but how do you fold down the back seat?

they are hard to find, check all the creases around the back seat my lil loops were stuck in the creases and i didnt even know i could take my back seat out till a month or 2 ago lol
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IffyG
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:48 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

grimsin wrote:
i didnt even know i could take my back seat out till a month or 2 ago lol




Laughing

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Badger_Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:30 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Sometimes it helps to actually look in the owner's manual. Laughing


At lunchtime, I was able to flip both seats down and pull up part of the trunk carpet. I see there is a small access panel there. I don't have any tools with me, but I assume the fuel sending unit is under there.
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Baywing
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:05 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Given that the car has over 100K, you might want to consider replacing the fuel pump too. The fuel pump is only available (from GM) with the sender, so if the pump goes next month, you'll be replacing both pump and sender as one unit.
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Badger_Bob
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Baywing wrote:
Given that the car has over 100K, you might want to consider replacing the fuel pump too. The fuel pump is only available (from GM) with the sender, so if the pump goes next month, you'll be replacing both pump and sender as one unit.


Any idea how much a fuel pump would set me back?
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