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Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

This is a discussion on Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit" within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; hi guys, I am having some issues with my 2004 silverado 1500. The gas gauge is reading all sorts of ...

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    Lightbulb Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"


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    hi guys,

    I am having some issues with my 2004 silverado 1500. The gas gauge is reading all sorts of different values randomly. It fluctuates from full to empty and back and forth, and now it is reading on Empty all the time, when I just filled up.

    I believe the problem is with the fuel level sensor (i think thats what its called), but all i can find on GMpartsdirect is a "sending unit". Are these the same thing? I got a quote from the dealer for $600 for the part, but I believe that was for the entire pump assembly. Which part am I looking for and am I able to purchase it seperately?

    Thanks,

    Brian
    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 Ext. Cab, 4.8L V-8. 4WD. Magnaflow SI/SO Muffler, about to put some bigger tires on it.


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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    yup they are both the same thing

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    Lost before Dawn CustomChevyGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    im not sure about the new ones. the chevelle has a float sensor and a fuel sending unit - two separate parts that work together from what i've been told...guess they changed it
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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    so they can be purchased seperately?
    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 Ext. Cab, 4.8L V-8. 4WD. Magnaflow SI/SO Muffler, about to put some bigger tires on it.


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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    Nope he is wrong both have fuel level sending units the chevelle has one that is just the sending unit but on EFI stuff it normally comes with the fuel pump attached and can't be purchased seperately.
    Last edited by mudbuddy; 01-07-2009 at 07:34 AM.

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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    Try Techron additive before replacing the meter. This stuff works well on the meter problem and is cheaper. Any good auto parts store should be able to get it or have it in stock.
    04 K1500 Silverado EXT 3:73 gears, 5.3L 265/75-16,Pace Edwards tonneau,

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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    mudbuddy, if they only come as a whole unit, how come you can buy two seperate parts on gmpartsdirect?
    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 Ext. Cab, 4.8L V-8. 4WD. Magnaflow SI/SO Muffler, about to put some bigger tires on it.


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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    You need a fuel level sensor, the sending unit is the whole unit which has the fuel pump and the level sensor attached to it. You just need to replace the level sensor if the gas gauge is fluctuating, common problem on these things. You just pop the sending unit out of the tank and change the sensor itself.
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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    let me look at gm website I'll get back to you on this.

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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    OK I guess I was wrong you can replace the sensor alone here is the info. I would still replace the whole unit so you don't end up having to go back in there in the next year to replace the pump unless it has been replaced already or the truck has super low miles.

    Fuel Level Sensor Replacement (4.8L, 5.3L, and 6.0L Engines)
    Removal Procedure




    Remove the sending unit. Refer to Fuel Sender Assembly Replacement .
    Disconnect the fuel pump electrical connector.
    Remove the fuel lever sensor electrical connector retaining clip.
    Disconnect the fuel level sensor electrical connector.
    Remove the fuel level sensor retaining clip.
    Remove the fuel level sensor (1).
    Installation Procedure

    [IMG][/IMG]


    Install the fuel level sensor (1).
    Install the fuel level sensor retaining clip.
    Connect the fuel level sensor electrical connector.
    Install the fuel lever sensor electrical connector retaining clip.
    Connect the fuel pump electrical connector.
    Install the sending unit. Refer to Fuel Sender Assembly Replacement .
    Last edited by mudbuddy; 01-07-2009 at 10:00 AM.

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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    wow that helps clear things up a lot. Im gonna start price shopping on the part now. I dont know if i feel like pulling the bed in the Alaska winter, so I may just order that part and have the dealer do it. what you guys think?
    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 Ext. Cab, 4.8L V-8. 4WD. Magnaflow SI/SO Muffler, about to put some bigger tires on it.


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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    Could be a stepper motor in the cluster.

    http://www.fullsizechevy.com/forums/...placement.html

    One way to find out is to use a scan tool to see if the sender is sending good data. If it is the fuel level stepper motor it is a lot easier and cheaper to fix than the sender/pump.
    '04 Silverado 1/2 ton 2WD ext. cab dk. grey. 5.3 liter, locking diff. XLerator exhaust - offbrand but throaty. Borgeson intermediate shaft, Bilstein HD shocks.

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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    are you sure this could be a stepper motor issue? I know when other people had stepper motor issues, their gauge would flutter or flicker, mine just fluctuates, never fluttered rapidly.

    what scan tool woudl i be able to use to measure the function of the sending unit? any reccomendations.

    I would much prefer if this was a stepper motor issue, much easier to fix. I am electronics tech for the air force and have a good deal of experience in high-reliability soldering, so would love to just have to solder a new motor in.

    thanks,
    Brian
    Last edited by 85chevyC10black; 01-07-2009 at 12:40 PM.
    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 Ext. Cab, 4.8L V-8. 4WD. Magnaflow SI/SO Muffler, about to put some bigger tires on it.


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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    Quote Originally Posted by 85chevyC10black
    are you sure this could be a stepper motor issue? I know when other people had stepper motor issues, their gauge would flutter or flicker, mine just fluctuates, never fluttered rapidly.

    what scan tool woudl i be able to use to measure the function of the sending unit? any reccomendations.

    I would much prefer if this was a stepper motor issue, much easier to fix. I am electronics tech for the air force and have a good deal of experience in high-reliability soldering, so would love to just have to solder a new motor in.

    thanks,
    Brian
    You don't even have to solder it on these. It just presses in. My money is on the level sensor. Happens all the time on that vintage.

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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    Quote Originally Posted by 85chevyC10black
    are you sure this could be a stepper motor issue? I know when other people had stepper motor issues, their gauge would flutter or flicker, mine just fluctuates, never fluttered rapidly.

    what scan tool woudl i be able to use to measure the function of the sending unit? any reccomendations.

    I would much prefer if this was a stepper motor issue, much easier to fix. I am electronics tech for the air force and have a good deal of experience in high-reliability soldering, so would love to just have to solder a new motor in.

    thanks,
    Brian
    My oil pressure gauge fluctuated and stuck when the stepper motor went out. No, I'm not sure; that is why I suggested the test. Don't know what scan tool to suggest; my son ran over mine before I bought the truck.
    '04 Silverado 1/2 ton 2WD ext. cab dk. grey. 5.3 liter, locking diff. XLerator exhaust - offbrand but throaty. Borgeson intermediate shaft, Bilstein HD shocks.

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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    You could check the fuel sensor with a multimeter. No need for anything fancy.

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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    im assuming that i have to drop the tank in order to test the sensor with a multimeter correct? Im gonna try some techron in the tank and see if i get any response, since it's still stuck on E right now, if that doesnt change anything i might just get the part from gmpartsdirect for 100 bucks and replace it myself.
    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 Ext. Cab, 4.8L V-8. 4WD. Magnaflow SI/SO Muffler, about to put some bigger tires on it.


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    formerly 99-2door Sinister C3's Avatar
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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    Just measure the resistance on the wiring harness somewhere, either right where it comes out of the tank or under the hood. Do it while adding fuel to see if the output changes smoothly or if it jumps around to different values.

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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    where exactly is it under the hood?
    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 Ext. Cab, 4.8L V-8. 4WD. Magnaflow SI/SO Muffler, about to put some bigger tires on it.


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    Re: Difference between a "fuel level senser" and "fuel sending unit"

    I hope he can tell you.

 

 
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