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Erratic fuel gauge

This is a discussion on Erratic fuel gauge within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; I did post the other day and got nothing so I'll try again. On my 2000 Sivlerado Z71 5.3, for ...

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    Erratic fuel gauge


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    I did post the other day and got nothing so I'll try again. On my 2000 Sivlerado Z71 5.3, for the past few days my fuel gauge will bounce from full to whatever I have in the tank at the time. It will eventually settle down and read correct. Is this a sender issue or something with the cluster? Any help is appreciated.

    2000 Chevy Silverado Z71
    5.3L 4.10's G80

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    It's a tough question is likely why no responses.

    Have you replaced your fuel pump latley?

    I know it's common when replacing the fuel pump on the 5.7's for the fuel gauge to become erratic. That is what happened to me. On the install instructions for the fuel pump the manufacture recommended replacing the electrical connectors at the fuel pump. When I replaced my fuel pump I did not replace the plugs and had an erratic fuel gauge right away. Since your truck is ten years ole it could be a sign that you are about to lose your fuel pump.

    If you can get to the pump connectors you might try disconnecting those plugs and cleaning the connectors.

    It could be a loose ground at the cluster.

    I know checking for grounds inside the cluster would be a pain.

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Thanks I'll see if i can get in there. If it was a ground at the cluster wouldn't other gauges be affected?

    2000 Chevy Silverado Z71
    5.3L 4.10's G80

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by skierZ71 View Post
    Thanks I'll see if i can get in there. If it was a ground at the cluster wouldn't other gauges be affected?

    Not sure how they are wired. Haven't ever removed cluster on my 99 Burb.

    I'll look at my manuals wiring diagram and see what I can see on instruments and get back to you.

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    alright thanks. I just noticed tonight that the gauge when i started the truck jumped to E then back to full and then to what's approximately in the tank.

    2000 Chevy Silverado Z71
    5.3L 4.10's G80

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Would this apply to my 89 1500? I replaced the fuel pump when I got the truck. It didn't run when I got it so I thought the jumping gauge was normal.

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Skier,

    I checked my Haynes wiring diagram and it looks like you're right about gauges sharing a common ground.

    There is a procedure for checking a DEAD fuel gauge that involves grounding the disconnecting the connector at the sending unit and grounding the connector.
    With the connector grounded turn the key on briefly and see if the needle moves to full. If it moves to full then replace the sending unit. If the gauge doesn't move disconnect the sending unit connector from the back of the fuel gauge and ground that terminal with a jumper wire. If the needle moves then the fault lies in the wiring between the sending unit and the gauge.

    If you don't have a manual for your truck I'd advise getting one. They are only about 10 bucks and have a ton of useful basic electrical checks one can do.
    Electrical problems are expensive to have a pro run down.
    Last edited by btucker001; 12-05-2010 at 06:39 AM.

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    i just noticed today that when in drive the neelde doesn't bounce but when in park it does. Autozone did say it the sender is starting to go.

    2000 Chevy Silverado Z71
    5.3L 4.10's G80

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Mine bounces real fast back and forth like it seems its blurry. I was told either a ground or the voltage regulator or the sender. If its the voltage reg its kind of expensive so I just leave it.

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    My parents suburban vibrates fast. Where as mine slowly goes from full to whatever is in the tank if it's even close. Since the cluster shares a ground then that eliminates the cluster. I did some searching and see a lot of gms having the issue. I'll go with it for now but i'm wondering could an ailing battery really cause anything with it? I believe the battery in my truck is 4-5 yrs old if not older.

    2000 Chevy Silverado Z71
    5.3L 4.10's G80

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by skierZ71 View Post
    i just noticed today that when in drive the neelde doesn't bounce but when in park it does. Autozone did say it the sender is starting to go.
    This happened to my 97 jimmy as soon as i replaced the sending unit it fixed the problem

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Ok so update new battery as it was at least 4 years old. Well needless to say i guess the sender is shot. Would checking the ground by the pump help at all? I forgot to say earlier that i did have to drive home through a lot of fricking salt. Could that have an effect on the gauge?

    The thing is wed morning it was fine then that afternoon it was on the fritz.
    Last edited by skierZ71; 12-06-2010 at 03:54 PM.

    2000 Chevy Silverado Z71
    5.3L 4.10's G80

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    the ground is easy to check, on the forward, bed support(just off the frame rail, driver side
    O2 GMC RCSB 4.8L V8 AUTO 3.73's
    rebuilt/beefed up 4L60E(at 43,000miles)
    Matching Ninja 500r


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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Ok thanks i'll take a look at then.

    Well found the ground location. Too blasted cold to try and do anything, but i strongly believe the sender is going south. Guess i'll deal with it for now but it drives me nuts having a finiky gauge.
    Last edited by skierZ71; 12-06-2010 at 04:36 PM.

    2000 Chevy Silverado Z71
    5.3L 4.10's G80

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by skierZ71 View Post
    Ok thanks i'll take a look at then.

    Well found the ground location. Too blasted cold to try and do anything, but i strongly believe the sender is going south. Guess i'll deal with it for now but it drives me nuts having a finiky gauge.
    My 99 5.7 fuel pump went out 09. If you haven't already replaced it I'll wager you're living on borrowed time on the fuel pump in your 2000.

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    Re: Erratic fuel gauge

    Quote Originally Posted by btucker001 View Post
    My 99 5.7 fuel pump went out 09. If you haven't already replaced it I'll wager you're living on borrowed time on the fuel pump in your 2000.
    I'm thinking the same thing. It was fine all summer and last winter in the cold and now it's starting to act up. A guy at work suggested changing the pump too before it goes. I'm hoping that (knock on wood) it makes it till tax return so I can fix it or else it goes out and let the parents fix it but convincing the old man he believes its the cluster. I ruled that out as every other gauge works correctly. If i remember it was around 140k when the pump in my parents 99 suburban went out.
    Last edited by skierZ71; 12-12-2010 at 04:18 PM.

    2000 Chevy Silverado Z71
    5.3L 4.10's G80

 

 

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