Mechanics

FLUCTUATING FUEL GAUGE READINGS

2004 Toyota Rav4 • 125,000 miles

I have a 2004 2wd Toyota rav4, and recently my fuel gauge hasn't been cooperating. When I start my car up I can register a 1/2 tank. I will stop at the store, come out and start my car again and gauge will read between 1/4 and 1/2 tank. As I drive the gauge will slowly move up towards 1/2 tank line. I took it to my local Toyota dealer, and they said this was normal. Do I need to check my fuel sender? If so, what am I looking for? Thank you for any assistance
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Slehman81
August 3, 2012.




When you have a full tank what happens?Does it ever read empty then pop up to 1/8 of a tank or higher?

Saturntech9
Aug 3, 2012.
When I fill up, the gauge will read full. I've never let it get too low.

Tiny
Slehman81
Aug 3, 2012.
It can bounce around a little the gauge I mean. But if it bounces around too much then I would be worried.

Saturntech9
Aug 3, 2012.
So its normal for it jump around, not drastically, but max like a 1/4 tank?

Tiny
Slehman81
Aug 3, 2012.
It shouldnt move a 1/4 of a tank fluction thats not normal.

Saturntech9
Aug 3, 2012.
Would the fuel sender be the culprit?

Tiny
Slehman81
Aug 3, 2012.
Most likely the fuel destroys them plus they wear out over time. But without testing it cant tell you for sure. But I have replaced more fuel sending units then anything for gas gauges issues.
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Saturntech9
Aug 3, 2012.
This should be more of a gauge than a sending unit issue. The needle is supposed to stay where it is when ignition is turned off but in this case it seems to have moved towards the empty direction.

The gauge moving back to where it is and operating normally when ignition is turned on or while engine is running indicates so.

KHLow2008
Aug 3, 2012.
He said it slowly moves from a 1/4 to 1/2 while driving that sounds more like a sending unit then a gauge. But like I said before you would have to do some testing. The sending unit fails way more then any gauges I have seen fail.

Saturntech9
Aug 3, 2012.
For this gauge, the needle needs time to move up. If you top up the tank and turn the ignition switch on, it would take 10 seconds or more for it to reach the max position.

KHLow2008
Aug 3, 2012.

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