FLUCTUATING FUEL GAUGE READINGS

2004 Toyota Rav4

Tiny

slehman81

August, 3, 2012 AT 12:23 AM

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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13 Answers

Tiny

saturntech9

August, 3, 2012 AT 12:33 AM

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

Tiny

slehman81

August, 3, 2012 AT 12:38 AM

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

Tiny

saturntech9

August, 3, 2012 AT 12:41 AM

It can bounce around a little the gauge I mean. But if it bounces around too much then I would be worried.

Tiny

slehman81

August, 3, 2012 AT 12:45 AM

So its normal for it jump around, not drastically, but max like a 1/4 tank?

Tiny

saturntech9

August, 3, 2012 AT 12:51 AM

It shouldnt move a 1/4 of a tank fluction thats not normal.

Tiny

slehman81

August, 3, 2012 AT 12:52 AM

Would the fuel sender be the culprit?

Tiny

saturntech9

August, 3, 2012 AT 12:56 AM

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.

Tiny

KHLow2008

August, 3, 2012 AT 4:51 AM

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.

Tiny

saturntech9

August, 3, 2012 AT 4:59 AM

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.

Tiny

KHLow2008

August, 3, 2012 AT 5:02 AM

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.

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