1996 Chevy Cavalier Incorrect gas gauge display

Tiny
FONTUCKYDICK
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 48,000 MILES
I just bought a '96 chevy Cavalier. The car runs out of gas and stalls when gas gauge is 1\8th tank from empty. When full the needle goes past the full mark. How do I find out if it is the gauge or the sender in the gas tank?
Thankyou
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Saturday, June 7th, 2008 AT 2:46 AM

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Tiny
WILDFIREV9
  • MEMBER
How far past full does the needle go. They normally go 2-3 needle widths past. If it goes way past it is probably the guage.
If the car sat for a long time with very little gas in it, the sender may have rust not allowing it to drop to the bottom of the tank.
Also, is the bottom of the tank dented in?
As long as you know where it runs out, I wouldn't worry about it.
The problem with replacing the sender is that it is in the tank with the fuel pump as an assembly.
Replacing it calls for removing the tank.
The sender/pump unit usually costs $200-$400 plus labor.
Hope this helps, VIC
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Saturday, June 7th, 2008 AT 3:39 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Ground the purple wire going to the fuel level sender and see what happens to the gauge whether it will react.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/12900_sender_1.jpg

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Saturday, June 7th, 2008 AT 3:56 AM
Tiny
FONTUCKYDICK
  • MEMBER
2-3 widths past is correct. Can I clean rust off sender?
Or carefully bend pointer to display more accurately?
Thanks, fontuckydick[/quote]
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Saturday, June 7th, 2008 AT 7:13 AM
Tiny
FONTUCKYDICK
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Thankyou, great diagram, fontuckydick[/quote]
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Saturday, June 7th, 2008 AT 7:28 AM
Tiny
FONTUCKYDICK
  • MEMBER
Is it possible to clean rust off sender? This might sound dumb, can I bend gas gauge needle a tad to make the gauge display more accurately? OK, if I short the purple wire that goes to sender how should the gauge re-act it the sender is OK?
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Monday, June 9th, 2008 AT 5:22 AM

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