Wacky Gas Guage

Tiny
SJBAZE
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 3.3L
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
Normally my gas gauge works correctly as does the overhead console computer. However when the van is shifted into reverse the gauge immediately falls to empty, the Low fuel warning light comes on and the DTE (distance till empty) reading on overhead computer goes to 0. When shifted back into drive sometime all these reset to normal, sometimes they do not. (They stay at 0), until the key is turned off then back on.

Any ideas? Thank you
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 AT 6:01 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The most likely cause is a bad connection on the float arm for the sending unit. I am actually in the middle of writing a page for my web site that includes this repair, but it applies to older vehicles. What I would do for yours is to connect a scanner to view live data. That will show the reading coming from the sending unit. If it drops out intermittently, the float arm can be detached, then the movable contact can be bent very slightly so it makes better contact.

Www.2carpros. Com/./Ford-taurus-can-a-scan-tool-read-codes-if-no- engine-light-on
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 AT 6:14 PM
Tiny
SJBAZE
  • MEMBER
The fuel tank, pump and all other like parts have been recently replaced with new ones. This issue was happening before they were replaced, and are still the same with no change. I am leaning towards some kind of electrical, or ground issue, but I do not even know where to begin with locating it.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 AT 6:29 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You need to use a scanner to see what the Body Computer is seeing.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 AT 7:30 PM
Tiny
SJBAZE
  • MEMBER
I was able to get my van to a shop that agreed to scan it for me. The mechanic was not very helpful, however he did say that the readings from the sending unit were "constant". Not sure rather this is a help or not. Thank you very much for your time.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 21st, 2016 AT 1:08 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The question then is was the gauge reading correctly while he was looking at the sending unit input? If it was, any testing has to be done while the problem is occurring. That is where having your own scanner is better than having to pay someone by the hour to to try to make the problem occur. If the Body Computer showed it was reading a correct fuel level, then it becomes an issue of looking at what the instrument cluster is seeing for fuel level information that is sent from the Body Computer. Welcome to our world of frustration thanks to all this unnecessary technology.

One thing you might consider before getting too involved is starting with the 1996 models when the instrument cluster became an unreliable computer module, there have been a lot of problems caused by loose connector pins on the back of the cluster. Those can be soldered to the copper circuits to improve reliability.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 21st, 2016 AT 2:42 AM
Tiny
SJBAZE
  • MEMBER
Yes, while he was scanning it the vehicle was put into reverse the gas guage would fall to empty and the low fuel light would come on, but he said the readings did not change
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 21st, 2016 AT 2:43 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If that happens when you shift to reverse with the engine not running, I would look at those instrument cluster connector pins. The shifter may be causing causing just enough movement on the wiring to have an affect. You should be able to cause the problem to show up by pushing on the cluster too.

If the engine has to be running, look for things that flex when the engine rocks. Wiggle on wiring harnesses that run through the engine compartment.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
-1
Monday, March 21st, 2016 AT 2:51 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides