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Old 02-17-2011, 05:43 PM   #1
ςατμяη gμψ
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2002 SC2
Wrench Fuel Gauge Problem

I have a 2002 Saturn SC2 and a week ago, the fuel gauge started having problems. It is erratic and doesn't show the correct reading. It went down to E after just a few days. When I filled up at the gas station, it only needed half a tank to fill completely and my gas mileage was normal (around 30 MPG). Do you think this is a sensor and if so, where would it be located and how expensive is it to replace. One more thing... the light on the fuel gauge itself seems dim. The other gauges seem normally lit. Are these related? Thanks!

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Old 02-17-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
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2002 SC1
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

What did the gauge read after you filled it up???

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Old 02-17-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

Wolfman has a How-To on fixing the gauge for '91-'99's, might work for '00-'02 as well (unless the How-To states otherwise, don't remember).

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Old 02-17-2011, 09:12 PM   #4
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2002 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

The fuel gauge went up to full. I haven't driven much since, so it is still showing near full. I might have to drive a few days to see if problem repeats.

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Old 02-20-2011, 01:03 AM   #5
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2002 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

OK, I've driven about a hundred miles now and the fuel gauge has gone down to 1/2 tank. So I guess I still have a problem with a sensor or something.

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Old 02-20-2011, 01:21 AM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

100 miles for the first 1/2 of the tank is about correct. As long as it is consistent and you figure out when to fill it up you are OK, as it is not a precision measuring instrument.

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Old 02-20-2011, 02:18 AM   #7
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2002 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

For the couple years I have owned my car, I usually get near 200 miles before the needle dips below 1/2 tank. Something has been wrong with the gauge for the past 2-3 weeks. It went down to E a week ago and only required 6 gallons or so to fill up completely at the pump.

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Old 02-20-2011, 02:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

yeah 100 is not a half a tank, haha. it should at least be 200.

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:23 AM   #9
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

Each one is different. The tank holds 12.1 gallons and I run 32mpg with the pattern of use for the car. At 1/2 I put in about 6 1/2 gallons and absolutely full is real close to 13 gallons. You are now trying to fix something that very well not be broke.

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

I've seen this happen in my 94 SL2 that I bought a few years back.

As a matter of fact; I've seen it happen a few times and as recent as yesterday.

I had put a few gallons of gas in my car on late Friday and then topped the tank off on Saturday afternoon. While driving on the highway; my completely full tank gauge went from Full all the way down to a half tank, then down to a 1/4 tank and fluctuated...then *very* slowly gradually went back up to a half tank and then back up to the Full Mark.

I've learned to live with it as I only bought the car for $700. As long as the car runs, that is the only thing I am concerned about.

It is amusing to watch from time to time, but obviously this could be a sensor or float issue, wouldn't it?


Wolfman's Fix:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ght=fuel+gauge

Now that I found wolfman's fix and read through it...it's not a float or sensor issue at all, but more of a resistance issue. Read the thread for more details.

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1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
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2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

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Old 02-20-2011, 12:18 PM   #11
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

That is probably the level sender resistance element. If the float fails it is all over.

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Old 02-21-2011, 05:11 PM   #12
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2002 SC1
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

If the gauge goes all the way to full when the tank is full, you can rule out bad connections or wiring. Agree with OldNuc that your problem is likely the sending unit, which usually involves dropping the fuel tank to replace. If the gauge is consistent, even if it is wrong, I would learn to live with it.

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Old 02-21-2011, 05:17 PM   #13
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by BV22 View Post
If the gauge is consistent, even if it is wrong, I would learn to live with it.
Yepper - some things aren't worth getting repaired. Glad I've learned to let some things go...

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Old 02-21-2011, 10:18 PM   #14
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ςατμяη gμψ View Post
OK, I've driven about a hundred miles now and the fuel gauge has gone down to 1/2 tank. So I guess I still have a problem with a sensor or something.
Add fuel every time it drops to 1/4 for a while and that wil help fix it so it is more accurate.

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Old 02-22-2011, 01:43 AM   #15
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2002 SC2
Dizzy Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

I'll try the tips mentioned, but if it doesn't fix it I have a feeling it will bother me and I will break down and get it fixed, unless it's crazy expensive. Right now, I'm keeping the trip odometer on so I know when I get over 300 miles to fill up the tank.

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Old 02-22-2011, 02:26 AM   #16
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

A couple of points. Running the tank almost dry is hard on the fuel pump. It will last much longer if the tank is mostly 1/2 full or above. You have the digital cluster and there is no official way to replace just the fuel gauge. You replace the entire cluster. the reason it drops so fast is the magnet on the empty side is considerably stronger than the one on the full side. By maintaining the tank close to full will eventually increase the strength of this full side magnet and the decent to E will take longer and become more representative of the actual level. It is also prudent to operate on the top half of the tank instead of the bottom.

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Old 03-28-2011, 02:56 AM   #17
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Dizzy Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

I don't understand it, but it seems my fuel gauge is working properly now and I didn't do anything to fix it. The last two times I filled my tank up, the gauge is working normally. It isn't dropping fast after only a few trips. It's only going near E and lighting the orange fuel pump light when it should. Any thoughts as to why it is working correctly again?

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Old 03-28-2011, 03:15 AM   #18
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Default Re: Fuel Gauge Problem

It can be the instrument panel connections if you messed with it at any time, the ground connection for the fuel sender if it exists or the fuel sending unit in the gas tank. About all you can do now is leave well enough alone until it acts up then use process of elimination with the easiest things to check/do first; instrument panel check, ground wiring check, and lastly, removing the tank to pull the pump/sending unit out to check. Hopefully nothing is needed or you find the solution before having to drop the tank.

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