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My fuel gauge is stuck at full

Dear Neto,

On my way to Kericho a few weeks ago, I happened to drive over a huge stone at a road diversion and badly dented my fuel tank. The car runs without any problems though my fuel gauge is stuck at Full.

It has become very difficult to tell the amount of petrol in the tank. I am a long distance driver and the fuel gauge comes in handy most of the time. How do I overcome this problem?

Rotich.

Dear Rotich,

First, you will have to get the  fuses and electrical connections to the fuel sender inside the tank thoroughly checked. The sender is the part that measures the amount of fuel in the tank while the gauge displays the level to you.

I suspect the former could be the one with a problem. It  is a float mounted on a hinged arm that moves up and down when fuel level changes.

The arm swipes through a variable resistor which changes the current level sent to the gauge.

The movement mechanism might have been interfered with when the tank was dented. The sender can be removed then the movement mechanism checked and restored.

In most car models, it is accessed under the rear passenger seat. Care must be taken, however, when removing the cover  on the fuel tank owing to the volatile nature of petrol.

A well-ventilated area is ideal for this kind of operation and it should only be done by very qualified mechanics.