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Fuel Gauge



I am a new member and a new owner of a 1998 bright red convertible with a black top. This site is very informative to new Corvette owner and I plan on being a regular contributor. I have had one problem with it though. I let the fuel get very low (yea, I know, dumb) and now the fuel gauge jumps to empty and stays there; the only way to reset it is to stop the car and let it sit for awhile. This problem is intermittent; any suggestions on how to fix this problem?
Welcome aboard the CAC express:D
Man, that's strange about the fuel gauge. Unfortunately I don't know enough about the C5 gauges to help you out. Hopefully some C5ers will chime in.........

JT ZR-Won said:
...that's strange about the fuel gauge.

Unfortunately I can't help you either David. But wasn't there something about the twin tanks causing this problem Jay? :confused
1987 Z51 said:
....But wasn't there something about the twin tanks causing this problem Jay? :confused

I'm shady on this one & unaware of dual tanks :confused
Hopefully c4c5specialist will have an opinion

Hi there,
Have your dealer check for codes in the PCM, if you have either 461, or a 1431, then a technical service bulletin applies here.
They will replace the passenger fuel tank sending unit, if there is any other concern, then this bulletin does not apply.
I encourage you to retrieve codes from the DIC and we can assist further if you wish, best to you, c4c5
I have the same problem with my 97. My dealer tells me there is a there is a problem with the sending unit in the tank that is sticking. They say there is a service bulletin on this?
Thanks for the information on the fuel gauge problem. I'll check it out (it's good to have a dircetion to go).
DavidArc et al,

I am looking at a C5 with this problem. We have been able to narrow it down a bit. If we fill the tanks completely, drive the car somewhere that it experiences a strong bump/hump in the road the fuel gauge will immediately fall to empty with the associated DIC messages and check gauges light. The sender in the passenger tank was replaced by a dealer, but did not fix the problem. I am now in the process of recording the output of both senders and sending simulated values to the computer. I am considering that the computer is misinterpreting the signals in a manner that fools it into thinking that the tanks are low. It may be that when the fuel slosh created by a large bump, causes the level sensor to go above full that an over voltage signal to the computer is incorrectly interpreted. I will keep you informed of our results.

My expierince is a little different. After driving about 45 minutes the guage goes to empty. If I stop or fill the tank it will indicate correctly for a short time and then go to empty. If I only do short trips, less tha 45 minutes I do not have a problem.

Do you get the same symptoms regardless of how full your tank is? Is the 45-minute time on different roads, at different times of day or always the same trip? How close to 45 minutes is it usually? Does the time vary significantly? Time to failure manifestations are a very different animal than most failure modes, in particular that you can fill your tank and correct the problem. Sorry about all the questions, but I am trying to reconcile the available evidence with the problem. Any input you might add could be most helpful.

I just came back from a road trip from Dayton, Oh to Virginia Beach, VA. On the way out is was approximately 45 minutes before failure. I stopped and restarted my '97 and the guage worked for about 5 minutes. When I filled up with gas it owrked again, this time for less than 5 minutes. I was in Virginia Beach for 7 days. The guage worked the entire time I was there. Did not drive it anywhere for more than 30 minutes at a time. On the way home it quit working at approximately 45 minutes again and basically acted the same way on the trip home as the trip out. I took it to my dealer and he was the one who told me there was a service bulletin out on this problem. They worked on my car to install the new column lock assembly (which was not under the recall as the '98 through 2000's are). They also told me that my fuel guage problem was not under warranty either. I elected to not have it fixed. I just came back from South Dakota with it and did not have a problem going or coming??? Sorry for the lenghty reply.

Thanks for the info. Unless the warrenty is up on your car, the guage should be covered. I know of a couple that have had the senders replaced to try and fix this problem. I'll let you know what I find out about the one I am working on (hopefully something positive).

I have not had any problems with my fuel guage as of yet. I hope I didn't just jinks myself. I know someone whose fuel guage went down gradually as you drive after 20 minutes or so. He took it to the dealer and they replaced both fuel senders and he has not had any problems since. I guess he got lucky, and I hope I stay lucky.
Thanks, GM has agreed to replace my senders as well, hopefully this will take care of the problem.

From what I can see from the C5 I am working on here, the sender is definitely the culprit. The sender’s output went open circuit sometimes, when full and encountering a moderate bump/dip. Do not know yet exactly why this is so, but the system not only thinks the tanks are empty, but latches this condition and never realizes it was wrong and corrects the fuel level display. For now, I would trust no fuel sender unit. This will be the second case I have seen where two senders did not correct the problem. If the first sender does not fix it, keep on the dealer to try another.


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