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Thread: gas gauge falls to empty when braking

  1. #1
    VCVC Member AutomaticAmie's Avatar
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    gas gauge falls to empty when braking

    in july i had my tank fixed after it started to leak just days before we were to leave for the nats. well, about 3 or 4 weeks ago the patch failed. tonight smiley reattached it (and did a tune up...sounds awesome) but now whenever i hit the brakes the gas gauge falls to E. When i release, it floats back up to where it was before.

    any ideas as to what's going on? wiring issue? sending unit filter not hooked up right? not enough gas and it's sloshing around (has a little less than 1/4 tank)? it didn't do this before so we're assuming it's something with the tank being reattached. any ideas would be helpful.

    thanks.

    amie

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    VCVC Member m1dadio's Avatar
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    If when sitting parked you apply the brakes and the gauge goes to E. This is a grounding issue in the electrical system. Assuming the gas gauge worked right before removing the tank.
    #1 To begine with I would look at what the brake lights are doing when the brakes are applied, just for information purposes at this time.
    #2 I would first check the grounding of the park and brake light bulbs/sockets at the rear of the van

    #3 Because the tank was just installed I would go there as well. The most commun error make when installing a tank is NOT assuring it has a good electrical ground. There needs to be a good solid ground between the tank and the chassis. Adding an extra ground strap will not hurt anything. But more specifically it is the sending unit that needs to have a solid electrical grounding to the cassis. I have seen many tank instalations (especialy coted tanks) where the sender is actually not grounded to the tank because of sealing coatings and the ground wire attached to the sender in either not there or not conected to the chassis properly.

    #4 If the problem still exsists after assuring proper grounds, you will need to look deeper into the integrity of the wiring running up the left windshield post and back along the left roof sill.


    On the other hand if this problem is happening when you are driving only, then you have some physical issue with the installation of the sender unit.

    M1D
    Last edited by m1dadio; 10-10-2011 at 12:08 PM.

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    VCVC Member AutomaticAmie's Avatar
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    thank you, m1d! smiley was stumped. it is has to been one of those issues. let you know when he gets to look at it.

    if it's a grounding issue, is it a problem for me to drive it?

    amie

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    VCVC Member m1dadio's Avatar
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    Not likely an issue to drive unless your lights are not working correctly.

    Check all your lights at the same time. Back up to a wall or window so you can see them, head lights on, apply brakes, look for brake lights being brighter then park lights, then try each turn signal with brakes applied and with brakes not applied.
    Turn the vehicle around so you can see the front park lights and do the same routine.

    Let me know if and exactly what does not look right on the lights and if the gas gauge thing happens when parked or only while driving.
    M1D
    Last edited by m1dadio; 10-10-2011 at 05:10 PM.

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    VCVC Member ron bonomo's Avatar
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    I'd like to add to this....My gas gauge stays all the way past full..doesn't move.I check and re did the connection for the ground wire ,,,,any thoughts on what this could be?
    thanks
    Ron
    1964 chevy g10 , straight 6 250, 3 on the tree

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    VCVC Member m1dadio's Avatar
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    Usually if a gm gauge reads to full its because the sendor or the sendor wire is open circuit or bad conection .

    Basicaly, if you ground the sendor wire the gauge should go to enpty (if the gauge works) If you unplug the sendor wire, with the key on the working gauge should go to full or past full.

    If you take a test light (which provides some resistance and acts a bit like the sendor coil) and touch it to the sendor terminal on the gauge with the key on and the test light grounded it should make the guage move down.
    You could do this for a nano second with a straight wire but you run the risk of burning the gauge without somr resistance in the circuit.

    On AutomaticAmie's van the brake lights are adding power to the fuel gauge circuit, probobly due to all round bad grounds through out the van.

    Many many vehicle elecrical problems get fixed simply by going around cleaning all the ground conections and cleaning all the light bulds bases and sockets with a wire brush, also the fuse box conections and any other wire conections or plugs that look grey or green or tarnished. And use a dielectric grease to then wether proof the conections and make plugs and sockets work much easier.

    M1D

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    VCVC Member AutomaticAmie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m1dadio View Post
    Not likely an issue to drive unless your lights are not working correctly.

    Let me know if and exactly what does not look right on the lights and if the gas gauge thing happens when parked or only while driving.
    M1D
    ok. just finished the test with the van parked. No change in gauge whilst parked. blinkers work front and back. parking lights on front and back. brake lights are slightly brighter than running lights. I know there has been some issue with my lights previously but i can't remember what...i'll have to ask smiley.


    To clarify, when i drove it last night it only did that when i had to brake. I'm going to try to drive it tonight if the kids fall asleep soon. and test if it just happens when light are on or if it happens when they are off.

    before he reattached the tank last night i didn't have the issue with the gauge. :-0

    thanks for your help!!

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    VCVC Member AutomaticAmie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m1dadio View Post

    On the other hand if this problem is happening when you are driving only, then you have some physical issue with the installation of the sender unit.

    M1D
    yikes...he did say he's never taking it off again!! lol....um....hope he wasn't serious.

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    VCVC Member macsdoghouse's Avatar
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    If i know Smiley, Check the sending unit ground wire . Needs to have a good CLEAN connection.. and maybe a cotter pin.
    MAC...


    68 GMC Handivan 90 panel
    65 Chevy 90 panel
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    ALABAMA....

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    VCVC Member AutomaticAmie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macsdoghouse View Post
    If i know Smiley, Check the sending unit ground wire . Needs to have a good CLEAN connection.. and maybe a cotter pin.
    MAC...
    he grumbled when i mentioned having to take the tank off....again....

  11. #11
    VCVC Member m1dadio's Avatar
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    if the problem happens only when you drive and brake, then when you come to a complete stop does the gauge return to the correct reading? IF so then it might not be an electrical issue at all. It could just be the fuel sloshing around. which is normal for these vans.

    M1D

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    VCVC Member AutomaticAmie's Avatar
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    ok...it's only happening when i drive and brake. but it didn't happen like that before the tank was taken off this last time. weird. now, it wasn't all the way full...so maybe that will make a difference. i'll keep you posted. thanks for all your help, M1D!

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    VCVC Member ron bonomo's Avatar
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    I seem to have solved the problem with my gas gauge,,,,all I had to do was UN-plug the connector from the back of the gauge and plug it back in again and now it works great,,,Amy I hope you solve your problem too
    1964 chevy g10 , straight 6 250, 3 on the tree

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