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Old 09-05-2007, 08:01 PM   #1
Mustang68
 

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Lightbulb Chevy S10 Gas Gauge Fix

Well to most Chevy Guys/Gals... the 82-93 Chevy S10 & S15's have 1 common problem that develops over time... (in some cases instantaneously) I tried to find the bulletin online to post it but couldnt find it (sorry i suck at searches for things like that)... Basically it deals with the Gas Gauge reading inaccurately.. In some cases the gauge reads empty all the time.. in other cases at full itll read half a tank and drop to empty well before the tanks close to it...

The cause of this problem is a shorted ground somewhere along the system.. In some cases the Fuel Level sending units gone bad itself, The ground from the sending unit corrodes and breaks.. (which in that case should read full all the time), wire harness between the sending unit and the gauge goes bad, gauge itself goes bad, or the ground from the gauge corrodes and snaps too....

Each takes some time to diagnose but there are some tests you can do to try and find the problem.. but at the same time they can be miss-leading.. To check the Gauge and wire harness from the sending unit up to the gauge, You need to locate the connector back by the fuel tank and disconnect it.. (usually it right up against the inside of the frame) Once its unplugged get in and and turn to key to the "ON" position so all the electronics light up (dont try to start it cuz it wont... ) with the connector unplugged your gauge should shoot to FULL... then take a piece of wire and ground the pink or purple wire (they used both colors for the s10-s15's) at the connector to something.. The gauge should drop to empty... If it doesnt budge either way you gauge is bad and needs replaced....

Now just because it may have passed that test doesnt necessarily mean the gauge isnt bad.. i found that out myself...

Im sorry to say the road to tracking this particular problem down doesnt always come cheap... In my case this was how i diagnosed the problem.. Since my gauge and harness tested out fine i figured it had to be the sending unit in the tank.. 20 yrs old.. still original i figured it had to be it.. So i replaced the sending unit.. got it all wired up, filled the tank up.. and nothing happened.. same problem still existed... so i went about rewiring the truck from the sending unit all the way up to the dash... still nothing...

so finnally i bought a new AutoMeter Sport Comp II Gas Gauge ( 0-90 ohms GM models 65-present..) and wired it in.. and what do you know.. it works again...


Ive got some pics from today.. sorry i didnt get any of the process pics actually being wired in.. i forgot to take those ones... if any of you have to do this later on id be more than happy to pull the dash back apart and get some pics for ya... but for right now the dash is gonna stay buttoned up lol..

heres the pics from today...

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to do the demonstration of them both working i connected the old sending unit i saved to force it manually... (that and i wanted to test it to make sure it worked...

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This is the sending unit upside down so the frame will hold the float fully empty...

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power on... cluster gauge itself reading empty...

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new gauge reading empty like it should...

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now the sending unit should be telling the gauges the tanks full....

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Well the dash is still lieing... as it has been for months now....
wonder if the other gauge is right...

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well what do ya know... it is... course its reading well over full.. but hey it works... thats all that matters right?


heres a few of the common tools youll need to do the gauge install...

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i had the paint bottle there to mark one of the wires so i knew it was for the lighting and not the sending unit... youll also need a 1/4" ratchet/socket driver, both shallow and deep sockets (some models you might need a torix bits depending on the dash setup you have).. and Phillips screw driver (+).... basically simple hand tools will do the job...

If you have any questions while attempting this yourself feel free to ask me any questions.. ill surly try to help you out..
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:07 PM   #2
Mustang68
 

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sorry for the long post... but figured id give yall the most information i could from my experience and some others ive talked to with that have experienced it as well...


Id also like to give a shout out to Summit Racing Equipment for having the parts i needed to fix my problem... http://www.summitracing.com And a big thanks to AutoMeter for making the parts in the first place...

Last edited by Mustang68 : 09-05-2007 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:20 PM   #3
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very good write up. i like how you included the pictures.

i'm wondering how accurate it's going to be with the way it is currently reading way past full. it's kind of like the sending unit and the autometer gauge has different resistances.

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Old 09-05-2007, 09:33 PM   #4
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very good write up. i like how you included the pictures.

i'm wondering how accurate it's going to be with the way it is currently reading way past full. it's kind of like the sending unit and the autometer gauge has different resistances.
yeah im anxious to see what happens there too as the tank slowly empties... but least its working better than that stock gauge it... if it doesnt go down as the tank empties ill know its probably the way i wired it and will have to move some wires... right now i have it wired off the same wires the original gauge uses... but with the old sending unit it seemed to work fine.. i wonder if they just forgot to put a needle stop on that side to keep from pegging that far over or not..
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:45 PM   #5
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very good job...I like the pics too
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:32 PM   #6
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Nice job shawn...very good write up

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Old 09-05-2007, 11:54 PM   #7
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thanks... i cant wait till i get that tank empty to see what happens..
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Old 10-21-2007, 01:56 AM   #8
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very good write up. i like how you included the pictures.

i'm wondering how accurate it's going to be with the way it is currently reading way past full. it's kind of like the sending unit and the autometer gauge has different resistances.
actually it didnt read well at all... it read full till it only had 2 gallons left in the tank... i had to rewire the gauge again.. instead of the 2 gauges being wired in parallel it had to go by itself...
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Old 10-21-2007, 02:21 AM   #9
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but least now its reading right... even when i tested it with the sending unit.. it works all the way through the specturm at the right points...now i just need to fill up the tank...
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:33 PM   #10
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Default fuel gauge

My fuel gauge on my S10 spins all the way around . fuel pump seems to be working fine. Looking on how to trace the ground from fuel pump to the gauge .
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:29 AM   #11
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What year is your S10? Have you tried unplugging the sending unit connector on the tank to see what effect it has on the gauge?

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