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Fuel Gauge Problem

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  #1  
Old 06-19-2009, 05:18 PM
2-Cups 2-Cups is offline
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Default Fuel Gauge Problem

1997 Caravan

62,000 miles on it, and today my daughter noticed that the fuel light on the dash will pop ON for about 2 seconds & the fuel gauge will start to drop (about 1/4 of a mark, or more) from full (which it is full of fuel), and then the light pops back OFF (the gauge returns to full), but the engine never skips a beat during this process.

Dash light pops ON (gauge drops), light pops OFF (gauge returns to the correct position).

This happens every couple of minutes (about 5 times within a seven mile ride).

Any idea's?

Thanks,
2-Cups
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2009, 07:22 PM
DESIREESAVENGER DESIREESAVENGER is offline
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I would put a level unit in it.
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2009, 07:27 PM
vabear vabear is offline
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Default Fuel Gauge

I have had similar issues, once with my '96 Caravan and again with my (now sold) '88 BMW 750 and both times it was a faulty fuel sending unit. The good news, replacing them solved the problem, the bad news they are part of the fuel pump module and located in the tank. With my Caravan I replaced the fuel pump (at 75,000 miles), it was more costly than replacing the sending unit, but at that mileage I just bit the bullet and put in a new pump. If you have ramps and are handy with tools you can do the job, it requires that you lower the fuel tank about 6 inches, but I did it (I am cheap) half sitting up under the car, and on my garage floor
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:10 AM
2-Cups 2-Cups is offline
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I'm not quite sure what you're taking about, by "put a level unit in it" (load level unit?).

I was worried that it could have something to do with the fuel pump, or something connected to it.

Would a code scanner pick up anything on the fuel pump sensor? I have a code scanner here, but it's not the best model (Gen-Tech I think). I did use it before on my Caddy, and on my daughters Equinox, and it seem to be correct with the codes it listed each time.

I just want to get an idea of where the problem is before taking it to these scam shops for repairs. My health won't allow me to do any physical work, and I just went through a rip-off on the A/C repair on my Cadillac. I can't state on this board how i'm feeling these days about scam artist, and they seem to be evrywhere these days.

There is one thing I forgot to mention earlier. I bought this van about 3 years ago from a neighbor by my fathers, becuse of the shape it was in & the low milage (38,000) on it. It don't have power windows or door locks on it (no keyless entry), however it does have a switch (toggle switch) located on the left side of the steering wheel (lower dash knee panel), that always has the light on (I guess showing it is active). I'm not really sure what it is being it has no keyless remote. My daughter had taken the van down yesterday for service, and had the oil changed, new wipers (front & rear), and a new set of tires (all four). When she left the service shop is when she noticed this fuel gauge light & needle doing these things. I was wondering if someone accidently hit that toggle switch (whatever it's for) and set some kind of security off in the van. Again, I've never been sure of why it's there, but it has always remained on (little red light on by the switch).

Is there any kind of security involving the fuel supply on these models without keyless remote? If someone at the service bumped it, & turned it back on, is there a way to re-set this security (if that's what causing this fuel gauge action)?

I know i'm throwing out alot of things here, but I do want to explain this situation as well as I can, before investing a ton of money searching in the wrong place for a remedy.

Thanks again,
2-Cups
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  #5  
Old 06-20-2009, 08:52 AM
vabear vabear is offline
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Default Fuel Gauge

As i mentioned earlier the fuel level sending unit is a part of the fule pump module (it can be replaced seperately from the pump, but the pump must be removed from fuel tank to do this). My '96 has remote locks but no security system and it appears that is what you have, a bump should not affect the gauge, I still believe it is the fuel level sending unit and no codes will apprear for this issue.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:20 AM
2-Cups 2-Cups is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vabear View Post
As i mentioned earlier the fuel level sending unit is a part of the fule pump module (it can be replaced seperately from the pump, but the pump must be removed from fuel tank to do this). My '96 has remote locks but no security system and it appears that is what you have, a bump should not affect the gauge, I still believe it is the fuel level sending unit and no codes will apprear for this issue.
Thanks,

I'll go ahead and send it to the shop to be replaced (fuel pump), as my wife drives this van, and I don't won't it to shut down on her (if this could cause a shut down) while traveling across town. She sometimes leaves very early in the mornings, and other times has my 7 year od grandson riding with her to the malls.

Any idea of what that little toggle switch is for (located on the left-side knee bump panel)? Again, it looks like a Valet switch for security, but without a keyless remote, i'm not sure how it would be set or reset if activated.

Ok, thanks again for the response......I guess i'm off to spend some more money.

Have a great day,
2-Cups
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:08 AM
vabear vabear is offline
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Default Fuel gauge

Not sure about the toggle switch, however, grandson had a mercury Grand Marquis and it had a toggle switch where you see the one on your car and it was an after market starter kill switch. One day he accidentally flipped the switch and no start on his car, it also had a red LED light on the panel as well. My car has remote locks but no security system and it has no toggle switch.
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:49 PM
2-Cups 2-Cups is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vabear View Post
As i mentioned earlier the fuel level sending unit is a part of the fule pump module (it can be replaced seperately from the pump, but the pump must be removed from fuel tank to do this). My '96 has remote locks but no security system and it appears that is what you have, a bump should not affect the gauge, I still believe it is the fuel level sending unit and no codes will apprear for this issue.
I think you're right about the fuel pump sending unit, and it's a shame there are no codes for this problem. I would hate to spend the time & money on repairing the module, only to discover that the car lift used to do the service work & install a new set of tires had damaged the wires leading back to the fuel tank itself. This problem started immediatly after driving off from the service center.

I just went out and cranked the van up (starts great) and let it run for about 5 minutes with no light coming on. I was waiting on the a/c to start cooling, which seems to be a little low on freon (had to give a little throttle to get it to start cooling). I then decided to drive it around the front yard (large yard & i'm still wearing my lounging PJ's), and when I was coming to a stop the light (fuel pump light) popped on for a Nano-Second, but went back out quickly. I removed the gas cap to check to make sure it was put back correctly, and while it was off, I applied a dab of vasoline to the seal (just to clean it off). I let it idle again for another few minutes, and nothing came on, but I still want to have this thing checked out for the benefit of knowing she's not caught in the early morning hours, broke down. The engine Never skips a beat (even when this light pops on), so i'm with you about the sending unit, more than the pump itself. I don't know if the unit can eventualy cause the fuel to shut off, or just turn the "light" on.

If i'm not mistaken the wires for the fuel tank runs down the passenger side of the van. Could a jack (car lift) damage these wires in such a way to cause this?

I'm not trying to drag this issue out, but I hate to play 9 holes on a course, and suddenly find out I played the back 9 first, and have to start all over again (paying extra green fees)

Ok,
Thanks again & have a great day

Last edited by 2-Cups; 06-20-2009 at 01:53 PM..
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2009, 02:46 PM
vabear vabear is offline
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Default Gas Gauge

I hear you about throwing money at a problem and I am not a auto tech, but every time i had this issue it was a sending unit malfunction. I do not think it will shut the engine off as it is an electrical issue from sender to gauge, Ihave had low fuel light and the warning bell and also gauge go to zero, but she kept on running. If a fuel line/ were crimped, it would slow fuel delivery, but the signal comes from sending unit attached to fuel pump. I wish these unit s were like the old Bimmer I had, sending unit in tank, but separate from pump, just pull srear seat cushion and unbolt the unit from tank, lift here out and drop in a new unit and I was home free. I just replaced the fuel filter on my '96 and do not get me started on that one, another PITA.
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2011, 07:28 PM
aruiz865 aruiz865 is offline
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Default fuel pump

I just installed a new fuel pump and now my gas gauge isn't working I thought it might be stuck but it isn't what could it be. it runs fine and drives great what could my issue
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:28 PM
 
 
 
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Tags
1995, 1998, caravan, dodge, fuel, gas, gauge, indicator, level, light, low, older, problem, repair, reset

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