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Put 10 gallon in the tank but my fuel guage still shows E for empty ....WHY?

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My tank meter not working ! Just filled 10 gallon and it shows nothing.
Where do I start looking ? What ohm should the wire behind the gauge read ?
Any one know.
Any one had this problem before ?
When ignition turn off - then the gas pointer diapers
When ignition turn ON - the the gas pointer goes to E (empty)
When I go in the trunk and disconnect the brown wire that comes from the tank sender - then the gas pointer goes quickly to F (full).
I have found the ground wire and ran a long wire direct to negative on battery but still stuck on E
and I cleaned the ground surface the wire/bolt from tank negative taps into the frame but still stuck on E
I hate not knowing how much gas I have before the car empty and die on me..... 

gas guage.jpg

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Make model and year always helps....


I see from the dash picture it is a Buick, and the gas gauge worked the same for decades on those. The sending unit, when disconnected, measures 0 ohms (or as close as is possible) empty and 30 ohms full.


Since you disconnect the wire at the tank and the gauge goes full, that indicates normal operation of the gauge and wiring. The trouble has to be inside the tank. Probably your sending unit's float is sunk. Or, the sender could be electrically shorted somehow. My guess is it is the float. Time to pull the sender out. Good luck, and let us know how it works out. :)



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Yes it is a Buick 1955 Special, and I am under the impression as previous comment that the fuel gauge is working fine

and the problem is with the sender in the tank.

I see previous owner has made a new wire for the ground from the sender to the frame but that did not fix it

So as previous comment point out it is probably inside the tank and I need to drop the tank and check if the float is detached.

If the float is gone the arm would be down all the time as of it was empty, just as the gauge is showing.

So now I need to drive the car until it is dry of gas in the tank (bring a spare gas reserve) and then dropping it would be easier ....


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Bloo is right.

Based on your tests, we now know the dash gauge works.

Time to pull the sending unit.............

Sorry about that. i know it's a "pain', but think of it as an adventure, and take your time.


Many of us have been down this road, and it gives us something to talk about,

when we get to the "home".


Mike in Colorado


PS; There should be a drain plug on your tank for the last few ounces, and of course you know how to siphon a tank.

       Or were you one of the good little boys ?

Edited by FLYER15015 (see edit history)
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Also the extra tank ground is a very good Idea. I would keep it or make a new one.


If the grounding is lousy the gauge does not get all the way to "E" when the tank is empty.


The grounding through the straps or whatever can deteriorate over time and the owner usually finds out when he runs out of gas but the gauge is still above "E".

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hmmm my carpet is glued to the floor in the trunk,

before I pull it, anyone done this before ?

I thought you have to drop the tank on a Buick 54 55 56 to reach the fuel sender

which is on the top of the thank.

All I can see in the trunk is a brown wire going down the floor to the tank sender

ie the wire that does to the dash gas gauge

I still think the float is gone or disconnect inside the tank

only way to find out is to drop the tank ....... :(

1941-1956 Buick GM universal fuel tank.jpg

Edited by MrY (see edit history)
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Hello,  Drop the tank, Remove the sending unit and hook it up to a ohm meter.  According to  the other comments it should read 30 ohms  on one end of the swing and 0 on the other with a smooth transition between up and down.  This is not rocket science.  Good Luck

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