Beginner Info

Why is my fuel gauge stuck on half?

Trucks are not easy to handle in terms of maintenance until you know well about vehicles. You should have approximate knowledge about the system what, how, and where are the parts connected.

If your fuel gauge empties on the indicator screen, but the tank is full, it means there is an issue. A fuel gauge represents the fuel in the tank, and the gauge consists of two parts the sending unit (in the tank) and the indicator (on the dashboard).

Why is my fuel gauge stuck on half? If a fuel gauge is stuck in half, it could be bad fuel senders. Your sending unit is may problematic & sending wrong messages to display screen about fuel.

Why is my fuel gauge stuck on half?

Sometimes the issue arises in the sending unit of the fuel gauge and that sends wrong messages to the display screen. There is a float connected to the potentiometer, when the fuel tank is empty it drops down along with the resistor. While it increases the resistance and moves the indicator to the low fuel on display.

Why is my fuel gauge stuck on half
Why is my fuel gauge stuck on half?

The resistance is controlled by a potentiometer that controls the flow of electric current.

Whereas the indicator unit task is to determine the amount of electric current flowing through the sending unit and display it using a needle.

When the current is flowing through the empty fuel tank it will indicate point ‘E’ on the display. On the other hand when the fuel level is high and the maximum current is flowing then it shows the point on ‘F’.

Causes of a defective fuel gauge

Whether the sending unit is broken or faulted it act differently in the various vehicles. You can check the fault by determining these types of signs.

It will be easy to get the problem fix when you would be known about the inside of the fuel tank.

Following are the three conditions of the defective fuel gauge.

When the tank is full but reads empty

Sometimes your fuel tank full but the fuel gauge reads it empty due to the following reasons:

  • The float is separate from the arm that causes the other component not to work in the sending unit.
  • A faulty resistor can cause the gauge to read empty by restricting the signals.
  • Corroded wires of the sending unit on the fuel pump stop voltage to the fuel gauge or from the source.

When fuel gauge stuck on full

If your fuel tank is empty but the fuel gauge shows it filled then the following are possible reasons.

  • The resistor is not correct and keeps sending full voltage to the fuel gauge.
  • When the vehicle is in regular use the resistor may lose the capacity of movement and wear down with time and creates an open circuit.
  • Bad wiring grounded the terminal and shortened the signals of the fuel gauge so it sticks to the full always.

When the fuel gauge stuck on half or fluctuates

If the needle of the indicator is stuck on half or fluctuates between full and empty then it means there are some mechanical failures in the fuel gauge.

  • Float arm may stick at a certain level and fall back naturally when a vehicle moves.
  • Get back to the original place and shows the right display again.
  • Missing resistor capacity causing mechanical failure of the fuel gauge.

Fuel gauge issues can ruin your vehicle

Since the faulty fuel gauge won’t stop you to drive the vehicle but can risk the truck running out of fuel. If you are unaware of the problem then it’s useless to run to the gas station or running out of fuel is also not suitable for the truck.

However, it’s a bit confusing because the fuel pump passes fuel through lubrication and cooling. So, when the fuel is empty it will overheat and get damaged.

Consequently, the shortage of fuel will constantly damage the fuel pump and fail it at last.

If you are unaware of the low fuel issue and keep running the vehicle then the debris from the bottom of the fuel tank can block the pump strainer. It will also clog the other components like fuel pipes, injectors, and damage the whole fuel system.

It will directly affect the performance of the vehicle and can cause damage to the other parts of the engine as well.

To save yourself from the above issues you can take your vehicle to the automotive shop to check the fuel gauge for avoiding potential risks. You should always keep your tank full with an accurate reading of fuel level for a safe drive.

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