Broken gas gauge -
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-06-2011, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 21
Broken gas gauge

Bought a used 1995 YJ, great condition, but the gas gauge isn't picking up how much fuel is in the tank. Help please!!!

Davidweinzierl is offline  
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-06-2011, 10:21 AM
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Placentia
Posts: 106
Wow I'm surprised no one is flaming you over this post! Gotta love, everyone here is really nice with us inexperienced people. Ok so this is a very common problem. You basically got 2 elements working, the gauge and the fuel sending unit. First, I would try to remove your instrument cluster and sand the terminals, this is the easiest fix. Here is the link for that w/ pics... That worked for all my other gauges, not my fuel gauge, which I'm still struggling with. Here is a link to a 93' YJ manual that has all the diagnostic info you would probably need. Page 22 is where you will find the gauge diagnostic information. Now the manual is for a 93, I have a 90 YJ so some of the specifications were different for me. On my 90 here is a resource which tells you how to diagnose the gauge as well as wiring schematics etc... From what I understand, if the needle goes all the way to full this is almost always a ground issue, and mine does that intermittently but normally my problem is that it wont drop under 1/4 tank.

Good luck and I hope this helps!
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-06-2011, 10:26 AM
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1978 FSJ Wagoneer 
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Location: South Shore MA
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edit - looks like I left this window open too long before replying and it was all said above^. good post.

you'll find that to be very some searching on here and through 'the google' and you'll find a million threads on it. often times, the sending unit either has a poor ground, isn't connected, or simply failed. they were never terribly reliable on the Jeeps, but over time can break down. sometimes the float can pop off, sometimes the gauge cluster can be burnt out, but I'd look at the sending unit and go from there.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-06-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 21
Thanks guys!
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-06-2011, 09:11 PM
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Dalton
Posts: 1,436
Mine hasn't worked in a decade. To me, the gauges are about as accurate as having a coat hanger stuck in a cork as your fuel level indicator. Check the sending unit, that is what is bad in mine, and maybe look at some autometer gauges if $$ isn't a problem.

'91 YJ 4.0 3/4'' Brandon Booms 31/10.50 BFG AT Herc'd CJ dash/tailgate CJ5 seats 4KCs cracked windshield

Originally posted by Crazyquadder:
a 6 foot puddle is approx half way up my doors
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-08-2011, 08:51 AM
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Placentia
Posts: 106
Just FYI I just got my gauge working yesterday! The ground, which is right on top of the mounting plate for the pump & sending unit, was rusted and corroded like no tomorrow. Even sand paper wouldn't clean it up. I cut a fuel access door in my "trunk" and am about to put it all back together. I think it's all worth it in the end to not run out of fuel when I think I got a 1/4 tank left!
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-08-2011, 10:14 AM
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Orlando
Posts: 2,663
While u have the sending unit out it is a good idea to rip out that plastic cup that is sitting at the bottom of the tank. That plastic up warps when submerged in gasoline and will block the sending unit arm from rising or listing past a certain point. My gauge used to read perfectly from full down to about hlf a tank, no matter how empty the tbh the gauge would never read lower than 1/2 tank because of the cup blocking the float from falling past half a tank.

I have heard this problem causing the opposite as well where the jeep will only go up to 1/4 or 1/2 full on the gauge even though u just filled up. Then when you get below half a tank the gauge starts working again.

Rip out the cup, clean up your ground, and put everything back together and you should never see another problem with it. People make YJ fuel gauge issues out to be some big mystery cluster*uck but honestly I have fixed four YJ gauges now and it was always something simple. For some reason people assume YJ gauges to be inherently inacurate when in reality they are simple read outs that involve nothing more than resistance readings lol. Gauges are no big mystery.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-08-2011, 10:40 AM
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: 14304 Niagara Falls
Posts: 2,537
I did all of the above over the last few months. My gages are perfect now, never a problem. Take a look at the links Edgy gave. It works.

Step 1: clean all the electrical contacts inside the gage cluster
Step 2: clean the ground at the fuel tank itself

I also pulled out that plastic cup from the bottom of my tank. Very accurate reading now.
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