Fuel gauge is bouncing from 1/2 full to empty after I replaced fuel pump. How do I fix it?


Asked by Aug 02, 2015 at 04:16 PM about the 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 2 Dr ST Extended Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

18 Answers


Don't you just hate it when you've got a logarithmic scale gas gauge. It's all over the place. Did you purchase the OEM for your vehicle and have it professionally installed? I'm sure that a professional can fix this problem. Maybe it's the sensor in your gas tank?


So, you replaced the fuel pump, maybe you need a brand new gauge inside your dashboard? I would get either the OEM best case, or a really good after market. VDO makes good gauges. And, how about your low fuel warning light, is that working?






Speak English...haha...


Did you just replace the fuel pump and filter, or did you replace the entire assembly that contained the the sender, pump and filter? OEM means Original Equipment Manufacture and VDO is the brand name of a gauge manufacturer.


Bruce, yes, I know that OEM means original equipment manufacture. If you read my post above, I said that getting that would be your best case. I only mentioned VDO because it would be an alternative if the gauge for your car was not available for any reason. VDO does make good gauges as do others.


Sorry...had a blonde moment...I figured that out after reading it a few times...but a dummy when it comes to some things...now...ANOTHER DUMB QUESTION...when LOW FUEL light comes on...(thinking computer virus)...will it act like it's empty and stop...even when I know there is plenty of fuel in that 40 gal we'll???

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Yes TENNISHOES...PUMP...FILTER...WH OLE ASSEMBLY...jacked up box to do it...


Bruce, when the low fuel light comes on, most cars and this is a general statement have about 2 to 3 gallons reserve in your tank. I say generally, because you really need to consult your owner's manual. I think there's only 1.5 gallons in my Toyota Prius. There was 3 gallons in my old Honda Accord, and I think 3 gallons in the Subaru. BUT, and this is a big one, don't run your fuel to the warning light all the time. It's a little harder on your fuel pump in your gas tank. I normally fuel up at 1/4 tank just to be on the safe side. I'm not saying you cannot go until the light comes on, just don't do that all the time and you'll be fine. Besides, you never want to run out of fuel on these newer cars. I understand it's not as easy to get them restarted if you run bone dry. Not to mention being stranded, and who wants that. I mean, there's always AAA, but, you'll have to wait, a pain. So, based upon your gas mileage, you can easily figure out how many miles you have until you run out. It's all based upon your cars fuel consumption. And, if you have a 40 gallon tank, I'm sure it's pretty thirsty. By the way, I think your tank is 35 gallons. http://www.edmunds.com/dodge/ram-pickup-1500/1997/st-12342/features-specs/----and gets 14 miles per gallon in city driving. I would definitely try and refuel at 1/4 tank in your situation.


No...the light comes on when needle hits E...like it suppose to...but I know there was over a half a tank when it started bouncing all over...over half Mark...then just drops to E...LOW light comes on...then creeps back up...the down...see my point???

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He'll...I drove semi for over 25+ years...I KNOW not to run out of fuel in anything...


OK so you replaced the entire assembly, but did you use one from the dealer or an aftermarket, if you used an aftermarket unit it may not have had a fuel gauge damper built in, so without it you will be able to see the fuel slosh in the tank on the gauge. If you do like almost everyone on here suggests and not run less than 1/4 tank of fuel then the light is of little concern.


Bought from AUTOZONE...TOP DOLLAR...LIFETIME WARN...OK...I just drove it around for 10 min...started at a 1/2 tank...dropped to just below a 1/4...went back to 1/2...pulled into driveway setting on E...LOW light on...shut it off...just cranked it up...setting on 1/4...


Check the plug at the fuel pump. Sounds like you've got a bad connection. The sending unit for the gauge on the dash is part of the pump assembly. HTH. -Jim


Ok...I'll try that later...going to a concert...thanks for the advice...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You're welcome. Glad to help. -Jim

Did you figure out the problem? I have the same issue.

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