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Fuel gauge vibrating

1237 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Matrixx
1998 AWD astro van I just picked up, so far so good I like the ride, the AWD is nice, but it has a peculiar problem with the fuel gauge needle vibrating. It is not really a problem just not normal. The gauge works and lets me know how much gas is in the tank, it just oscillates quickly in one place like an orange blur, sort of fuzzy like reading a newspaper when you are hungover :D It is very hard to notice it is almost like a stuck speedometer or a vibrating cast cutter that moves really fast. I know the fuel pump was changed within the last couple of months so i assume it might be a ground or wiring issue from when it was replaced? Next time I see the previous owner I will ask him if it has been doing it before? The pump seems to work fine, the gauge needle moves to the correct positions I have no issues starting it (and it has been freezing cold lately). I just will probably wait until spring to look at it but i wonder if it is gauge or sending unit/pump wiring? Can I get at the ground wires without removing the gas tank? How easy difficult is it to remove the dash cluster? I will be getting a Hayes manual soon.

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Oddly i am replying to my own post?? But I just found this on another site and if anyone else has this problem here is some info...

Cut and paste from another site and author,

"Heres the deal on the guage [and just my 2 cents]
Crawl under the van and you'll see the wiring harness that goes to the top of the tank, there is a plug connector-unplug it and look in both ends for any corrosion [green color]-clean it. Off of that connector you will see a wire that runs to the frame, thats the ground wire. Unbolt it from the frame and scrape the frame and wire connector until shiney. Refasten to frame. See if that does the trick. Its not the guage in the dash. If that doesn't fix it the problem is in the sending unit which is part of the fuel pump [electric] which is inside the gas tank. It involves dropping the tank to replace and if your gonna go through that you would replace the fuel pump and sending unit as a whole. If ya do your own work you can save big bucks as most people I have heard get raped by the shops for what is not a big deal in labor. My advice: If your van runs good [no fuel related problems] skip doing it till ya need a fuel pump and get used to using the trip odometer for a gas guage. The pumps are good for 90,000 miles. If you've had your van that long then DO IT cause a tow will be $75 bucks. A good aftermarket fuel pump is $50 bucks with sending unit. This problem is 50% GM's for flimsy sending units and 50% the gasoline manufactures' for the high sulphur content in refined gasoline. There is a class action lawsuit in Florida against Shell, I hear people are getting some kind of reparations. Check the internet on this one....
I drive an 86 and know alot of people with Astros and Safaris' all report the same fuel guage and ghostly wiring problems. These vehicles are real workhorses and will give excellent longevity if you can get past the simple headache stuff..................Good Luck"
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