A while ago the fusible link in the cable from the starter to the alternator
on our '98 Malibu burned open. Replaced it and all was well. Well, maybe
not quite all. The gas gauge took on a life of its own after that little
incident. I suspect a spike sent it off into an alternate existence. The
needle now wraps all the way around to the bottom side of the stop when the
car is turned off. It does move when the ignition is turned on, but not
correctly - it does not read in the correct area of the gauge.
Any ideas on how to reset the home for the needle? I'm guessing that it's
possible to ground an input to the gauge, but don't know for sure. Would
appreciate any input or experienced advice.
You may not have a simple problem. The manual says that the powertrain
control module gets the fuel level signal from the sending unit mounted on
the fuel pump and in turn sends a signal to the instrument cluster via the
class two serial data link. Sounds like your machine needs a good scanning
to begin with.
I appreciate the feedback. I should have also noted in my original post
that since the problem first showed up, I have replaced the fuel tank and
replaced the sender at the same time. I was hoping that in the process of
replacing the pump and sending unit that I'd fix the problem, but as you can
tell - no such luck.
The same thing happened to me when I took my 1998 Malibu in for a new
alternator. When I got the car back, the gas gauge needle was on the
underside of the lower pin. Turning the ignition on pegged the needle
at the underside of the pin, and turning the ignition off allowed the
needle to drop.
To fix the problem, I noticed that the trip odometer reset pin has a
hole slightly larger than the reset pin itself. So with a thin wire (I
used a twist tie from a grocery store), I poked through the gap in the
hole, made contact with the fuel gauge needle, and then flipped it
counter clockwise until it was on the top side of the lower pin.
Hopefully this will help others with this problem. I was really
dreading having to take the dash apart to fix such a simple item.
Mike Marlow wrote:
I found a TSB detailing exactly this procedure and did it. Problem all
fixed. Mine is a '98 Malibu also and it was also an alternator failure -
sort of. The fusible link opened and caused a voltage spike. Turns out the
TSB is about voltage spikes causing this very problem. Thanks for the reply
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