Tank on EmptyTank on Empty

Learn Your Gauge

November 5, 2012 about Chevrolet Cavalier

My Cavalier is a '98, and I do have to admit that I love this car. But of course with it's age, it has quirks. The biggest one is that the fuel gauge is now completely inaccurate.

When I fill the tank, the needle goes up half a notch past the 'F', and stays there for at least a few dozen miles or more. When it gets to the 1/2 half mark, I know there's REALLY only about 1/3 or less left in the tank. When it gets to 1/4, I really need to start looking for a gas station. When it gets to about halfway between 1/4 and 'E', now I'm playing with fire.

Funny thing is, the 'E' light never actually lights up, because the needle never actually gets much lower than 1/8 of a tank. I've run out of gas a couple of times. The car stops, the Check Engine light goes on, but the 'E' never actually lights up. So I suppose that means the 1/8 mark on MY car is the equivalent of everybody else's 'E'. If that's the case, I guess I usually get about 10-15 miles before I actually run out of gas.

The strange thing is, though, is how much gas actually goes in the car when I fill it up. I have a 16-gallon tank. Yet when I KNOW I'm out of gas, the pump stops at about 13.5 gallons, tops. I still have yet to figure out where that extra/missing 2.5 gallons goes, but I suppose it doesn't matter. As long as I know when I need to get some gas in there!

Vote on this story

Story replies

January 25, 2013 by Sid

Maybe you've got a leak?

February 20, 2013 by Nicole

I have a 2005 cavalier, and my gas gauge does the same thing... I can never really tell when my tank is empty until the gas light comes on !

Reply to this story