Chevy Silverado Gas Gauge Not Working: Causes & Fixes

One gauge that most drivers cannot do without is the gas gauge. This is a very important component of your Chevy Silverado, as it is in any vehicle. The gas gauge tells you how much gas you have left in your car so that you can top up when necessary.

It is possible for the gas gauge to get broken. There are several reasons why this may occur. In this post, we will look at the major reasons behind this issue. We will also discuss how to solve the problem. Let’s get started.

chevy silverado gas gauge not working

How the Gas Gauge Works

Before we go on to discuss the reasons for the problem and the different fixes, we should explain how this mechanism works. This will give us insight into how to diagnose and solve the problem when it fails.

There is a component known as the float arm located in the fuel tank of your car. This component is connected to the rheostat that communicates with the fuel gauge directly. When the fuel reaches optimal levels, there is a change in the electrical resistance on the sender. It then sends a signal to the gas gauge making it read “full.”

The reading on the gauge changes based on the levels of the gas in the tank. Sometimes, the gauge gets stuck at full or empty regardless of the content of the gas tank. It means that the gas gauge is faulty. Also, it is possible for the gauge to move sporadically providing nonsensical readings. It also means that the system is faulty and needs to be fixed.

Chevy Silverado Gas Gauge Not Working: Possible Causes and How to Fix

If your gas gauge is not working, you are likely to get embarrassed with an empty tank. Since you don’t want this to happen, you need to solve the problem as quickly as you can. In this section, we will discuss the possible causes of the problem as well as their fixes.

Instrument Cluster Issues

The gas gauge is a part of the instrument cluster. When the instrument cluster is having issues, then every other gauge is likely not to work. It is also possible that the gauges will function haphazardly, working sometimes and failing at other times. If you notice this, then you need to run an instrument cluster test to be completely sure.

There are several ways of running an instrument cluster test depending on the year the car was produced. You should check the owner’s manual to see how to conduct yours. If you are not sure of the process, then it is best to take the car to your mechanic or the local dealership.

Before we go ahead, we should note that while this issue is common, the instrument cluster seldom gets bad. Its malfunction is usually a sign of some underlying electrical or mechanical problem.

Dislodged or blown fuses

Fuses are at the heart of every electrical connection in your car. Without fuses, you will have so many blown electronic components that will need replacing. A fuse breaks an electrical circuit when there is a power surge or wiring problem by getting blown. This is is how it protects your gas gauge and other electrical components of your car.

To check if you have a fuse problem, you first need to locate the associated fuse or fuses. In some cars, there are multiple fuses associated with the gas gauge. Check the fuse box under the dash on the driver’s side or in the engine. Take out the lid and check the fuse map beneath to find the associated fuse or fuses.

After locating them, check if they are properly placed. If they are dislodged, then you should begin by repositioning them. When you do this, the gas gauge should start working again. However, if they are properly positioned, you need to run a quick visual evaluation of the fuses.

Do this by checking the metal wire in the fuse to see if it isn’t cut. Also, check the fuse for any discolorations. If you like to be thorough or you are not sure, then test the fuse with a voltmeter or multimeter. When a fuse is blown, changing it solves the problem. Try to do this and check if the gauge is working or not.

Wiring issues

Wires are the connecting forces between electrical circuits. Without wires, the different components of the circuit will not be connected. Also, if the wires are bad or disconnected, the gas gauge cannot function.

Checking the wires is not so difficult for a professional but it is stressful and time-consuming for a novice. This is why we suggest that you take your Silverado to a professional when you need to carry out this process. Your mechanic needs to trace all the wires connected to the gas gauge. If there are broken wires, they need to fix them. In some cases, these wires have to be changed.

Sender issues

As we mentioned earlier, it is the sending unit that provides the data the gas gauge needs to work. If the sender is faulty, then the gauge cannot receive any data. Most times, the sender may be disconnected or the floating arm disengaged. It may also be an issue of resistance.

We suggest that you ask your mechanic to check this instead of doing it by yourself. The process needs some bit of expertise. This component hardly gets bad, instead, just a minor fix will be needed.

Broken gas gauge

If you have tried every suggestion on this list to no avail, there is one possibility left. The gas gauge may be broken. Before you conclude on this, you should check the gauge with a voltmeter to ascertain that it is receiving power. If it is getting sufficient current and it is not working, then it is broken and needs replacement.


There are so many reasons why your Chevy Silverado Gas Gauge will stop working. We have outlined the most common in this post along with their fixes. What other reasons do you know? Share them with us in the comments section below.