Sierra 1500

Erratic Fuel Gauge Operation on GMC Sierra 1500

Problem Description and Possible Solution

It is common for the fuel level sensor in the fuel tank read the fuel level incorrectly. The sensor must be replaced to correct the condition. Our technicians recommend having the complete fuel pump module replaced on high mileage vehicles.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 128,333 (3,600–252,000)
15 model years affected: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, more2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
117 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 60 comments
My 2005 GMC Sierra 1500 fuel gauge started reading empty all of a sudden and then it would go back to normal and then when I stop at a light or somewhere, it would read empty again. On and off. Up and down is what going on with the fuel gauge. Then the engine light comes on right after this started happening. Now what!! Also it takes turning the engine over twice to get it to start when before all this started, it only took one try. Before this happen, I haven't had any problems with this truck. Does anybody know what the permanent fix for this problem is?
The low fuel light and fuel guage both indicate no fuel, yet I may have just filled the tank. The light and guage make alternately go on and off at any time, moving or stopped and with any amount of fuel in the tank.

The problem has not been repaired yet.
Truck will be idle, low fuel light comes on. I can start the truck, and will have full tank of gas, will say low fuel
At first the gas gauge was at empty, when I knew I had gas in tank, put gas it then
it floated to the half mark, drove some miles maybe 20 and then overnight when
I took car out of garage it is on empty and will not move.
It will not read full when it is full , it has a tendency to go to empty which causes the empty fuel light to come on. I never fixed it.
As an example, I can go out and start my truck, and the fuel range indicator read "75 mile range" left to travel and the fuel gauge stating I have about an 1/8th of a tank of gas left. Go about two (2) miles down the road to the hardware store, go inside, come out and start the truck and the "low fuel warning" light will be on and the fuel gauge indicator will be buried on E. When this situation happens and I will stop and fill it up only to discover that it will only take between 15 to 21 gallons max. The window sticker and manual for this truck indicates it has a 26 gallon fuel tank. GM said this is normal to have variations in fuel ranges. Probably my last GM vehicle.
Just started doing I've just recently started sittin in my truck idling a good bit during the day and it just started since my last fill up it reads empty then it will get correct and read the actual feul
My gas gauge stopped working and showed below E. Check engine light came on. In wiring harness on left frame rail I snipped the purple wire that goes to the fuel level sensor and measured 5 volts on the gauge side of this wire. I then installed a 100 ohm resister to this wire and grounded the other end of resister to the frame. Got the resister from Radio shack and now my gauge reads 3/4 tank. Engine light went off, will clear codes completely with the On Board Diagnoster and can get truck inspected. This is a quick fix and does not make the gauge work but I have on board computer that tells me how much fuel I have used. Will be pulling the bed off and lifting with an engine hoist when the fuel pump starts acting up. GM dealership sells additive to clean fuel level sensor but Marvel Mystery oil in tank might work as well if you don't want to do the wiring first. Hope this help out.
Gas gauge jumps from full to empty on its own will and the low fuel light comes on and off as it pleases. my redneck solution is make sure it's filled up and always carry gas in the in the bed just in case but I would like to get this actually fixed. my code reader also says the fuel level sensor circuit voltage is high and low depending on when ever you test it.
I bought the truck new in 2000,This problem with the fuel sensor occur right after I had the throttle body replaced in 2005, the service rep at the GMC dealer told me at that time it would cost in the neighborhood of $500 to repair I,ve always had a whistling sound coming from the gas tank since the truck was new, I have just put up with the imperfection since
fuel gauge reads full all the time,no matter how much fuel is in the tank. plus my parking lights stay on until I disconnect the battery.