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1998 chevy malibu: liter..fuel gauge..I fix the problem

Customer Question

1998 chevy malibu 3.1 liter fuel gauge doesn't work. How do I fix the problem?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Carhelp4u replied 8 years ago.

The most common cause of this is a faulty fuel level sensor within the fuel tank. This requires removal of the fuel tank to access the fuel tank pump unit. The fuel level sensor is located on the side of the fuel pump module. Here is what you are getting into to replace this unit. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

  • Drain the fuel tank.
  • Relieve the fuel system pressure.
  • Raise the vehicle and suitably support.
    Object Number: 54520  Size: SH

  • Disconnect the quick-connect fitting at the fuel filter.
  • Disconnect the quick connect fittings at the end of the fuel lines.
  • Remove the exhaust rubber hangers. Allow exhaust system to rest on rear axle.
  • Remove the exhaust heat shield.
  • Loosen the fuel tank filler hose clamp at the fuel tank.
  • Remove the hoses from the fuel tank filler, EVAP vent and EVAP vapor pipes.
  • Disconnect the electrical harness from the multi-way rear body connector and fuel strap.
    Object Number: 49897  Size: SH

  • With the aid of an assistant, support fuel tank (1) and disconnect the two fuel tank retaining straps.
  • Lower the fuel tank.
  • Disconnect the wiring harness from the modular fuel sender assembly and fuel tank pressure sensor.
  • Disconnect the EVAP pipe and fuel pipe from the modular fuel sender and fill limiter vent valve.
  • Remove the fuel sender assembly from the tank.
    Object Number: 14057  Size: SH

    The modular fuel sender assembly may spring up from its position.
    When removing the modular fuel sender assembly from the fuel tank, be aware that the reservoir bucket is full of fuel. The reservoir must be tipped slightly during removal to avoid damage to the float. Discard the fuel sender O-ring and replace the O-ring with a new one.
    Carefully discard the reservoir fuel into an approved container.

  • With the fuel sender lock nut tool, press down and rotate the cam lock ring (1) until free of the fuel sender retaining tabs.
  • Remove the modular fuel sender assembly.
  • Remove the fuel level sensor.
  • Remove the fuel pump electrical retaining clip at the top of the modular fuel sender assembly.
  • Disconnect the fuel pump and fuel level sender electrical connector.
    Object Number: 619293  Size: SH

  • Depress the 3 tabs (1) securing upper fuel reservoir and slide upward until free of lower reservoir (2).
    Object Number: 619296  Size: SH

  • Depress the tab on the fuel level sensor (1) while sliding up and out of the housing.
  • Remove the retaining clip from the electrical connector.
  • Remove the fuel level sender wires from the connector, taking care to note the location of the wires.


      Make sure the wires are routed under the fuel level sender.
      Make sure the tab locks in place.


      Object Number: 619296  Size: SH

    1. Install the fuel level sensor (1) by sliding it down the slots on the lower housing (2).
      Object Number: 619293  Size: SH

    2. Slide the upper reservoir (1) into the lower reservoir making sure the tabs lock.
    3. Connect the 2 wires into the connector and lock it with the retaining clip.
    4. Connect the fuel pump and fuel level sensor electrical connector and lock it with the retaining clip.
    5. Install a new O-ring on the fuel tank.
    6. Install the fuel sender assembly.
    7. Install the fuel tank.
    8. Refill the fuel tank.
    9. Install the fuel filler cap.

      Caution: Unless directed otherwise, the ignition and start switch must be in the OFF or LOCK position, and all electrical loads must be OFF before servicing any electrical component. Disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent an electrical spark should a tool or equipment come in contact with an exposed electrical terminal. Failure to follow these precautions may result in personal injury and/or damage to the vehicle or its components.

    10. Connect the negative battery cable.
    11. Inspect for leaks using the following procedure:
      11.1. Turn ON the ignition, for 2 seconds.
      11.2. Turn OFF the ignition, for 10 seconds.
      11.3. Turn ON the ignition.
      11.4. Inspect for fuel leaks.
  • Customer: replied 8 years ago.
    I discovered what the problem is...don't need your assistance after all. Thanks you anyway.
    Expert:  Carhelp4u replied 8 years ago.
    What did you find the problem to be?
    Customer: replied 8 years ago.
    fuel Gauge needed to be reset.

    Expert:  Carhelp4u replied 8 years ago.
    Can I ask how you did this? I was not aware of a fuel gauge reset for this model? I would appreciate the info.
    Customer: replied 8 years ago.
    As I stated in a previous reply that was not the solution you provided. I knew it was something very simple which took my customer a (woman) about 20 minutes to fix. So, I do not accept your answer and I should not be charge anything at all.

    Customer: replied 8 years ago.
    <p>Your answer was not helpful. The problem was that the fuel gauge needed to be reset which is done with a paper clip by inserting thourgh the mileage reset and moving the needle to its perspective location. I had my customer to do this and everything is working fine. There should be no charge whatsoever for your answer.</p><p> </p><p>Thanks,</p><p>Leon</p>

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