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Jerry Newton
Jerry Newton, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4764
Experience:  ASE Master Technician, L1, Master GM Technician. Over 20 years of bumper to bumper GM experience.
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2009 Chevrolet express cutaway van with duramax. fuel gauge

Customer Question

2009 Chevrolet express cutaway van with duramax. fuel gauge reads empty.l What is best way to diagnose sending unit? Is it possible to do w/o dropping tank?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 2 years ago.
I would start with a scan tool. The fuel level sensor is an input to the engine control module, so you can look at engine data on a scan tool and see what the fuel level sensor reading is. If it's reading something other than empty, but the gauge reads empty, then there is a problem with the cluster itself. Also, see if there are any trouble codes relative to the fuel level sensor (P0463), as the gauge will drop to empty if there is a fault detected that sets a trouble code. Historically, this is caused by faulty fuel level sensors, but diagnosis is always appropriate and much of it can be done without disassembling the vehicle. If you have a trouble code telling you the fuel level sensor is faulty, it's a fairly safe bet that you're going to be removing the tank to replace the sensor.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just have a cheep code reader. the only code I read is 2454 which is for DPF. The gauge reads empty when turning the key and cluster spells out fuel low. Upon starting the gauge still reads low but the light is not on and it does not read "fuel low" screen. I guess I need to take it somewhere with a scanner instead of just a code reader.
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 2 years ago.
Yes, a good scan tool will make this diagnosis much faster and easier. The $100 or so that you spend for professional diagnostics is well spent, and may save you from replacing things that don't need to be replaced. Cluster issues are also common, so I wouldn't do anything here until a good diagnosis has determined what the ECM fuel level is reading, as compared to the cluster. A tech can also look at cluster data and see what it's reporting on the scan tool vs. what the gauge is reading. Good data in there.