Jim's fuel gauge perpetually runs on empty.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

The fuel gauge on our 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis Wagon has stopped working. The gauge reads empty at all times, and the "low fuel" light is always on. The service manager at the dealership says that the gas tank will have to be removed to replace the sensor. Obviously, I'd rather not have the tank removed. Please advise.

RAY: Did you say this was a '79 or an '89, Jim? We'd expect this kind of repair on a '79 Grand Marquis, but not on one that's less than three years old.

TOM: There is a sensor in the tank which reads the amount of fuel, and sends that information to the gauge on the dashboard. And those do wear out eventually.

RAY: But it shouldn't happen so soon, especially on a car in which quality is supposed to be job one.

TOM: And even though it probably costs less than $150 to fix, we don't think you should have to pay for it. Ask your dealer to get together with Ford Motor Company. And in the interests of peace, harmony, good will, brotherhood towards man, and the next J.D. Power owner satisfaction ratings, ask them to buy you a new fuel tank sending unit, and to apologize profusely for putting such garbage in what is otherwise a very nice car. Good luck, Jim.

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