'98 Park Avenue Ultra Fuel Gauge Problem

gr8ham

Junior Member
26
1
3
Buick Ownership
1998 Park Avenue Ultra
I stopped for gas on Saturday (let it get low... the light was on), filled up and then went through the car wash. On starting the car after the car wash I noticed the fuel gauge indicator was rotated all the way around and stuck under the rest pin under the empty side. I'm not sure if this happened between the fill up and the car wash or if it was new after the car wash. My suspicion is the latter.

I found the "magnet trick" on the internet, got a magnet and returned the needle to correct side of the dial, started it up and no problem, it's over just past the full mark as it normally is with a full tank. However, I have put 145 km on the car since then and the info display is showing 15 L used thus far.

The needle is not acting as I believe it used to. On start up the needle registers what I believe to be the correct fuel level i.e. decreasing slightly after every trip and currently hovering around the first line. During the trip however, the needle creeps up towards the full line and stays around there most of the time.

It may correct itself as the tank empties but I wanted to know if there was a way to test to see if it might be the fuel sender without taking the whole fuel pump/sender assembly out of the gas tank to see the feelers on the side of it.

Alternatively, is there a way to test to see if it is the gauge itself rather than the fuel system?

Thanks!
 

Drakito

Full Member
198
31
28
Southern Utah
Buick Ownership
2003 Park Avenue Ultra
Disconnect the battery for 3-5 minutes and then reconnect it. It does a hard reset of everything that way. If it continues to be off it can be the sending unit going bad. This crap E10 gas eats the senders, pumps, lines, etc alive.
 

gr8ham

Junior Member
26
1
3
Buick Ownership
1998 Park Avenue Ultra
I assume the hard reset wipes out all the pre-programmed settings on the radio, seat memory, etc? Does it affect anything else? I recall seeing somewhere that it can make the engine run rough after doing that but have no personal experience with it. Just want to know what might happen!
 

The Avenue

Full Member
112
5
18
Lafayette, IN
Buick Ownership
'01 PAU
I would say it's the sending unit. Mine will be accurate til it goes under 1/2 a tank. Then it jumps around and will usually return to the correct reading. Just been a bum in replacing it.
______________________________
 

gr8ham

Junior Member
26
1
3
Buick Ownership
1998 Park Avenue Ultra
From everything I could find in terms of descriptions of the issue online that was what led me to think that was the problem. Trip odometer is sitting at about 170 km from fill up, used 16 L of fuel and the gauge hasn't really changed except that it is still starting up at what seems the real fuel level and then slowly sneaking up towards full when the car is in motion.
 

dano1982

New member
4
1
3
Buick Ownership
2001 PAU
you need to flip the needles, rare earth magnet works I've read, or drill holes in cluster and use paper clip to flip. my fuel and temp needles flip when battery is disconnected then reconnected. they always resynch correctly on their own.
 

PA2013

Full Member
51
1
6
The Midwest
Buick Ownership
1998 Park Ave
you need to flip the needles, rare earth magnet works I've read, or drill holes in cluster and use paper clip to flip. my fuel and temp needles flip when battery is disconnected then reconnected. they always resynch correctly on their own.
This. If the needle gets stuck all the way around, replacing parts in the fuel tank is a fool's errand. The Park Avenue's cluster is notorious for this problem. You can use a strong magnet, as dano suggested, or drill a hole and use a toothpick. The previous owner of my Park Avenue made the choice for me. Curiously enough, however, I haven't had the problem ever since I installed a battery of the proper rating for this car several years back.

UXWBill has a comprehensive video on the topic:
Magnet fix:
 

2007LucerneCXL

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Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
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