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Gas Gauge changes after starting up

I have an 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue. I started having a problem about a year back where when I first start the engine, if there is 1/4 tank or less left in the gas tank, the gauge will at first show the proper level. However, after driving for a few minutes the gauge will creep up to anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 fill. I know that the original reading of 1/4 or less is the correct one because of the amount of gas needed to fill the tank. This problem is especially problematic when the tank is almost empty.

Any idea what to ask my mechanic to look for?

I did some more research and found a discussion thread on this exact problem with this response:

“The fuel level sensor is faulty. The sensor has small metal contact that eventually wear down or burn off. Very common issue from about '97-about '06 on GM vehicles. The sensor can be replaced separately from the fuel pump assembly. You can expect to pay about 2.5 hours in labor, and I’m guessing around $120 for the part.”

That is correct, I’ve had the same problem with my 2000 Blazer for a few years now. I keep track of the mileage between fill-ups and have a good idea how far I can go (~240-250 mile) and still have ~3 gallons left in the tank.

Ed B.

I hardly ever let my cars get below a half tank before filling up. So looks like either shell out about $300 for a new sensor, or just fill it up more often.