Gas Gauge Problem

The issue I am having is my gas gauge has been messing up. It is a 1997 Malibu and the first time this happened I replaced my battery and the needle went all the way around and ended up under the peg. So I did some research online and used a paper clip to swing it back around. After I did that the gauge seemed to function ok but then it started going down to empty then back up to full so I would never know how much gas I have. Now it is doing it again and I don’t know if it is the gauge itself or the sending unit in the fuel tank. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I think it’s the gauge. Did you accidently reverse the battery connections when you installed the new battery? Once the gas gauge “buried” the needle it’s reliability can never be trusted again.

No the connections were never reversed. It always does it when the battery is disconnected because it happened again a couple months ago when I was doing some work on my car stereo. So would you happen to know if in the cluster I can just replace the gas gauge itself?

No. The gauge cluster is replaced as a unit. The best bet would be to get a used cluster at an auto recycling yard. New clusters can be expensive.

Thank you for the replies but now I have a follow up. I found the service TSB for this problem online and the fix GM came up with was to stick a paper clip through the trip reset hole and flip the gauge back over. So I am still planning on replacing the cluster but if a time ever comes when I have to disconnect my battery again and the gauge flips over again do you think I will have the same issue I am having now. I’m just afraid of replacing the cluster then the gas gauge doing the same thing if the battery ever has to be disconnected again.