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Fuel Gauge Sender Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your fuel gauge sender replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your fuel gauge sender replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a fuel gauge sender?

The average cost to replace a fuel gauge sender is $406—parts cost an average of $185, while labor costs around $221. Remember, this is just an estimate—the exact cost to replace your fuel gauge sender may vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model.
How long does it take to replace a fuel gauge sender? A certified mechanic can replace your fuel gauge sender in about 1.9 hours hours. A mechanic will first disconnect your car’s battery to inspect the fuel gauge sender. If it is faulty, they will remove it and install a new one. 
Here’s an overview of the fuel gauge sender replacement costs for different vehicles:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 23, 2024
Land Rover Discovery
$299
$121
$178
1.4 Hours
May 22, 2024
Maserati Ghibli
$286
$121
$164
1.4 Hours
May 22, 2024
Ford Ecosport
$286
$121
$164
1.4 Hours
May 15, 2024
Cadillac Escalade
$287
$121
$166
1.4 Hours
May 10, 2024
Smart Fortwo
$291
$121
$170
1.4 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for a fuel gauge sender replacement and how much do those parts cost?

If your fuel sender unit is faulty, you can take it to a mechanic to replace it or do it yourself. Because the fuel gauge sender is a single part, it’s usually the only part you’ll need to replace if it breaks. 
The average cost for parts to replace a fuel gauge sender is between $130.05 and $158.94. Remember, you’ll have to pay labor fees on top of that.
If you’re changing your fuel gauge sender at home, you’ll also need some basic tools, including:
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Open-end wrenches 
If your fuel gauge sender is faulty and your vehicle is still under warranty, contact your local dealership to see if it’s covered. If you do need to purchase the part for your replacement, we recommend going to your local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, as well as online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto. Three trusted brands that we recommend are ACDelco, Spectra Premium, and Delphi. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
Inaccurate fuel gauge readings are the most common sign of a malfunctioning fuel level sending unit. It may be stuck on full or empty or give incorrect and inconsistent readings.
Purchasing an OEM part is recommended if you’re replacing your fuel gauge sending unit. Although aftermarket parts may be cheaper, not all sending units are calibrated the same, and some aftermarket sending units won’t work with many original fuel gauges. Aftermarket fuel gauge senders are designed for aftermarket gauges and operate between 240 ohms (closed) and 33 ohms (open).
Fuel gauge senders are widely available through auto part shops like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts or online through sites like Amazon and RockAuto. You may also be able to buy new OEM parts through your dealership.

Where can I get my fuel gauge sender replaced?

If you’re car-savvy and want to attempt to replace your fuel gauge sender at home, it’s a great way to save money. But if you’re not keen on getting your hands dirty, finding an auto repair shop to do the job can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a trusted mechanic in your area. Luckily, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
makes things simple! It allows you to compare repair service rates from over 2,500 reputable auto shops nationwide in seconds.
Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates from repair shops using their actual hourly labor rate. You can also find out if you need to leave room in the budget for diagnostic fees and read actual reviews from real customers to help you choose the best service.
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare repair costs in your area.
153 Reviews
Uncle Ed's Oil Shoppe
address
49830 Van Dyke Ave, Shelby Township, MI
Fuel Gauge Sender Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$196
(Parts - $144, Labor - $52)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$0
198 Reviews
Boss Auto
address
120 E Gish Rd, Huntington, CA
Fuel Gauge Sender Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$325
(Parts - $144, Labor - $181)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$95
146 Reviews
Northtown Auto Clinic
address
2235 Taney St, Kansas City, MO
Fuel Gauge Sender Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$389
(Parts - $144, Labor - $245)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$80
104 Reviews
Midas Auto Experts - Cottman
address
854-60 Cottman Ave, Philadelphia, PA
Fuel Gauge Sender Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$402
(Parts - $144, Labor - $258)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$49.99
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my fuel gauge sender?

A mechanic will usually complete the following steps when performing a fuel gauge sender replacement:
  1. Release the fuel tank pressure following your owner’s manual instructions
  2. Disconnect the fuel lines and electrical connectors from the fuel gauge sender
  3. Clean the area to ensure it is free of any contaminants
  4. Use a non-ferrous tool to remove the retaining ring (if required)
  5. Remove the old fuel gauge sender with the gasket/O-ring from the tank
  6. Install the new fuel sending unit
  7. Reinstall the retaining ring (if removed before)
  8. Reconnect all electrical connections and put the fuel lines back in place
  9. Check for leaks

What happens if I don’t replace my fuel gauge sender?

While you won’t experience significant damage to your vehicle if your fuel gauge sender is defective, it can become a huge inconvenience. You could end up stranded on the road without expecting it because your fuel gauge gave a false reading.
Replace your fuel gauge sender as soon as possible if it has failed or is only operating occasionally.

What is a fuel gauge sender?

The fuel gauge sender, also referred to as the fuel sending unit, is a component found in the gas tank of most vehicles that’s responsible for sending the signal that controls the fuel level gauge on the car’s instrument cluster
It consists of an arm, float, and a resistor that changes based on the float's position. The sender float floats on the top of the fuel inside of the gas tank. As the fuel level drops, the position of the arm and float changes and moves the resistor to control what appears on the display. 
During a replacement of a fuel gauge sender, a mechanic will replace your defective one with a new one that operates properly.
Though the fuel gauge sender is a relatively simple component in your car’s fuel tank, the reading on your fuel gauge can become inaccurate if it's malfunctioning for any reason.

How do I know if my fuel gauge sender needs replacing?

Here are the most common symptoms of a bad fuel gauge sender:
  • Your fuel gauge only ever reads empty
  • Your fuel gauge only ever reads full
  • Your fuel gauge reads inaccurately or inconsistently
Remember that if you’re receiving inaccurate readings, it’s not always because the sending unit is faulty. A bad connection with the signal wire from the fuel gauge sender or a poor grounding wire can also lead to inaccurate readings. You might also have a blown fuel gauge fuse. 
Troubleshooting this issue is often a professional job, but if you have a multimeter at home, you can use it to self-test the voltage of the fuel gauge wire—the multimeter should be set to 20V DC. If the fuel gauge is not receiving 12 volts, check for signs of damage or a loose connection.

How often should you change your fuel gauge sender?

For drivers looking to
save money on car expenses
, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing your fuel gauge sender after a set interval. They’re designed to last for the vehicle's lifespan, but in some cases, they may become faulty or fail. 
However, some vehicles have standalone senders, while others have it built into their fuel pump assembly. If you have a standalone sender, replacing it is often easier and cheaper.
If you suspect a problem with your fuel gauge sender, have a mechanic look at it when your car is serviced. 

Can I replace the fuel gauge sender myself?

If you’re car-savvy and have experience working with electrical and fuel parts in a car and want a DIY project, you might be able to replace the fuel gauge sender yourself. However, fuel gauge work is slightly complicated and time-consuming, so if you’re not confident working on cars, it’s probably better left to a professional mechanic.

FAQs

Inaccurate readings on the gas gauge sender are usually due to a few issues:
  1. The float has separated from the metal rod (arm) and isn't giving feedback about the fuel level
  2. The variable resistor is faulty and malfunctioning
  3. The fuel system’s wires have corroded and aren’t providing information
The average cost to replace a fuel gauge sending unit is $406. You’ll pay around $185 for parts and about $221 for labor—but these costs can vary based on the make and model of your vehicle.
Incompatible fuel additives are the most common reason for a faulty fuel gauge sender. Adidtie can cause the float in the unit to not float properly, causing incorrect readings. The unit can also fail due to physical damage.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.