Page updated on 06-23-2018

2002 Tahoe fuel gauge/sending unit problem?

02-16-2004, 03:28 PM
Ran out of gasoline for first time even though fuel gauge said I had 1/8 tank. I have 30,000 miles now. At about 24,000 miles, fuel gauge became very non-linear with fuel usage. Before 24,000 miles on vehicle, fuel gauge was fairly linear and 1/2 tank would equal about 150 to 175 miles of travel and near empty would equal about 300 to 350 miles of travel. After about 24,000 miles on vehicle, 7/8 tank would equal about 100 to 125 miles of travel, 1/2 tank would equal about 225 to 275 miles of travel, and then fuel gauge would drop rapidly. Also, since about 24,000 miles on vehicle, filling tank from empty, fuel gauge shows about 7/8 full, until driven for a few miles and then it shows full tank. Fuel mileage has not changed. I suspect that the fuel sending unit float may be sticking a little. Local GM Dealership checked for problems in the shop, but did not perform an actual drive test. Service Manager said everything checked ok in the shop.

Thanks for your help!

02-16-2004, 04:42 PM
I have read some bad things about the fuel pump and sending units on these Tahoes. I test drove a 2000 Tahoe a few weeks ago and the gauge danced around the whole time. The pump also made a load buzzing sound. I have read (probably on this site) about the sending unit wires touching together and causing problems. Those folks had to replace the complete sending unit. Some had replaced certain pieces, but did not resolve the problem until the complete unit was replaced. I wasn't going to buy a Tahoe after reading about those fuel problems. I decided to buy a 97 Tahoe last week and I have my fingers crossed I'm not going to have the fuel pump or sending unit problem. The dealer is trying to wait until your warranty is out. Seach for some more info on this defect. I know I've read it more than once in the last few weeks. Make sure the dealer documents the problem in case a service bulletin is issue after your warranty is gone.

Good Luck,

02-16-2004, 05:21 PM
Thanks Tony!

I traded a 97 Yukon in on this 2002 Tahoe. The electric fuel pump went out on it at 50,000 miles. It was a pain to replace because there was no access cover under the rear seats. I had to drain the gas tank and remove it, in order to replace the fuel pump. I did replace the entire assembly with original equipment. A mechanic told me that running the tank low on gas can cause the fuel pumps to overheat because the surrounding gasoline helps cool the fuel pump. Also, another GM mechanic told me a dirty fuel filter causes the fuel pump to work harder.

My 97 Yukon was in the shop a lot while under warranty and I had the 5 year 75,000 mile warranty. The dealership never did correct the brake problems. I corrected the brake problems with high quality drums, shoes, springs, rotors, and pads. It was money well spent because it solved the brake judder problems and shortened the stopping distance. My 2002 Tahoe has excellent brakes so far, but lots of little problems. I like the utility, comfort, and power of Yukons and Tahoes, but they are not reliable in my experience.

Good Luck,

02-16-2004, 07:09 PM
Yes, it's actually a shame. These are the same type problems they've had for years and they could fix them if they wanted to. Thanks for the full tank tip. I don't like to run on empty any way, but that makes sense.


Danny Demon
02-17-2004, 07:14 AM
1-Fuel pump.

Change fuel filter every year.

Run Complete Fuel System Cleaner in gas at every oil change.

Switch to Synthetic Oil. Just because I said to.

Fuel Pump problems are due to several reasons. Number one reason is
moisture in fuel causing corrosion. This problem is minimized when tank is kept relatively full because then less condensation is formed. It also helps to use Heet or Gas Treatment regularly, especially in dead of Winter and peak of Summer. A clogged fuel filter does nothing for a fuel pump either.

2-Brake Shudder

Again, numerous causes. Number one reason is over or unevenly tightened lug nuts. OE Rotors may be a little on the light side. Have rotors turned. When wheels are remounted make sure that they are tightened with a torque wrench to spec in rotating criss cross manner. Look in your owners manual. This has worked for me. Of course if you wanna put some HD aftermarket brakes on your truck be my guest. I would still recommend said procedure.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Man who stand on toilet high on pot.


Add your comment to this topic!