The fuel gauge on your car is what allows you to see how much fuel you have left. It’s an important part of making sure that your car doesn’t suddenly run out of gas, leaving you stranded on the side of a road. But how exactly do these fuel gauges work, and what components allow them to measure the gas levels in your tank? We’ve taken a closer look at fuel gauges to let you know exactly what’s going on in your car.
How a Fuel Gauge Works
Fuel gauges are effectively sensing units for a car. They’re effectively made up of two components: the sensing unit and the indicator. The sensing unit itself works with the help of a float switch, which is connected to a potentiometer. As the tank empties and the float switch drops, it slides a moving contact along the resistor and creates resistance. At a certain point, this will also turn on a “low fuel” light on some vehicles. In this particular system, there’s also an indicator unit that measures the amount of electric current flowing through the sensing unit. When the tank level is high and maximum current is flowing, the indicator points to “F” to indicate a full tank. When the tank is empty and the least current is flowing, then the need points to “E” to show that the tank is empty.
The Importance of a Fuel Gauge
Without a fuel gauge, you wouldn’t know how much fuel you have left in your tank. This could cause all sorts of problems on the road if you don’t carefully remember when you filled up and how many miles you went. Needless to say, being able to determine how much fuel your car has left is important. Not only that, but it wouldn’t be possible without the help of a float switch.