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99 Malibu fuel gauge and A/C trouble

wallydog1wallydog1 Posts: 1
edited August 2014 in Chevrolet
Hi I am new here, I just picked up a 99 Malibu in Immaculate condition for $1,200 with 78k miles. I knew the the last owners it was a old mans car. The car runs and looks great, i do have just 2 problems with it that i was aware of when i bought the car.
The first problem is the fuel gauge, with a full or 1/4 tank or anywhere in between the gauge drops to empty then up then empty. as a guess i would say fuel sender switch in the tank. is this a common problem with this type of car and has anyone had this problem and fixed it? i hate to spend $300.00 on a sender switch if other people had this problem and it was something else.
The Second problem is the A/C is on and blowing cold then just shuts off any idea's ? any help would be great
thanks in advance, Wally.


  • i too have a 99 malibu- and when i too hit about 80k miles the fuel gauge would get to a 1/4 of a tank and drop to empty when i turned a corner or took off from a dead stop. now that i have hit 120k miles, once i get to a half a tank, it drops instantly to empty. I recently took a road trip- knowing how many miles i could go on a tank of gas before i couldn't chance it anymore- i was on the highway after driving about 150 miles and the gauge dropped to empty- being on the safe side- i stopped at the next fueling station and filled up, to my surprise, the tank was 3/4 of the way full. when i got home, i told my husband and he took it to his father who is a mechanic- he said that its the fuel sensor. the way he explained it to me was that its a rather simple *yet complex* mechanism.... its a ball like object suspended inside the fuel tank- over time that ball can develop holes, pits, defects that causes it to malfunction. since its in the fuel tank itself- its a rather difficult and expensive project to complete- it involves removing the tank and replacing that "thing" before it will work properly. im fine with it not being fixed as of yet because i know how many miles i can go on a tank before i need to refuel-
    hope that helps...

    oh, and the deal with the AC- mine does that as well- its done it from the time i got it which was about 6 years ago- while it was still under warranty i had it in and out of the shop about a dozen times and the mechanic told me there was nothing wrong with it... i have since replaced all the fuses, changed the plugs and wires, and even had some other routine maintence work done to it and it still has the same problem. whenever it does it to me, i turn the dial to off leaving the AC button alone and then turn it right back to 5 and it usually doesn't give me any more problems for that trip.
    one problem i have with mine is that positions 1 and 2 have never worked- how about yours?!
  • hiwatthiwatt Posts: 3
    AC is easy to fix, remove switch assembly clean contacts and resolder the circuit board on it no more ac trouble have fixed 2 cars for this already saving a big wad of cash for owners as price for switch is way too much have fun and be careful always disconect the battery first
  • The AC not working on one and two could possibly be your blower motor resistor. mine never worked on 1 and 2 and i just replaced myselff for $22. its a bugger to get to, behing the blower motor under the glove box.
  • hiwatthiwatt Posts: 3
    They sending unit is in the gas tank a job left to a shop, the ac you can fix remove the negative battery terminal first. Remove the switch assemby clean the switches with electric contact cleaner and if you have a soldering iron resolder all the connections the resistor is under the dash and you will needhelp putting the blower motor back in because you can't hold by yourself and put the screws back in. Please do not try working on the fuel sender unit it is too dangerous. I hope this help you. Also if the power windows stop working remove the swiches on the door drivers side and clean the switches with I sprayed some WD40 in them and they worked again moisture getsin them and they stop working.
  • My gas gauge is acting funny. It works fine until the tank starts getting low. Once it gets low it jumps back up to full. Once I fill it back up it works fine again until I get low. Any suggestions on what's causing it?
  • rican1rican1 Posts: 1
    i have a 97 malibu an two weeks ago the ac and fuel and temp. gauge stop working, i found the 10amp fuse blown, so i replace it and everything went back to work. but this week again same problem ,but now everytime i turn the ac on the fuse blows, so i unplug the ac plug from compressor ans i try the heater and thats fine , so i was thinking its the compressor, but now since i unplug it ,the cooling fans also stop working, i change the temp. switch and it temp goes over 190 and no fans , does anybody knows if the fans are also in the same circuit with the ac, since in summer the ac was working and ac cooling fan was also working. thanks for any help.
  • I'm also having a problem with the gauges going haywire.My car's security sensor comes on and after I turn the car off it won't start. Security sensor stays on
    I've had it in to the dealer and they replaced my battery. Next day same problem. I had to have it towed in and of course they were closed at the time. When I just called to see if they fixed the problem, they say there;s nothing wrong with it.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Slowhand5,
    I apologize that your vehicle is experiencing concerns. How long has the concern been present? Does anything come up on the DIC when this happens? Is the concern intermittent? Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • lovemygrandamlovemygrandam Posts: 330
    edited October 2010
    Passlock security problems are common on GM cars. Read my solution on my website:

    Dick Berger
This discussion has been closed.