Does Your Fuel Gauge Have To Work To Pass Inspection?

If your fuel gauge quits working, you're probably wondering if you can get by without it. Besides the obvious risk of running out of gas, you may ask, "Do I need a working fuel gauge to pass inspection?" And if it has to be fixed, how can you repair the fuel gauge without costing much money? 

It's difficult to answer the first question because it depends on where you live and the inspection requirements of your state. But we can answer the second question because you're in the right place to get your fuel gauge repaired or fix any other problem you might have with our instrument cluster repair services.  

Will The Vehicle Inspector Look At The Fuel Gauge?

Broken fuel gauge

In many cases, a broken fuel gauge won't cause your vehicle to fail an inspection. If the vehicle inspector does look at it, they may note that it was not operational. Inspection regulations vary by state but typically cover the following: 

  • Does the vehicle have the correct emissions controls in place, and do they work properly?
  • Are the tires in good condition and have adequate tread depth?
  • Do the brakes work properly and are they in good condition? 
  • Are the suspension and steering components in good condition and working properly? 
  • Is the vehicle structurally sound? 
  • Do all of the lights operate properly? 

This is just a partial list of the things most often covered in motor vehicle inspections. Contact your state's motor vehicle department to get complete inspection requirements. 

Is The Problem Just The Fuel Gauge? 

Most of the time, the inspection will not include driving the vehicle. At most, they will start the car to check other items and may not pay attention to the instrument cluster except to check the odometer. However, if the problem is not the fuel gauge itself but is caused by a problem with the fuel system or emissions controls, your vehicle might fail the inspection.   

Before getting the vehicle inspected, make sure the check engine light isn't on. If the check engine light is on, it could mean a problem with the emissions control system. It could be a bad oxygen sensor, a problem with the evaporative controls on the fuel system, or a number of other items. But more often than not, if the check engine light is on, it means some part of the car is not working properly, which could cause the vehicle to fail an inspection. 

Most States Require Some Form Of Emissions Testing

33 states require some form of emissions testing as of 2023. These requirements vary from state to state, which is why it's important to get the info for the area you live in. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Contact your state's motor vehicle bureau
  2. Talk to someone at a certified state inspection station

Get Your Fuel Gauge Fixed Even If It's Not Required For An Inspection

Cluster repair

Whether it's required for a vehicle inspection or not, getting your fuel gauge fixed is a good idea. Not only do you run the risk of running out of fuel with a broken gauge, but it could also be a symptom of other problems with your instrument cluster. No matter what's wrong, we can help you replace it or repair it. Either way, we offer a limited lifetime warranty and fast, free shipping on orders over $99 in the lower 48 states.

Founded in 1949, ISS Automotive is one of the most reliable names in the automotive and truck industry. We provide quality replacement clusters, radios, and electronics. If you have questions or want to know more about our services, you can call us at 800-548-1195 or contact us online.