I have a 2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 classic with fuel injection. The fuel gauge needle is stuck at the half-full reading and never moves, even when the ignition is turned off. The low fuel light does come on as it should which means the sender inside the tank and the wiring between the sender and the gauge cluster is OK. This in turn suggests that the issue is in the gauge mechanism itself. Here is my question:

On some vehicles, all the gauges fall to zero when the ignition is turned off, and when the ignition is turned on, some vehicles then will swing all the needles briefly from zero to full scale and back down again as a self-check that all the gauges are functioning. Does the fuel gauge on this bike drop to empty when the ignition is switched off, or does it hold its reading at whatever it was when the power was disconnected?

And is the gauge supposed to perform do a full-deflection self-test "dance" upon initial power-on?

1 Answer 1


You might be able answer your own question of whether or not gauge needles do a full scale deflection at ignition on time by observing gauges. While it's mostly for dramatic effect, full scale needle deflection may be part of power up self tests for some diyers able to discern an error with gauges and indicators. In vehicles, all indicators cycling on then off with battery, oil, seat belt and brake indicators remaining on, is the visual power up self test while electronics do the same with indicators for abs/esc/tc and low brake fluid. If one gauge needle deflects, then all should. My guess is the fuel gauge needle is physically stuck. Using old school methods, tapping analog gauges with needles can free up worn mechanical movements if engine vibration doesn't do it. If gauge face finger tapping doesn't work, then you might have to break out wiring diagrams.

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