Buick/Olds/2001 Buick Park Avenue
Phoenix wrote at 2007-08-10 14:50:54
I had the same problem with my 97 PAU with the fuel gauge pegged all the way over. It was caused by a power surge when the car was jumped. I just decided to get into the cluster somehow and manually put it back on the other side of the pin. I didn't even have a clue how to take the dash apart, but once I started it was VERY simple. Everything just clips in place. I began with the small piece by the door that has the hole for the air. Simply slide a flathead in and gently pry loose, and work your way over. There's a couple of switches to disconnect, like to the seat warmers, etc. Four screws hold the cluster in place, remove and gently pry off the plastic facing of the cluster and you can manually move the fuel gauge pin in place. I did this and the gauge works perfect. The whole job took maybe 30 minutes to complete. Hopefully this helps.
al wrote at 2008-01-12 00:45:19
To reset the fuel guage, use a strong magnet and carefully slide it in a circular motion. The needle will follow and once it has gone 180 degrees it will move to normal.
ggriffin wrote at 2009-01-01 16:51:17
I'd like to add to this fuel gauge solution. Suffered the same problem after a jump start. Voltage surge spun the gauge clockwise to the peg. Fairly common problem from what I've read on the internet. Read on a few other websites that a very powerful (40-50 lbs.) could be used (with the key off) to spin the needle counter clockwise to the ful mark, turn the key on, and the gauge resets to the proper level.
Tried a 20 lb. magnet and got nowhere. Then, one day fiddling with a little telescopic magnetic pickup tool, I found I could move the needle - by aiming at the base of the needle, not the tip - but not enough to swing the needle around.
Went to Home Depot and bought a package of 8 round, quarter sized magnets (about 3 bucks) that collectivelly couldn't have pulled more than about 3 lbs., stacked them, aimed at the base of the needle, and it swung around easily and quickly.
Aim at the base, not the tip. Be careful not to scratch the plastic dash lens.
ggriffin wrote at 2009-01-01 18:09:59
I'd like to add to this solution. Suffered the same problem with a 2000 Park Avenue after jumping the battery and creating a voltage surge that spun the needle clockwise to the peg. Read on a few other websites that a very powerful (40-50 lbs.) magnet could be held close to the clear plastic instrument cover to spin the dial, counter clockwise, back to the full position. Tried a 20 lb. magnet and got nowhere. Then, one day fiddling with a little telescopic magnetic pickup tool, I found I could move the needle - by aiming at the base of the needle, not the tip - but not enough to swing the needle around.
Went to Home Depot and bought a package of 8 round, quarter sized magnets (about 3 bucks) that collectively couldn't have pulled more than about 3 lbs.. Stacked them, shut off the key, aimed at the base of the needle, and it swung around easily and quickly to the full mark. Removed the magnet, turned on the key, and the gauge went to the proper level.
Aim for the base of the needle, not the tip. Careful not to scratch the plastic.
tess wrote at 2009-07-11 00:02:25
When my gas gauge goes the wrong way. I get out my magnets. Turn the magnet counter clock wise over the gauge. If you have a strong enough magnet, it will go back to where it should be. I went to the toy aisle of my dept. store and bought these clicker toy magnets. They work the best!
Tech Sergeant wrote at 2010-08-09 15:16:12
I had the same problem with my fuel gage after a jump start. I too went to Home Depot and purchased the strongest magnet they sold. I picked out several packages and stuck them to the metal shelving. I bought the strongest one. I put it in a small piece of paper towel to protect the plastic, put in on the center dial, rotated it counter clockwise and it worked.
DB wrote at 2010-12-23 01:36:00
Get the magnet from home depot, cost about 2.87 with tax, and counterclockwise. Then crank the car and it works again. Thanks for all the help from the forum.
BigJohn K wrote at 2011-03-02 16:05:44
I agree with your approaches. Since I could not find a heavy enough single magnet at Auto Zone, I stacked 18 little round bulletin board magnets from Staples and was able to reset my 2001 Park Avenue gas gauge with the counter clockwise approach. The local GM garage said they would be happy to take a look at the instrument cluster, if I would leave the car for the day, LOl!
Handerman wrote at 2011-06-03 01:55:12
After a dead battery road service jump start on my 2000 Buick Park Ave, the tip of my gas gauge was at almost 9 o'clock. I went to home depot, as was suggested, and bought two three packs of dime sized super magnets. I lined them up and wrapped them in a small piece of a paper towel and tied the end with a garbage bag twist. I rotated th needle at the base, as was suggested, with the car shut off. The needle moved and in seconds I had it at three o'clock and when I started the car I was back in business. I am very grateful to this site for the helpful information with my issue. Handerman
Barrett Driver wrote at 2012-10-08 14:02:46
Today, 10/08/12, I had the same problem with my '00 Park Ave Ultra; I had to jump my battery due to inactivity and when I cranked it up, the fuel needle swung "under the horn" and came up on the other side of the pin. Taking a heavy magnet that I had purchased years ago from Lowe's, I coaxed the needle back into position. Some posters have stated that if you get it to the 3 o'clock position, a restart will swing it back up into the correct spot. I must have used a really good magnet as my needle went right up to where it was supposed to be! If you use a bar magnet like I had, you may have to turn it end-for-end so the polarity is right to swing the needle. Follow the instructions that everyone else has posted here and it will work for you also. I covered mine with some Kleenex so as not to scratch the panel and you really don't need to put it right on the plastic. Use fingertips as a stand off and rotate in CCW motion and it will swing.
No need to rip out any dash or wiring, this does the trick and I am sure your friendly GM dealer will do the same and charge a lot more than $3.27 that my magnet cost some years ago.
justakase wrote at 2012-11-25 15:57:57
The fuel gauge problem has happened to me twice so I took the dash and cluster apart and flipped the needle back around then installed a peg at after the full mark to keep it from happening again.
ton80 wrote at 2013-01-21 19:48:32
thanks for the tip on the fuel gauge/magnet trick.. worked like a charm, less than a minute..
Randy Powell wrote at 2014-04-15 21:40:58
A 49-cent magnet from Harbor Freight Tool Company (Part# 98406)was all I needed for this fix. Put a tissue between the magnet and the plastic cluster cover and rotate the magnet in a counter clockwise direction. It may take a few turn to get it back to normal, but not many.