Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Gas-gauge inaccuracies

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 11/09/2015
Q:
If your car were traveling uphill or downhill, how does this affect the gas-gauge indicator? Assuming constant velocity, smooth hill, gasoline equilibrium inside the gas tank, etc.?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2NGAHjPbNU
- Thuan (Twan) Ly (LEE) (age 27)
LAX
A:

Hi Twan,

Automobile gas-gauges really don't measure volume, they measure the depth of the fluid they are floating in. If the float of the gauge is positioned toward the rear of the tank then when the car is going up-hill it will rise higher and give a too-high reading.  If located in the front of the tank it will register too-low.     

LeeH


(published on 11/09/2015)

Follow-up on this answer.