How To Fix A Boat Gas Gauge


This was a good day. As usual when you own a used pontoon boat, or any boat for that matter, there is often some little annoying thing that doesn’t stop you, but it just kind of bugs ya, do you know what I mean?

Pontoon Boat Gas Guage

In my case I was having an electrical problem, or two…first of all I was having a little trouble with the gas gauge on our Starcraft Starfish pontoon boat, essentially the gauge wasn’t working, it showed EMPTY all the time.

My buddy Dave was here, he and Jancy brought down a load of firewood from a tree they had cut down in their yard in the city, so thankfully he lended some expertise to the situation. I was just about to rip the top off the pontoon boat floor and start rewiring, with my trusty copy of downloaded internet info about how to wire a boat, but calmer heads pervailed…..

It took a little bit of figuring but the solution was easier than it appeared at first glance. After checking out the fuses, and the connections to the gas tank, as well as the “sender” unit inside the gas tank, we found the problem.

The wires on the back of the pontoon boat gas gauge itself were loose. Not visibly loose, not even loose to the touch, but they tightened up with a wrench and when they were tight, the gas gauge starting reading correctly again !! Woo Hoo !!

While we were crawling around under the console and messing with the boat wiring, I decided it might be a good idea to check on the fish finder wiring as well. It has been giving me a little problem now and again, going off on it’s own, so I figured a loose connection might be the problem there as well.

Turns out, for some reason, perhaps some corrosion, the clip on the fuse panel, where the fish finder was connected and grounded, wasn’t good. So I put in a new fuse in one of the extra slots on the panel, connected the wires again, and the fish finder beeped to life again.

Anyone who has a pontoon boat, for that matter any boat, knows that the wires are usually a jumbled mess under the console somewhere, and our Starcraft pontoon boat is no exception.

Pontoon boat electrical consists of lots of wires and more wires, thanks to a happy selection of pontoon boat accessories needing power, and they are usually in a less than ideal place to get at them, especially if you have been eating a little too much of Wendy’s gooood cookin’ which of course I am guilty of doing on a daily basis…I cannot help it, the girl knows what I like…..

There’s electrical wires for stereo systems, speakers, navigation lights, anchor lights, courtesy lights, fish finders, gauges and other instrumentation, even electrical wiring for the live well.

In our case, our pontoon boat also has a nice rotating, swiveling, remote control spot light on the bow and two running lights located under the bow of the boat. When I get out on the lake at dark and turn everything on….well…it’s pretty.

Anyway, it’s a mess under that console, and with wires galore, some exposure to the elements, proximity to water and the advanced age of our pontoon boat, some corrosion is evident on the panel. It’s not too bad, but there is definitely some going on, especially around the fuse panel. I think I will remove it someday soon, clean it up, reconnect it and apply some Dielectric Grease which should help protect it.

However, at this point I am happy to say, knock on wood, everything electrical is working on the pontoon boat, the motor runs and I am adding a couple new tips to our Cottage Tip page !! Did you send in your favorite cottage tips yet? No? I didn’t think so…..

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