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Yesterday, I made a sharp turn into a parking spot. Immediately smelled a strong odor like wire burning, kids said it smelled like a sharpie pen. When I backed up to drive away, the low gas light was flashing (I have full tank of gas), gas needle was down to empty.I took a chance and drove home (about 10 miles). Any ideas? I am wondering if it is safe to drive the car? I have not lost any gas that I am aware of. Mileage only shows that I drove about 25 miles. My SUV is 1999 model and the mileage is 117,500.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA The fuel issue may be a "float" issue in the tank which could cause improper readings on your gauge. You may need to have a certified mechanic diagnose your concern to insure your peace of mind.

Audra Fordin, Owner at Great Bear Auto Shop Hi Claudette, I am always concerned when there is a strong odor, like some wire is burning. That's a good enough reason if any, to have your car looked at. Take a look at the askpatty.com for a local repair shop, to take a look at your car for you, and make sure you are safe. To say the smell and the gas gauge not working are related is very difficult with out checking it out. Mechanically yours, Audra

Barb Petrey, President - DBK Enterprises Inc at Jiffy Lube Call a reputable mechanic before driving

Diane Larson, Owner/Manager at Larson's Service Hi Claudette, Sounds like you make have lost the wiring to the fuel pump sender (a part in the fuel tank that sends a message of fuel level) or dash gauge. Since you had a burning odor, you should have the wiring inspected, you may have lost other circuits or there may be a safety concern.... Please have it checked out :) Have a Fun Day! Diane

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Claudette, It sounds like something may have shorted the wire to your gas gauge. I would suggest that you get it looked at, especially since you're driving your kids around. You don*t want to run out of gas and also make sure there isn't something else wrong. Lori

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