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In automobile and aircraft engineering a fuel gauge or gas gauge is an instrument used to indicate the amount of fuel in a fuel tank. The sensing unit usually uses a float connected to a potentiometer, typically printed ink design in a modern automobile. As the tank empties, the float drops and slides a moving contact along the resistor, increasing its resistance. In addition, when the resistance is at a certain point, it will also turn on a “low fuel” light on some vehicles.
When the tank level is high and maximum current is flowing, the needle points to “F” indicating a full tank. When the tank is empty and the least current is flowing, the needle points to “E” indicating an empty tank. The digital fuel gauge in a 2012 Hyundai Elantra showing a full tank along with a distance to empty display.