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Fuel Gauge working the opposite way

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zorced
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Fuel Gauge working the opposite way

Postby zorced » May 18th, 2017, 11:30 am

Hey guys, I have a good one for you.

2 days ago when I was about to leave work I noticed the fuel was reading much lower than I remember. Then when I started the car it continued to drop all the way down.

I checked to ensure there was no obvious signs of leaks and there were none.

On the drive home the gauge started to climb. From then till now the more I drive the more the fuel gauge rises. It's now close to half tank (close to where it should be as far as I can remember).

The car is an AE101 Sprinter Marino and the fuel gauge never malfunctioned in the 200k of ownership.

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adnj
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Re: Fuel Gauge working the opposite way

Postby adnj » May 18th, 2017, 11:48 am

zorced wrote:Hey guys, I have a good one for you.

2 days ago when I was about to leave work I noticed the fuel was reading much lower than I remember. Then when I started the car it continued to drop all the way down.

I checked to ensure there was no obvious signs of leaks and there were none.

On the drive home the gauge started to climb. From then till now the more I drive the more the fuel gauge rises. It's now close to half tank (close to where it should be as far as I can remember).

The car is an AE101 Sprinter Marino and the fuel gauge never malfunctioned in the 200k of ownership.


You said that the tank was about half full. Fuel gauges incorporate hysteresis to prevent the gauge from seeming erratic. The sender works on variable resistance so that an empty tank is high resistance and a full tank is low resistance.

If your car were parked on a steep incline, the fuel sender could have been tricked into seeing a lower fuel level.

Because the fuel gauge indicated a low level that kept getting lower, it indicates that the fuel sender circuit is poorly grounded. It came back to what you expected which means that the grounding fault is intermittent.

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Sundar
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Re: Fuel Gauge working the opposite way

Postby Sundar » May 18th, 2017, 11:58 am

adnj wrote:
zorced wrote:Hey guys, I have a good one for you.

2 days ago when I was about to leave work I noticed the fuel was reading much lower than I remember. Then when I started the car it continued to drop all the way down.

I checked to ensure there was no obvious signs of leaks and there were none.

On the drive home the gauge started to climb. From then till now the more I drive the more the fuel gauge rises. It's now close to half tank (close to where it should be as far as I can remember).

The car is an AE101 Sprinter Marino and the fuel gauge never malfunctioned in the 200k of ownership.


You said that the tank was about half full. Fuel gauges incorporate hysteresis to prevent the gauge from seeming erratic. The sender works on variable resistance so that an empty tank is high resistance and a full tank is low resistance.

If your car were parked on a steep incline, the fuel sender could have been tricked into seeing a lower fuel level.

Because the fuel gauge indicated a low level that kept getting lower, it indicates that the fuel sender circuit is poorly grounded. It came back to what you expected which means that the grounding fault is intermittent.

Can the gauge be repaired? Is there a universal replacement available?

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zorced
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Re: Fuel Gauge working the opposite way

Postby zorced » May 18th, 2017, 12:02 pm

adnj wrote:
zorced wrote:Hey guys, I have a good one for you.

2 days ago when I was about to leave work I noticed the fuel was reading much lower than I remember. Then when I started the car it continued to drop all the way down.

I checked to ensure there was no obvious signs of leaks and there were none.

On the drive home the gauge started to climb. From then till now the more I drive the more the fuel gauge rises. It's now close to half tank (close to where it should be as far as I can remember).

The car is an AE101 Sprinter Marino and the fuel gauge never malfunctioned in the 200k of ownership.


You said that the tank was about half full. Fuel gauges incorporate hysteresis to prevent the gauge from seeming erratic. The sender works on variable resistance so that an empty tank is high resistance and a full tank is low resistance.

If your car were parked on a steep incline, the fuel sender could have been tricked into seeing a lower fuel level.

Because the fuel gauge indicated a low level that kept getting lower, it indicates that the fuel sender circuit is poorly grounded. It came back to what you expected which means that the grounding fault is intermittent.


Great info, do not think this is entirely the case for me. My work park is flat and the gauge continued to rise over the past 2 days up to this morning while driving.

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zorced
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Re: Fuel Gauge working the opposite way

Postby zorced » May 19th, 2017, 10:31 am

Day 3: Seems to be back to normal now. Going to fill later and see if the prior to fill reading was reliable.

Still would like to know if any repair or replace is necessary.

adnj
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Re: Fuel Gauge working the opposite way

Postby adnj » May 19th, 2017, 6:30 pm

Did the gauge read a level above what should been in the tank? The fuel sender can be replaced: you drain the tank and remove the sender. There is usually an access port under the floor of the trunk. I would start by check the voltage feed from the sender and the electrical connection to the sender.

Gauges are part of the cluster and run by the same microprocessor. Years ago you could just swap out a gauge but almost never anymore.

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zorced
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Re: Fuel Gauge working the opposite way

Postby zorced » May 24th, 2017, 9:51 pm

After fulling up it doesn't seem like it passed what it should have been. Now it's back to normal after 2 days of returning to the correct reading.

Car is going for a service tomorrow, will get them to check the sender.

adnj
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Re: Fuel Gauge working the opposite way

Postby adnj » May 25th, 2017, 3:47 am

Still sounds like tge sender or the ground wire to the sender.

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