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E39 Faulty Fuel Gauge, my theory


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3 replies to this topic

#1 liddo

liddo
  • LocationSkelmersdale, Lancs
  • Occupation:I.T Support
  • Current Car:E46 318i SE

Posted 15 June 2011 - 02:09 PM

Hi All,

After much messing, swearing, and pennys, ive FINALLY got to the bottom of my fuel gauge issue

When i bought the car, the fuel gauge ran fine till just below the half way mark, then went erratic, so here's my tale

First, i replaced the cluster, as i was told that was probably the issue. Nope, it wasnt, and luckily id kept my old
ones, as the new ones didnt really work in my car (but thats another story)

Second, i replaced the passenger side sender, still the same.

Thirdly, i replaced the drivers sender. That sorted the gauge out "HOORAYYYY"...........BUT, i then ran
out of fuel with a quarter of a tank left. RAC man said the left hand side of the tank had ran dry...Hmmmmmmmmmm

At this point, i couldnt work out why and how, so i removed the drivers sender again incase it had stuck on something, but on doing so, i noticed a wire had come off the top of the drivers side pump! I re-attached the wire, put it all back together, and drove the car, but i didnt want to test whether it was the pump, for fear of running out again.

Anyway, after a long long while, i plucked up the courage, and bought two diesel cans, filled them up, and left the tank to empty. To my delight, today the tank ran virtualy dry, and my fuel light came on with 50 miles to go :D

SO, to sum up, here is my theory on gauges and running out (i maybe wrong though, so please dont shoot me :D )

IF your fuel gauge is eratic from full to half, it is possibly your passenger sender
IF your fuel gauge is eratic from half to empty, it is probably your passenger sender
IF you run out of fuel with a quarter of a tank left, it is probably your in-tank pump on the drivers side. First check
your fuses in the glove box, then check the connections on the pump itself, and lastly, whilst the cover is off the sender,
turn the ignition on and see if the pump works. If it does, the filter may be blocked, if it doesnt, its probably knackered.


again, this might not be gospel, but its the path ive had to take to cure my gauge issue :???:
BMW 525d SE with Sport Pack......... Now CheekyAlisons ;)
current ride, a 318i SE.......Yaaawwwwwwwwwwwn


Previous BM's
E39 525d SE M Pack 2001
E39 530iA Sport 2001
E46 325i SE Sport 2001
E39 523i SE 2000
E36 323i Se Coupe

#2 rossathon

rossathon

Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:19 AM

Ah the strange satisfaction you get from figuring something like that out :-)

I have a problem with my fuel gauge - it goes down too quickly when I do a bit of spirited driving (but that's a different story! ;-) )

Cheers for the info!

#3 jag530isport

jag530isport
  • LocationBirmingham
  • Occupation:Systems Analyst
  • Current Car:Estoril Blue BMW X5 4.8is 2005 & Grey BMW E46 330ci Sport Convertible

Posted 16 June 2011 - 12:25 PM

SO, to sum up, here is my theory on gauges and running out (i maybe wrong though, so please dont shoot me :D )

IF your fuel gauge is eratic from full to half, it is possibly your passenger sender
IF your fuel gauge is eratic from half to empty, it is probably your passenger sender
IF you run out of fuel with a quarter of a tank left, it is probably your in-tank pump on the drivers side. First check
your fuses in the glove box, then check the connections on the pump itself, and lastly, whilst the cover is off the sender,
turn the ignition on and see if the pump works. If it does, the filter may be blocked, if it doesnt, its probably knackered.


again, this might not be gospel, but its the path ive had to take to cure my gauge issue :???:


Hi

My car runs out of fuel with a quarter of a tank to go. If it is the case of changing the filter or changing the fuel pump itself is it straight forward to do?

Thanks
Jag

E46 Grey 2003 330ci Sport 6sp Manual

E53 Estoril Blue 2005 X5 4.8is, Comms Pack

E39 Sterling Grey 2002 540i Sport 6sp Manual, Comms Pack Sold

E39 Imola Red 2001 530ia Sport, Comms Pack, M5 Mirrors Sold
E34 Avus Blue 1994 525i Sport, Manual, Lotus White Leather Sold
E36 Silver 1994 318is, Mtec Body Kit and M3 Alloys Sold


#4 liddo

liddo
  • LocationSkelmersdale, Lancs
  • Occupation:I.T Support
  • Current Car:E46 318i SE

Posted 16 June 2011 - 01:50 PM

This will give you an idea of how its done ;)



Check your fuses

Check the connections on the top of the pump, the ones actually ON the pump (best let your tank drain down )

If the connections look ok, leave the top over off the tank, try and take the sender out, and switch on the ingnition, see if you have hear/see the pump moving
BMW 525d SE with Sport Pack......... Now CheekyAlisons ;)
current ride, a 318i SE.......Yaaawwwwwwwwwwwn


Previous BM's
E39 525d SE M Pack 2001
E39 530iA Sport 2001
E46 325i SE Sport 2001
E39 523i SE 2000
E36 323i Se Coupe




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