E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-09-2009, 10:16 AM   #1
coxm1
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2001 325i
Fuel Guage Showing Incorrect Fuel Level

A couple weeks ago I was driving across the state and accidentally ran out of gas. This is the first time I've ever run out of gas in any car I've owned, I just thought I could make it to a legitimate gas station in the next town. (apparently not) Luckily a quick phone call and I was met with 5 gal. of gas to get to a station.

Later that week while driving down the freeway at home I ran out of gas, even though the guage showed just barely under 1/4 tank.

When I ran out the first time (on the road trip) the guage and warning light were both on and working correctly. It's been a couple weeks now and I've just been filling up based on my mileage. It's still showing about 1/4 tank when I'm almost on empty.

Did running out of gas cause this to happen? Is there a way to reset the guage?

Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.
coxm1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 06-09-2009, 10:44 AM   #2
matterhorn
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bothell, WA
Posts: 179
My Ride: 2000 328i
This happened to me as well shortly after I got the car. Wife and I were cruising down the HWY and the low fuel light came on, and I said, "we need to stop and get gas... " then about 30 seconds later we ran out ...

As far as I can figure out from realoem.com the sending unit seems to be a replacable item for around 75 bucks ... that would likely fix the problem.

Here's the part number - LEFT FUEL LEVEL SENSOR - 16116768788
matterhorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
chantz316
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: plano
Posts: 283
My Ride: bmw 323ci
mine did the same thing also
difference with my situation though is ill drive and say its at half a tank. i turn my car off do whatever come back and turn it on and the gas jumps up to 3/4
any suggestions
chantz316 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 02:23 PM   #4
adrian320
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: mx
Posts: 469
My Ride: 2002 2.2L I6 Sedan
Chantz, I have the same problem, I been siting at a stop and literally seen the gauge go down about 1 quarter and then going up again. And just the same as you describe, after parking the car and re-starting the gauge and the distance-to-empty will read a different value. Right now Im looking to whether it is the the level sensors or something with the gauge/cluster... Any input?
__________________

No, no, there is no climate change, it just getting hotter and hotter....and hotter. Yeah, right!?!!?
adrian320 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 02:32 PM   #5
rowdy lee
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sector3/Mad-City
Posts: 802
My Ride: 2000 323ci
InPuT...

Here's some...

First, get a bottle of the BMW fuel-system treatment/cleaner whatnot.

Add it to a full tank of Shell X-Tra Licious and drive it... see what happens.

If you do a couple bottles a year already (no more!), better look into the unit.
__________________
I'd buy it in a heartbeat... if only I wasn't living on the moon!
rowdy lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 02:37 PM   #6
glovesoff
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 543
My Ride: 1999 328i
get some Techron Concentrate Plus

http://www.chevron.com/products/ourf...tives/tcp.aspx

"Not only does Techron Concentrate Plus have enough PEA to help remove deposits from your fuel system in one tankful, but it also can clean and protect your fuel system sensors from sulfuric buildup - the root cause of many faulty fuel gauge readings."

my girlfriend's grand am's gas gauge was acting retarded. used a bottle of this stuff, filled it up, and after 1/2 tank the gauge was reading correctly again.
__________________
glovesoff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 02:37 PM   #7
Devious1
Invalid User
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cerritos, CA
Posts: 10,827
My Ride: 330ci
Send a message via AIM to Devious1
i have the same problem. let me know if you guys figure it out.
__________________
Devious1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 02:51 PM   #8
punishere46
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: domincan republic
Posts: 33
My Ride: bmw 328i 2000
I had the same problem, I replaced the Fuel Level Sending Unit and voila! easy DIY, just remove the botton rear seat, to get the fuel pump out, I used a flatheaded screwdriver, the rest, you can figure it out, no big deal!!!
punishere46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 05:16 PM   #9
adrian320
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: mx
Posts: 469
My Ride: 2002 2.2L I6 Sedan
I'll see if a can find locally the products mentioned if not maybe go for a new sensor.
Thank you.
__________________

No, no, there is no climate change, it just getting hotter and hotter....and hotter. Yeah, right!?!!?
adrian320 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 05:22 PM   #10
Devious1
Invalid User
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cerritos, CA
Posts: 10,827
My Ride: 330ci
Send a message via AIM to Devious1
Quote:
Originally Posted by punishere46 View Post
I had the same problem, I replaced the Fuel Level Sending Unit and voila! easy DIY, just remove the botton rear seat, to get the fuel pump out, I used a flatheaded screwdriver, the rest, you can figure it out, no big deal!!!
is there a DIY for replacing the Fuel Level Sending Unit ?
__________________
Devious1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 05:42 PM   #11
punishere46
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: domincan republic
Posts: 33
My Ride: bmw 328i 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devious1 View Post
is there a DIY for replacing the Fuel Level Sending Unit ?

Not really, but itīs as easy as 123, i will try to write it down, without pictures, as it was done a few months back.
punishere46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 10:17 PM   #12
AlphaVortex
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: over there?
Posts: 294
My Ride: jalopy!
There was a DIY around at some point, but I can't find it. Sorry.
AlphaVortex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2009, 05:35 AM   #13
vimal32
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: South Africa
Posts: 87
My Ride: BMW E46 320i
Guys, i had the same issue,
I managed to resolve it.

The BMW fuel tank is split in 2 parts, left and right.
you will need to remove the units on both sides.

There is a DIY somewhere, search for "fuel pump replacement" or something along those lines. Its not too difficult, but if you not a DIYer, take it to a shop. You dont want to mess up anything in this area.
And be careful with the tools, dont want to cause any sparks when dealing with fuel.


I didnt replace mines, just cleaned out the contacts with some grit paper and alcohol on a q-tip and put everything back together.
I also replaced my sucking jet pump (unit that transfers fuel from left to right sides of tank), do a search and you will see my other post on this.
Not too sure if this was the cause - but everything works 100% now.

Take a look at the contact points on the sending units, it they look really old and rusty, then replace it, else a good clean up should resolve it.

Once you done, you need to reset the instrument cluster, this is very important, if you dont do this it probably wont resolve your problem.
Do a search on this.
Go into the hidden codes on the instrument cluster, go to 19 to unlock codes, then go to 21 and do the reset.

Good luck
vimal32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2009, 04:17 PM   #14
adrian320
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: mx
Posts: 469
My Ride: 2002 2.2L I6 Sedan
Thanks. Thats really good info. By the way how much is that central pump?
__________________

No, no, there is no climate change, it just getting hotter and hotter....and hotter. Yeah, right!?!!?
adrian320 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 06:37 AM   #15
vimal32
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: South Africa
Posts: 87
My Ride: BMW E46 320i
Not too sure how much they are in USA, I'm in South Africa.
Got mines from a salvage yard.
vimal32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 08:35 AM   #16
rsjean
OEM ///Member
 
rsjean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: ROC NY
Posts: 1,865
My Ride: 325i/328i/535is/Jeep
Apparently there are 2 sending units. The left one referred to in this thread and the right one which is integrated into the fuel pump. How have you guys determined that it was the left, the easy one, that needed replacing? I have the same problem and would love to just tackle the left without getting into dismantling the [pump - or even replacing it without having to.
__________________


Dinan Software
Dinan Throttle Body
Dinan CAI
Dinan Front & Rear Braces
Bilstein Coilovers
Racing Dynamics Sway Bars
UUC Pulleys
UUC SSK/DSSR
AA Exhaust
Modified CDV
3.46 Rear End
Sparco Seat
Cross Drilled Rotors
Stoptech SS Brakelines
rsjean is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fuel, gas, guage, level, sensor

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use