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Old 01-22-2011, 04:46 AM   #1
CrunkBMW
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Fuel Indicator constantly on zero (0) /empty!

Recently my fuel level indicator began showing zero (0) all the time regardless of actual fuel in the tank. I replaced the left side fuel level sensor and gauge indicated 1/4 tank. However, the tank was approx. 3.4 full. The next week I replaced the right side fuel pump/level sensor. Now the fuel indicator is back at zero (0). The tank is now full of fuel yet my fuel indicator is still on zero. I have checked all fuses and the 'sucking jet pump' and all seem to be working properly. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 01-22-2011, 05:21 AM   #2
paraklas
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Do an IC (Instrument Cluster) reset and let us know if it solves the problem
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:54 AM   #3
CrunkBMW
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Can you direct me to a thread that on how to reset the IC. I have checked the functionality of the cluster through the Hidden OBC functions, but not sure how to actually reset the IC.
Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:56 AM   #4
paraklas
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Switch on the ignition.

Press and hold the trip reset button until you see test 1.

Release the button quickly then press rapidly until you get to 19 (if you see 1.1, 1.2, etc you were too slow with your presses, you will need to start again), this is the unlock section. stop pressing when you get to this and you will see that the display toggles between off & on .

When it goes to off press the button, this has unlocked the cluster. Then quickly press the button until it goes to 21 and release, wait a second and it will say reset?, press once and you will see the cluster go dead for a second and then come back up. You have just flushed you cluster and reloaded its software.

If the gauge is fixed, then it could be a software error, often bought on by voltage problems, is your battery OK?
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:02 PM   #5
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Thanks, I just finished installing a new fuel filter and then i did the reset.
The fuel indicator shows that i have 1/2 tank of fuel. However, i filled up yesterday and have only driven 5 miles since that time. so, it is operational, at least in part. any more ideas?
thanks
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:53 PM   #6
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It's possible that the fuel senders are hung up or are not sending an accurate reading. Pull them out and clean the contact and make sure the float is free to move. See the DIY http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=738747
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:07 PM   #7
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or possible bad cluster....
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
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When you did the cluster reset, did the gauge move all the way to max and then min?
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #9
CrunkBMW
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when i did the reset, the gauge stayed at min as everything shut down for reset, then went to the 1/2 mark.
any thoughts?

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Old 01-22-2011, 07:33 PM   #10
xi_ter
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There are 2 fuel level sensors, one for each half of the tank. Clean the drivers side fuel sender to try to get a full reading. I needed to pull put both of my senders and clean them. There was a black residue on both on the contacts.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:16 PM   #11
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i have just replaced both level sensor this past week. Both are brand new. I suppose they could be dirty, but at this point i am willing to try anything.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:23 PM   #12
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What does your cluster code say for test 6.0 fuel level? If your tank is full it should read 240330 24.0 litres in the left side and 33.0 litres in the right = 57 litres (I know, the manual says the tank holds 63 litres but this is what a full tank reads) It my give you a guide as to which sensor is faulty. 000330 would indicate left and 240000 would indicate right.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:40 AM   #13
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I ran test 6.0 and received 240000. on test 6.1 and 6.2 i got 0240
I guess if this indicates that my right (fuel pump) level sensor is bad then i will need to return a faulty fuel pump after just three days. would that be a correct assumption or is there anything else that i might be overlooking or need to try?
thanks for the help!
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:44 PM   #14
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Well either the connections to the sensor part are not making good contact, or, yes, you have a faulty sender unit in the pump and it needs to be swapped. Lift the rear seat and have a fiddle with wires before you rip it out.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:54 PM   #15
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I had a problem with my E36 where the fuel level was reported as E even after a fill up. After a while of driving, the level would be reported at F or 3/4, whatever was appropriate (I reset the odometer so I knew how far I had gone since the previous fill up). Eventually the level would be reported at E again after going 300-ish miles. I'd fill up and remain on E, and repeat the cycle.

I removed both fuel level sending units and cleaned the sweep contacts with a business card (a plain paper card with heavy texture) and contact cleaner. The sweep contacts left black lines on the paper, and the fuel level was accurately reported afterward.

Within a couple of days, there were articles in the newspaper about high sulpher content in the gasoline that was contaminating fuel level sending units. The stories were about refinery problems in other parts of the country from where I live, but I found the coincidence to be striking.

The sweep contacts are very delicate, and you can bend them in one direction very easily, but not return them to the proper shape so they make contact.

I find it odd that you need to replace both, and still have problems.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:17 PM   #16
paraklas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunkBMW View Post
when i did the reset, the gauge stayed at min as everything shut down for reset, then went to the 1/2 mark.
any thoughts?

Doc Crunk
Then it's not the fuel senders. When you did the reset the gauge should had moved to full mark. Maybe you are looking at a faulty needle gauge? I don't suppose you opened the cluster to install any rings, etc?
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:43 PM   #17
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no, i haven't opened the cluster.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:29 PM   #18
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I just removed the fuel pump/sensor again to try and 'test' it outside the full tank. once outside the tank, i manually moved the float and the fuel gauge did not move at all. I am going to return that pump for a new one. if that fails to work, then i guess i am back to square one. any other ideas before i buy a new one and return the old?
thanks
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:14 PM   #19
CrunkBMW
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well, i pulled the fuel pump/level sender again to test it outside the tank and it failed. Well now when i go to start it, i started turning over at first and was acting as though it was not getting any fuel and would not start, like the fuel pump was not working. then it stopped turning over and is now it is just clicking and isn't even turning over. very frustrating. any advice?

I tested the battery voltage and it was 10.9 - 11.0 so it is a little low. I guess it could be bad. battery is not new, so i hope that is all that it is. it is frustrating that this problem comes up while i am still dealing with my fuel indicator/sending units not working properly. any ideas if it may be something other than the battery?

Last edited by CrunkBMW; 01-24-2011 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:08 AM   #20
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CrunkBMW, did you ever find a resolution to your problem? When I test OBD 6, my readings are 000000_6.0; 0000_6.1; 0000_2_6.2. What does that mean I have to do to possibly get this fixed? I replaced both sending units already.
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