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Old 06-25-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
danleb
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Fuel Level Sensor / Fuel Pump

My fuel pump went out about a year ago on my '04 325CI and I changed it. The pump worked fine and still does but the gas gage was not working all that great. When I filled up it would show half tank for a while then finally get up to full. I just lived with it until recently when the Service Engine light came on. I plugged in my ODB reader and came up with code P0461 (Fuel Level Sensor). So ... my question is .. How can I tell whether the sensor on the fuel pump is the issue or the other one?

Thanks ... Danny
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
willsbma
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I'm gonna guess you didn't go oem on the pump when you changed it, right?
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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Make sure all the electrical connections are clean and tight and inspect the
sensors themselves.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
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Check the 2nd link below in my signature, has a lot of info on the 2 fuel level sensors and how to look at them individually.

But also as mentioned above, sometimes people do not get the connector slide bail latched fully or they bend the fuel level sensor arm when reinstalling the fuel pump/sender unit.
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Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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Old 06-28-2013, 07:54 AM   #5
danleb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willsbma View Post
I'm gonna guess you didn't go oem on the pump when you changed it, right?
No. Ordered one one off of the internet like 90% of the others on this forum. Any suggestions? This morning I got gas and the needle when to 1/2 tank. It is working. It shows when I am getting low and seem pretty accurate on that end. The Service Engine light is what I want to deal with.

Last edited by danleb; 06-28-2013 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:06 AM   #6
danleb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Check the 2nd link below in my signature, has a lot of info on the 2 fuel level sensors and how to look at them individually.

But also as mentioned above, sometimes people do not get the connector slide bail latched fully or they bend the fuel level sensor arm when reinstalling the fuel pump/sender unit.
Thanks for the response. I read your link. Good information but I don't think is answers my question.

I was very careful when putting in the fuel pump and I am pretty sure I did not bend the arm. My question is ... is there any way ... with the on-board computer, or the ODB II cable, to tell which side is sending the signal to turn on the "Service Engine" light. I might just need some better software. Mine just give me a P0461 code with no details.

I have heard of people using the onboard computer in the dash to test things but I can find any data on how to use it with an level of detail.

I really just want the Service Engine light to go off!
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:29 AM   #7
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Go get yourself an OBD2 reader to read your engine codes. You can use it to reset it as well.

Since you put in a new FP, I would check your level sensor on the other side of the tank.

Use your hidden obc menu to verify the level in the 2 sides of your fuel tank.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:13 PM   #8
danleb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
Make sure all the electrical connections are clean and tight and inspect the
sensors themselves.
Thanks ... Checked the connections and that seemed to fix the erratic Fuel Gage but the light is still on. My question is ... is there any way ... with the on-board computer, or the ODB II cable, to tell which side is sending the signal to turn on the "Service Engine" light. I might just need some better software. Mine just gives me a P0461 code (Fuel Level Sensor) with no details.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:16 PM   #9
willsbma
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Those 90% use a pump with a proven history in our cars, if you bought X brand and the sensor isn't oem quality it could be the reason for your trouble. Not being a di@k but many before you have made mistakes when it comes to purchasing parts and that's how we learn. What brand is the pump?
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
danleb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWCaptain View Post
Go get yourself an OBD2 reader to read your engine codes. You can use it to reset it as well.

Since you put in a new FP, I would check your level sensor on the other side of the tank.

Use your hidden obc menu to verify the level in the 2 sides of your fuel tank.
Got an OBD2 reader but it only said "Fuel Level Sensor" ... I don't see where I have a "hidden obc menu". Maybe my sofware is just not that robust.

Is there any way ... with the on-board computer to tell which side is sending the signal to turn on the "Service Engine" light. Can you recommend better software? Mine just gives me a P0461 code with no details.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:19 PM   #11
danleb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willsbma View Post
Those 90% use a pump with a proven history in our cars, if you bought X brand and the sensor isn't oem quality it could be the reason for your trouble. Not being a di@k but many before you have made mistakes when it comes to purchasing parts and that's how we learn. What brand is the pump?
Not sure the brand of the pump but it seems to be working fine. The car is running great. I check the connetions and cleaned them up and the erratic fuel gage seems to be working fine but the light is still on. I am sure it could be the driver side sensor but I sure would like to know before I pull it out and buy a new one.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:42 PM   #12
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Read the 4th link below in my signature regarding the Hidden OBC Menu.

A bit tricky to access the first time, timing of the button pushing is key, but you will figure it out, hundreds before you were able to.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

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Old 06-29-2013, 01:08 AM   #13
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Reset you engine codes to see if it has reset the error.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danleb View Post
... I don't see where I have a "hidden obc menu". Maybe my sofware is just not that robust.
Print out and keep in glove box:

Last edited by Stinger9; 08-21-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danleb View Post
Not sure the brand of the pump but it seems to be working fine. The car is running great. I check the connetions and cleaned them up and the erratic fuel gage seems to be working fine but the light is still on. I am sure it could be the driver side sensor but I sure would like to know before I pull it out and buy a new one.
The car is not running great, because you have a fuel sensor that is not working right. Spend $120 at BMA parts, and get the correct, VDO brand pump. Some things just need to come from BMW, or their OE suppliers, if you want them to work correctly or reliably. It is not a conspiracy, and you are not beating the system. It is 15 years of trial and error, that has been passed down from member to member on this forum.
Any part you have thought of buying on eBay has been tried before, and has failed for someone along the line. This is not just the experience of a few members, but the collective experience that has been passed on through the years. 99% of electronic parts need to be OEM or OE supplier, or they will not work properly, or they will fail.
Places on eBay and even the auto parts stores can and do continue to sell crap that does not work because they have that one big "get out of jail free card". It is "No returns on electrical components". That phrase is how and why they can still sell stuff that does not work, because they never have to answer for it.
Just take our word for it, that no-name fuel pump will leave you stranded at some point. It may not even be the source of the fuel level issue, but it is a big problem waiting to happen. Stay the fvck off of eBay when buying any mechanical parts.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:51 AM   #16
dgknight
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Ordered the Beck and Arnley one on Amazon and had this issue. Diagnosed as a sticking float by using the secret menu options listed by posters above (and written in Amazon review in detail).

Now I have an OEM one for just a few $ more from bmaparts.com, and will be switching them out tomorrow.

I was very careful not to bend the float meter arm when I installed, but each time I fill up, the thing sticks until I make a sharp left hand turn.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:10 AM   #17
Stinger9
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Originally Posted by dgknight View Post
but each time I fill up, the thing sticks until I make a sharp left hand turn.
Simple solution to save some bucks: Return the new Siemens pump for refund, then every time you exit gas station, make that hard left turn to put things right with the world!
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:00 PM   #18
danleb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJLavelle View Post
The car is not running great, because you have a fuel sensor that is not working right. Spend $120 at BMA parts, and get the correct, VDO brand pump. Some things just need to come from BMW, or their OE suppliers, if you want them to work correctly or reliably. It is not a conspiracy, and you are not beating the system. It is 15 years of trial and error, that has been passed down from member to member on this forum.
Any part you have thought of buying on eBay has been tried before, and has failed for someone along the line. This is not just the experience of a few members, but the collective experience that has been passed on through the years. 99% of electronic parts need to be OEM or OE supplier, or they will not work properly, or they will fail.
Places on eBay and even the auto parts stores can and do continue to sell crap that does not work because they have that one big "get out of jail free card". It is "No returns on electrical components". That phrase is how and why they can still sell stuff that does not work, because they never have to answer for it.
Just take our word for it, that no-name fuel pump will leave you stranded at some point. It may not even be the source of the fuel level issue, but it is a big problem waiting to happen. Stay the fvck off of eBay when buying any mechanical parts.
After further checking (old reciept) I found that the fuel pump is an OEM fuel pump. I guess I just need to assume that it is fine and change the driver side sensor. I am not eager to do that without knowing for sure but I have not heard from anyone how to definitively tell what the light is referring to.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:02 PM   #19
danleb
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Originally Posted by BMWCaptain View Post
Reset you engine codes to see if it has reset the error.
I did that. Code just comes back.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:05 PM   #20
danleb
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Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Read the 4th link below in my signature regarding the Hidden OBC Menu.

A bit tricky to access the first time, timing of the button pushing is key, but you will figure it out, hundreds before you were able to.
Ok ... I checked the hidden codes and as far as I can tell they seem to be reading normal. The gas gage is working perfectly now and the fuel pump is working perfectly. I really don't understand why ... if everything is working fine ... I am getting a fuel sensor error that is causing the light to come on.
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