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Old 07-01-2013, 12:07 PM   #21
danleb
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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.
After further checking (old reciept) I found that the fuel pump is an OEM fuel pump. I still can't figure out why they light is on. Everything seems to be working fine. I guess I just need to 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, 12:56 PM   #22
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Always OEM on critical things like this, folks. The extra bucks will save you time down the road.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:58 PM   #23
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So, when you check the levels for both tanks in the OBC menu, are they balanced, more or less? Or, is one side showing a much higher level?
If they are unbalanced, it could be an issue with the sucking jet pump. I remember someone had an issue after a new fuel pump install, and it turned out he had knocked the sucking jet pump loose when installing the new pump. But, in his case, it was causing the fuel pump to run constantly. I assume you are not hearing that?
Or, as you said, it could be an issue with the drivers side sender unit. That seems to be the most likely scenario here.
I would be interested to see what your levels are.

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Old 07-01-2013, 02:19 PM   #24
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I found a definition of the error code P0461, and it says that an error is set if you have traveled a significant difference without a change in output voltage from the fuel level sensor. The problem is that it does not specify which sensor, as you already know.
Based on that, here are a few possible things that may be wrong:
- The sensor on your relatively new OE fuel pump has failed
- The sensor on the sending unit has failed
- the sucking jet pump is not working correctly, and your tank levels are unbalanced
Since the OBC is telling you that both sensors are working correctly, then either something is preventing the floats from moving correctly on your fuel pump or on the sender unit, or, your fuel levels are not staying balanced, and one side of the tank is staying full. So again, you really need to use the OBC functions to check the tank levels.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:43 PM   #25
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As with ANY CEL/DTC, you should clear the code then watch and wait for it to return.

Given your code is likely related to the fuel level, I would fill up, reset the trip odometer then keep an eye on the OBC monitoring the fuel levels as well as fill up each time the trip odometer hits 200 miles so you do not find yourself walking due to running out of fuel because of a fuel transfer issue or a gauge issue.

If the problem is "real" or bad enough you will continue to trigger the CEL with an associated DTC.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:11 PM   #26
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So, when you check the levels for both tanks in the OBC menu, are they balanced, more or less? Or, is one side showing a much higher level?
If they are unbalanced, it could be an issue with the sucking jet pump. I remember someone had an issue after a new fuel pump install, and it turned out he had knocked the sucking jet pump loose when installing the new pump. But, in his case, it was causing the fuel pump to run constantly. I assume you are not hearing that?
Or, as you said, it could be an issue with the drivers side sender unit. That seems to be the most likely scenario here.
I would be interested to see what your levels are.
That is incorrect! You don't know how the fuel pump and siphon pump work. There is NO balancing of the two sides of the tank. The siphon pump pumps fuel from the left side into the right side. This is so ALL the fuel can be scavenger by the fuel pump. You want all the fuel in the right side. The car does care how much is in each side.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:17 PM   #27
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That is incorrect! You don't know how the fuel pump and siphon pump work. There is NO balancing of the two sides of the tank. The siphon pump pumps fuel from the left side into the right side. This is so ALL the fuel can be scavenger by the fuel pump. You want all the fuel in the right side. The car does care how much is in each side.
+1
This is correct. The overpressure at the fuel filter is directed back to the sucking jet pump constantly, and pumps all the fuel from the left side over to the right side. This until the right side is empty.

Of course use OBC hidden functions to check the liter level in both sides of the tank. Use function #6.0

Last edited by Stinger9; 08-21-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:09 AM   #28
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That is incorrect! You don't know how the fuel pump and siphon pump work. There is NO balancing of the two sides of the tank. The siphon pump pumps fuel from the left side into the right side. This is so ALL the fuel can be scavenger by the fuel pump. You want all the fuel in the right side. The car does care how much is in each side.
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+1
This is correct. The overpressure at the fuel filter is directed back to the sucking jet pump constantly, and pumps all the fuel from the left side over to the right side. This until the right side is empty.

Of course use OBC hidden functions to check the liter level in both sides of the tank. Use function #6.0
Really? Then why does page 160-14 of the Bentley manual state "To equalize fuel level between the two tank lobes, a siphon pump is installed in the left lobe"?
It goes on to say "the compensating siphon pump maintains the fuel level between the right and left lobes. If the resistances do not match those given in Table E, remove the senders, and visually inspect the level in each lobe. If the levels are different, check the siphon pump"

Think about it. If the left side was constantly keeping the right side full, then it would back flow into the left tank. Also, if it was only important for the right tank to be full, then why are there level sensors in each lobe?
If I were to guess, the fuel tank is split into two lobes to prevent fuel sloshing to one side, and altering the balance of the car, and also causing the fuel gauge to move up and down.
Also, a balanced fuel level helps maintain a balanced vehicle. If the right side were constantly full, it would alter that balance. Also, you would not be able to replace the fuel pump, because the right side would always be full, unless the tank were nearly empty. I know for a fact that is not true.
Why not have one tank with a baffle to keep the fuel from sloshing? Because a split tank is a better way to maintain a balanced car.
So, who does not understand how the fuel tank works?

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Old 07-02-2013, 02:55 AM   #29
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Below is link to how the fuel system works and how to test if the senders are working correctly.

To answer a few questions:
1. The fuel tank has two lobes because there needs to be room for the prop shaft and exhaust to get down the back of the car. This is a pretty normal setup for rear/all wheel drive cars. The two lobes are joined together which allows fuel to slosh from one side to the other.
2. The siphon pump, or sucking jet pump as it is called in different places is a motive flow pump. This is a pump with no moving parts or electrics that uses return fuel flow to induce further flow. On the left lobe, the side of the siphon pump, there is the return fuel line that goes down into the tank. This is the flow that is used to induce flow to the right side. Unfortunately, the term siphon pump is misleading, as this would imply the levels are kept the same. This is not correct.
3.The right lobe is indeed kept full (except for a little bit of sloshing back to the left lobe) until the left is completely drained. Then the right lobe level will start to reduce. This can easily be seen on the display in the cabin as fuel is used.





http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=738747
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:47 AM   #30
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Below is link to how the fuel system works and how to test if the senders are working correctly.

To answer a few questions:
1. The fuel tank has two lobes because there needs to be room for the prop shaft and exhaust to get down the back of the car. This is a pretty normal setup for rear/all wheel drive cars. The two lobes are joined together which allows fuel to slosh from one side to the other.
2. The siphon pump, or sucking jet pump as it is called in different places is a motive flow pump. This is a pump with no moving parts or electrics that uses return fuel flow to induce further flow. On the left lobe, the side of the siphon pump, there is the return fuel line that goes down into the tank. This is the flow that is used to induce flow to the right side. Unfortunately, the term siphon pump is misleading, as this would imply the levels are kept the same. This is not correct.
3.The right lobe is indeed kept full (except for a little bit of sloshing back to the left lobe) until the left is completely drained. Then the right lobe level will start to reduce. This can easily be seen on the display in the cabin as fuel is used.





http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=738747
What is the source for this information? Link?
I am not saying you are wrong, but your post does not mention a source for this info, beyond your observations (which may be correct).
I am going by what I read in the so-called "e46 Bible". If it is wrong, then so be it. But I did not pull this out of my a$$. I knew I had read it somewhere reliable (for the most part). This is where I got my information, and I could not find any other official source for this info. If that source is incorrect then fine. But so far, I am the only one who has cited any documentation for my claim.
I am well aware that may vehicles have a split tank due to the architecture of the vehicle, so the e46 is not unique in that respect.
To be clear, I am not saying you are wrong. I am being careful not to take an aggressive tone with you (unlike others), because I think that is childish and unnecessary. I do hope you dont get offended by me questioning you on this, because that is not how it is intended. I am simply asking for some documentation to back up what you are saying, because I am going by the only reliable source I have for this information.

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:42 PM   #31
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With regard to MJLavelle's comments above, no offence taken. I think your questions are perfectly valid, and for me to say the Bentley is incorrect with regard to this point is pretty brave on my part.

Here's where I'm coming from.

I purchased a Bentley manual a number of years ago and used it extensively. Whilst I found it a good reference, I found on numerous occasions it was a bit short of the mark. I am the type of person who needs to know in as much detail how a system works. I read as much as I can from numerous sources, mostly online. I then go and pull the thing to pieces and document as much information as I can about it. I post what I find on this forum, but mostly I do it for my own knowledge and reference for the future. On numerous occasions after pulling something to pieces, I have found that the Bentley manual, whilst good for general information was poor when it came to detail. This was one of those occasions. I now rarely open the Bentley manual, as I find it frustratingly sparse on detail on the things I think count.

My conclusion on how the fuel is distributed in normal operation was based on a few things:
-My knowledge of motive flow jet pumps, which is what I believe the "siphon pump" is. This is a type of pump regularly used in aircraft to transfer fuel from one tank to another. I have worked in the aviation industry for the last 25 years.
-What I had read online. I have no references for you.
-What happens in practice. When you access the hidden menus on the instrument cluster, it is clear that as fuel is used, the right lobe remains full whilst the left is reduced. After the left lobe has emptied, the right now reduces. The return fuel line goes to the left lobe, but fuel is drawn by the pump from the right lobe. There is really only one conclusion that can be drawn from this information.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:10 PM   #32
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With regard to MJLavelle's comments above, no offence taken. I think your questions are perfectly valid, and for me to say the Bentley is incorrect with regard to this point is pretty brave on my part.

Here's where I'm coming from.

I purchased a Bentley manual a number of years ago and used it extensively. Whilst I found it a good reference, I found on numerous occasions it was a bit short of the mark. I am the type of person who needs to know in as much detail how a system works. I read as much as I can from numerous sources, mostly online. I then go and pull the thing to pieces and document as much information as I can about it. I post what I find on this forum, but mostly I do it for my own knowledge and reference for the future. On numerous occasions after pulling something to pieces, I have found that the Bentley manual, whilst good for general information was poor when it came to detail. This was one of those occasions. I now rarely open the Bentley manual, as I find it frustratingly sparse on detail on the things I think count.

My conclusion on how the fuel is distributed in normal operation was based on a few things:
-My knowledge of motive flow jet pumps, which is what I believe the "siphon pump" is. This is a type of pump regularly used in aircraft to transfer fuel from one tank to another. I have worked in the aviation industry for the last 25 years.
-What I had read online. I have no references for you.
-What happens in practice. When you access the hidden menus on the instrument cluster, it is clear that as fuel is used, the right lobe remains full whilst the left is reduced. After the left lobe has emptied, the right now reduces. The return fuel line goes to the left lobe, but fuel is drawn by the pump from the right lobe. There is really only one conclusion that can be drawn from this information.
^ Pretty much the way it works. Have not read Bentley regarding this, as I have watched closely on properly working cars how the fuel transfer works via the Hidden OBC menu.

What I have found is once the tank is just about 1/2 full, the left side of the tank starts to drop and will effectively drop to empty sometime below 1/2 tank displayed level. Return fuel is always fed back to the left side/siphon/sucking jet pump. Unless you have a hard turn and slosh fuel back into the left side the remaining fuel is in the right half of the tank.

Bottom line/quick and dirty check, if there is substantial fuel in the left side at close to 1/3-1/4 tank, then fuel transfer is compromised, likely due to reduce return volume, most commonly due to restricted filter and/or soft fuel pump. Could be an issue with the siphon/sucking jet pump, but these rarely have issues, usually have issues after someone has been in the tank messing around with something they should not be messing with. Other low probability issue could be with sending unit(s) likely hanging or reading too high. Sending units are an issue on these cars, but the fuel pumps are far bigger issues from what I have seen.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:23 PM   #33
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Jjrichar, you do a fantastic job of describing things in detail. I enjoy your posts and photos. I like to get into trouble like you do. That is why we are dangerous.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #34
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With regard to MJLavelle's comments above, no offence taken. I think your questions are perfectly valid, and for me to say the Bentley is incorrect with regard to this point is pretty brave on my part.

Here's where I'm coming from.

I purchased a Bentley manual a number of years ago and used it extensively. Whilst I found it a good reference, I found on numerous occasions it was a bit short of the mark. I am the type of person who needs to know in as much detail how a system works. I read as much as I can from numerous sources, mostly online. I then go and pull the thing to pieces and document as much information as I can about it. I post what I find on this forum, but mostly I do it for my own knowledge and reference for the future. On numerous occasions after pulling something to pieces, I have found that the Bentley manual, whilst good for general information was poor when it came to detail. This was one of those occasions. I now rarely open the Bentley manual, as I find it frustratingly sparse on detail on the things I think count.

My conclusion on how the fuel is distributed in normal operation was based on a few things:
-My knowledge of motive flow jet pumps, which is what I believe the "siphon pump" is. This is a type of pump regularly used in aircraft to transfer fuel from one tank to another. I have worked in the aviation industry for the last 25 years.
-What I had read online. I have no references for you.
-What happens in practice. When you access the hidden menus on the instrument cluster, it is clear that as fuel is used, the right lobe remains full whilst the left is reduced. After the left lobe has emptied, the right now reduces. The return fuel line goes to the left lobe, but fuel is drawn by the pump from the right lobe. There is really only one conclusion that can be drawn from this information.
That is an explanation I can live with, and it was explained in a rational, non-hysterical manner.
As I said, I only had one documented source for the information, and it contradicted what others were saying. So, I made a statement based on what I have read, not ignorance, as was implied.
Also, when I have checked my levels in the past, they have been roughly even. But, I can't say for sure what the level of my tank was at the time.
I would still like to find an official document that explains it once and for all. Because I too have found errors in the Bentley manual, but they were usually minor issues, not something so fundamentally wrong.
But, I appreciate the calm, clear, non-confrontational approach you took. We could use more of that.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:35 PM   #35
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Because I too have found errors in the Bentley manual, but they were usually minor issues, not something so fundamentally wrong.
I have a different take on the Bentley description. I think it reeks of a bad translation. I see many times translators who do not understand something technical, really get things backwards. I think if you study the text you quoted, you'll see it is far from precisely stated science. And it is stilted.

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Old 07-02-2013, 11:18 PM   #36
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I have a different take on the Bentley description. I think it reeks of a bad translation. I see many times translators who do not understand something technical, really get things backwards. I think if you study the text you quoted, you'll see it is far from precisely stated science. And it is stilted.
To me, it seems like so many other technical manuals I have read. But, you may have hit on one thing - Translation. I believe it may be worded somewhat strangely (To us) because it is written in a way that makes it easier to run through a translation program. It also seems that some sections were written by British authors, and others by Americans, and some seem to be translated German, that did not translate perfectly well.
The truth is, I have seen worse manuals.
The Haynes Manual for my '01 Eclipse was awful. In the section on spark plug removal, it reads "Remove spark plugs. Check the gap on the new plugs before installing them"
The real process is to remove about 20 hoses and the intake manifold in order to reach the plugs in the rear. The whole reason why I bought the manual was to learn how to reach the back side plugs. I was so pissed I went to return the manual. The store had a policy of not accepting returns on manuals after the plastic wrap was removed. So, i took the guy out to the car and showed him the placement of the plugs, and then what the manual read, and he agreed that it was crap, and gave me a refund.
The Bentley manual is light years ahead of the Haynes. But, I am not thrilled with it either, and don't know why it is so highly recommended by so many on here. I only quoted it because I was trying to show that I did not pull the whole "Balancing" thing out of my a$$. But, no one has offered any other source of documentation on the subject.....

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Old 07-03-2013, 10:51 AM   #37
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To add to the above, I was diagnosing a bad float meter on my new pump recently and can confirm the Bentley manual is at best 'poorly worded'.

The pump will ensure the right tank stays full for as long as there is sufficient fuel. As fuel is consumed from the right side, fuel from the left replenishes it until the left side is used up. Only then does the right side level begin to drop.

Using menu option 6.0 you can observe this process. If you leave the back seat and service hatch off, you will see fuel lapping at the pump/tank interface until about 2/3 tank. If you mess up getting the seal in right when you replace the pump, you'll have to pump out over 1/3 of a tank before the leak stops. Without this syphoning system, just a few liters would be enough. Don't ask me how I know this...

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Old 07-03-2013, 11:32 PM   #38
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To me, it seems like so many other technical manuals I have read. But, you may have hit on one thing - Translation. I believe it may be worded somewhat strangely (To us) because it is written in a way that makes it easier to run through a translation program. It also seems that some sections were written by British authors, and others by Americans, and some seem to be translated German, that did not translate perfectly well.
The truth is, I have seen worse manuals.
The Haynes Manual for my '01 Eclipse was awful. In the section on spark plug removal, it reads "Remove spark plugs. Check the gap on the new plugs before installing them"
The real process is to remove about 20 hoses and the intake manifold in order to reach the plugs in the rear. The whole reason why I bought the manual was to learn how to reach the back side plugs. I was so pissed I went to return the manual. The store had a policy of not accepting returns on manuals after the plastic wrap was removed. So, i took the guy out to the car and showed him the placement of the plugs, and then what the manual read, and he agreed that it was crap, and gave me a refund.
The Bentley manual is light years ahead of the Haynes. But, I am not thrilled with it either, and don't know why it is so highly recommended by so many on here. I only quoted it because I was trying to show that I did not pull the whole "Balancing" thing out of my a$$. But, no one has offered any other source of documentation on the subject.....
Thinking for yourself goes a long way further than just quoting text from the manual!
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:04 AM   #39
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Thinking for yourself goes a long way further than just quoting text from the manual!
I would not have accomplished the things I have if I did not know how to think for myself. If you only knew how far off you are with that assessment.

But, since we are handing out life advice, studying jjrichar's example on how to disagree with what someone has said may be quite helpful to you, and to those you respond to.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:30 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJLavelle View Post
I would not have accomplished the things I have if I did not know how to think for myself. If you only knew how far off you are with that assessment.

But, since we are handing out life advice, studying jjrichar's example on how to disagree with what someone has said may be quite helpful to you, and to those you respond to.
That's funny! You should have been telling your other compadres like Mango that a long time ago. Your little group have no problem criticizing others instead of explaining things in a friendly manner.
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