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David Lear
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Fuel gauge

Another niggling problem with my 1997 1.6TS.
Althugh the tank is full the gauge reads half full
(or half empty if you prefer).
Does anyone know if there is a simple adjustment or is it a tank out job??

Thanks for any help.
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Ralf S.
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The fuel sender in the tank is a little metal arm with a float on the end of it, rather like the cistern in a toilet.

The float moves up and down as the fuel level changes and attached to the other end of the arm, outside the tank but inside a sealed little plastic box, is a brush that moves across a "live" coiled wire.

The brush creates a circuit with this coiled wire and the length of coiled wire before the brush (a distance that changes as the fuel level falls) determines how much resistance there is in the circuit. The fuel gauge is just a resistance metre.

It could be that the arm is just bent into the wrong position (it's the thickness of coat hanger metal) following a hasty replacement or something, so you may just have to bend it downwards a bit.

It sits behind a little metal hatch (with gasket) on the top of the fuel tank. I don't know if there's any way to get at it without dropping the tank out.

If the arm is okay, it could be that the fuel gauge itself is the problem.

Did it once work okay and now it's not or has it always been like that? The arm only gets bent when it's been taken out so if yours has gradually got worse then it's unlikely to be the arm.

Ralf S.
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I have seen this problem on other Italian cars. The sender unit uses a small piston in a barrel as a damper to prevent the gauge oscillating. Sometimes a piece of grit sticks in between the piston and the cylinder. Removing this grit fixes the problem.
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David - These threads on fuel guages can run on a while... Take my advice and pull out the sender unit now for a look - you`ll probably end up having to do it anyway so the sooner the better
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el gringo
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David- I've got the same problem, although the gauge on my car reads about 1/4 tank too low. The problem was there when I bought the car 2ndhand at a dealer with 3 month warranty, so they took out the sender, put it back in, checked the tank ventilation system, put it back in, checked all the wiring, drained the tank, checked the amount of fuel going in, checked the sender again and so on and on. Ultimately they concluded it was the gauge itself. So you may well have the same problem. Unfortunately it's part of the whole instrument cluster, not easy to replace, and probably very expensive. I've learned to live with it and use the day trip meter to keep an eye on the distance driven after a fill-up.
By the way, unless I'm very much mistaken you can get at the sender by taking out the rear seats (not the backrests). There should be a hole there through which you can get at the sender.

'95 2.0TS 16V

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