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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My fuel reading is not working. It always shows full. When I turn the ignition on, the needle steadily, fairly quickly moves to full. When I turn the ignition off, it steadily falls to zero. I replaced the sender in the tank but it was still the same.

I had to remove the console to replace the head unit and fit a Mic for the Bluetooth hands free. While I was there I thought I would try a new gauge. On this one, and indeed a second spare I have, the needle slowly rises to 3/4. I think there is only a quarter in the tank, although I may be wrong. The thing is, when I turn the ignition off, the needle drops like a stone.

I am aware the fault may lie in the Speedo / rev counter binnicle.

Question to all, although ph1 may be more relevant, how does your needle behave with ignition on and ignition off?
 

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On mine ( with 3/4 of a tank ) :

Key on : no reaction for about 1 second, climbs to 3/4 in a total time from key on of about 3.5 seconds

key off : falls to zero almost instantly.

EDIT : That behaviour is typical from when the car was new ( although I cannot state that the times are the same! ).
 

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My gauge hasn't worked in years.

Well, it's not that it's not working - it's measuring something, it's just whatever it is measuring has no correlation with the amount of fuel in the car.

Sometimes it reads full, half full, mostly it reads empty but the low fuel light can be on at any one of these stages at random.

I just reset the odometer to 0 on each fuel up and refill when I begin to get worried.
 

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Mitch, for what it's worth, my Alfa 156 fuel gauge behaved in exactly the way you describe. I tried changing the sender unit and the gauges, and then spotted the culprit - some black insulation tape near the rear seat - someone had cut the fuel sender wiring and inserted a section of two-core cable running all the way to the front of the car, where an immobiliser relay was once connected to a car alarm.

The car alarm had been removed when the car left Singapore. It was quite funny that when the alarm had been fitted and armed, it had immobilised the fuel gauge (obviously someone had intended to immobilise the fuel pump, rather than the gauge).

This funny little anecdote doesn't even begin to convey the gravity of the situation when I bought and collected the car in Christchurch NZ (fresh import, no-one knew about the fuel gauge) and I drove north to catch a ferry on a tight schedule (flight down delayed by fog) - got about 70km out of town and into the hills before running out of petrol. Also had a flat tyre at the exact same moment due to a rubber strap coming adrift from under the front suspension - hook embedded in tyre sidewall - imagine, engine stopped with rubber strap flapping around right-front corner, I really thought the cambelt had been thrown.

Had to hitchhike 25km to get petrol - the first driver to pass stopped - and hitchhike back - not much traffic, one car every ten minutes - the second car stopped, and the girls said "we only picked you up because you looked cute".

"Dude! Is that your car? It's brand new!"
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"Ah, only the number plate is new"
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"Why doesn't the fuel gauge work?"
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"I think it doesn't work because it's an Italian car... One day, you'll understand".

About 73 litres went into the tank with the gauge reading just under full, after which it read the same. The trip computer (being an '03 156) was quite confused.

Also had to limp along in the wet for about 300km on the space-saver spare as the rare 16" tyre size wasn't available in small country towns. And of course I missed the ferry, had to pay extra and wait around six hours, which did give the opportunity to buy two overpriced replacement tyres. One suffered a puncture the very next day and the other mysteriously shredded two weeks later. I have never had such bad luck with new tyres before or since.

And all because someone in Singapore cut the wrong wire...

-Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm feeling a great deal better about my situation now Alex!

Thanks pkr, sounds like my 2 spares are good and I have more fuel in the tank than I realised! :D
 

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I'm feeling a great deal better about my situation now Alex
:lol:
It does show the sort of 'fun' you can only have in an Alfa Romeo... just running out of petrol becomes an adventure and an event... I'd never hitch-hiked before and never have since...

But anyway, as you probably gathered, I expect the fuel gauge you have reads 'full' with an open-circuit, so I suspect a loose connection somewhere. Maybe a pin in a multi-plug has 'backed off' when you've pushed the plug in (tricky to spot sometimes).

-Alex
 
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