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Fuel sender problem - showing empty

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ryancitroen   
Sat Oct 08 2016, 02:33am
Member No: #46434
Joined: Oct 08 2016
Location: Hertfordshire
Hi all ive been reading for a while now and the brake light switch has cured my previous problems. Thanks

I have a recently acquired 2005 1.6 petrol vtr+ that Is permanently showing empty on the fuel gauge. I hooked it up to lexia/diagbox and it has sender short circuit.

I managed to pull the fuel sender out the petrol tank and the float was freely moving etc i did notice a bit of "burnt" kind of effect on where the float contacts touch for the level (resistor bit im not sure)

Before i got the car it was sat for quite some time, and the fuel gauge did actually show 3 bars of fuel left when i got it, when i put 15 quid of petrol in , the gauge never went up, it has since depleted to zero and never moved.

Lexia/diagbox didnt show any errors for a filler cap sensor so im assuming not that.

Would yous recommend i chance my luck and replace the sender unit? Or possibly try and clean the contacts.
If it helps i can take some photos of the sender and post them. Thank you.
Ryan
Biohead   
Sat Oct 08 2016, 02:39am

Member No: #6049
Joined: Nov 05 2008
Location: Bracknell
Post some photos - it should give us bit more of an idea. It's always worth cleaning the contacts as that's free!

Could be worth pricing up new senders - I don't know how much they are, but if they're cheap enough it could be worth getting one just to try out.
ryancitroen   
Sat Oct 08 2016, 02:45am
Member No: #46434
Joined: Oct 08 2016
Location: Hertfordshire
Thanks ill pull the sender out and take a few photos and try give it a clean, new senders are about 120-150 quid. Second hand parts around 25. Id probably have to go second hand to be honest at this point, unless i was 100 percent sure. Thanks
Biohead   
Sat Oct 08 2016, 02:52am

Member No: #6049
Joined: Nov 05 2008
Location: Bracknell
If it helps, this definitely ISN'T a common problem - I can't think of any other instances on this forum. I would say it might be related to that period of time it was sat around.
ryancitroen   
Sat Oct 08 2016, 07:52am
Member No: #46434
Joined: Oct 08 2016
Location: Hertfordshire
Hi Again
thanks for your replies Biohead, you motivated me to go back out and take another look.
so, I went back out to the car and took the fuel sender out again, using cotton bud and white spirit (closest I could find to alcohol wipe) I wiped as much of the resistors area as I could, some 'dirt' came off onto the cotton bud ends so I thought I would give it a try.
thought I would post a few pics, in case someone has a similar thing happen at any point.


2005 1.6 16V C4 5dr with 76.2k miles on it (just fyi)




the black seal was a pain to come off but eventually got there with a small hammer and flat head to get it off



you can see the stained/burnt looking marks on the resistor part - this is what I went over with the white spirit and the cotton buds.


and a result ! first time ive seen the fuel gauge showing something in the tank, and the fuel light being off on the dash board.

now im not too sure how accurate this will be, but at least I definitely know its something to do with the fuel sender itself. if the readings don't seem right I will just purchase a new fuel pump/sender combination.

I have just one more query, when I took the fuel sender out of the tank, I could see and took out a blue rubber ring - almost the size to seal the sender to the tank - but its just too big to fit and make a seal.

does anyone know if the sender should have a rubber seal to the tank area - It makes sense but I just couldn't find the way it was meant to go on.

any help with that part appreciated.
ryan
Honest   
Sat Oct 08 2016, 09:05am
Member No: #35215
Joined: Apr 20 2014
Location: Russia
Hi, Ryan! I suppose that someone was in the tank before. There don't have to be the spots of fuel. To change the rubber ring and to tighten the black nut to combination of pointers on the nut and sender. I think that the blue rubber is from another car. I saw just only a black seal for a genuine implementation. And I have cleaned it too but the resistor part worked circa 7-8 months correctly. The black marks confirm that contacts wearied out (on the green part).
ryancitroen   
Sun Oct 16 2016, 08:16am
Member No: #46434
Joined: Oct 08 2016
Location: Hertfordshire
Thank you,
Well after the original sender being originally cleaned it last about an hour. So i purchased a second hand sender which looks in decent condition from a trusted ebayer. Installed it and the fuel gauge worked for about 100 miles, car was turned on and off loads of times throught the first day. The next morning started car and the fuel is showing only 2 bars left, and low petrol light on. When it just just under half a tank the night before.

Oh ffs , so now im wondering could two sensors be playing up, or is there a intermittent wiring issue somewhere.

Should i fork out over 100 quid and just get a new pump/sender and hope that it will correct it? Any thought appreciated
1 User said Thank You to ryancitroen for this Post :
 Honest (17 Oct 2016 : 13:27)
KenC   
Sun Oct 16 2016, 08:44am
Member No: #18024
Joined: Feb 12 2011
Location: Derby
You could have a dodgy earth or bad connection at the sender, try cleaning contacts and bare metal.
ryancitroen   
Sun Oct 16 2016, 10:21am
Member No: #46434
Joined: Oct 08 2016
Location: Hertfordshire
Thanks Ken, thats a good idea as i remember something about earth being mentioned in diagbox. Im not very experienced at mechanics but i have plugged in the 'plug/power' cables into the new sender and also the petrol line of course. Is the earth seperately attached to the fuel tank on the outside somewhere, or is it all included in the plug/cables combination. Thank you.
KenC   
Sun Oct 16 2016, 11:08am
Member No: #18024
Joined: Feb 12 2011
Location: Derby
I couldn't tell you, how many wires are in the connector? Years ago the earth used to be under the car and got covered in [%*^#@!].
1 User said Thank You to KenC for this Post :
 ryancitroen (17 Oct 2016 : 05:04)
Grumpy GrandPa   
Sun Oct 16 2016, 05:00pm
Member No: #10746
Joined: Aug 28 2009
Location: Hull: UK City of Culture 2017
a cheap solution is to keep the car filled up or at least keep an eye on your fuel consumption and partially fill it up as you think fit....
ryancitroen   
Mon Oct 17 2016, 05:05am
Member No: #46434
Joined: Oct 08 2016
Location: Hertfordshire
Thanks will look more into it for the earth. I have been doing that grumpy for the last few weeks and it's done my tits in not knowing how much is in there properly. And since i haven't had the car very long I've not figured out its fuel range myself.
 

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