Fuel gauge always in the red. - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 16th, 2016, 02:27 PM
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Fuel gauge always in the red.

My fuel gauge has been reading in the red since day one, when I picked it up from port I went to fuel up and the tank was actually full..

When i start the car the needle goes up from its resting position to the top of the red.

Is there anything i can do before replacing the sender?
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  #2  
Old March 16th, 2016, 02:47 PM
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Why nor start with the easy stuff, does the gauge have power, is the sender connected to the gauge? Is it even wired up. Trace the wiring from the sender to the gauge, or even run a jumper before throwing money at it.

There are three wires on the sender, earth, low fuel light and the last goes to the sender, earth-out the sender one and the gauge should read. Make sure the earth wire is in fact earthed.
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  #3  
Old March 16th, 2016, 03:20 PM
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Theres a black one on the sender that when I connect and disconnect the gauge moves up and down, but maxes out where it normally does which is the last bit of the red, like in the picture.

Edit:

If I disconnect all the cables in the sender, the gauge doesn't move, when I connect them again they go to the level pictured.
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  #4  
Old March 16th, 2016, 03:33 PM
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Maybe the bobble thingy is stuck in the tank?
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Old March 16th, 2016, 03:44 PM
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Sounds like its time to drop the tank......
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  #6  
Old March 16th, 2016, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloCocito View Post
My fuel gauge has been reading in the red since day one,
I seem to have the same problem with the '08 SC. Especially when towing.

But, I think that in my case there is a consistent lack of fuel in the tank.

With yours, perhaps check the grounds at the tank and gauge.
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  #7  
Old March 16th, 2016, 03:59 PM
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Can I check the float without dropping the tank??
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  #8  
Old March 16th, 2016, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloCocito View Post
Can I check the float without dropping the tank??
90, yes. 110, no.

You are not very clear on your explanation of what is happening.....
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Old March 16th, 2016, 04:23 PM
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The fuel gauge level only goes up to the level that is pictured above, it's as if it's getting a signal but the max it reads is on the red.. When it's off it goes down to its resting position.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 04:33 PM
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Okay... Let's check the gauge and gauge wiring first. See the test below. If you pass those tests, the problem is the sender.

Disconnect the wire to the sender. Where does the gauge go? It should peg empty.
Connect the wire to the sender to ground. Where does the gauge go? It should peg full.
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  #11  
Old March 16th, 2016, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
Okay... Let's check the gauge and gauge wiring first. See the test below. If you pass those tests, the problem is the sender. Disconnect the wire to the sender. Where does the gauge go? It should peg empty. Connect the wire to the sender to ground. Where does the gauge go? It should peg full.
Did the test, pegged empty when off pegged full when grounded.. So the sender is bad?
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  #12  
Old March 16th, 2016, 04:58 PM
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Sounds like the sender is bad or stuck. They are pretty cheap, so I would just get a new one. The black wire should be going to ground, so make sure that is good, but that does not sound like your problem.

Is this a 90 or 110? If 90, you should be able to pull the sender in 5 minutes and look at it.
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  #13  
Old March 16th, 2016, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
Sounds like the sender is bad or stuck. They are pretty cheap, so I would just get a new one. The black wire should be going to ground, so make sure that is good, but that does not sound like your problem. Is this a 90 or 110? If 90, you should be able to pull the sender in 5 minutes and look at it.
Yeah I'll just order one, it's a 110 I'm guessing it's harder? Haha
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  #14  
Old March 16th, 2016, 07:52 PM
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You have to drop the tank. It depends how rusty are the bolts as to how hard it will be.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
You have to drop the tank. It depends how rusty are the bolts as to how hard it will be.
Can I not remove the sending unit out the side? The shop manual says It should come out before dropping the tank.

Should I have mentioned its a diesel?
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  #16  
Old March 16th, 2016, 10:07 PM
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That is the way my 110 tank is set up with the sender/draw tube (mine combines the two) in the side of the tank. It has to be removed first if you were going to drop the tank. Just pull the left rear wheel off to give yourself some room then just undo the locking ring and remove the sender. But first, make sure the fuel level is below the sender or you are going to have quite the mess.

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  #17  
Old March 16th, 2016, 10:28 PM
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I had a similar problem, but my fuel gauge read 3/4 when it was empty, yes I ran out of fuel twice before it was fixed. I replaced the tank, mine was old and rusty. I replaced the sending unit also. That did not fix the problem. I had a grounding issue. Once that was fixed all was good again.
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  #18  
Old March 16th, 2016, 10:36 PM
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Pull the sender. You can cycle it outside the tank and see if the gauge moves the right amounts.
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  #19  
Old March 26th, 2016, 07:31 AM
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In my 110 i can get the sender from the side behind the left wheel. It's a 5 minute fix to replace the sender. On the new sender make sure the "brush" actually makes contact with the rheostat. Sometimes they don't physically touch and you would get the reverse problem: gauge stuck showing full all the time. Just bend the metal strip carefully if they don't.
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  #20  
Old March 26th, 2016, 08:12 AM
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In a related question, how do you test the 'low fuel' light? My newly acquired 110 ran out of fuel about 2 miles after the red light came on. That was a surprise because my 90 has 1.5 gallons left when the red light illuminates.

I assume it has a switch that contacts when the float drops to the correct level? Do I bend the contact to the level I want the light to come on?

Mike
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