Author Topic: Fuel gauge issue and low-range indicator light  (Read 203 times)

November 20, 2018, 11:29:21 AM
Read 203 times

Hackster

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Does anyone have any advice for me on the following for my 2006 Forester XS manual (212 000 km):

My fuel gauge has stopped working, shows empty and low fuel warning light is on. Do I need to replace both main and secondary sender units, and how difficult is this to do oneself.

The dual range works but the LO indicator light doesn't come on, on the dash. Anything I should check before removing the instrument binnacle to check the bulb? And again, is removing the instrument binnacle DIYable?

Any advice and pointers much appreciated!


November 20, 2018, 12:38:51 PM
Reply #1

PyroPerformance

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Looking at your mileage im assuming you recently had a major service done? If so it is possible that if the mechanic removed the fuel pump assembly and then refitted it that the fuel level float arm got damaged/stuck/bent. This is possible as a DIY, but not the easiest of jobs.

As for the low range indicator light, I would look by the low range lever first, there must be a sender unit there that would send a signal to turn the light on. Checking the cluster bulbs is an option, but not the easiest thing to do.

November 20, 2018, 01:56:04 PM
Reply #2

Hackster

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The last service that was done was the 200k cambelt, and the fuel gauge stopped working some 12k after that so I'm not sure the two are connected.

Will check under the handbrake console to see if I can spot any loose wires!

November 20, 2018, 05:27:57 PM
Reply #3

dieterf

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Re the LO light, my sons 2007 X also had an intermittent signal, without dismantling anything i rather heavy handidly just cycled the lever up down for numerous repeats.
All good since, i assume a sticky switch/contact.
RRSC
VW Kombi
XL&XR500's (old-real old)

November 21, 2018, 11:27:18 AM
Reply #4

Hackster

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Thanks! I'll definitely try that one before I start stripping out interior consoles.

November 21, 2018, 12:40:48 PM
Reply #5

Dene

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Thanks Dieterf, I am also going to try the dual range indicator "fix".  ;D

November 21, 2018, 09:58:29 PM
Reply #6

berndp

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The last service that was done was the 200k cambelt, and the fuel gauge stopped working some 12k after that so I'm not sure the two are connected.

Will check under the handbrake console to see if I can spot any loose wires!

The low range switch sits approx under the throttle body, on the gearbox. Not under console.
Subaru Forester 2005 2.5 Xsel
Always looking for a tar free "road"
Brackenfell, W'Cape

December 03, 2018, 08:33:27 AM
Reply #7

Hackster

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So here's a cautionary tale for you all.

It turns out there was nothing wrong with my fuel gauge. But there was something wrong with the garage where I always refuel. And there was also something wrong with my powers of deduction.

I always drive my car to empty before filling up, sometimes to the point where the fuel warning light comes on. After filling up last time, I drove away and discovered my fuel gauge pointing to E and the warning light on. At which point I made the assumption that the gauge was broken.

Took my car to the garage that fixes all our cars, for an oil change service and asked them to look into the gauge. They told me I'd need to replace the fuel sender units, about R5.5k in cost. Mechanic told me that he played with the sender float and saw that the gauge responded. Given the cost I asked them to hold off.

Two days later my car 'broke down' on the freeway.

It should be noted that I don't use my Subaru much at all. Some 60 km had passed between the 'refuel' and this point.

It felt a lot like fuel starvation so I put in 3 litres of fuel but the battery was flat at this point so nothing doing. I had the car towed to the same garage and they repeated their previous prognosis and put in some fuel too. Again I asked them to hold off on replacing the sender units.

Collecting the car I noticed that the fuel gauge was working, showing just above empty. Asked the foreman about this, it's 'intermittent' he said.

On the way home I refilled the tank. I knew how much fuel had been put in after the 'break down' and with the refuel it became clear that I was scammed at the garage the previous time I refuelled. No fuel went into my car. Wierd one because I did climb out the car at the time, I always do, and didn't notice anything amiss. Have started correspondence with the garage in question.

And as for the low-range indicator light not working, the good folks at Lansdowne Auto Electrical had a look and found that the switch on the gearbox was dodgy, they cleaned it a bit so it works again but warned that I should replace it. For this they charged me nothing.

So, there you go. Faulty logic on my side came with its own punishment. But fortunately I didn't spend R5.5k replacing parts that were perfectly serviceable.

I'm not thrilled with my workshop. But it's the first major mistake they've made in 10 years so I might stay with them. Or not. At the time of writing they hadn't offered to refund me what they had charged for the (mis) diagnosis of the fuel gauge problem.

December 05, 2018, 05:30:54 PM
Reply #8

berndp

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Glad it was a more or less happy ending..
Subaru Forester 2005 2.5 Xsel
Always looking for a tar free "road"
Brackenfell, W'Cape