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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 09-12-2010, 01:31 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Fuel gauge slow :(

Hi,

Yesterday I had a problem with my fuel gauge, it was too slow because I ran out of gas in the middle of the road, the fuel gauge was showing about 15 l left, but I ran out of gas.
I have run an instrument cluster test, all clusters move fine, but the reserve light does not light on when I make the test, what can I do to fix this problem, do I need to replace a censor or just the bulb behind the fuel gauge, its not fun to ran out of gas?

Last edited by Mamij; 09-12-2010 at 01:33 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2010, 07:20 AM
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Bloody Arro Bloody Arro is offline
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Why not go ahead and replace the bulb? It shouldn't be hard and it shouldn't take long.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2010, 08:00 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloody Arro View Post
Why not go ahead and replace the bulb? It shouldn't be hard and it shouldn't take long.
But the whole gauge was still showing that there was much fuel left, like about 15 liters, the bulb should light when the gauge goes to almost empty and it didnt, like it was too slow or something???
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2010, 08:22 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Originally Posted by Bloody Arro View Post
Why not go ahead and replace the bulb? It shouldn't be hard and it shouldn't take long.
How can the bulb come on for the reserve when the gauge still did not come down to the red zone? its just too slow, I dont know what to do....
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2010, 09:59 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloody Arro View Post
Why not go ahead and replace the bulb? It shouldn't be hard and it shouldn't take long.
Well I have just found my way to the bulb, and it looks fine, no need to replace the bulb at all, I just dont know why it doesnt work, must be something else...

Last edited by Mamij; 09-12-2010 at 10:32 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2010, 06:12 PM
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Bloody Arro Bloody Arro is offline
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Try the fuel level sensor next.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2010, 12:44 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloody Arro View Post
Try the fuel level sensor next.

where is that censor located?
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2010, 12:59 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloody Arro View Post
Try the fuel level sensor next.
you think that censor also is the problem with the low level fuel light, because when I did that instrument cluster test, the bulb did not light on, and it should? but the bulb is ok
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2010, 05:19 AM
jeepbmt jeepbmt is offline
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Repair your fuel gauge is very easy. You can open the gauge tube, carefully, there're 3 slim wire to make a resister. Clean all of them that you can see. Good luck.
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2010, 06:40 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Originally Posted by jeepbmt View Post
Repair your fuel gauge is very easy. You can open the gauge tube, carefully, there're 3 slim wire to make a resister. Clean all of them that you can see. Good luck.
But where is that tube, on the back of the car?
Do you have a link to some pictures on how to do DIY with text, I am not really good at it actually, without any pictures
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2010, 09:33 AM
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Look at the Bentley manual. Apparently they are very similar to the BMWs.
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2010, 11:23 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Originally Posted by Bloody Arro View Post
Look at the Bentley manual. Apparently they are very similar to the BMWs.
where do I find that manual?
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  #13  
Old 09-16-2010, 09:41 AM
jeepbmt jeepbmt is offline
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You can type such as " BMW 525i E34 owner manual" or another into Google.com to find it. If U cannot, wait for me uploading.
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  #14  
Old 11-13-2010, 05:06 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Not the coding plug, not the cluster and not the sending unit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepbmt View Post
You can type such as " BMW 525i E34 owner manual" or another into Google.com to find it. If U cannot, wait for me uploading.

Guys I really need your help on this.
It's driving me nuts, so far I have replaced the sending unit, a whole new coding plug and a whole cluster with RPM, speedo, reserve light, and all that, which was from a 525TDS shouldn't mean anything should it?

I moved the sending unit up and down to see how the instrument act, I found out when the tube is all empty the instrument shows 15 liters left, it is very strange why, and the fuel gauge always shows around 15 liters more than what the car has in the tank, like f.eks I fill the car up with 10 liters diesel, and the instrument shows around 20, even though there only is 10 in the tank...
anyway none of those things helped, the fuel gauge is still slow when it reaches down to around 15 liters, which is the less it can show, and then the car will run out of gas if I don't fill up much after.anyway none of those things helped, the fuel gauge is still slow when it reaches down to around 20 liters, which is the less it can show, and then the car will run out of gas if I don't fill up much after.

I have no idea if this car has a cluster from a 525TDS since they look the same as the 524td, I bought the car 6 months ago so I have no idea if the last owner changed it, but does it mean anything at all if its from a 525TDS which also has 80 liters like mine???
I have no idea what could be giving me these problems anymore....

Last edited by Mamij; 11-13-2010 at 05:33 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-13-2010, 05:39 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Your fuel gauge is damaged. This is a very common problem. There's no point changing the instrument cluster, sending unit, coding plug and whatever else you might have done. Resell all that you have changed out, or keep it as a spare.

Track your mileage to ensure that you don't run out of gas while fixing this problem. Not a bad idea to keep a little gas in your trunk as well.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 11-13-2010 at 05:42 AM.
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  #16  
Old 11-13-2010, 06:28 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Your fuel gauge is damaged. This is a very common problem. There's no point changing the instrument cluster, sending unit, coding plug and whatever else you might have done. Resell all that you have changed out, or keep it as a spare.

Track your mileage to ensure that you don't run out of gas while fixing this problem. Not a bad idea to keep a little gas in your trunk as well.

but how likely is it that 2 different cluster have the sam problem?
I bought a used cluster including the fuel gauge, speedo and RPM with temperature of course, it had the sam problem, I mean then it must be something else when 2 different clusters do the same?
Or what should I do now?
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  #17  
Old 11-13-2010, 06:32 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamij View Post
but how likely is it that 2 different cluster have the sam problem?
I bought a used cluster including the fuel gauge, speedo and RPM with temperature of course, it had the sam problem, I mean then it must be something else when 2 different clusters do the same?
Or what should I do now?
It may be difficult for you to believe it but yes, it is possible for two different fuel gauges to be busted in roughly the same way. The new gauge is something that you've not driven with for long so you may not notice other peculiarities as yet but this has been known to happen....happened on my car as well.

I suggest you try a third fuel gauge...try before you buy or make sure you can return for a full refund over 14 days. 7 times out of ten its the fuel gauge.

Because, you've changed everything else. The coding plug, fuel level sender. Did you use new parts ?
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  #18  
Old 11-13-2010, 06:36 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
It may be difficult for you to believe it but yes, it is possible for two different fuel gauges to be busted in roughly the same way. The new gauge is something that you've not driven with for long so you may not notice other peculiarities as yet but this has been known to happen....happened on my car as well.

I suggest you try a third fuel gauge...try before you buy or make sure you can return for a full refund over 14 days. 7 times out of ten its the fuel gauge.

Because, you've changed everything else. The coding plug, fuel level sender. Did you use new parts ?

The coding plug was 100% new, but the 3 sending units I have tried so far have been used, so I figure ok it can't be the sending unit since all 3 do the same thing. So I tried a used cluster to see what happens, and its the same thing, that'w why I was all lost right after, did not know what to do.
Bbut you suggest that I replace the fuel gauge, can it be done without buying the whole cluster, since they are expensive all together?
If it is possible to replace only the fuel gauge, do you have any DIY writeup with picture how to do because I am not good at those things, thanks
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  #19  
Old 11-13-2010, 12:08 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamij View Post
The coding plug was 100% new, but the 3 sending units I have tried so far have been used, so I figure ok it can't be the sending unit since all 3 do the same thing. So I tried a used cluster to see what happens, and its the same thing, that'w why I was all lost right after, did not know what to do.
Bbut you suggest that I replace the fuel gauge, can it be done without buying the whole cluster, since they are expensive all together?
If it is possible to replace only the fuel gauge, do you have any DIY writeup with picture how to do because I am not good at those things, thanks
Dude, its a simple matter to replace the fuel gauge. Trust me. Its also a simple matter to dismantle the instrument cluster. Since you've replaced the instrument cluster before you obviously know how to take it out of your dashboard. Look behind it. There will be tabs that need to be turned 90 degrees one way or the other to unlock. Then remove the rear panel. More tabs and stuff to unlock inside, observation will reveal this to you. Then, remove that as well and you'll notice that the fuel gauge can be removed easily.

Go slowly and practice on the new instrument cluster since you'll be returning it anyway for a refund, and you should be fine. I do believe there's a location on the web where someone illustrated all this with pictures but I failed to save that link many moons ago. Please spend ten minutes searching for it. Let me take 30 seconds now in case i get lucky, and of course I did so take a look :

http://home.comcast.net/~fongman1/re...terrepair.html

This may not apply to your vehicle exactly but its about 90% correct.

Another poster earlier suggested that the fuel gauge can be serviced by cleaning its old resistors, I suggest you do that once you're able to remove it, but one this I can't confirm if it will work as Ive not done it myself and I'm not sure if its doable as well.

Good luck.

p.s. oh, btw, this problem is caused by a faulty fuel gauge 70% of the time. The other 30% is the fuel level sender's fault. I recently caught a web link where someone demonstrated how to clean this with pictures, and of course i've gotten lucky again. Its not the one I read recently, but something even better :

http://www.fileoffset.com/bmw/e34_sender_unit.php

Good luck and stop throwing parts at the problem. Sorry to rub it in but you need to internalise this principle, it will be invaluable to you down the line.


rgds,
Roberto
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  #20  
Old 11-14-2010, 01:29 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Dude, its a simple matter to replace the fuel gauge. Trust me. Its also a simple matter to dismantle the instrument cluster. Since you've replaced the instrument cluster before you obviously know how to take it out of your dashboard. Look behind it. There will be tabs that need to be turned 90 degrees one way or the other to unlock. Then remove the rear panel. More tabs and stuff to unlock inside, observation will reveal this to you. Then, remove that as well and you'll notice that the fuel gauge can be removed easily.

Go slowly and practice on the new instrument cluster since you'll be returning it anyway for a refund, and you should be fine. I do believe there's a location on the web where someone illustrated all this with pictures but I failed to save that link many moons ago. Please spend ten minutes searching for it. Let me take 30 seconds now in case i get lucky, and of course I did so take a look :

http://home.comcast.net/~fongman1/re...terrepair.html

This may not apply to your vehicle exactly but its about 90% correct.

Another poster earlier suggested that the fuel gauge can be serviced by cleaning its old resistors, I suggest you do that once you're able to remove it, but one this I can't confirm if it will work as Ive not done it myself and I'm not sure if its doable as well.

Good luck.

p.s. oh, btw, this problem is caused by a faulty fuel gauge 70% of the time. The other 30% is the fuel level sender's fault. I recently caught a web link where someone demonstrated how to clean this with pictures, and of course i've gotten lucky again. Its not the one I read recently, but something even better :

http://www.fileoffset.com/bmw/e34_sender_unit.php

Good luck and stop throwing parts at the problem. Sorry to rub it in but you need to internalise this principle, it will be invaluable to you down the line.


rgds,
Roberto



Thanks alot for that info ,

I forgot to say that I have run a instrument self test, and all gauges move fine,
but still I will try replacing that fuel gauge for a factory new one, since you say 7 out of 10 times its the fuel gauge.
I don't think cleaning it would help, I have tried cleaning my fuel sender like the pictures on that link, it didn't change a thing, so I guess the fuel gauge is the next to replace
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  #21  
Old 11-26-2010, 07:48 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Dude, its a simple matter to replace the fuel gauge. Trust me. Its also a simple matter to dismantle the instrument cluster. Since you've replaced the instrument cluster before you obviously know how to take it out of your dashboard. Look behind it. There will be tabs that need to be turned 90 degrees one way or the other to unlock. Then remove the rear panel. More tabs and stuff to unlock inside, observation will reveal this to you. Then, remove that as well and you'll notice that the fuel gauge can be removed easily.

Go slowly and practice on the new instrument cluster since you'll be returning it anyway for a refund, and you should be fine. I do believe there's a location on the web where someone illustrated all this with pictures but I failed to save that link many moons ago. Please spend ten minutes searching for it. Let me take 30 seconds now in case i get lucky, and of course I did so take a look :

http://home.comcast.net/~fongman1/re...terrepair.html

This may not apply to your vehicle exactly but its about 90% correct.

Another poster earlier suggested that the fuel gauge can be serviced by cleaning its old resistors, I suggest you do that once you're able to remove it, but one this I can't confirm if it will work as Ive not done it myself and I'm not sure if its doable as well.

Good luck.

p.s. oh, btw, this problem is caused by a faulty fuel gauge 70% of the time. The other 30% is the fuel level sender's fault. I recently caught a web link where someone demonstrated how to clean this with pictures, and of course i've gotten lucky again. Its not the one I read recently, but something even better :

http://www.fileoffset.com/bmw/e34_sender_unit.php

Good luck and stop throwing parts at the problem. Sorry to rub it in but you need to internalise this principle, it will be invaluable to you down the line.


rgds,
Roberto


Well today I received my factory new Fuel Gauge instrument for my car, and I have replaced it, but looks like it's not my fuel gauge that was the problem, now this new fuel gauge acts 100% same as the old one, it can't show less than 18 liters, even though I know my car is on low fuel at the moment.
So far the new parts I have replaced are the following: Coding plug, and Fuel Gauge, but the fuel sender I bought 2 of has been used from the wreck, so what do I do know, do I have to buy a factory new sending unit, to be sure that it's not the one that is the problem or what do you suggest, I am really lost at the moment?
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  #22  
Old 11-26-2010, 10:06 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Do you have the Bentley manual? Probably not. Let me get you the relevant pages. Sorry that the problem is still not fixed.
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  #23  
Old 11-26-2010, 10:48 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Do you have the Bentley manual? Probably not. Let me get you the relevant pages. Sorry that the problem is still not fixed.

well the fuel gauge got a little better, when the car is on low fuel only with 9 liters in tank, the new gauge shows 15 liters left, as the old gauge showed around 18 liters, that's one thing I do not understand, how can it be that little difference?
The correct showing should be the reserve light on and the gauge very close to end, but 15 liters is just too much, when the car only has around 9 liters left in the tank
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  #24  
Old 11-26-2010, 12:16 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Then its the fuel sender unit, probably. You need to get that tested.

This might help :

Fuel stuff.pdf

Travel with some extra gas in the trunk and something you can use to pour it into your tank, if need be, until this problem is solved. Good luck and keep at it...you're probably very close to fixing this.
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  #25  
Old 11-26-2010, 01:01 PM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Then its the fuel sender unit, probably. You need to get that tested.

This might help :

Attachment 256154

Travel with some extra gas in the trunk and something you can use to pour it into your tank, if need be, until this problem is solved. Good luck and keep at it...you're probably very close to fixing this.

But I don't know how to test it, I don't know if I want to spend over 150 dollars on a factory new sending unit tube.
Because the last 2 I tried were both used.
Is it possible that the harness connector could be the one, but if it is I have no idea how to fix that problem. Everytime I disconnect the harness connector from the empty sending unit tube, the reserve light comes on and the fuel gauge is on empty, but when I connect it again to the empty sending unit tube, then it moves up to 15 liters, even though it should stay at empty cause the tube was empty I tried it with....

Last edited by Mamij; 11-26-2010 at 01:06 PM.
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