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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-27-2012, 11:40 AM
ROID ROID is offline
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Gas Guage: Never reads full and drops to empty

Ok, after using the "search" function i have a few ideas of what could be the issue but i'm going to ask anyway.

i have a 2004 325i.

The gas guage won't read past a 1/2 of a tank of gas when its full. Afterward it quickly drops down to E and the "hey idiot you are out of gas" light comes on even though there is about 9 gallons left in the car at this time.

I pulled both units from the drivers side and passanger side out of the tank and visually they look OK however that isn't the case with electronics, and i just forgot that i could have tested the float with my fluke meter as i'm sitting here typing this....

Suggestions from experience would be appreciated.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2012, 12:34 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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It is typically the sending unit on the driver side that causes your issue. Fuel pump is on passenger side.
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  #3  
Old 10-28-2012, 01:54 AM
roverT roverT is offline
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Mein Auto: '03 330i ZHP 6MT
If I remember when I was replacing my fuel pump, I was fooling around with the level sensor and was watching my OBC an fuel gauge change with the key in position 1. I know there is a sensor on the other side I didn't touch and also there is a pump that pumps fuel form the right side to the left side that hardly ever fails.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2013, 10:52 AM
ROID ROID is offline
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I replaced the drivers side pump and it didn't fix the issue.
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2013, 11:27 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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There is no driver's side pump.

Please report again with accurate facts.
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2013, 10:54 AM
joegr joegr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
There is no driver's side pump.

Please report again with accurate facts.
There is a jet pump on the driver's side. It's needed to move fuel from the low spot on that side of the tank to the electric pump on the passenger side.
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2013, 11:45 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegr View Post
There is a jet pump on the driver's side. It's needed to move fuel from the low spot on that side of the tank to the electric pump on the passenger side.
Explanation not needed.
So you replaced the sucking jet pump and thought that would correct a fuel gauge error?
Where ever did that advice come from?
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2013, 03:13 PM
joegr joegr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Explanation not needed.
So you replaced the sucking jet pump and thought that would correct a fuel gauge error?
Where ever did that advice come from?
Well, one of the two fuel level senders is a part of the jet pump assembly.
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2013, 05:21 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegr View Post
Well, one of the two fuel level senders is a part of the jet pump assembly.

The sucking jet pump is certainly not part of either sending unit. It's a separate $90 part.
If you just keep making stuff up here, that's the reputation you'll wear. Not too late to change your ways and learn some things.
There is an ethic to the forum.

Last edited by GoForthFast; 04-07-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2013, 05:29 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Sometimes errors are caused by sulfur build up, and, if so, a couple of tanks with Techron added can help.
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  #11  
Old 04-08-2013, 06:25 AM
joegr joegr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
The sucking jet pump is certainly not part of either sending unit. It's a separate $90 part.
If you just keep making stuff up here, that's the reputation you'll wear. Not too late to change your ways and learn some things.
There is an ethic to the forum.
I made an incorrect assumption. Two of my other cars (Lincoln LS) have similar fuel systems with the two fuel pumps. In their case, the left fuel sender and jet pump are a single assembly.

Thanks for you oh so polite correction on this. Especially when I politely corrected your ridiculous statement about there being no driver's side pump. It would seem that we both have been wrong and corrected each other, but I am sure you will see it differently than this.
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2013, 08:42 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Originally Posted by joegr View Post
It would seem that we both have been wrong and corrected each other, but I am sure you will see it differently than this.
As long as we end up on the same page, it's all about the machinery.
That's what we're here for.
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2013, 10:56 AM
ROID ROID is offline
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corrections to the miss-stated repair.

I replaced the drivers side float/fuel level sensor.

This did not repair the issue.

I'm guessing it could be the jet pump inside the take on the drivers side..........

The issue still remains. the tank is currently full and the car reads less than 1/2 a tank of fuel.
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2013, 12:25 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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If you're correct, you have 16+ gallons in your tank then the sucking jet pump won't make a bit of difference in the gauge reading.
You replaced the driver's side, so now suspect the passenger side sending component. You never said you replaced this unit?

And as you previously stated, you should test each with your ohmmeter. And make sure your connectors are solid.

Next will be the gauge cluster.

Last edited by GoForthFast; 04-28-2013 at 12:38 PM.
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