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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 02-09-2013, 08:24 PM
cleonardELJ58 cleonardELJ58 is offline
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Question Fule gauge 1/2 to empty

Hi guys im new to owning a BMW and to this forum i have searched the internet and searched here as much as i could befor deciding to post but could not fine an anwser so maybe you can help i have a 99 328i the E46 and my fule gauge will go from a 1/2 tank down to 1/8 tank when the fule light comes on from my research it seams to be one of the two sensors in the tank but my qustion is, which side controls the fule level when it gets below half a tank and after a little more driving it has finialy went very very slow from 1/8 to 1/4 tank on the guage does anyone know which maybe bad because i know i have almost 1/2 a tank left even though its readin almost empty any help will be very welcomed thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2013, 09:29 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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You need to use the OBC hidden functons to get a reading from each sender on your car. You have two of them

Come back and tell us what you find when you do this?

Very good chance we'll find that your fuel pump is failing, but could be a couple other things.
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File Type: pdf OBC hidden functions.pdf (33.2 KB, 28 views)
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2013, 09:40 PM
cleonardELJ58 cleonardELJ58 is offline
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Thanks ill look it up in the morning and post what it reads
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2013, 09:11 AM
cleonardELJ58 cleonardELJ58 is offline
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Ok i have looked up how access the codes and
6.0 reads 000206
6.1 reads 0206
6.2 reads 0107
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2013, 06:04 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Well, it looks like the first two readings are consistent.
Your left tank has no gas in in and the right tank has 20.6 liters. I don't think this is supposed to be able to happen, so I suspect your left tank has gas, but the sender is broken.

I'd have more confidence in this call if I knew how to interpret the 6.2 reading. Honestly I don't know that that 0107 means.

If it were me I'd get a left side sender and open up the tank there. If you have gas in there, you'll know the sender is probably the culprit. So replace it!
If the left side is empty, you could still more the sender float to see if it registers at the dash gauge.

At a car your age, it would not surprise if the left sender is shot. These never get replaced as they do not have a pump attached.

There is at least one fuel pump replacement on youtube DIY. Refer to this for tips on the sender only side.

Let us know what you do?

Last edited by GoForthFast; 02-10-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2013, 08:50 PM
cleonardELJ58 cleonardELJ58 is offline
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Thanks and will do ill pull it tomarrow and check it out
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2013, 08:39 AM
cleonardELJ58 cleonardELJ58 is offline
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Well i tryed every thing to turn the pice that holds it in the ill have to go and buy a special tool but after beatting it some the fule gauge has went back up to were it should be so i guess it is eather going bad or is gummed up but thanks for your help man im learning somthing new about this car every day
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2013, 12:31 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Good information you've just found!
Your sender is bad, or the connector is loose.

Watch the vid more carefully and go back and try the retaining ring removal again. It can be done, just requires patience.
You have to use a large screwdriver and a normal size hammer and go slo. Hit easy a couple of times on one side and then switch over to another, and another. It always comes off.
Some clean the sender contact plate with a pencil eraser, but do you want to do all this labor again?
I'd put in a new sender.
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2013, 12:48 PM
cleonardELJ58 cleonardELJ58 is offline
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Thanks for all your help I'll have to wait a while though i just got the car inspectted the other day and replace all 4 wheels and front lower control arm and its been very $$$$ lol so it will be my next project
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2013, 12:53 PM
cleonardELJ58 cleonardELJ58 is offline
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Oh yea ive been looking at auto parts stores and they dont have just the left sender unit just the right one with the pump do you think that a universal sender would work this is the only one i can find that dont come with the fule pump
And Thanks again
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2013, 01:49 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Well, for sure you can wait as long as you know what is wrong and keep enough gas in the tank.

What's wrong with using www.realoem.com to get the correct part number and then checking out prices on www.furiousmethod.com ?

Def not use a universal. Has to fit the hole exaclty and work with the sucking jet pump.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2013, 04:10 PM
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TacoBuster TacoBuster is offline
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I agree with GoForthFast. Never use universal parts on your car. If you need to change a part get the exact same. Universal parts will not fit properly or funtion correctly. Keep looking.
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2013, 03:33 PM
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TacoBuster TacoBuster is offline
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Check BimmerBum.com
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  #14  
Old 02-12-2013, 06:26 PM
cleonardELJ58 cleonardELJ58 is offline
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Thanks guys ive looked up the part numbers and searched arround and found the one i need for $96 and some change + shipping so im going to git it and switc them out befor to long and i put some more gas in it today and so far the gauge is working fine
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