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Where am I?
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963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the third time in a row, I've filled my tank completely (15-16 gallons) and I got in the car and the needle and onboard computer thought I had less than a full tank.

One time after this happened, I went back to get more gas, and sure enough I was full up. I got back in the car and it finally registered full!

Has anyone seen/heard of issues like this? It's very strange.
 

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Lead Foot
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442 Posts
Fuel Gauge

When my gauge is on MT and orange light on, there is one gallon left in tank. Computer will read 40 miles to go. The system is as acciurate as my other 528, Cad and Jag and Benz etc. I prefer to fill up shortly after computer reads 100 miles left to go. I hate this pucker factor of running out of fuel. It appears the '02 models have less of these nit sh$$ problems than the '01 models. BMW listened evidently. Mine is almost bug free.
 

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Hi
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4,481 Posts
Ed, on my 330ci, I recently had a similar problem. The service engine light came on and the engine was in limp mode for a little while. When I took it in for service, I was told the fuel pump and sender units were shot, along with the thermostat housing...go figure! The shop foreman told me that all this time, I had less gas in the tank than the neddle and the OBC would actually show. It seems that there are issues with the fuel pumps and sending units on quite a few E46, and there may be a service bulletin on this.

Good luck.
 

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Into the dark ages
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1,523 Posts
yup...fuel sending unit problems. have it replaced under warranty. as Raffi stated, known issue.

i had the opposite effect, the fuel indicator would always stay at full. didn't think my car was that efficient.
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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9,106 Posts
I had the same problem with my Z3 occasionally as well.
 

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into things retro
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4,541 Posts
Z cars are notorious for this problem - the problem for those cars develops when the tank is topped off necessitating the replacement of the sending unit with one having gold leads.

I will avoid completely filling my tank for as long as possible.
 
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