Author Topic: Fuel gauge oddity  (Read 757 times)

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Offline lather

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Fuel gauge oddity
« on: July 11, 2019, 05:45:06 pm »
The fuel gauge on my 08, 78,000 miles, did a strange thing today. When I started up the guage showed empty. I was puzzled as I thought I had topped off the tank at the end of my last ride. I toggled on the range and it showed 50 something miles. I checked my trip odometer which I always reset when I fill up and it showed just 21 miles. Once I got under way the bars gradually started showing up on the gauge and the range figure climbed as well  until the gauge showed full and range was 217 miles.

Offline 4Bikes

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 07:06:52 pm »
Haven’t heard that one. Sounds to me like the sensor was stuck on the low tank position and released to normal once it got bounced on the ride. Might be time to inspect it?  My theory only holds if it was parked with the low setting after filling up. Perhaps you didn’t notice it was correct after the fill up?  If it’s not mechanical it sounds like electrical. Curious what you find.
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 10:03:34 pm »
sounds like it "fixed" itself...  :truce:

possibly during all the fiddling with trying to clear the service codes from the brakes recently, something might have occurred to the fuel sensing parameters, as they go thru the ECU also... Might want to lift the rear of the tank if this happens again, and unplug both the fuel pump and sensor connectors, and re-plug them in.. they are a good connector, and have "seals" on them (just did this all last Sunday)...

sometimes connections need " a clean by disco" service when they are older..  :motonoises: :beerchug: ;)

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Offline AwesomeDad

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 10:21:13 pm »
Ive got a new 17 that I bought in september and I find my range indication is all over the place... Old habits I guess but I always reset the trip meter after every fill up and try to stop every 200 miles or so....

JJ

Offline lather

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 11:05:51 am »
sounds like it "fixed" itself...  :truce:

possibly during all the fiddling with trying to clear the service codes from the brakes recently, something might have occurred to the fuel sensing parameters, as they go thru the ECU also... Might want to lift the rear of the tank if this happens again, and unplug both the fuel pump and sensor connectors, and re-plug them in.. they are a good connector, and have "seals" on them (just did this all last Sunday)...

sometimes connections need " a clean by disco" service when they are older..  :motonoises: :beerchug: ;)
I had not thought of that  but makes as much sense as anything else.

Offline lather

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 11:18:31 am »
Haven’t heard that one. Sounds to me like the sensor was stuck on the low tank position and released to normal once it got bounced on the ride. Might be time to inspect it?  My theory only holds if it was parked with the low setting after filling up. Perhaps you didn’t notice it was correct after the fill up?  If it’s not mechanical it sounds like electrical. Curious what you find.
Here is something I forgot to mention. This is the tank and fuel pump from my 09 that sat for two heays with a blown engine. In April I crashed my 08 and trashed the body work. So I put the 09 plastic and tank on the  08 in May. I did  pull and inspect the pump at that time and all looked pristine.  It is near impossible to miss the fuel bars after a fill up and I am sure It was showing full.
AS MOB said it "fixed itself" whatever it was and I am hoping the fix is permanent.

Offline lather

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 11:22:57 am »
Ive got a new 17 that I bought in september and I find my range indication is all over the place... Old habits I guess but I always reset the trip meter after every fill up and try to stop every 200 miles or so....

JJ
The range calculation will fluctuate a lot depending on current ride mode: cruising or accelerating or decelerating. Also depending on fuel level in tank.

Offline BDF

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 09:28:24 pm »
This sounds like the most likely scenario to me. The way the fuel circuit works there is nothing electrical / electronic that could cause such a reading (low but legitimate). The sender being stuck seems like the obvious problem. The good news is that the tank float is not 'torpedoed' (filled with fuel and sunk to the bottom of the tank) so it should be fine going forward.

You might want to note next time you fill up that the fuel level responds immediately after filling. There is a slight delay in the reporting of the level to avoid the fuel gauge moving when the fuel sloshes in the tank but it should not be more than 30 seconds at most.

Brian

Haven’t heard that one. Sounds to me like the sensor was stuck on the low tank position and released to normal once it got bounced on the ride. Might be time to inspect it?  My theory only holds if it was parked with the low setting after filling up. Perhaps you didn’t notice it was correct after the fill up?  If it’s not mechanical it sounds like electrical. Curious what you find.
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Offline lather

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 08:23:54 pm »
It did it again today after sitting idle since the 12th due to Hurricane Barry. I started it up and the fuel gauge showed empty. Toggled to range, it showed 25 miles. Miles showing since last fillup 61. This time it took 7 miles nefore the gauge woke up. Range dispaly fluctuated between 30 and 60 depending on engine load. Right at 7 miles just before my lunch stop the bars came back and range jumped to 170.  After a quick lunch all was normal on start up.

I want to mention here because it is in a different thread but the first occurrence came immediately after working on an ABS problem and about 80 unsuccessful attempst to clear the ABS service codes. I still don't know why my ECU won't let me erase service codes
and wonder if that problem is related. I also suspect a bad fuel sender connection and will check that when the garage cools off.


Offline lather

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 10:43:52 pm »
This is not really a problem, just a curiosity. After my last post on July 16 I thought the fuel gauge error had resolved itself but today it happened again. Started up with a full tank (21 milessince fill up) but the guage showed empty and range was 25. After about 3 miles both range and guage bars gradually grew until it showed full and 150(+) What was different this time is the bike had not been parked for several days, I rode it yesterday. What has been the same each time is occurernce the day after a fill up. It does not bother me enough to motivate me to work on it in this heat but interested in any thoughts.

Offline SilverConnieRider

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2019, 08:10:05 pm »
My 2 cents....

Do like MOB said and lift the tank and disconnect the plugs.
IF it was me I might add some Dielectric grease to the connections.
Can't say that will fix it but IMO it couldn't hurt.

Next step would be to pull the pump and check that the float is not hitting anything and that
it moves freely.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2019, 08:33:17 pm »
My 2 cents....

Do like MOB said and lift the tank and disconnect the plugs.
IF it was me I might add some Dielectric grease to the connections.
Can't say that will fix it but IMO it couldn't hurt.

Next step would be to pull the pump and check that the float is not hitting anything and that
it moves freely.

the low fuel sensor on the pump, and the fuel level "gauge" sending unit are 2 separate entities... both must be plugged in with reliable connections, but they do different functions... I've seen people have issues trying to "sense" levels on tanks, without having both the pump and sending units plugged in reliably.. so that is my first "go to" area for trouble shooting..   The internal connection of the wires, for the low fuel sending unit, are attached to the "housing" of the actual fuel pump, and if one of those is intermittent, or compromised, I could see it effecting by proxy, the way the actual gauge float assembly gets "power", or transmits accurately.  Even tho the bike gets power to "run the fuel pump" itself, and the bike "runs fine".  The technology that was thrown into this bike, while very cool in 2007... has proven to be the weak link, relying on so many simultaneous electrical signals to so many places, if one is deterred... it makes analysis really a PAIN...   I have to laugh at myself, as every time I pull the fuel pump out, and do something.. and look at "naked" electrical power connectors, sitting naked inside my fuel tank.. it sends chills up my spine...
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Offline gPink

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2019, 08:41:16 pm »
There is something magical about bare electrical connections inside an explosive container.  ::)

Offline lather

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Re: Fuel gauge oddity
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2019, 09:12:34 pm »
coincidentally I just finished troubleshooting this and have the answer. Went for a ride and fuel guage initially showed empty eventh though the tank had only 70 miles on it. After 18 miles the all but one bars appeared and then the gauge went crazy. alternatingly showing full and empty every few miles. Cut the ride short and went home and lifted the tank. I had managed to damage the connector when I swapped tanks and it was not snug. I had used electrical tape to snug it up. My theory is that the connection was bad when the components were cool. Heat from the running motor would expand the connector components and make connection. I think today when I stopped to check the radar with my phone app leaving the motor running the electric tape to hot, got soft and let go. I cut off the oem connectors and installed some crimp on connectors and the guage seems to be working. I did not make a test ride as it has started raining again.

Yeah, I know, another example of my crappy mechanic habits biting me. :-[ :truce: