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Old 08-09-2009, 07:39 PM   #1
jasmine008
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Member#: 148529
Join Date: May 2007
Location: PDX, OR
Vehicle:
98 Outback wagon
Glacier white

Default Low fuel light goes on and off at 1/4 tank

Hi,

Driving today (98 outback), my gas light came on much earlier than expected. I can usually get about 300 miles before my gas light comes on, but today it came on after about 245 miles. The gas gauge read 1/4 tank when the light came on.

The light stayed on for a few miles (I was more or less driving straight over a bridge), then went off. About 10 miles later it did the same thing (on then off). My car's pretty consistent about when the gas light comes on, so this was pretty odd today. Especially when it kept going on and off.

Any ideas?

Jennifer
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:23 PM   #2
Cougar4
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Anchorage, AK
Vehicle:
2001 LL Bean Outback
Winestone

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The light is controlled by a thermistor mounted in the gas tank. As the fuel level drops below the thermistor it warms up and changes resistance and the circuit turns on the light. There may be some trouble with the accuracy of the fuel tank level gauge and it is showing a little more fuel than there really is in the tank. Cleaning the contacts on the level sensor may help. I don't think the thermistor position can or would change.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:05 AM   #3
jasmine008
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Glacier white

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I'll give it a try. Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
Cougar4
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Winestone

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Chevron makes a product called Techron that is used to clean fuel systems. Some folks have had success cleaning the sensor contacts for the fuel gauge by adding a bottle to the fuel tank before a fill up. It may help you also if the sensor contacts are dirty. It is a lot easier than pulling the sensors (2 of them) out of the tank.
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:40 AM   #5
jmorgan3312
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1993 impreza
white

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techron is the best stuff in my oppinion i use it at every oil change and never had and fuel problems
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
Uncle Scotty
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the op may have got contaminated fuel
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
evil girl
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Location: upstate ny
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2002 wrb wagon

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mmmm. I had the same problem on my 02 bugeye. I'll try the fuel additive too see if that helps.
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:49 PM   #8
mat0872
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Hopefully you don't have happen to you what happened to me

Going down the road, low fuel light cuts on, three minutes later the car died

Bad luck, lol
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:56 AM   #9
Davidwrx
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WRB

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My '02 had trouble and it triggered a CEL. I replaced both fuel sensors (1 for each side of the tank) and problem was solved.
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