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Old 09-11-2005, 02:47 PM   #1
Siper2
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Question Gas light but still 5-6 gal. in tank. Gauge screwed up?

Hey guys. I posted this in MAIC a couple weeks ago I think:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=834154

I thought something was very wrong with my mileage, as lately I've had to fill up every 280 miles or so, a pathetic number for summer driving. I always have gotten ~350 miles/tank in warmer months in city driving, and about 400 highway. 280/tank is more of a winter gas number, but even that's a little on the low side.

Yet, for the past few tankfuls, that's been the way. Just filled up today - the gas light came on at about 280 again. Yet the pump stopped at about 10.6 gallons. Which means I had ~5 gallons left in the tank. This leads me to believe that my actual mileage is probably okay.... but my gauge is weird.

How can this be checked out and fixed, if true? Just looking for feedback. More info in the other thread. I have a 2.25" catback (OE WRX axleback) and a CAI that retains the OE airbox.

=S2=
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Old 09-11-2005, 03:29 PM   #2
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dunno, but if you figure it out over at MAIC post your finding here...

i have a very similar issue, but the light comes on at 4 gallons and not 2.5 as stated in the manual. not a huge deal, but it does kind of bug me (mostly because it seemed perfect for the first year and a half).
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Old 09-11-2005, 03:47 PM   #3
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probly a bad sensor.

I only get 250 miles to a tank. But I know my guage is working because I've ran out of gas twice shortly after the light turned on.
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Old 09-11-2005, 04:19 PM   #4
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My light comes on with about 4 gallons left in the tank as well on my 05 WRX. My 00 RS light came on with 2 gallons left in the tank. I think it is normal.
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Old 09-11-2005, 04:33 PM   #5
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weird

i want a gas light...
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Old 09-11-2005, 05:12 PM   #6
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Definitely not normal. 280 is much too low. Like I said, 350 or maybe even 320, city driving, sure. But..... The thing's near "E" at 260, that's ridiculous.



Nobody on the MAIC thread has really come up with anything, which is why I thought I'd try a Tech forum.
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Old 09-11-2005, 05:13 PM   #7
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Mine will flicker every few miles for about 15 miles befor it comes on study. If I wait till it becomes constant on I can refill with about 12.7 gal. I also don't fill to the top of the fill tube but, fill fast to shut off and one more slow to shut off. My tank on my Forester is 15.9 gallons so I have 3.2 in reserve but I'm sure the pickup is not on the very bottom of the gas tank.
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Old 09-11-2005, 05:45 PM   #8
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If I accelerate hard and turn left all the gas shifts in my tank and the light goes off
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Old 09-11-2005, 05:52 PM   #9
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do that in a rx-8 with less tahn a quarter tank and you'll blow the motor...
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Old 09-12-2005, 09:39 AM   #10
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Siper2 there is that little black box in the right rear section of the car. The box that gets in everyones way for swapping the RSB.

Last time I messed with that I pulled out one of the three black tubes while changing my RSB. Once I had everything reinstalled, the car started up fine but I had a low fuel light on. I was also at about a 1/4 to 1/3 tanks left. After about 10 miles of driving it finally went off and hasn't acted stuff lately.

May try looking at that?

Maybe a weak fuel pump?

GL!
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Old 09-12-2005, 10:12 AM   #11
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Well like I said, I don't think the car's fuel intake is a problem area, since at 280 miles, when I fill up there's five gallons left. I can check the hoses on the black box, sure.

What else can be checked/done about a potentially faulty gauge? I've no clue how to go about that.
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Old 09-12-2005, 03:58 PM   #12
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Replace the Fuel FILTER
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Old 09-13-2005, 07:35 AM   #13
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Already did that, not even six months ago. And again..... fuel consumption doesn't seem to be a problem. Just the gauge I think.

I have driven 70 miles since my last fill-up, as of right now when I got to work. The gauge is halfway (almost) between 1/4 and 1/2. That's way too much.

Checked the hoses on the "black box" and all seem secure. Other ideas?
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Old 09-13-2005, 02:45 PM   #14
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recently my car just came back from the shop... since then i get abit over 200 miles to a 3/4 of a tank.... i used to be able to get 300 before hiting halfway between empty and 1/4 tank... now if i fill it at that mark it only takes around 8 gal...(where it used to be more like 12)...

i'll probably take it to a dealership and have them look at it... if i find anything out i'll post it...
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Old 09-13-2005, 03:13 PM   #15
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Thanks, I appreciate it.


This is driving me nuts.
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Old 09-13-2005, 03:41 PM   #16
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Fuel pump.. fuel filter? The low fuel light comes on from a switch on the sender. It has nothing to do with the gauge or the fuel pressure.

Are you sure the station's pump isn't just cutting off early? I find that if I put the nozzle all the way in, 90% of the pumps I use cut off a few gallons shy of full.
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Old 09-13-2005, 04:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy
Fuel pump.. fuel filter? The low fuel light comes on from a switch on the sender. It has nothing to do with the gauge or the fuel pressure.

Are you sure the station's pump isn't just cutting off early? I find that if I put the nozzle all the way in, 90% of the pumps I use cut off a few gallons shy of full.


Highly doubt it is that. Can you explain the difference between the 'fuel sender' and 'fuel pump'?

The light will also come on if you mess with the little black box above the RSB.

Well if you put the gas pump upside while filling up the tank, it tricks the cut off valve. So you could pump till you spill out the end.
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:29 PM   #18
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Do you use Ethanol blended gas? I know GM ha dbig problems with certain gas companies that fleet cars had been using and it messed up tonnes of their gas guages. Just a thought...
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreddRS25


Highly doubt it is that. Can you explain the difference between the 'fuel sender' and 'fuel pump'?
Sure. The fuel pump is the electro-mechanical device that physically 'pumps' fuel through the fuel lines.

A sender is an electronic sensor that electronically 'sends' a signal to a gauge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreddRS25
The light will also come on if you mess with the little black box above the RSB.
You don't even know what you were doing with the box that made it light up. How do you know it wasn't a fluke? So you're telling me that the Subaru engineers shunned the standard low fuel light mechanism that has worked on cars of all makes for decades, in favor of a system that alerts you when your fuel pressure is dropping. It would be the 'broken engine' light then, instead of the 'low fuel' light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreddRS25
Well if you put the gas pump upside while filling up the tank, it tricks the cut off valve. So you could pump till you spill out the end.
What?? You think I post to say I do something all the time and assume I walk around with gas soaked shoes? If you ram the thing all the way down, the rubber flap on most nozzles blocks off the air that's normally supposed to vent from the tank while it's being filled. The additional air pressure causes the sensor to stop early. Put it out a 1"-1.5" from all the way in and it'll cut off at the right time. Did you grow up in New Jersey or something? Never topped off a tank?
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy
Sure. The fuel pump is the electro-mechanical device that physically 'pumps' fuel through the fuel lines.

A sender is an electronic sensor that electronically 'sends' a signal to a gauge.
thanks for the info. So your saying these parts don't work together? Problems with the mechanism would seem to effect the sensor it works with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy
You don't even know what you were doing with the box that made it light up. How do you know it wasn't a fluke? .
Um read above. When moving the black box to install my RSB, one of the large tubes pulled off the box (there are three tubes I believe). After I hooked everything back up my low fuel light immediately came on. I've read a post with this happening to another user. That black box must monitor oxygen levels or fuel levels somehow. Do you know what it does, please, let us know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy
So you're telling me that the Subaru engineers shunned the standard low fuel light mechanism that has worked on cars of all makes for decades, in favor of a system that alerts you when your fuel pressure is dropping. It would be the 'broken engine' light then, instead of the 'low fuel' light.
I have no idea where you are going with this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy
What?? You think I post to say I do something all the time and assume I walk around with gas soaked shoes? If you ram the thing all the way down, the rubber flap on most nozzles blocks off the air that's normally supposed to vent from the tank while it's being filled. The additional air pressure causes the sensor to stop early. Put it out a 1"-1.5" from all the way in and it'll cut off at the right time. Did you grow up in New Jersey or something? Never topped off a tank?
In the event that the pump at whatever station Siper2 goes to...actually doesn't fill up the tank all the way...then I've provided a way to do so. It clearly says I'm from Texas, BTW.

Edit: I seemingly responded as jerk in the post(s) above, excuse me. Didn't mean that, but providing more insight leads to a better understanding.
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:36 PM   #21
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Easy fellas.


No I don't use ethanol. Regular 87 octane. I used ethanol when I was living in Iowa, as the local ethanol and 89 octane was cheaper than 87. But not since then, except for the occasional tankful.

Again..... there's always fuel aplenty, left in the tank when I fill up. This is a sensor/gauge/something else kind of an issue, for sure. Checked all the hoses on the weird black box again, all seem connected.
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Old 09-14-2005, 09:07 AM   #22
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Got two parking tickets yesterday at the University I work for. Believe I transferred a little of that frustration into my responses yesterday. My car gets hounded by the schools PD, since I am staff, they look just about any reason to give me a ticket these days. (the tickets totalled $100?!? )

Back to the issue, so I don't keep hijacking, I hope this is a simple problem. As long as the ODO is working and you are averaging near 23-24 mpg, then at least it isn't something urgent. Got to be the sensor that sends the signal to the ECU. Something is fouling it up. Faulty sensor, pinched wire, maybe even a blown fuse. (probably the first two most likely)
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Old 09-14-2005, 09:11 AM   #23
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It's one of the two senders going bad- when it entirely fails, you will have 1/2 a tank of gas and read empty . There is one sender on each side of the "hump" in the tank, and they average their two readings to come up with an accurate fuel measure. It's getting fairly common to replace them now, and I'm just waiting for mine to fail .


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Old 09-14-2005, 09:24 AM   #24
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Is that a dealership fix? Or can it be done at home, Brian?
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Old 09-14-2005, 02:39 PM   #25
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It can be done at home, but it's smelly . Take out the back seat, take the bajillion bolts off of the covers, pull the sender(s) out (one is on the pump, one is seperate), and swap them.


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