2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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  #1  
Old Aug 1st, 2010, 5:17 pm
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2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Just so everyone knows, I've had numerous BMWs over the years, mostly boxers, and I know that fuel gauge problems are not uncommon, at least I've had some on my bikes, most recently my 2009 GS. Nothing that bad, but my new RT has what seems a more serious issue.

I left on a ride today with 329 miles on odometer. Gauge showed full less 1 bar (which I knew was optimistic as I already had about 125 miles on the tank since last fill up). Approx. 25 miles into the ride, gauge suddenly shows empty, no bars showing, yellow warning light displayed. Range on BC shows 192 miles(!). Checked trip A odo, which I reset every fill up, and it showed 149.1 miles. Range began dropping 1 mile every few seconds. At 162 miles, range registered 0, gauge still empty. Filled up at 172.1 on Trip A. Tank took 4.026 gallons. Reset Trip A, master odometer reads 397.4. Ride home, 1.6 miles, but yellow warning light remains on, gauge reads empty, range shows 0.

I will deal with this at the first service, but anyone else experience anything like this?

Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 7:57 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Same here. Very irratic. BMW has sent out new download for the guage. Process involves removal of the fuel strip, clean it, let it dry, re-program, re-install. Everything should be ok thereafter.... so I'm told. I have a service scheduled for next week.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 8:31 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

I suspect I'll get the same thing at my first service, so we'll see. I realize I can rely on the trip odometer, but it's pretty annoying for a $20k bike seeing the big yellow triangle halfway through a tank and looking at a completely empty gauge. As they say, we can put a man on the moon....

I hope it will get fixed as my son and I are doing a 3000 mile trip in late Sept. I'm a couple of weeks away from getting it in for service, but will post the results.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 8:43 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

I've had my fuel sensor replaced on my '10 RT for the same reason you're seeing. The guage showed no gas on a full tank. Fortunately the dealer has done a number of these and had the part in stock.

Now my guage shows about 7/8 full when the tank is topped off. This little amount of inaccuracy is annoying but I just compensate.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 9:05 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Got my second one replaced last week at 3200 miles. Here's the part number of the strip-
16 14 7 675 547. Same as far back as at least 2005 model. WHEN mine fails again, I'm going to start contacting BMW and stick a decal over the yellow light until it's fixed.
Dealer says all they can do is keep replacing the high failure rate sensing strip
A day off from work, 300 miles round trip, and couple hours standing around the showroom floor to keep cool is a PITA. Wonder if enough folks participate if this could be a class action thingy? Any lawyer type riders out there?
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 9:17 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Flash62, good info. I could live with the same solution, no problem. I think I'll give my dealer a heads up before my 600 mi service to ensure they have the part.
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Old Aug 6th, 2010, 4:03 pm
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Angry Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

My gauge went south yesterday. Filled up rode 150 miles gauge didn't move. Computer said I still had 345 miles left on the tank. Filled up again for the trip home no change. Called the BMW dealer said it was a common problem and they had the fuel strip in stock . Told them I would have it fixed during the 6000K service. I have owned the bike for 3 month and currently have 3500K on it. By the way I also found a small oil leak on the rear of the right cylinder head.
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 1:50 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Had mine at the dealer for this problem as well,Mine was the first 2010 in for this.I was at the dealer from 830a til 300p as was wondering why it was taking so long Service manager came out and said there was a recall on the cam sensors as well.I has not known about that at all.
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 7:47 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

since Bmw is saying all they can do is keep replacing them, make sure that if the the problem keeps on until the warranty is up, they will continue to replace them free!!! Now it is an inconvenience, but how much worse will it be when you have to pay for it!
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Old Aug 13th, 2010, 4:28 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by timbotc
since Bmw is saying all they can do is keep replacing them, make sure that if the the problem keeps on until the warranty is up, they will continue to replace them free!!! Now it is an inconvenience, but how much worse will it be when you have to pay for it!
I also wonder what the dealer will do if this problem continues. I don't think I should have to pay for a design flaw. I hope the dealer / BMW will do the right thing IF it's comes to that.

I had the same issue with my fuel strip. My dealer said there was a recall for the fuel strip because some of them had been put in backwards. Mine was not backwards but it was out of the holder it's supposed to be in. I took it home and hoped for the best. The next time I got gas. The gauge quit working completely. No bars no distance to empty. I took it back to the dealer the next week and they put in a new strip. Since then it has been spot on. The fuel level and mileage have both been adding up.

The 2010 has a 7.1 gal. tank so if your gauge is a quater of a tank you should put in approx. 5.3 gallons of gas.
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 8:08 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

I'm taking my 2010 in for its 600 mi service, and replacing the fuel strip. I'll report the outcome when I pick up the bike next weekend. I guess I should also check about the recall on cam sensors based on Tojo's response. Anyone else know about this recall?
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 10:21 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by fl0950
I'm taking my 2010 in for its 600 mi service, and replacing the fuel strip. I'll report the outcome when I pick up the bike next weekend. I guess I should also check about the recall on cam sensors based on Tojo's response. Anyone else know about this recall?
My 2010 needed to have the recall work done (it was done at the 600 mile service a few weeks ago). The BMW computer system should have a record of the work, and they put some kind of mark somewhere inside a valve cover (on the head) if it's been done. I took my RT in for service to a different dealer than where I bought it from. When they didn't find the recall repair record in the computer, they figured maybe it just wasn't in the system yet. Then they pulled the covers and...nope...it hadn't been done. It doesn't take long to have it done (under an hour I think). Some dealers have been doing all of the 2010s pre-sale, but others seem to be waiting until the first service to do it (?)
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 2:05 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Thanks D-Mac, that's very helpful, I'll follow up.
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 8:06 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

The cam recall for my bike was also completed at the 600 mile maint.
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 10:29 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

I lost my sensor during a 2000 trip down to the dragon. I wasn't paying attention to the trip meter and actually ran it out of gas! Not a big problem, but it could have been!

It will go in for the cam recall and get the fuel strip too.
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 11:42 pm
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Exclamation Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

I topped off the gas tank before sleep last night. Surprisingly, when I fired up the engine the next morning I confronted the empty gas gauge and the discomfort of cruising with a yellow warning icon. At least I know what the problem is after reading all the helpful notes on here. Gas strip failed at 12,000 miles...Until its fixed, I'm popping the lid and sticking my nose in the tank more than I like.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 3:37 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

I have 2010 BMW R1200RT. My fuel strip has failed 2x already. First time at 1800 miles. Replaced by dealer. Then failed again at 2000 miles (didn't even get a chance to burn through one full tank of gas). One of the service reps says the cause is E10 fuel.

I'm getting it replaced for the second time next week. This is a PITA.
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Old Sep 13th, 2010, 6:13 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Fuel gauge on my 2010 RT with 2900 miles quit this morning with 3 gal. of gas left in the tank. Now have a flashing fuel pump symbol and a yellow triangle. Will be on the phone with the local dealer tomorrow morning. I'm not happy. Saved for a long time and didn't anticipate quality issues this soon on a $20K bike. Even with a warranty I won't tolerate multiple failures of the fuel strip like some previous owners have experienced. Replacing a bad part with a bad part is not acceptable. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 2:51 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

I'll be having the third replacement sensor installed on the bike since it was delivered in December of 2010. The first didn't make it through the winter just when it was just sitting in the garage. As long as I have something decent to read and some available time I'm going to continue to have them replaced at BMWs expense as some kind of protest. The dealer should be reimbursed by BMW, so I don't feel too guilty.

It wouldn't be much of a problem except for the flashing idiot light and that you can't be very precise in when to start looking for a place to fill-up. At least back in the olden days you'd get a heads-up when the bike would start to stall-out you'd flip the petcock valve to "Reserve" and you'd know it was time to stop.

Good luck to us all that BMW comes through with a long-term fix.
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Old Jul 25th, 2011, 3:28 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

The fuel level sensor issue has been around since the first R1200s hit the market.

Does anyone know of a single person that was required to pay for the replacement out of their pocket?

Once the replacement is done, that replacement is covered for two years - regardless of factory warranty.
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Old Jul 26th, 2011, 5:39 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

You would think this constant replacement would get old for the factory. I asked yesterday if BMW was thinking about retrofitting the float system that is now being installed in some new bikes. The word I got from the shop supervisor was "they" were not willing to do the work on the software needed for this. We will see. It obviously could be done if there was incentive. Seems one software engineer and a week or so could solve this.
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 10:11 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Electrics/electronics is and has always been the weak spot of the German automotive industry- all brands and all times, cars and bikes. Most of the current stuff is a combo of crappy design and bad outsourcing practices. In the past it was mostly cheap design. Germans are good at metallurgy and working metal, not so much at some other things.

If you want electrical stuff that works buy Japanese. Otherwise get used to dealing with the foibles of German stuff - it ain't gonna change in your lifetime even if they do retro the fuel strip- it will just be something else next. (like an fpc, sidestand switch, stick coil, EWS.....)

At least the warranties are decent. Spouse's Mercedes ate over $10K in electronic parts alone under warranty and that's probably not a record. When after about 2 years the cause was finally diagnosed it turned out to be a badly made equivalent of your bike's ZFE that was sporadically frying anything hooked to it. (2 full sets of 9 A/C stepper motors, multiple dash panels, etc etc). I've got an older AMG from the peak of Merecdes quality (mid 90s) but much prefer my even older Lexus SC300. Nothing ever breaks on it and it won't be long before its elegible for an antique plate.
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 10:05 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by beech
You would think this constant replacement would get old for the factory. I asked yesterday if BMW was thinking about retrofitting the float system that is now being installed in some new bikes. The word I got from the shop supervisor was "they" were not willing to do the work on the software needed for this. We will see. It obviously could be done if there was incentive. Seems one software engineer and a week or so could solve this.
Really sad that after 5 years, BMW still can't get it right. Permanently.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 6:53 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

I will be on my fourth fuel sensor (third one inoperative, still in the bike, awaiting service next week) at 14k miles. I spoke with Max BMW in NH two weeks ago; they claim they have never replaced more than two sensors (the original plus a new one) in any one bike and believe calibration is critical (that makes no sense to me at all). If anyone can explain to me what the calibration procedure is, I'd be grateful.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 7:41 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99chromehead
{snip}...One of the service reps says the cause is E10 fuel...{snip}
IIRC, that explanation has been thoroughly debunked since the fuel strip failure is reported from countries where E10 fuel is not available.
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Old Sep 9th, 2011, 10:27 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

As a new member to the fuel gauge problem club. 2009 RT 18,000 miles. I agree with others and BMW should have this figured out. I learned one valuable lesson from this experience and with a bone dry tank (and it was dry, don't ask how I know :-( . it took 6.6 gallons to fill it to the bottom of the neck on the center stand. My parents always told me to look for the good in any bad circumstance, so with that I know how much fuel the tank holds.
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Old Sep 9th, 2011, 12:34 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

My 07 had three fuel guage strips replaced under warranty sold at 43,000 miles. Want to get another but going to wait until hopefully they solve this and the front rotor pulsation issues. Other then that the RT1200 is the best bike I've owned.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 11:55 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Just to chime in.

I have had four if not five fuel strips in my 2010RT. Current mileage 26K. The strip did not read full, nor has it ever read full despite replacement and programming. It always reads 3/4 full with a slight upward variation on occasion. I have had numerous explanations from the dealer and am now at the "it is what it is" stage, which I find unsatisfactory. Other than that the gauge reads true and jibes with odo readings and computer info.

This has to be annoying and costly to BMW as well, assuming the dealer is billing for warranty work.

Has anyone had the same problem? Does anyone's gauge actually read full? Has anyone actually had this resolved?

Love to hear your suggestions.
Thanks.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 12:18 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

My 07 had several strips warrantied. If they re-program it correctly it should read full. The mechanic told me the tank has to be filled completely when it is re-programed or it will not be set correctly! Maybe they can try and reprogram it again with a full tank.
It is what it is would not be acceptable to me!

I thought the 2010-2011 bikes had the old style float and not a strip according to another forum guy.

I would be pissed if I bought a new bike and had all the problems you are having and may seek a lemon law alternative. Good luck and maybe try a different dealer.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 1:23 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Just learned the fuel gauge issue the hard way. Bought 2009RT last week with gauge reading 1/4 tank. Ran out of gas on the interstate riding home from work Friday. Should have known better than to trust a new bikes gauge. Was mad at myself and embarrassed at the same time. Had time to research this on my smart phone while the dummy sat on the side of the rode waiting for my friend to bring me some gas.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 1:33 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Hey Plasterman, your not the only embarrased being stranded on the side of the road. It happens to many proud RT riders and sucks when a Harley goes by making all that racket LOL. Hopefully some day BMW will have a fix.
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 9:02 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

I bought a used 2009 RT and am having fuel gauge problems, but my symptoms are different. I have run completely out of gas twice. The gauge showed I had 74 and 65 miles to go when suddenly the bike just stopped running. No yellow light, no warning!

Are these covered on a bike out of warrantee?
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 9:50 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Doesn't hurt to check with the dealer, they may fix it. If the prior owner had it replaced the warranty on that part is extended!

Good luck
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 12:11 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by themenz
I bought a used 2009 RT and am having fuel gauge problems, but my symptoms are different. I have run completely out of gas twice. The gauge showed I had 74 and 65 miles to go when suddenly the bike just stopped running. No yellow light, no warning!

Are these covered on a bike out of warrantee?
Themenz - welcome to the forum and the club. The unreliable fuel gauge problem is well known and well documented. General consensus is that even if you get it fixed, it may still be unreliable. Only way to avoid running out of fuel is to refuel based upon odometer. Most of us start looking for a fuel station around 240 miles on a tank and start to get concerned at about 260. I've pulled 300 on a tank, but then again I've run out at 290. I was out in the boonies yesterday and didn't notice I was running low; I found a station with 285 on the odometer but was really sweating bullets. Still showed 20 miles to go, and it took 6.5 gal, so I did have reserve.

A tip - if you do run out, you can tip the bike well over to the left side and get a bit more fuel over to the fuel pump. You may get another 5 miles or so out of it that way. Not recommended as a standard procedure, but it may save your bacon some day.

JayJay
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Old Sep 29th, 2013, 8:41 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Just found out about this issue the hard way with my 2008 RT, at 17,747 miles. After years of working perfectly, I run out of gas with about a 1/4 tank showing and no light. Hmm. Gassed it up and decided I need to check my gas more often. Then yesterday ran out of gas again, fuel gauge showing ~1/4 tank, no light - the odo showed 295 miles since the last fillup! Man impressed with the range, but I guess I can no longer depend on the gas gauge/computer to remind me to fill up!!!
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 11:19 am
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

Bob - welcome to the great boxer fuel strip failure club. My experience was similar to yours: years of no problems, then a sudden failure of the strip at about 52K miles. The second strip lasted less than a tank before it failed. I'm not on #3 and so far (knock on wood) it's doing well.

General consensus here seems to be watch your odometer and fill up with about 250 miles on the tank. I've run out at a hair over 290 miles, so sounds like your 295 was in the ballpark.

Good luck.

JayJay
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 5:23 pm
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Re: 2010 RT Fuel Gauge Problem

My 6th fuel strip has worked perfectly for the last 12K.

(Just thought I would say something positive).
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