Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Aug 17th, 2008, 1:34 pm Thread Starter
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Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Just got back from doing 6000+ miles in the past two weeks. My fuel gauge has been stuck on the 1/3 setting (2 gallons) since Quebec (the city) for the last half of it. This means no low fuel light and no estimated length of tank. Made me run out of gas twice (ride with friends!) when my fuel economy went to crap (32mpg) unexpectedly.

Going to start calling dealers tomorrow and see if one will pick the bike up for a reasonably cheap amount, as this sounds like an issue that will take multiple days and parts that will require shipping. Leaning towards Miller's in Tallahassee.

Any thoughts or further info needed?

Thanks.

Adam
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post #2 of 12 Old Aug 17th, 2008, 4:27 pm
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Similar to an issue I had. It sounds like a faulty fuel sender Click, it could have been damaged by a fuel filler nozzle or the small nut at the bottom has come off. You have to remove the top right tupperware and maybe the stingray so it is not that big a job.

Regards

Graham Wintersgill
On the bonnnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

2001 K1200LT

1995 K75RT now deceased
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post #3 of 12 Old Aug 17th, 2008, 4:39 pm
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Adam a couple of questions. 1. Did you ride in a lot of rain on your trip and 2) have you noticed any decrease in the bikes performance. If you have these could be indications, along with the low gas guage (mine stuck at 1/4 tank) that you need to do a canisterectomy. One of the lines to the charcoal canister under the rear seat is blocked. Check in the Hall of Wisdom for more info on this, or do a search for canisterectomy.

Tim Frederick
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post #4 of 12 Old Aug 17th, 2008, 4:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

A little more info please. Specifically, what was your situation and how did you fix it?

Thanks.

Adam
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post #5 of 12 Old Aug 17th, 2008, 5:11 pm
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Adam

I ran out of petrol with the gauge stuck at quarter full. Filled up and it did not move. Soembody on this site happened to be selling one which I bought and fitted when doing some other work and the gauge worked again. I had lost the little nut at the bottom. The sender is a thin walled metal tube that holds the float which slides up and down and monitors the fuel level. I have heard of them being damaged by filler nozzles which jams the float in position. The other common cause is the charcoal filter clogging up and causing a high vacum in the tank which can deform slightly and damage the unit but this would probably cause a couple of other issues - rough running and the sound of air rushing into the tank when you refill (Hmm that might explain your crap consumption). Poor consumption can also be a U/S oxygen sensor which will show up on the shop computer. Are you still under warranty?

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Graham Wintersgill
On the bonnnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

2001 K1200LT

1995 K75RT now deceased
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post #6 of 12 Old Aug 17th, 2008, 5:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Huh. I have noticed both symptoms you describe:

1) Air rushing into the tank on fill-up
2) Poor consumption

I am still under warranty, but hoped it was a simple fix. Dealer network is not close and an issue. Sounds like more fodder for the calls on the morrow.

Thanks.

Adam
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post #7 of 12 Old Aug 17th, 2008, 5:52 pm
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by browad
Huh. I have noticed both symptoms you describe:

1) Air rushing into the tank on fill-up
2) Poor consumption

I am still under warranty, but hoped it was a simple fix. Dealer network is not close and an issue. Sounds like more fodder for the calls on the morrow.

Thanks.
The charcoal cannister could be plugged up. Search this site for cannisterectory for an explanation. Hope that helps!

Edit: And... if the vacuum in the tank is bad enough it will distort the fuel level sensor causing the float to stick.

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post #8 of 12 Old Aug 17th, 2008, 7:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Thanks for the input.

Question: If my problem is caused by a plugged up charcoal canister (as the symptoms suggest), would a canisterectomy cure it or is there a chance that at this point, parts may need to be replaced?

I'll try out a canisterectomy tomorrow night and post back.

Cheers.

Adam
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post #9 of 12 Old Aug 17th, 2008, 9:54 pm
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by browad
Question: If my problem is caused by a plugged up charcoal canister (as the symptoms suggest), would a canisterectomy cure it or is there a chance that at this point, parts may need to be replaced?

I'll try out a canisterectomy tomorrow night and post back.
At least with the "activated charcoal filter" removed, the tank will be able to breath in again. The draw back is that you will smell gas fumes in your garage sometimes, but it has never been a problem for me.

I don't recall what sort of fix is required for the fuel "immersion-tube sensor," as the manual calls it. I think some guys were able to straighten it out, but I may be dreaming. It will probably need to be replaced. It's easy enough to get to, once you get the side panels and the radio off. Get a copy of the service manual if you are inclined to DIY. Or do without an accurate fuel guage until you can get it serviced.

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post #10 of 12 Old Aug 18th, 2008, 3:24 am
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Adam

As John said The bike is not unrideable so you could keep her topped up and run until the service. If it was me I would write/phone/email the dealer and advise him of the situation and you will get any warranty work done at the next service - then BMW can pay for removing body panels for your service - Oh and as it is warranty work can I get a loan bike please?

Doing the canserectomy will prevent a reoccurence of the problem and your consumption will probably return to normal but the fuel guage will still be stuck. I also think the shop computer has to recalibrated the low fuel light.

Regards

Graham Wintersgill
On the bonnnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

2001 K1200LT

1995 K75RT now deceased
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post #11 of 12 Old Aug 18th, 2008, 9:49 am Thread Starter
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Re: Just Got Back...Fuel Gauge Stuck

Thanks again for the replies.

1. The bike is definitely ride-able (I put at least 3000 miles on it with the current issues).

2. I try and do my own service, so this would be a special warranty trip. It sounds like they would need the bike for more than a day, for parts if nothing else, which complicates things for me a bit with no close dealer.

3. I have mentioned a loaner bike during each of my previous 3 warranty issues. That has not been successful.

I'll try a canisterectomy tonight/tomorrow and see if that cures all. If not, off to the dealer it goes.

Cheers.

Adam
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post #12 of 12 Old Aug 19th, 2008, 12:25 pm Thread Starter
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Update

Update

Have a ride-in appointment with Daytona BMW to change out the canister and replace the fuel sensor thingee. As long as that is what the problem is I'm golden. Warranty work sucks, but being able to do it as a single day affair makes it a bit better. Can also amble over to the HD dealer and look at some models.

I called the Orlando shop and Millers in Tallahassee and both required the bike to diagnose the problem before ordering parts. Understandable, but not what I wanted.

Do a 6k and a brake pad change this week, keep an eye on the odometer and I'll be fine till the service date.

With this issue I'm averaging 1 warranty issue for every 4 months of ownership. Not exactly stellar, and the reason for the HD trip. No need to start any flame wars

Ok, enough venting, now get to watch Tropical Storm Fay get closer and closer.

Cheers.

Adam
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