Question about 1997 BMW 318

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FUEL GAUGE AND LIGHT STAYS ON NEARLY EMPTY AFTER PUTTTING IN PETROL.WHATS THE MOST LIKLY FAULT. DODGY GAUGE OR FLOAT IN PETROL TANK.THANKS FLYNN.

1998 BMW 318TI COMPACT SPORT E36

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  • jbarrett Jul 27, 2008

    THANKS FOR GETTING BACK TO ME ABOUT THE DODGY FUEL GAUGE. THE NEEDLE ON THE GAUGE SITS HALF WAY IN THE RED. IF IT IS THE SENDING UNIT WITCH SIDE OF THE TANK DOSE IT SIT ON AND ARE THEY EXPENSIVE. THANKS FLYNN.

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Do you mean that the gauge registers as empty, even after the tank is filled? Probably the sending unit needs to be replaced (it's in the tank, likely partially attached to the fuel pump).

Posted on Jul 27, 2008

  • Jeremy Dellow
    Jeremy Dellow Jul 27, 2008

    I'm not positive which side it's on but if your BMW is similar to my Audi (which it probably is in this respect), you should pull up the carpeting in the trunk of the car and you'll probably find an access panel to the fuel tank. Removing this will allow you to reach in and get at the sending unit. Sending unit problems are common on the Audis, and it's usually because of either dirty contacts (which can be cleaned with electrical parts cleaner) or a frayed wire that for some reason was designed to sit under the float arm, and would get frayed and break. When I fixed mine, that was the problem, so I soldered a new wire on and everything was fixed. It seems that BMW and Audi are similar on a lot of things, so I'd bet you have a good chance of being able to get into the tank through the trunk. From there, you'd be able to remove the sender and clean it up and repair any obvious breakage. If it has to be replaced, they're usually not too bad. The sender alone on my car is about $80 and is available separately from the pump (which is considerably more expensive).

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