Problem since July 2007, The gas tank is completely full. The dashboard fuel gauge bar indicates approx 1/4 inch of that bar has not moved to the right to indicate a full tank of gas. Third appointment at the Volvo dealer on 8/25.
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The gauges are all on a single plug in circuit board that makes up your dashboard.
If the gauge isn't working, it's likely the sending unit attached to the fuel pump, located inside the tank.
Replace the pump, but check all the fuses for the gauge first.
It can be done, but it's hard. It can be either the guage on the dashboard or the sensor that's in the gas tank. Because gas is flammable, I'd let a professional do it for you. You don't want to blow yourself up!
Sounds as though the fuel sending unit is either stuck, or the float is broken. Try tapping the tank with a rubber hammer to see if that helps, other then that your next option would be to pull the sending unit out all together and replace.
The most likely culprit is a faulty Fuel Level Sending Unit (sends fuel level from tank to dash gauge). It may be stuck, or beyond repair and in need of replacement. Dealing with electronics in your tank can be tricky and should be dealt with by a professional.
The fuel sender inside the tank, or the wiring tank to gauge, or the gauge. Have you checked the fuses? With a full tank you should be getting 12 volts on the gauge circuit, check at the tank and then in small intervals along the wire towards the gauge, You could try jumping 12 volts to the gauge power wire to see if the gauge works.
I recently purchased a 2002 S60 D5 which had this problem. I am not a Volvo expert so don't know if it could be the same fault, but it sounds identical. No lights, gauges etc, but intermittently and very briefly comes on. Having heard some silly prices for replacement dash and ECU, I had a look. I found 4 poor soldered joints on the dash circuit board (top left processor & heat sink). I cleaned them and re-soldered them, although I had continuity just after cleaning the corrosion. The dashboard has worked perfectly since (3 weeks) . If you try this make sure you disconnect the battery first or you may have the SRS airbag warning light on! (I had to have it re-set at the dealers!!)
The whole process took less than an hour. If you are not electronically savvi get one of your mates who is to have a look..
This is a known problem although Volvo will not admit it. The dash needs to come out (10 min job) and sent away for a simple repair. Total cost is about £150 but you will need to get the SRS warning that will be showing in the LED message display cancelled by a Volvo dealer after the dash has come back. Don't try a scrapyard dashboard the ECUs have IP addresses. I used a company in Kent to do the repair. Get onto Google there may be a repairer more local.