Fuel Gauge Acting Erratic - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
1999-2007 General Questions General questions related to 1999-2007 Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Fuel Gauge Acting Erratic

2003 F350 with 6.0, driving along and fuel gauge suddenly goes to complete empty (low fuel warning light and dinger go off also), shut off/re-start and everything is back to normal. Problem is becoming more frequent now with last re-start not helping.


Any ideas what the problem is and a fix?


As a side note: What happened to the search function? I kept getting a "sorry-no matches" message...

11-02 build 6.0 XL, Auto, 4X4, F-350 supercab, 3.73:1.The usual mods: Blue spring, coolant filter, scan gauge, etc.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 05:29 PM
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You've probably got a short somewhere between the instrument cluster and the fuel pickup unit. The way the system operates is high resistance indicates a full tank and lower resistance is empty. The range is 15-150 ohms, so a short would be zero ohms (or at least less than 15 ohms) and would cause the gauge to go to empty. The more frequent error is understandable as the insulation on the wire is probably wearing off against something.

On the search function, you have to hold you mouth just right. You're probably doing something wrong. Go back and double check.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. Do you know if there is somewhere convenient to intercept the wire so that ohm's can be checked?

This morning the search function will not even give me a match for this thread title "fuel gauge acting erratic". I get a page that says "website cannot display the page"

"Most likely causes:
•The website is under maintenance.
•The website has a programming error."

When I refresh the page the advanced search page pops up which just loops me back to the "website cannot display the page" and so on...

11-02 build 6.0 XL, Auto, 4X4, F-350 supercab, 3.73:1.The usual mods: Blue spring, coolant filter, scan gauge, etc.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 02:20 PM
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You've got a few spots to access that wire, back of the instrument cluster (hard to get at), one of the connectors on the firewall below the master cylinder (16 terminals, so a crap shoot unless you know the wire color), the fuel sending unit connector on top of the fuel tank (a little inconvenient to access, but it's two wire - ground and signal and you can only check the sending unit there.) Do not try to use an ohmmeter on a hot circuit (body side of that sending unit connector). Shorts to ground are notoriously hard to track down. Mainly an inspection of the harness looking for rub spots. Turn the key on and have someone observe the fuel gauge while you move the harness around. Good luck.

Your search terms (with and without quotes) worked fine for me this morning. Took me right to your thread.

First truck -- 1929 Model A Ford pickup, restored from ground up. Wish I still had it!
'99.5 F250 PSD Supercab LB 4x4, ZF-6 w/SB Con OFE, 3.73LS, Boost & pyro gauges, Swamps S175/146 injectors, DP 80 HP Econo PCM (classic version
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Last edited by klhansen; 01-19-2019 at 02:22 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again. Also good to know that the problem is on my end with the search function.

11-02 build 6.0 XL, Auto, 4X4, F-350 supercab, 3.73:1.The usual mods: Blue spring, coolant filter, scan gauge, etc.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 10:11 AM
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I have a similar problem with my 2002 7.3L F250.

Mostly when idling....gauge will go to empty and low fuel light comes on. Maybe 3 times ever when driving.
It's been doing this for about 7 years and very random....sometimes not for months then every couple of days.
Sometimes turning it off and back on fixes it, sometimes it doesn't.
Only thing repetitive seems to be it happens during a long idle in a parking lot.

Because of the erratic nature and happening when idling, I don't think it's from a chaffed wire.

I assume it's something at the fuel tank. That has never been dropped, cleaned or inspected.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 01:06 PM
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I wouldn't concentrate on the sending unit. Can't think of anything that would cause it to go to a shorted (low tank) condition intermittently. For sure the float isn't going to sink and then float again.
It could be a problem with the instrument cluster itself. But again, intermittent issues are tough to track down.
Other than the above suggestions to mcn6, I'm at a loss.
Good luck

First truck -- 1929 Model A Ford pickup, restored from ground up. Wish I still had it!
'99.5 F250 PSD Supercab LB 4x4, ZF-6 w/SB Con OFE, 3.73LS, Boost & pyro gauges, Swamps S175/146 injectors, DP 80 HP Econo PCM (classic version
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