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Ford Truck Club Forum > GARAGE TALK > Garage Talk: Shop Class 101



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Old March 28th, 2011, 05:01 PM
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Exclamation Is Your Trucks/Car's Fuel Gauge Accurate?

How digital gauges were tweaked to make you feel better about your fuel consumption.


Many people rely on fuel gauges to make sure they have enough gas in the tank to get home, and some drivers calculate fuel economy by watching the meter. However, as a result of a few scientific studies on the subject, the jury is still out on whether these gauges are truly accurate. The design of certain types of digital gauges means that in special cases, they will either over- or under-exaggerate the amount of fuel left in the tank.


When digital fuel gauges were first introduced in the late 70s, consumers began to complain that their cars were getting unusually bad gas mileage. When the manufacturers tested these claims they found that, not only did the cars achieve the posted mileage numbers, but the new digital gauges were recording gasoline levels more accurately than analogue gauges ever could.


With digital gauges, drivers could witness every gallon of gas being consumed, which meant that no sooner had they filled their tank than would it begin to deplete itself, causing concern among some vehicle owners. Clearly, something had to be done. The designers went back to the drawing board and came up with the perfect solution. In previous designs, the gauge would count down the number of gallons until empty -- 20, 19, 18, etc. The redesigned gauges skip every other number to slow the rate of gas consumption by all appearances. These same gauges will also compensate and recalibrate themselves when they are driven or parked on an incline so as to remain consistent. The effect was profound, and as tanks stayed “full” for longer, the complaints evaporated


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  #2  
Old March 29th, 2011, 02:35 AM
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J how does the gauge work? i mean since there are baffles in the tanks and the fuel levels change during driving. Does the fuel cages send levels to a computer at stop light or at certain intervals when the tank is not being slooshed around?

Im trying to figure mine out and have come to the thought it isnt showing the right mpg most of the time.



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Old March 29th, 2011, 08:47 AM
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to answer your first question - magic

since '02, F150 owners have complained about improper read out of the fuel guage

they go to fill it up and when they leave the station the gauge is still below 1/2 and did not move to full for some time

many have claimed this was because you left the engine running during fill-up, or you had to cycle the key a certian way.

sending units and fuel pumps have all been blamed, but it always came back to be the actual guage itself

I have no issues with any of our F150's

DO NOT trust the MPG reading you get from the display (if you have it)
this will never be the same as when you do it by dividing gallons into miles

I go to the same station, same pump and sit at the same angle, each time I fill up and I stuff as much in there as I did the last time and my MPG is always around 15mpg, never seen 16 or 13; could be my driving habits

maybe you need to take your Truck on a visit to your local Kahuna


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Old March 30th, 2011, 10:38 AM
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Interesting info.

Both F150's I've owned have had gas gauges that would display somewhat inaccurately. My 00' would show having less fuel than it actually had and my 05' seems to have a much larger "bottom half" to its tank than the top half, and in some cases the truck has forget to turn the low fuel light on. The 00' had a 25 gallon tank and when showing below empty it would only take 18-20 gallons to fill.

2005 F150 FX4
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Old March 30th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Nope, I never rely on my gauge. 200 miles and I'm looking for a gas station again

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Old March 30th, 2011, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klitch View Post
Nope, I never rely on my gauge. 200 miles and I'm looking for a gas station again
What size of tank do you have? The amount I drive I couldn't fill up that often.

2005 F150 FX4
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Old July 21st, 2013, 10:04 PM
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Hello friends. I seem to be having a bit of an issue. My fuel guage will not go pass one line above E. it was working fine then all of a sudden it went from 3/4 tank to its present location. I took my instrument cluster out and jumped the plug to turn the low fuel light off. When I ignite the hands move. I thought maybe the sending unit may be stuck. I don't want to drop my tank when it could be an easy fix.. I can't find an anti sloosh switch. Could anyone send me some trouble shooting tips.. I am going fishing soon and will be pulling a boat. I don't want to be stuck on the side of the road. 1997 ford f250 2 door gas model.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 09:36 AM
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A lot of fuel gauge problems not reading is varnish on the sending unit. My front tank would work on and off. I put a can of seafoam in it and it worked for several months and then just quit again. The varnish may be a part of a bigger problem. Some where on supermotor.net is a posting how to clean your sender. This pertains to 92-96 and maybe years before and after. Too early to be technical and I hadn't studied on this in a while. Use good gas. There is a difference and cycle from one tank to another if you have two tanks to prevent gas just setting in there. Good fuel additives won't hurt either. Just my two cents for what it's worth. Have a great day.

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