Fuel guage stopped working.

65

Asked by Nov 17, 2008 at 07:29 AM about the 1996 BMW 3 Series

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hey guys,
I jumped into my car today to find that my fuel guage has stopped working! The fuel light remains on constantly and the needle sits way below empty.
I was just wondering if this is a common problem with a halfway reasonable solution. My car is a '96 e36 318is, as opposed to what it says above.

Please let me know if you know anything or have any thoughts!
Thanks!!

10 Answers

4,935

This sounds to me like the instrument panel part is working fine but the variable fuel level sender on the fuel pump is bad. You might be able to get that part seperate from the pump itself but im doubting it. Well good luck with that

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
65

Yeah I was thinking that it had to be something like that. All the other electrics are fine, as they are the first thing that I checked. I don't think that I'm going to get away cheaply!! Thanks for the help..

2,350

I think Robert and Matt are pointing you in the right direction. I don't know much about BMW's specifically; but I am a mechanic. The symptoms indicate the gauge is operational but getting inaccurate information. That would indicate a malfunctioning float assembly which sends info to the guage. AGAIN, I DON'T KNOW BMW's...they may not be equipped with an internal tank float assembly.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
1,165

I know on my car it requires dropping the tank... Which is why it's still not working... I don't drive a BMW though...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
65

Yeah thanks guys. I've been now told that the problem is highly likely to be due to the fuel sender/float on the fuel pump that has died or some of the wires have come loose. Thanks again!!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
4,935

Nope not a bmw you dont have to drop the gas tank you just have to remove the back seat and their will be an access panel for you right to the pump on the e36 model its on the passanger side.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
20

Be carefull that you replaced the correct sending unit. alot of people think its the pump side but this car has 2 units. I have been with bmw north america for 8 years and have worked on them longer. I have started a new company call BMW VIP Service thats a mobile repair company that can diagnose your vehicle any time of day at any location beating any shop price cause our overhead is %50 less that shops are. contact me at bmwdoctor2001@gmail.com for further advice

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
50

did any other parts of the panel stop working also?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
20

1996 BMW 318 i after sitting all weekend, Monday am started fine, runs great but none of the gages work. sal///

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

After I replaced the fuel pump on my 318i my needled did not go beyond 1/2 full thought I had just filled it up. I thought maybe my float was stuck & took it out & adjusted the pump a hair & still needle doesn't go beyond 1/2 full. Disappointing but no biggie I know I am not empty :) BTW The fuel pump is under the back seat on passenger side (*Disconnect your battery & remove your gas cap to release pressure) Ebay is your cheapest option for a new fuel pump & all BMW parts/search/click cheapest price/shipping. Good luck, it is a easy enough DIY job

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