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Thread: Fuel Gauge not working then it is?

  1. #1

    Question Fuel Gauge not working then it is?

    I had a boat rental yesterday and it had a full tank of gas before it went out on the water. The renter messaged me about 10 min into the rental and showed me a pic of the fuel gauge on E and not moving. I assured them there was gas in there, no problem. Then when I went to pick the boat up, the gauge was working and properly reflecting the fuel level when I turned the key on/off(not start).

    Anyone know why this might be working after some time and not right away? I've known it to do this before, but I feel like it just a bad habit to "just know it's full". I would like to get this actuallt fixed properly.

    Thanks in advance! Have a great weekend!

  2. #2

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    Good Morning! Anyone have any idea about this? Would like to get this issue diagnosed and troubleshot if possible

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Live in the Raeford NC area.
    Posts
    75

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    Good luck in finding the problem. My 2019 Crest's fuel gauge never worked. All the test I performed indicated it should be working. I would run it all day and never show any usage at all. I finally replaced it with a Kus gauge and will test that out this season as I put it on just before winterizing.

  4. #4

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    I wonder if it's just a sticky gauge. It's odd how it doesn't USUALLY work when first turning the key but after the boat has been going for a while, it seems to work fine. Are fuel gauges pretty straightforward in replacing? Mine is somewhat foggy and wouldn't mind replacing it if it's a simple swap

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raystown Country, PA
    Posts
    2,266

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    Check all the connections, look for a loose wire, probably a ground wire back at the tank, it is the one most likely to get bumped around.
    1992 Tracker Party barge 24 (new deck, carpet and interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 115 ELPTO
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Boat at Lake of the Ozarks Missouri
    Posts
    681

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    Hey guys:

    If the grounds to the gauge and to the fuel sender at the tank are cleaned and tested good; my bet is on a sticking float arm in the tank.
    I'd drain down the fuel level, pull the sender and check for free motion. Intermittent operation is usually caused by poor grounds or
    inoperative sender. I'm betting a free digital PDB magazine copy on the bad sender.
    Captain Tony
    2005 Summit by Triton - 220T Platinum 3Log
    2005 115HP Mercury Optimax - 228 Marine Master Trailer
    St. Louis & Lake of the Ozarks, MO.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Tony View Post
    Hey guys:

    If the grounds to the gauge and to the fuel sender at the tank are cleaned and tested good; my bet is on a sticking float arm in the tank.
    I'd drain down the fuel level, pull the sender and check for free motion. Intermittent operation is usually caused by poor grounds or
    inoperative sender. I'm betting a free digital PDB magazine copy on the bad sender.
    Are senders usually easily replaceable?

  8. #8

    Default

    Well I just peeked in the back to see the sender and it's a pain to get to. However, I noticed the terminals were a little corroded/worn, so I reseated them and the gauge is currently working. I didn't check to see if it was before, but at least I know it's working now. I'll have to wait until it stops working again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Raystown Country, PA
    Posts
    2,266

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    The sender is usually held in by 4 or 6 screws around the outside of the plate it is attached to. You unhook the wires, remove the screws and lift the sender out of the tank, bringing the arm and float up through the hole. If the gauge is working intermittently I doubt it is the sender, they usually don't come and go, when they die, the gauge just goes to full, or empty and stays there. Loose, corroded connections come and go, and are also some of the hardest things to troubleshoot. A clump of RTV, put on in the right spot, with the wire in the right position, could hold it for 100 years, if you are lucky.
    1992 Tracker Party barge 24 (new deck, carpet and interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 115 ELPTO
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moser View Post
    The sender is usually held in by 4 or 6 screws around the outside of the plate it is attached to. You unhook the wires, remove the screws and lift the sender out of the tank, bringing the arm and float up through the hole. If the gauge is working intermittently I doubt it is the sender, they usually don't come and go, when they die, the gauge just goes to full, or empty and stays there. Loose, corroded connections come and go, and are also some of the hardest things to troubleshoot. A clump of RTV, put on in the right spot, with the wire in the right position, could hold it for 100 years, if you are lucky.
    I do believe this was the "loose corroded connection". There was a spade terminal connection that seemed a bit corroded and after I reseated it, the gauge is presently working. Can I not just splice those wires together instead of relying on the spade terminal connection? I understand it's for ease of access to the fuel sender, but I can always cut and resplice a new one, right? I much prefer spliced wire lengths as opposed to hardware connections along the run if possible.

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