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Old 03-10-2010, 11:29 PM   #1
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Default Fuel gauge inaccurate- tank problem?

I ran out of gas for the first time yesterday in my 97 Jeep Cherokee (4.0,auto)
When I first started it, when I had about a half gallon in the tank, needle went almost to Full then slowly crept down to empty. This was confusing, but not as bad as my main problem: I've never really known how much gas I've had in it (till yesterday) because when I fill it up (even "topping it off" like they say not to), the gauge never reads above 3/4 tank. Then, I can go about 60 maybe more miles when I hit the "E" line, in other words, the needle is as far down as it will go for like 40 miles. This is why I ran out of gas– I had started to think I might have an amazing new Cherokee on my hands, one for whom gas is optional. I was wrong.
Also, sometimes when I come to a stop and turn the engine off, I can hear sloshing for a while. Anyone had similar experience? Is this related?
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:37 PM   #2
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My sending unit on my 92 has just recently started acting up REALLY bad. I was having a problem which I thought was to be a bad fuel pump so I purchased a new one from Autozone(my mistake). The sending unit looks to be part of the pump hangar assembly, so you could always just go to the junkyard and pick up a new one.

OR do what I do. Only put $20 in and I know I'm good for 100 miles(120 is empty and not a good idea to go for it!) I factor mine off 15mpg but I know I get a little better.

As for a different solution, I am in search of one as well.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:58 PM   #3
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Mine is the same way. My light turns on with 100 mile to go on a full tank and Max range is 250-275 miles. So every time the Odometer hits 200 I get Gas. Figure out your MPG, then just keep track of your range and distance. MPG on XJs vary from 12-20 mpg, all depend on how yours is setup and it's condition.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:00 AM   #4
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Yes, the twenty-dollar-and-reset-the-trip-meter system has worked for me so far. I figure 18 mpg, maybe I'm fooling myself but I pretend my accelerator is an egg shell. I live on the California coast and there's three gas stations along 70 miles of coast, two of which do not have automated pay-at-the-pump systems, so they're only available during the day. So one of these days, if I'm not careful, I could be 40 miles from home with no gas and no cell phone reception. Research continues!
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:52 AM   #5
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I've got a 97 and had the same problem. There's actually a recall for this. After getting mine "fixed" (many years ago) instead of reading 3/4 full it now reads 7/8 full when I fill up.

Maybe the PO missed the notification. Here's the recall details: http://www.automotive.com/1997/49/je...lls/21459.html
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the link. Weird, though, because my gauge seems to be telling me I have significantly less gas than I actually have, which can be useful. But that's the opposite of what the recall describes.
But, like I said, the reverse happened when I got below a gallon in the tank- it did, briefly, falsely indicate a full tank. I guess like many issues, it may be a cascade of unrelated or semirelated failures.
One remaining mystery, though- can anyone speak to the sloshing sound I hear when parked? Passengers have commented on it, too, so I'm not hearing things. I've never heard anything like it in other trucks.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:49 PM   #7
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Default 97 to a 96

i put a 97 plastic gas tank on to my 96, i put it all in, it runs perfect except that it shows less than empty on the gas gauge, any ideas?
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:16 PM   #8
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The gas gauge is fed a signal via a wire from the sending unit in the tank. If the gauge acts wierd, something is wrong with either the sending unit (in the tank), the gauge (in the dash) or the wiring between the two.

Normally, the problem is in the wiring between the two. Either on the ground or power side.

Here's a quick diagnostic procedure (mine is a 95, but many will be similar):
  1. Place ignition switch in On position, then disconnect fuel gauge sending unit connector at fuel tank and observe gauge. Needle should move to or remain at low end of scale.
  2. Click the image to open in full size.
  3. Connect a jumper wire between fuel gauge sending unit connector terminals A and B then observe gauge. Needle should move to high end of scale.
  4. If fuel gauge performs as specified, replace sending unit; if not, proceed as follows:
      1. Remove jumper wire and place ignition switch in Off position, then disconnect battery ground cable and check for continuity between terminal A of sending unit connector and ground. If continuity exists, continue with procedure; if not, repair ground circuit as necessary.
      2. Remove instrument cluster and bezel, then disconnect cluster connector A and probe B1 cavity of connector for continuity to ground. If continuity exists, repair short as necessary; if not, continue with procedure.
      3. Check for continuity between cavity B1 of cluster connector A and sending unit connector cavity B. If continuity exists, replace fuel gauge; if not, repair open circuit as necessary.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:21 PM   #9
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With a fuel gauge as big as mine there is no way I could ever run out of gas. I wish I had a tach though because it is a manual.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxfan212 View Post
With a fuel gauge as big as mine there is no way I could ever run out of gas. I wish I had a tach though because it is a manual.
You could easily and cheaply install a small tach.

Click the image to open in full size.
Found here for $37:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUN-CP7908/
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:53 PM   #11
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Topher- Thanks for the diagnostic instructions. I read about that procedure in my FSM but your instructions were a little more understandable.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:20 AM   #12
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thanks for all the info, ill try that and see what happens.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:41 AM   #13
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Mine did the same thing, pulled sending unit out sanded contacts with 600 grit paper.
And now works like a charm.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:48 AM   #14
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My gas hand floats. When it wants to. so basicly it's the sending unit. Which shouldn't be to bad to get to.
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