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Erratic fuel readings?
Posted 09 June 2003 - 10:29 AM
Consumption is normal, readings are normal until it gets to 1/2 tank. If you shut it off it reads normal for awahile then starts getting erratic.
Other than that, the CEL (which seems to come and go) had been off for two weeks straight and IT came back on when all this cr@p started.
Clueless on this end.
Yes, the cap was on tight.
Any help appreciated.
Posted 09 June 2003 - 10:34 AM
Yes I DO turn cap for six clicks.
Where are the sending units and how do you get to them ... and how much $$$$ do you have to shell out to SOA for the parts?
Posted 09 June 2003 - 12:28 PM
Posted 09 June 2003 - 02:15 PM
Don't do it. Leave it at the auto shut-off.
Posted 10 June 2003 - 08:40 AM
I had the EXACT same issue with my 98 OB, the fuel gauge drops to 1/2 tank or empty momentary and you get the CEL.... it was the fuel level sending unit. There are actually two in my OB. It is not possible to visually tell which one is bad, you'd have to use some testing equipment. For good measure, I replaced both myself and the problem was solved. Apparently this is not an uncommon Subaru issue. I had this mysterious condition for over a year... the dealer just kept giving me the "don't top it off" and "gas cap" solution, but trust me, it's your fuel level sending unit(s). Replace them and your troubles will be over.
If you are mechanically inclined, it's not very difficult to do yourself and it is covered in the Haynes Manual.
Posted 10 June 2003 - 09:51 AM
Posted 10 June 2003 - 09:52 AM
I'm not gonna worry about it on the trip out, now that I know there's no fundamental problem. But I'll be back there all summer, and would like to fix it.
I checked fuel consumption for the leg we were exhibiting the problem and it was 27.7mpg. Best the d@mn car has ever gotten, must be the RS205/15s and alloys I just put on it.
Posted 10 June 2003 - 02:36 PM
I copied this from somewhere. Maybe the Archives. I have just done this over the weekend with success on my 93 Legacy. I took my time...around two hours. Saved a lot of cash. I would check the fuel pump side first.Here it is.
Could be of some help.
«Since I have seen lots of complaints posted about the fuel gauge senders for '95 Legacys of all types failing (check out how many at dejanews!) and have not seen any posts about how easy it is to fix, I thought I would post my experience. I had to get a car last weekend (broke my left foot, can't use the clutch in my usual car...) and got a '95 Outback wagon, in part because it is very similar to my wife's '97 so anything I learn from it has double application... The only thing really wrong with the car, I got it pretty cheaply, was that the fuel gauge was not working right.
First of all, kudos to Subaru for making it so easy to get to the senders! On most cars I would have to drop the fuel tank, but this has plates screwed down in the luggage space that open to uncover ports in the top of the tank. (There is one sender on each side of the car for the AWD cars, where the tank goes up over the drive shaft so has a low spot on each side, just one on the right side for the FWD models. The one on the right has both the in-tank pump and a sender, the other just a sender. The two senders connect to an electronic box that averages their output.)
After you open one of the ports you can take out the sender pretty easily: The one on the same side as the pump has to be unscrewed from the pump to get it through the port: Don't drop the screws in the tank!
Once the sender (the two are almost identical) is out on a bench you see a standard float on an arm, moving a contact along a resistor pack on a ceramic printed circuit. The problem turns out to be the The connection between the moving contact and the wire off to the outside world. The wire connects to a thin brass piece, that has a phosphor-bronze spring pushing against it, the other end of the spring pushes against the moving contact piece. Between the brass piece and the moving contact should be less than 1 ohm, was infinite on both of my senders no matter how I wiggled the float arm around. The metals had just gotten oxidized. The float is held in by a push-on nut. It might be possible to get that off peacefully, but I was afraid of damaging the mechanism so I hit it with a Dremel and took it off. It is then pretty easy to disassemble the float and contact assembly: Look out for a small plastic pivot piece that the float arm goes through, you not only need to be sure not to lose it you also have to either keep it in position in the plastic body or else later on you will have to rotate it to drop exactly in to place. I used fine silicon carbide paper to clean the surfaces of the two brass pieces (moving contact's arm and connection to outside world) and also the two ends of the spring, put it back together, good connection in all positions of float. The only remaining problem is to hold it together: If you were able to remove the push-on nut you may be able to reuse it. I got a roll pin at the hardware store, one of those little pieces of steel that is not quite a tube because it has a slot down one side, designed to be driven into a hole. It has a 5/32" outside diameter, was about an inch long, and the inside diameter was just too small to fit over the float arm which is about 0.1" diameter. I cut a little ring off of it with the Dremel, forced the ring over the float arm just like the original push-on nut had been, and it was all done but reinstallation. I did both sides, the gauge works perfectly.
This car has 90K miles on it. If I need to do this every 90K miles that will be OK. A more permanent fix would be to take some very flexible wire, e.g. litz wire, and connect it between the two sides so that it flexes with motion of the float. It will have to live in gasoline, so don't use wire with much insulation but rather route the wire so it can't hit anything it should not connect to. I think this would be pretty easy, should last longer than the resistance element would.»
1992 Loyale wagon, 5spd, 4WD, 192,000 klms (june 99 - stolen oct 00)
2.2L 96 Legacy Brighton wagon, 5spd, AWD, 160,000 Kilometers
Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:38 PM
The above post is accurate, however, it makes it sound more difficult than it really is. If you are NOT trying to fix the existing sending units, but want to replace them with new parts... it's pretty straightforward.
The only tricky parts are pulling the assemblies out through the small openings... it's really very easy, just take your time, play with the rotation and angle a little and they will come out easily. The second trick is that the driver side unit has the Low Fuel Level sensor attached. This is easy too, just cut the old wire and solder on the new wire lead from the new sending unit.
Once you see the assembly and have your new parts in hand, it will all make sense.
Check your email, I'll send some helpful pictures.
Posted 11 June 2003 - 05:54 PM
If it comes back, I'll do it sometime this summer and the PIX will help a LOT!
Posted 25 June 2003 - 05:21 PM
Posted 25 June 2003 - 06:59 PM
Cruising at a steady 70 - 75mph we averaged 27.2 or so for the whole trip. One leg from Janestown, WI to Columbus, OH we got 30.1. I'm getting 26.7 running around in Maryland traffic ... and belive me, after six years in Montana this is TRAFFIC!
I'm cinvinced the CEL (O2 sensor) is a poor connection. Every time I erease it, it comes on after driving on a rough stretch of road.
Posted 26 June 2003 - 01:10 PM
Posted 26 June 2003 - 01:56 PM
Posted 26 June 2003 - 02:16 PM
Posted 27 June 2003 - 07:41 AM
Posted 27 June 2003 - 12:52 PM
Posted 27 June 2003 - 05:25 PM
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