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E10 methanol proof fuel sender float


Dave-G
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Anyone come across the sinking fuel tank gauge sender float issue? The gauge works fine if the float is lifted manually while its hand held and the gauge works as expected with a diagnostic instrument panel test. I cleaned the PCB with switch cleaner and put it back - still the same... telling me the fuel is about to run out.

Google suggests/confirms my thoughts that the water attracting content of E10 fuel is making some fuel level floats heavier (in our 20 years old Civic) I'm dragging the sender unit out again tomorrow to try it in a bowl. The float feels heavier than it instinctively looks like it should.

I'll be Googling more on the issue tonight but hopefully some of the learned genulmen on here can float up a few ideas. I'm tempted to try wrapping some bubble wrap around the float but ethanol might not like that plastic either.

Wifey won't trust a trip meter for refuelling and says its never been 'very full' even if the tank is filled, she's the main user and tops up as needed.

Edited by Dave-G
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Thanks anyone who has been looking - I've found a solution that claims to be suitable for methanol fuel. I can adapt the the float 'lever/wire' to take this:

https://www.autoelectricalspares.co.uk/replacement-plastic-float-for-smiths-fuel-tank-sender-unit-4258-p.asp

 

I had to buy three to acheive a minimum spend lol.

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14 hours ago, Walker570 said:

Simple...don't put E10 in it.  We have a regular supply of E5 near bye.

Yep - but I suspect the water/weight damage has already been done and I doubt the water will be coming out of the plastic - if that's the cause.

Overnight its occurred to me that the E5 might have been allowing it to creep - and perhaps, at the risk of overthinking, the buoyancy of the float might differ between fuel types - or possibly how the PC board electronically responds to fuel with more water in it. That's after finding a topic that suggests the float should only barely float - to allow it to contact the bottom of the tank leaving a reserve of fuel, and not register full too early. :ermm:

I might have to weight the replacement, though I have plenty of time on my hands lol.

Edited by Dave-G
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sounds like you have found the problem. since your going through the trouble of removing the sending unit. why not just replace the unit with the correct one for your auto. it will be calibrated for your auto and if it lasts another 20 years before failing again .... instead of jerry-rigging a small plastic float onto your faulty unit.I just looked on the internet and they had one for 20 year old Hondas

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8 hours ago, simcgunner said:

sounds like you have found the problem. since your going through the trouble of removing the sending unit. why not just replace the unit with the correct one for your auto. it will be calibrated for your auto and if it lasts another 20 years before failing again .... instead of jerry-rigging a small plastic float onto your faulty unit.I just looked on the internet and they had one for 20 year old Hondas

Hmm - a new one will likely cost hundreds - I won't even look, and a used one will have spent a similar amount of time partly submerged in petrol - possibly E10.

We've had the car a few months and wifey says its never shown more than nearly half full. The problem I have is methanol - which attracts water - wasn't used in petrol 20 years ago so I expect it to produce the same issue. 

 

The replacements should be here in a couple of days and I'll have to experiment with weighting them or the wire float arm.

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Ethanol, not methanol.

58 minutes ago, London Best said:

Can’t you poke a stick in the tank and mark your own calibrations on it?   Surely that is good enough for a twenty year old motor?

No - Even a 20year old motor should have anti-syphon features to inhibit this.  And I doubt that would pass the OH test either.

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