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Old 06-18-2015, 10:32 AM   #1
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Accuracy of fuel gauge - sitting at 1/4 for too long?

I'm not talking about the precision of the fuel gauge reporting how much fuel is left, but the actual accuracy of the sensors in the tank reporting how much fuel is left.

Since getting the car, I've noticed that my fuel gauge needle with hover at the 1/4 mark for well over 3-4 days worth of driving. The Distance to E estimate gradually decreases over time, as it should, but that needle won't budge. Then, suddenly, it'll start to lower again after a few days' of regular driving.

To give you an idea of this, usually by the time I hit the 1/4 fuel mark the needle will sit thereabouts, Distance to E will be somewhere around 200km and it'll decrease to say 125km, and then the needle will start to move again. Of course Distance to E is not the most accurate measurement, but it has sort of consistently given me numbers to compare with the fuel gauge.

This has happened consistently more or less since getting the car. I've never run out of fuel, since both the needle and Distance to E always report I have plenty of fuel/distance left before I run dry, but it just bothers me a bit that for the greater part of a work week it will sit at the 1/4 mark without budging.

Is this anything to be concerned about? Should I bring this to the dealer to have it looked at?


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Old 06-18-2015, 10:41 AM   #2
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There is a TSB regarding this issue:

http://www.google.com/url?q=http://w...Ay463sjJN4tNyQ
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:07 AM   #3
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That's good to know, but also a bit puzzling, because I drive a 2015.

I'll check with my dealership then, see if they're aware of a similar TSB for the '15s or if this TSB has been/will be extended to include '15s.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:18 AM   #4
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Where are people pulling these TSB's from? When i go to my ford website and log in and look at my tsb's etc, I do not see this and my car is a 2012.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scougar View Post
Where are people pulling these TSB's from? When i go to my ford website and log in and look at my tsb's etc, I do not see this and my car is a 2012.
Many of them are in this collection by Squad-G:

https://drive.google.com/folderview?...3c&usp=sharing
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scougar View Post
Where are people pulling these TSB's from? When i go to my ford website and log in and look at my tsb's etc, I do not see this and my car is a 2012.
You have to pay to get them. More details here: Motorcraft Technical Resource
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Old 06-18-2015, 04:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuttPuttVroom View Post
I'm not talking about the precision of the fuel gauge reporting how much fuel is left, but the actual accuracy of the sensors in the tank reporting how much fuel is left. ...

... Is this anything to be concerned about? Should I bring this to the dealer to have it looked at?
I believe that the indication on the dashboard (fuel guage) shows you what some software in some "control unit" (computer) tells it to, and may have no direct relation to the accuracy of the sensors in the tank. This would be consistent with the "drive by wire" nature of everything else, from the "linkage" between the gas pedal and throttle to the connections between light switches and lamps, though not something I have confirmed in actual wiring diagrams.

If my guess about that is correct, I'd also guess that some product manager at Ford decided that a non-linear display would give owners a favorable illusion of getting even better fuel economy than they actually do. (I'm already impressed with mine just going by the calculated results of miles per gallon.) I pay more attention to the trip odometer than the gas guage for deciding when to refill, so I have not noticed whether mine behaves the same way.

To answer your question you would either have to have access to the proprietary software in the control unit or bench test the sensor. Unless the display becomes more noticeably erratic, the most likely response from a dealer would be "it's normal, nothing to worry about."
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arco-Zakus View Post
I believe that the indication on the dashboard (fuel guage) shows you what some software in some "control unit" (computer) tells it to, and may have no direct relation to the accuracy of the sensors in the tank. This would be consistent with the "drive by wire" nature of everything else, from the "linkage" between the gas pedal and throttle to the connections between light switches and lamps, though not something I have confirmed in actual wiring diagrams.

If my guess about that is correct, I'd also guess that some product manager at Ford decided that a non-linear display would give owners a favorable illusion of getting even better fuel economy than they actually do. (I'm already impressed with mine just going by the calculated results of miles per gallon.) I pay more attention to the trip odometer than the gas guage for deciding when to refill, so I have not noticed whether mine behaves the same way.

To answer your question you would either have to have access to the proprietary software in the control unit or bench test the sensor. Unless the display becomes more noticeably erratic, the most likely response from a dealer would be "it's normal, nothing to worry about."
Indeed, you have a good point about the computer being a computer, and being programmed to act in a specific way. I hadn't considered that a product manager behind closed doors thought it would be better (in their opinion) to provide a non-linear output to the user. Me? I prefer the straight truth of "yep, you're at 50%" or "HEY DUMMY, CAN'T YOU SEE THAT RED LINE? IT'S RED FOR A REASON. FILL UP."

As I haven't gotten that much mileage on the car yet, I'm not yet ready to rely on the odo to figure out my "better fill up soon" threshold. For now I have to trust the needle near E to let me know I need to fill up, until I have enough information that I can determine my own Distance to E :)
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:39 PM   #9
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The gas gauge is programmed that way. Notice after filling up the needle will stay at F for a good while, then quickly drop to 1/2, then quickly drop to E and stay on E for a good while, even though you have a quarter tank left.

Basically consumers want it that way, so that's how Ford does it. Consumers don't want a linear gauge, they want the feeling of having a full tank for a long time, as well as being able to drive around on E if they're broke.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:04 PM   #10
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As Joe Friday used to say, "Just the facts ..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by PuttPuttVroom View Post
... Me? I prefer the straight truth of "yep, you're at 50%" or "HEY DUMMY, CAN'T YOU SEE THAT RED LINE? IT'S RED FOR A REASON. FILL UP."...
Me, too, although there are times when the truth is a bit harsh. I don't mind the "rev limiters" in modern cars, compared to the bent intake or exhaust valves and broken connecting rods that used to serve that purpose. Or knock sensors that replaced holes melted in pistons. (Don't ask ...)

EDIT: I have also read similar complaints about, and explanations for, the engine temperature guage. Some day I hope to investigate the "Torque" app to see whether an old Android phone can be used as a guage cluster with accurate, linear guages. Fuel level and coolant temperature would be the first two guages I can think of that I would want it to display. Maybe oil pressure and oil temperature, too, if it can do them.
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Last edited by Arco-Zakus; 06-19-2015 at 02:16 AM. Reason: Add afterthought
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