I have a e36 compact 1996 1.6 when i turn the ignition on the fuel
guage goes to the full position for about 5 seconds and then plummets
to the empty position and stays there the light never comes on and i
dont know if this is a common fault but would be grateful if there is
anyone out there who can shed some light on this as i dont know if its
the sender unit or the instrument panel or what!!!!!!
One of the common faults that can result in the symptom that you describe is
an intermittent connection in the instrument cluster.
Try giving the face of the cluster a sharp rap with your knuckle to see if
it causes any movement of the fuel gauge needle.
Another indication that the problem is probably in the cluster is if it
behaves differently after being parked with the sun on the dash.
I suspect the gauge first because I've had several of them develop this
intermittent indication. I could be wrong though because mine always
indicated tank full when they stopped working although the warning light
still came on when the tank was empty. If that's the problem they can be
fixed by disassembling the cluster and cleaning the connections or you can
buy rebuilt clusters on Ebay.
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