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ylee21

Fuel Gauge/Sender issues

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New to me 2003 200 ssi, when I got it the fuel gauge does not work.  Looking for advice, here is what I know so far:

1.) Fuel gauge reads empty at all times

2.) I unplugged the fuel sender pink wire and ground from the fuel sender top, crossed them together with the ignition on and the gauge did not react.

3.) hooked my multimeter up to the power and ground on the fuel gauge with the ignition on and got 11 volts

So it looks like the fuel gauge is getting power, but touching the ground and pink sender wire at the fuel sender did not cause the gauge to move.  The next steps I read was checking that the ground from the fuel sender is good, but not certain how to do that.  Something about "ohming out the ground" with the multimeter but I don't understand what that means, I know next to nothing about electricity and wiring.  

Any help on next steps to determine if it's the sender or the gauge or the ground?  THANKS! 

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This is great and a better explanation than the videos I was finding.  I did not test the gauge by jumping between the S and I at the gauge, I'll do that tonight to see how that goes.  Thanks!

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I bought my boat with the gauge working.  After i filled the fuel, the gauge pinned way past Full.  Used the boat over a week for 7 hours, thinking the sender was hung up.  I did same tests with shorting wires at the sender. The gauge bounced between E and F.  So I buttoned everything up thinking the wiring is good and the gauge wasn't working again!  Soooo...I carefully tapped the edge of the gauge bezel with a piece of moulding and Bam - it jumped to life!  Been working for a week so far...

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Both of you fill the tank after or before every trip.   You have NO idea how fast your engine is using gasoline up.  It could be very fast. YOU REALLY do not know.  1 tow or gas brought to you ? Will be 1/2 a season of gas money.   Fill it before your next ride around.

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10 hours ago, cyclops2 said:

Both of you fill the tank after or before every trip.   You have NO idea how fast your engine is using gasoline up.  It could be very fast. YOU REALLY do not know.  1 tow or gas brought to you ? Will be 1/2 a season of gas money.   Fill it before your next ride around.

That is is good advice, I always go out with a full tank and fill it up when i am done, that way the tank is always full and i know how much i use on that particular trip. 

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ylee - A good way to learn the basics of electrical troubleshooting is to start with a simple 12 volt test light. It’s a light bulb with a pointy probe attached to one end of the bulb. The other end of bulb has a long wire with an alligator clip at the end. So to begin, you clip the alligator to a negative battery terminal. Use the probe to find power. In other words anything with 12 volt power will cause the light to come on. So for instance, the battery positive terminal will show power when the probe touches it.  If you are looking a the back of a simple two terminal switch, one side will show power. The other side will show power as you operate the switch to the on position. Now, if you want to find a good ground aka a negative, you can simply reverse the test light hook up. Alligator clip to positive battery terminal. Then wherever the probe touches a good ground, the light will light up. So if you’re looking at the fuel gauge system, check for a good ground at the metal ring of the sending unit as stated above. With the test light reversed, It will light up when you probe the metal sending unit ring.

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