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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the process of repairing small dash panel that is delaminating, I re-installed the remaining lower dash panels in order to be able to drive the vehicle.

Reconnected the battery and the low fuel light was on, even with the gauge showing ~1/4 tank. Drove to the fuel station and filled the tank. Took ~18 gallons which is close to 3/4 tank. The "Range Approx" display read substantially lower than normal; normal hovers around 390 miles.

Tonight, after driving 305.1 miles, this:

Three possibilities, all labor intensive:
  1. Gauge is bad.
  2. Sender is bad.
  3. Gauge cluster is bad.
I can't imagine that anything I did caused any of the three possibilities. Before I tear into this, I'm going to go back and recheck and review my work. I just wish it wasn't +100F outside.
 
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A long piece of electrical tape or black sharpie will take care of that annoying message!😀 Got an auto parts store nearby? They usually have a code reader that will tell you what's up... or reset your codes?! Can also pick one up from amazon. Good luck with it!
 
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Seeing loss of range in the mix on that, loose or dirty connection, causing additional resistance. Unplug, plug back in 2-3 times it should come around, but hard saying. Occasionally the little contacts on the printed circuitry back there bend, rip, tear, get scratched up, and don't make proper contact. On a positive note, you now have additional reserve capacity.

You could try clearing codes, before tearing the dash apart again. Remote possibility that resetting the computer might cause it to recalculate based on resistance readings currently seen on the gauge. (Theoretical maybe here. Much easier than pulling the dash on a 100 degree day however.)
 

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I would double check the ground! Was helping Rufus on a ranger showing full all the time.......... It was the ground, Ranger has two grounds!
Good luck and let us know what you found!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I heard back from the resident EE on a Lexus forum I frequent. Very nice and knowledgeable fellow from Japan. Filled in details what the service manual leaves out.

Other than the process of elimination, he mentioned it may have been a static discharge event and to try a "reset". Turns out this is Japanese for what all of us do here - disconeect the battery for ~10 minutes and reconnect.

In my experience, when they get old, Asian cars start to have electrical issues. Especially the ones like this one. Everything is run by some kind of ECU. It's a mess of small gauge wires (has to be or the car would weigh 15 tons).
 

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something else you can try is after taking off battery cables, touch positive and negative leads together. Works on Chevy's! clears all the snot out the system.
Chevy electrical works on snot? This clears up a lot of with Chevy electrical systems!

Lucas makes most of the electrical systems on British vehicles. It all made sense to me when someone said Lucas electrics run on smoke. When all the smoke leaks out, it stops working…


I heard back from the resident EE on a Lexus forum I frequent. Very nice and knowledgeable fellow from Japan. Filled in details what the service manual leaves out.

Other than the process of elimination, he mentioned it may have been a static discharge event and to try a "reset". Turns out this is Japanese for what all of us do here - disconeect the battery for ~10 minutes and reconnect.

In my experience, when they get old, Asian cars start to have electrical issues. Especially the ones like this one. Everything is run by some kind of ECU. It's a mess of small gauge wires (has to be or the car would weigh 15 tons).
I don’t know your vehicle particularly but a couple issues I have found, capacitors and capacitor batteries in circuits can be discharged or damaged when being touched. Always wear rubber gloves when handling circuit boards.

Also, connectors can become weekend overtime through heat and corrosion and not make a good connection after they have been unplugged. A fuel gauge works on electrical resistance, any resistance in the system can easily have an affect.
 

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Pulling battery leads for that length of time, should effectively "reset" the computer, clear all intermittent codes (hard fails may remain), and allow capacitors used for backup to discharge (hence the 10 minute wait), to remove even most hard fails. (Suffice to say, sometimes it does, some it doesn't.) As the Ragin Cajun points out above, touching the battery cables together can and often does serve to discharge said capacitors in a matter of seconds.

Code readers with reset capabilities can be had pretty reasonable, (without they're cheaper yet). Just make sure they have code reset capabilities, if needed. I picked one up a few years ago, Dodge Diesel was throwing a DEF fault, went into countdown mode, and was going to shut us down in 100 miles. We were 75 miles from home and the guy driving was about to have a coronary. Getting ready to turn around and drive home with 4 of us in the truck. Was worth the price of the code reader to calm him down, and accomplish the work we were there to do.

Back in the day when I was trained on automotive electronics, shortly after we were blessed with them, most cars had A computer on board. Within just a few years they had 5 to 7, anymore most have 15 - 30+ control modules controlling different functions. It's not just Japanese vehicles, it's ALL of them.
 

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Anytime you have to disconnect anything under the dash you run the risk of flaky electrical issues afterwards. Every time I see someone pull their whole dash in order to change their leaking AC evaporator they always have weird electrical problems afterwards.
 
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Chevy electrical works on snot? This clears up a lot of with Chevy electrical systems!

Lucas makes most of the electrical systems on British vehicles. It all made sense to me when someone said Lucas electrics run on smoke. When all the smoke leaks out, it stops working…



I don’t know your vehicle particularly but a couple issues I have found, capacitors and capacitor batteries in circuits can be discharged or damaged when being touched. Always wear rubber gloves when handling circuit boards.

Also, connectors can become weekend overtime through heat and corrosion and not make a good connection after they have been unplugged. A fuel gauge works on electrical resistance, any resistance in the system can easily have an affect.
Liquid Fluid Drinkware Drink Ingredient
 

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As Darkcloud pointed out about Lucas some of the worst wiring I have seen was on Triumph and MG cars. They had splices inside the harness and inline fuses all over the creation. Most terrible wiring to troubleshoot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I worked with a few guys that drove British cars. One was an MG fanatic, the other was into Rovers. Both would constantly complain about Lucas and Smiths but they loved their cars.

The Rover he owned had horizontally mounted front struts, was designed to be able to swap the steering from left to right hand drive, known brake fluid leakers; had rear disc brakes with calipers mounted centrally on the rear drive axles. Couldn't use the parking brake because the brake fluid reservoir would go dry. The clutch used the same reservoir so the clutch would go MIA.
 
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