03 F350 Fuel Guage - Ford Forum - Enthusiast Forums for Ford Owners

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:21 PM
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Default 03 F350 Fuel Guage

I just bought a 2003 F350 Diesel Crew, and immediately started having problems with the fuel guage and miles to empty reading. First the guage dropped to empty, stayed there awhile, and then returned to full. We brought it to the dealer and had to replace the fuel manifold and sending unit. When we brought it home, it worked for a couple of days, but then started doing the same thing, including not showing a full tank when I just filled it up. I called the dealer who thought they put in a faulty sending unit because when they test drove it the first time, it didn't work right away. When it took, they assumed the sending unit was fine. I brought it back, and they replaced it a second time. They also removed and cleaned the instrument panel at that time. After about two weeks home, I filled the tank again, and it didn't go all the way to full and continued to not read correctly after that. Has anyone had this problem, or have any ideas what this might be?
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:58 PM
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Default RE: 03 F350 Fuel Guage

Not sure if you had a problem, (dropping gauge, DTE) and was corrected.. But read this fuel gauge mode description and see if it follows your current complaint..

Fuel Gauge

The instrument cluster uses 4 different operating modes to calculate the fuel level:
[*]Anti-slosh (default mode)[*]Key OFF fueling[*]Key ON fueling[*]Recovery[/ul]
After a fuel fill up, the time for the fuel gauge to move from empty (E) to full (F) ranges from 2 seconds to 55 minutes depending on which operating mode the fuel gauge is in.
The default fuel gauge mode is called the anti-slosh mode. To prevent fuel gauge changes from fuel slosh (gauge instability due to changes in fuel sender readings caused by fuel moving around in the tank), the fuel gauge takes approximately 55 minutes to go from empty (E) to full (F).
The key OFF fueling mode (2 seconds to read empty [E] to full [F]) requires 3 conditions be met:
[*]The key must be in the OFF position when refueling the vehicle.[*]At least 15% of the vehicle's fuel capacity must be added to the fuel tank.[*]The instrument cluster must receive a valid key ON fuel sender reading within 1 second of the key being put into the RUN position. The key ON sample readings are considered valid if the fuel sender reading is between 15 ohms ± 2 ohms and 160 ohms ± 4 ohms. If these conditions are not met, the fuel gauge stays in the anti-slosh mode, which results in a slow to read full (F) event.[/ul]
The key ON fueling mode (approximately 90 seconds to read empty [E] to full [F]) requires 3 conditions be met:
[*]The transmission is in PARK (P) (automatic transmissions), or the parking brake applied (manual transmissions).[*]The key is in the RUN position.[*]At least 15% of the vehicle's fuel capacity must be added to the fuel tank.[/ul]
In key ON fueling mode, a 30 second timer activates after the transmission is put into the PARK (P) position (automatic transmissions) or when the parking brake is applied (manual transmissions). When the 30 second time has elapsed and at least 15% of the vehicle's fuel capacity has been added, the fuel gauge response time is 90 seconds to read from empty (E) to full (F). When the transmission is shifted out of PARK (P) or the parking brake is released, the fuel gauge strategy reverts to the anti-slosh mode. This mode prevents slow to read full events from happening if the customer refuels the vehicle with the key in the RUN position.
Recovery mode is incorporated into the instrument cluster strategy to recover from a missing fuel level message during a refueling event. Missing fuel level messages result from intermittent opens in the fuel sender or its circuits. Recovery mode (empty [E] to full [F] approximately 20 minutes) is initiated when the following 2 conditions are met:
[*]The instrument cluster is in the anti-slosh (default) mode.[*]The actual fuel level in the tank is greater than what is being displayed by the fuel gauge.[/ul]
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:18 PM
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Default RE: 03 F350 Fuel Guage

That's helpful. I'm not sure which reading I'm getting. I'll pay more attention to it the next couple of times I fill up. Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:15 PM
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Hi jtravis 75 and everybody else,
I know this is an older post but I have been having the same problem with my 2003 F 350 for some years now, to the point where I will only fill my tank to 3/4 because when I fill it the gauge will go to empty and stay there for some time. I took it to a dealer and thet want $300 just to diagnose the problem. I really don't like dealing with the ford dealership near my home and their prices suck. Does anyone have any suggestions. I have heard of the gauge cluster being replaced and the fuel manifold and sending unit being replaced to correct the problem. If someone has any ideas they would be appreciated.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:54 AM
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Default same symptoms with 2003 ford explorer

I have an 03 Explorer with same symptoms. When I fill it, the gauge shows empty. Eventually it will show full. Today it went to full immediately after I filled it up. As soon as I started driving, the gauge dropped to zero and I got the audible check gauge warning. When I started it up after a few hours, it was back to showing full. It is annoying to say the least. It is no accident that these cars are from the same year. I can almost guarantee a bad run of a part which is shared by both platforms.

Although this could be a bad sending unit, I strongly suspect the anti-slosh board has a cold solder joint or bad contact. I'm not sure if the board is internal or external to the instrument cluster on this model. The dealership does not show a separate part number for the anti-slosh board, so this repair may require an entirely new instrument cluster. This would mean reprogramming the digital OD which is probably not a diy job. I would like to confirm this diagnosis before tearing apart my dash to access the instrument panel or dropping the gas tank. BTW, I have tried tecron with no luck.

Check this thread on anti-slosh module, Antislosh module?? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums.

If anyone has successfully solved this problem, let me know.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:32 AM
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Default ford instrument cluster diagnostic mode

You can check for trouble codes via the digital instrument panel. Hold down the tripmeter button and turn your key to position 2. You should now see "test" in the digital display instead of your OD. More instructions here, Instrument Cluster Self-Diagnostic Mode - www.FordWiki.co.uk and here Mustangworld HEC Instrument Cluster Diagnostics. Toggle through settings by hitting the tripmeter button. DTC trouble codes are about 7 options into the test.

Entering Self-Diagnostic Mode

To enter the instrument cluster Self-Diagnostic Mode simultaneously press and hold the tripmeter reset button and turn the ignition switch to position II.
When tESt is displayed in the LCD release the button.
The instrument cluster will enter the gauge sweep test.
To navigate through the Self-Diagnostic Mode tests press the tripmeter RESET button repeatedly as required.
The self-test is deactivated when the ignition switch is turned to the OFF position or when the tripmeter reset button is pressed and held for 5 seconds.
Available information

Your car may differ from these slightly in content and sequence:
  • Gauge test
  • All LCD are illuminated
  • Indicator bulbs
  • ROM level (r----)
  • NVM (EEPROM) level (Er----) - this (e.g. Er0206) is often mistakenly assumed to be an error code!
  • DTC revision level (dtC985)
  • DTC. The DTCs stored will be displayed. The DTC codes will scroll through if there is more than one, or "nOnE" if there are none. See below for interpretation.
  • Road speed mph (SP----)
  • Road speed km/h (SP----)
  • Averaged speed, some sort of hex reading (S60---), probably not useful to the end user.
  • Engine speed rpm (TA----)
  • Averaged tacho signal, some sort of hex reading (T60---), probably not useful to the end user.
  • Odometer counter (od ---)
  • Fuel level sensor (F ---, 010 (empty) - 254 (full))
  • Averaged fuel level (F60---, range as above)
  • Fuel flow rate (FL --, hex counter)
  • Fuel percentage/remaining? Hex? (FP --)
  • Cylinder head temperature (---C)
  • Battery voltage (bAt---)
There are many other pieces of information not of interest to the end user, but you'll eventually get back round to the gauge sweep.

Here are some trouble codes from a Ford Mustang (Mustangworld HEC Instrument Cluster Diagnostics). These are different than standard OBDII DTC codes. Mine displayed the DTC code "9201" which is not on the list below, but could be related to the fuel sensor as it is very close to 9202.
Here are the DTC trouble codes (thanks Steve 99 Cobra):
9202 Fuel sender open circuit
9204 Fuel sender short to ground
9213 Anti-theft number of programmed keys is below minimum
A103 or 9232 Antenna not connected-defective transceiver
9317 Battery Voltage high
9318 Battery voltage low
9342 ECU is defective
9356 Ignition run circuit open
9364 Ignition Start circuit open
9600 PATS Ignition Key Transponder Signal is Not Received - Damaged Key or non-PATSKey
9601 PATSReceived Incorrect Key-Code from Ignition Key Transponder (unprogrammed Encoded Ignition Key)
9602 PATS Received Invalid Format of Key - Code From Ignition Key Transponder (Partial Key Code)
9681 PATSTranceiver Signal is Not Received (Not Connected, Damaged, or Wiring)
A139 PCM ID does not match between Instrument Cluster and PCM
A141 NVM Configuration Failure (No PCM ID exchange between Instrument Cluster and PCM)
A143 NVM memory failure
5284 Oil Pressure Switch Failure
D027 SCP Invalid or Missing Data for Engine RPM
D041 SCP Invalid or missing data for Vehicle Speed
D043 SCP Invalid or missing data for Traction Control
D073 SCP Invalid or missing data for engine coolant
D123 SCP Invalid or missing data for Odometer
D147 SCP Invalid or missing data for vehicle security
D262 Missing SCP message.
What to do if you get a trouble

See, http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/87...t-failure.html

DTS-9201 is a "fuel sender circuit failure"...

Last edited by linkysys; 04-06-2011 at 11:48 AM. Reason: incomplete
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