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95 Pathfinder fuel gauge question

4899 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  marcus22uk
I did a search in the Pathfinder forum for fuel gauge issues, but didn't come up with an answer to this question. I'm sure I saw something about this somewhere in here before, but I can't find it now.

I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but I'm looking for some reassurance. My 95 Pathfinder LE (V-6, A/T) has a 21.1 gallon tank. I just bought this rig a few days ago, and it was reading pretty close to empty (maybe 1/8th tank) when I picked it up from the guy I bought it from. I didn't pay much attention when I filled it, but looking back at the receipt, I only put 12 gallons into it, and that was after topping it off. That means I had around 9 gallons left while only reading under 1/8th of a tank. Today the gauge read just barely over half full and I filled up again, this time putting in 6 gallons including top-off.

I'm guessing I have a fuel tank float switch (quantity indicator switch) that needs replacing, right? Or is there something else inherent with this car that I should be looking at first?

This was driving me nuts because I thought at first I was only getting about 10-12 mpg, but after realizing the gauge was off, I'm really getting around 19 mpg...much more acceptable!

Thanks all you Pathy guru's!

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I have yet to drive any car that accuratately reports fuel level. I suppose the computers on the newer models are better, since they actually measure the amount of fuel consumed.
My '92 is similar to yours. Full to 3/4 takes 20-30 miles, 3/4 to 1/2 maybe 60-100 miles. Then it sits 1/2 full for a while. I rarely let it go much past half; having driven during the age of gas "shortages", I'd rather keep the bottom half for emergencies anyway. ;)
Both of our problems are most like the fuel sender, which is the switch you are referring to.
X-Traction said:
I suspect these trucks have poor fuel level sensors. Ours is ok except that it never reads above about 85% full, even if it's stuffed to the filler. And it is pessimistic at the low end of the scale. I've heard of one other case where it would not read all the way full.
That can be adjusted, if it's worth the trouble. Chances are, though, you have gotten used to the way that is and any changes would mess you up more. :)
Mike in Brier said:
Geez, I've been away from the trade for too long. "fuel sending unit"...doh! I knew that, but couldn't remember the term when I wrote the post. Too many brain cells ago, I guess. :loser:

Anyway, how is it adjustable? I thought when they went bad, you had no choice but to replace them.
Well, the adjustment I was referring to was X-Traction's 85%. Assuming the rheostat is not bad, this can be done by forming the wire arm attached to the float (bending it downward). Some, used in marine applications, have a 2 piece arms and a set screw, allowing the arm's length to be adjusted as well. These should only be attempted on level ground.

There is something to be said in favor of the original gas gauge - a stick with notches. :)
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