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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
04 Rav AWD 2.4L gas . ( new to me )

fuel gauge randomly shows less that is in the tank . start it a 2nd time and it might be bang on .

sometimes its correct , some times it's lower , to even once showing me empty with empty light on , but with about 1/3 of a tank still in it .

I have taken to filling the tank to almost over fill for a bit as i have had cars in the past were people have run around near empty all the time and the sender unit would get 'dry' or un-lubricated. After a few days with a fully full tank that would go away .

I think as the level and warning light comes on, it could be a bad wire given it will read correct at times, and sometimes you can even see it come up to just about correct after a few min of driving .

is there any pics of the 04 sending unit / pump hatch . i have looked about and have seen some for earlier models.
I think it could be a ground / corrosion issue due to the local climate.

Is there a table of resistances that the gauge expects ?

that way I could make a few known values and make sure the dash gauge reads correct .
I'm hoping to find just a bad ground or messy connection some place.

.. I will keep searchin' web until i get a nice day for checking it .
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
so i was able to check the passenger side sender or sub sender . it had a pin that looked a bit corroded .
it only has 2 pins .

unplugged the connector a level went to E and empty light came on .
i cleaned the plugs and used a needle /bead file and remove the corrosion . made no diff. so I don't think it is the left side one . LOL

But I cant check the right side ( main ) yet, as the seat is stuck . It wont release (roll forward ) like the left one did .
LOL I think the mechanism has rusted in a locked position .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
found the repair manual ,that perfectly has the ohms for the senders . I also contains the tests to be sure the gauge is working .
and apparently the is a incline sensor in the meter/gauge . it can be reset .

any how the diagnostic steps are in the instrument panel pdf at about page 34. It covers testing the senders .
I suspect the connector on the main sender is bad or corroded, or a wire in the harness some place has a issue.

when in use i figure the ohms just adds , each sender should be between about (full)2ohms and (empty)54ohms.

so a really empty tank would be the sum of both senders ~100ohms.

well i still have to figure out why the left rear seat wont come out . I suspect rust as the lever at the back stops at the point it should trigger the release.
Thing is you cant just unbolt these seats. You have to get them to release as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
so i got lucky .

even though i still cant get the seat off the main fuel sender side (driver) , i could get the sub sender(passenger).

on the way home from work the needle want just below E and the light came on . but there should be about 7/8ths of a tank .

i checked ohms on the sender and it is fully open .( 0 ohms) and on closer inspection the head of it is rusted to all heck .

but i did not like the look of the wire /harness side and i needed to know if main sender was live .

So i dug in to my electronics parts and pulled out 3 5w resistors . 1 at 10ohms. , one at 22ohms. , and one at 46 .

so that lets me simulate almost full , 2/3 , and about an 1/8 left . but not exact .

but given the main sender should be near full , if i put 10 ohms on , the needle should swing to almost full and it did .
so the 46ohms being near empty , should make the needle go to hear 1/2 , and it did .
so the main sender is fine , and so it the needle / meter in dash , and the wires .

now i need to find a decent price for a sub sender , and the figure how i can get the rusted one off my tank. LOL
hope to fine one at a wrecker , as that's my budget rite now. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well i know its the right side sender , i have a 52 ohm resistor in place to simulate empty tank .
this effectively make the meter 1/2 mark = full tank , and empty = empty .
just so i dont get stuck without gas .

but it was a real joy to fide ome one before me destroyed the 5 bolts on the sender unit cap!
im gonna have to try and slot them or try a easy out on them .


it would be coo if the fuel sender fix i have read in an other thread works , but i need to get it off / out of the tank . LOL
 
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