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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

Trouble with garages is that you're never sure if they completely understand your car or not. Anyway...

1999 RAV4, fuel gauge is stuck on zero *except* when the roads are absolutely saturated with water, when it begins to creep up the gauge after a while driving in those conditions.

Garage told me they couldn't trace any fault, but that "the wire and terminal from the pump that sends fuel from one side of the saddle-shaped fuel tank to the other has corroded off"

From Googling, I can't find a definite answer but is there such a pump? Or is it (as said in some other forum) that there are two sender units and the gauge averages the readings from both?

Cheers
S.
 

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There are two fuel gauge sending units on the 1999 RAV4. One is located with the fuel pump on the left hand side (as sitting in the vehicle) of the vehicle under the rear seat and carpet. Yes, there is a fuel pump with sending unit. The other is located directly on the other side of the vehicle and is only a fuel gauge sending unit. It is common for the wires to corrode and cause faulty readings. Do a search for posts on this forum.

Because the fuel tank is a upside down U two sending units are needed. They are wired in series. This means that one sending unit is wired to the other and then goes to the gauge. The gauge does not average the readings from both but reads the resistance of one gauge through the resistance of the other.

The reason the gauge creeps up in wet conditions is because moisture is either causing the sending unit wiring to short together or short to ground.

To fix this the wires that are corroded need to be replaced and/or connected securely. Remember that when attempting to fix this you are working near gasoline. Any sparks or fire can be very dangerous. Hope this helps. Mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Mark - have been Googling furiously since I posted the original message and eventually found the 1996 service manual PDFs which showed me what was what.

My garage tells me the motor factors say that the sub sender unit is no longer available as a part, and that the terminal stubs are too short to solder wires on to (I've not seen them myself) - but I have been lucky to find a scrapyard that had a sub sender, so am going to get the garage to do a swap.

Cheers
S.
 

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Be sure that your garage mechanic checks that the wires on the salvage sender to make sure they are good before it is installed. As I stated before corroded wires at the location you described is a common problem. Good luck. Mark.
 
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