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Discussion Starter #1
The gas gauge worked fine for years. This year, it is erratic. Usually shows full when filled up but as gas is used ... it's anybody's guess. i.e. sometimes it is accurate, other times it drops way too soon. It never reads more than what is really in there ... just less.

Any ideas? Bad sensor? Bad doohicky in tank?
 

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The problem could be in the sending unit inside the tank, in the gauge it's self or in the wiring. I would start with checking the wiring connections to ensure they are tight and clean. If that shows good then you can move on to testing the sending unit and gauge.

The gauge is easier to test but you will need 3 resistors, one each of 10, 51 and 95 ohms. You hook the resistors in line with the wiring and check that the gauge reads the correct reading for a given resistor. It should read full with the 10, half tank with the 51, and empty with the 95. If you have a service manual the procedure is on page 8-29.

To test the sending unit you have to remove it from the tank. Once you have it out you hook a multi meter to it and check the resistance at various settings of the float coinciding with full, half tank and empty. The procedure for that is in the service manual on page 5-11. Since you have to remove it from the tank and do some careful measuring it would be better to have the service manual handy than try to work from an explanation posted on here. The manual not only tells you how to remove the unit it has drawings to show you how to do the measuring.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Craig. I'll have to ask my B-I-L to give a hand as electrickity is my Achilles Heel.
 

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I have a 2011 650 and I've never been able to depend on those little bars. I just always reset one of the odometers every time I fill up, then when I hit 150 miles I look for a gas station.
 

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Something worth trying -- My Suzuki VStrom gas gauge was reading low. Even after a fill up, it would drop 1 bar (digital 5-bar gauge) within a few miles. Did some research and found that gas deposits (gum/varnish/etc) can screw with the float. It was recommended to dump in a 2X-3X recommended strength mix of fuel injection cleaner - good stuff like Techron or Gumout Regain. (example - for your 4-gallon tank, put in a whole bottle meant for 12 gallons). I did that, and within 1 tank, it was cured.

YMMV. Worth trying, and even if it doesn't fix your gauge problem, you will have clean injectors. :)


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^ If you do that, I would strongly suggest you change your fuel filter right after that tank is done, if it itsn't already clogged-shut by then. ;)

I lived in AZ back when the EPA mandated the MTBE be added to the gasoline. It caused a large number of cars to stall and die due to everything being flushed out of the tank and lines into the fuel filters. Played all-heck with some injectors, too.
 

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I have found that my gauge isn't very accurate but it is consistent. At full it reads right but after that it isn't. It will go for many mines after it drops below the empty square{too big to call a line}. I use one of my trip odometers and know to not go over 180 miles from full{it might go further but I am too coward to see just how far}.
 

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You could always tie a 1 gal. gas can and a funnel on the back... ;)
(I wouldn't want a full gas can under the seat.)
 

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Mine is exactly the same. It's 6.5 miles from where I usually fill up to home, and it'll go from reading full to almost 1/4 tank down in that drive. When my gauge reads 1/3 tank left, it's a safe bet I've got a little over a half tank left. True empty is out of the red box to the left somewhere, but I don't really use the gauge -- like thomphoto I reset the trip odometer after each fill-up and go by that.

I've wondered if maybe the gauge behavior is deliberate, like the 10% over on the speedometer (ensuring the rider doesn't run out by visually reinforcing that they NEED GAS NOW, even if it isn't true).

Edit: This was meant to be a reply to speedandstyle, but it doesn't appear to be attaching itself to his comment.
 
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