Faulty Fuel Gauge Level Indicator Fix - Mazda Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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First I would like to apologize to all the old board members on here for not frequenting the board as often as I would have like. Here is another one of my mini write-ups to fix that pesky fuel gauge sender problem that has plagued many of us.

The first step in tackling this problem is to gain access to the fuel sender unit. It is easy enough to locate and I didn’t bother documenting this part. It is located in the center below the rear seat. If you have any problems locating it or removing the rear seat just ask and I will post details on how to do that as well.

There is an access cover with 4 screws that needs to be removed to reveal the sender itself. Once the cover is removed make sure you give all 6 of the machine screws that bolt the sender to the fuel tank a good couple squirts of your favorite rust cutter. The bolts will all be in pretty bad shape and a stripped screw here could lead to a larger potential headache. Please take your time and make sure you do not strip the screw heads. Let the rust cutter penetrate the bolts and give them a couple nice taps to free up the corrosion. Once the screws are out you will need to swivel and pivot the sender a few times to clear the float. It is bent in such a way that it only fits back in the tank a certain way so make sure and mark your location of the sender prior to removing it. Here is the sender location with it already removed.


This is what the whole assembly looks like.


This is the inner workings of the sender. The white PCB board has small graduated contact points on it where a wiper on the float side sweeps up and down on. The various contact points correspond to various level indications on your in-dash fuel gauge.


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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This is a clearer view of the wiper portion and its contact location. It is that tiny gold colored spring.


Here is another shot of the mechanism. At this point your in-dash gauge would theoretically show Empty.


This is the reverse side of the sender. The whole mechanism floats on a spring. I assume this is to compensate for over filling and intense jars the sensor may be subjected to on rough roads.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the sender in its fully compressed state.


This is the sender fully extended.


I noticed on my particular sender that the transition from fully extended to compressed was not very fluid. There was some sort of notch in the movement where the sender would stick part way. Here is a close up of where the friction points actually occurred. You can see the anti-corrosion plating rubbing off. There wasn’t much of a fix to this problem other than working the mechanism back and fourth a few times to loosen it up. A few nice dabs of grease here would have done the trick but this whole part is immersed in fuel and I am sure none of us want grease in our fuel.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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This is the start of the actual “fix” for the sender. The float arm is held in place by two clips. You will need to gently spread these clips to pop the arm out of place. Be very careful not to stretch or damage the spring. It acts as a conductor for the wiper/contact spring and is soldered to a terminal on the other end.


This is the flip side once the arm has been freed. You will notice a tiny shiny spot on the wiper/contact spring. This is the actual contact point between wiper and PCB. It will look a bit tarnished and darkened. You will need to get a few q-tips and dip it in some of that gasoline and polish the crud off the contact point. Stop polishing when your q-tip comes away clean.



Another view of the wiper.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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View of the spring.


This is the most important step. You will need to polish the individual contact points on the PCB with some gasoline and q-tips just as you did with the wiper. A significant amount of crud will come off on the q-tip. You must be careful not to damage the board or lift any of the points. Just rub with moderate pressure. After time dirty gas will leave deposits on the contact points and will prevent your in-dash gauge from getting the proper reading.

This did the trick for my gauge. Don’t PANIC if this doesn’t work for you. I will be doing another mini write-up soon on how to fix the in-dash cluster gauge portion.



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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 02:03 PM
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Yellow, yours look pretty different than mine. All I can see is the fuel filter.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 02:47 PM
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Yellow, yours look pretty different than mine. All I can see is the fuel filter.[/b]
There is another access door under the rear seat that looks just like the one for the fuel filter but it is for this sending unit.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 03:09 PM
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There is another access door under the rear seat that looks just like the one for the fuel filter but it is for this sending unit.[/b]
Oh I didnt know that. Thanks.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 07:42 PM
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OK in my car the gauge keeps jumping around I have 2001 Mazda protege lx my mechanic said it was the fuel filter causing this I don't know what to think but how long does this take ? In that hole under the seat is that access to the gas or do I need to get gas so I can do the q-tip cleaning? My husband don't know nothing on cars but I do a lil bit but I need help this is very stressful due to all the crap that is wrong with the car.... Please help me
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 08:03 PM
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Hi, does this write up cover the generation 2 2010 to 2013 Mazda 3? I got the 2010 Mazda 3 GT.

I am running into the same problem, the digital gauge shows empty when the gas tank is not empty at all.

Is there are HOW-TO/video for the 2010 to 2013 Mazda 3?
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