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Old 03-19-2006, 08:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Car: 2001 Ford Taurus LX E85 SOHC 3.0L 82,xxx miles

Problem: Gas gauge sticks at/above Full sometimes when car is started. The gauge will stay there for various amounts of time, many times until it is shut off, sometimes for days, sometimes just for a few minutes.
Also the check engine light will come on when this happens and the light will stay on until I clear it.
The computer tells me this : P460 Fuel Level Sensor Circuit A

I have had this problem for a couple of weeks now, All I have done is clear the light whenever it comes on. Now I want to start trying to fix it.

Anyone had or heard of this problem?
What are some ideas or steps to take to get this fixed?
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I found a couple Special Services Messages pertaining to this.. hopefully they'll help..

18465 1997-2005 MULTIPLE VEHICLES - INTERMITTENT MIL ON WITH DTC P0460 - SERVICE TIP
SOME 1997-2005 VEHICLES MAY EXHIBIT AN INTERMITTENT MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP (MIL) ON WITH DTC P0460 (FUEL LEVEL SENSOR CIRCUIT MALFUNCTION). THIS CONDITION MAY BE CAUSED BY AN IMPROPERLY INSTALLED REMOTE START SYSTEM, AFFECTING THE FLUID LEVEL INPUT (FLI) INFORMATION TO THE PCM. THE CONDITION MAY BE DIFFICULT TO DUPLICATE. TO SERVICE, CHECK FOR AN IMPROPERLY INSTALLED FORD OR AFTERMARKET REMOTE STARTER SYSTEM. THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER OR HEC MUST HAVE POWER TO ALL 'HOT IN RUN' CIRCUITS FOR THE FUEL GAUGE CIRCUIT TO PROPERLY RELAY FLI INFORMATION TO THE PCM (EITHER BY NETWORK COMMUNICATION OR A DIRECT HARDWIRE CIRCUIT).
EFFECTIVE DATE: 03/11/2005

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

17930 1995-2005 MULTIPLE VEHICLES - ERRATIC FUEL GAUGE
ANY VEHICLE WITH A GASOLINE ENGINE MAY EXHIBIT ERRATIC FUEL GAUGE READINGS AND THE MIL MAY COME ON. DTC P0460, P0462, P0463, P2065, P2067, AND/OR P2068 MAY BE PRESENT. A RECENTLY REPORTED ISSUE WITH SULFUR CONTAMINATION FOUND IN SOME LOCAL FUELS MAY CAUSE TEMPORARY CONTAMINATION OF THE FUEL SENDER CARD. BEFORE REPLACING ANY COMPONENT, CLEAR DTC'S, DRAIN FUEL TANK (IF FACILITIES PERMIT), AND ADVISE CUSTOMER TO USE AN ALTERNATE BRAND OF FUEL. THE CONDITION SHOULD CORRECT ITSELF AFTER 2-3 TANKS OF UNCONTAMINATED FUEL. ADVISE CUSTOMERS TO RESET THEIR TRIP ODOMETER WHEN THEY FILL THEIR TANK AND MONITOR MILEAGE. REPLACEMENT OF COMPONENTS INCLUDING FUEL GAUGE SENDER, FUEL PUMP, IP CLUSTER, OR PCM REPROGRAMMING/REPLACEMENT MAY NOT FIX THE CONCERN WHEN CAUSED BY CONTAMINATED FUEL. IF CONCERN PERSISTS PERFORM NORMAL DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/22/2004
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ANyone know what steps I should take to fix this? What should I try or replace first?

Or anyone know of a site/have a link to some instructions of what I should try?

Thank-You in advance for any and all help.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jimlarge@Mar 22 2006, 02:32 PM
ANyone know what steps I should take to fix this? What should I try or replace first?

Or anyone know of a site/have a link to some instructions of what I should try?

Thank-You in advance for any and all help.
Ummm... did you not read the posting i made with the service messages? If you hvae a remote starter, who installed it? Did they do it right? Did the fuel gauge problem show up at the same time the remote starter was installed? If so, that could be the problem - see the first SSM. If it's not that, the second one may apply. Perhaps you got some bad fuel... switch to a different brand, and see if the problem corrects itself after 2-3 tanks of gas, just like the SSM says. If it doesn't clear up, then you'll need to look further.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My car doensn't have remote start. Also all my fuel is purchased at a very reputable place. My other cars run on it fine and so I don't believe either of these are the problem, Sorry. I should have stated this info earlier. THanks again

Any other ideas? I think it is to the point that I need to replace something, but I really don't know where or what part to start with.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Look for a poor connection or damaged wiring between the fuel gauge sender and the PCM. It's also possible that the sender unit itself has an intermittent fault.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I pulled out the sending unit and tested it under many variable conditions. I find the actual sender to not be at fault. I did check the wiring and connections as well and everything seems to be in order. I think it seems like an electrical problem. When I start the car, something causes the gauge to go way above the Full mark. It goes considerable higher than the gauge would ever read if the tank were completely full.
What should I try next?
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have this problem for close to 2 yrs now. Started intermittently, now it's continuous. No remote starter, gas from a brand name, fuel level sender taken out and checked, and a host of other things were done. Everybody is clueless. Judging from those posted factory bulletins so is Ford. Fifty years ago we had simple, working fuel level gauges lasting fine thru the lifetime of the car. They cannot even dulicate that anymore.
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've reread the postings. Nidan (the Ford tech) confirms my previous posting, that Ford is completely clueless. I'd like to add, that the problem is pervasive, I have read several(!) postings aon othe Taurus and Sable forums of the exact same problem. NOBODY had, found, posted a satisfactory solution or repair. In all cases the sender unit wasn't at fault.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by banjoman@Apr 1 2006, 09:24 AM
I've reread the postings. Nidan (the Ford tech) confirms my previous posting, that Ford is completely clueless. I'd like to add, that the problem is pervasive, I have read several(!) postings aon othe Taurus and Sable forums of the exact same problem. NOBODY had, found, posted a satisfactory solution or repair. In all cases the sender unit wasn't at fault.
I hope you aren't taking a stab at me... i come on here to help, and every piece of information i cut and paste from the Ford website i have access to can get me into a lot of trouble if the wrong people found out i was doing so. I'm not supposed to copy any information from that site, but i do it because i'm trying to help. If the information i posted doesn't help solve this particular problem, so be it.. but at least i made it available. And yes, I agree, Ford is often clueless.. i'm the first guy to bitch about how they constantly screw things up when they design vehicles... but just because those posts didn't fix the problem doesn't mean they don't know how to fix it. They post things like that because they are common causes of that problem, so when a customer has something like that, they try to eliminate the cheapest/easiest possibilities first.

Now... i'm sure the problem can be repaired, but obviously whoever has tried to fix it in the past hasn't attacked it the right way. I just finished fixing an Explorer Sport Trac with almost the same problem... except his gauge always read empty, and set a different code - P0461. I used an old fuel sending unit i keep for testing, unplugged the fuel pump wiring harness and jumpered in my sending unit to test the wiring and everything up to the dash. That solved the problem - with my test sending unit installed, everything worked right. Except the sending unit itself wasn't the problem. It turned out to be a very high resistance in the harness coming out of the fuel pump... to fix it, the whole pump had to be replaced, since the harness was integral. My guess for this car, since the gauge is always showing overfull, is that the fuel sending unit signal wire is shorted to power somewhere in the harness, since an open circuit would show an empty tank. Locate a wiring diagram, and do some testing on the circuits to see if this isn't the case. Don't forget to check the pump wiring itself, in case, like the Explorer, the problem lies somewhere between the connecter and the pump.
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