Fuel gauges are one of the important components that go into monitoring the spirited performance of the MINI’s engine. Every MINI owner must ensure this gauge is maintained to preserve the fun drive you’ve come to expect.
Most people are aware of the fuel gauge’s purpose. Quite simply, it allows a driver to know how much gas is in their vehicle. How it actually works is a little more in-depth, but is important to understand how fuel gauges can go faulty, because this could quite literally leave you stranded.
How Fuel Gauges Work
Fuel is measured using a sending unit that comprises a floating component attached to a metal rod. There is a resistor attached to the end of the rod that measures electrical flow. There is another part known as a wiper that slides along the system. This conducts a certain amount of electricity. This amount is then sent to the fuel gauge and shown as a visual representation of how much fuel is in your tank.
As your vehicle uses fuel, the entire sending system drops downward, which affects how much electricity is sent to the fuel gauge. This lower current results in a lower reading on the fuel gauge.
Warning Signs of Faulty Fuel Gauges
Knowing exactly how much fuel is in your vehicle is very important to a fun and successful driving experience. It would do no one any good for their MINI to suddenly stop in the road from a lack of fuel when the gauge falsely indicates that it is full. Fortunately, there are warning signs that indicate a problem:
- Erratic Fuel Gauge: If the pointer on your fuel gauge refuses to stay in one place and is jumping around erratically, this is a clear sign of a disconnect between the sending unit and the fuel gauge. While the cause could be electrical, it could also be something deeper within the sending unit.
- Fuel Gauge Stuck on Empty: When your fill up your tank but your fuel gauge indicates empty, it could be because the float within the sending unit became disconnected, so the system believes the fuel tank is empty.
- Fuel Gauge Stuck on Full: Contrary to the prior symptom, a fuel tank remaining on full is indicative of a faulty electrical problem, such as a disconnect between the resistor and the rest of the sending unit.
Common Causes of Faulty Fuel Gauges
There are multiple components to the sending unit, and each one is crucial to receiving an accurate reading on your MINI. With that said, any of those parts not working properly can result in a faulty fuel gauge. There are two main reasons for a fuel gauge failing:
- Electrical Issues: When the electrical unit within your vehicle is not functioning properly, a disconnect can occur. When the electrical current is disrupted, the fuel gauge can become faulty and no longer a reliable measurement of the amount of fuel left in the tank.
- Worn Out Sending Unit: Pinpointing a specific part of the sending unit that has gone bad is extremely difficult to DIY All the parts work closely together, so any single part going bad means the whole system will likely fail. When the sending unit becomes worn out, it can be hard to properly detect how much current should be transferred through the system. This is why it is important to take your vehicle to a certified MINI shop.
If you suspect that your vehicle has faulty fuel gauges, it is best to immediately consider taking your vehicle in. This problem can be a nuisance and make driving more difficult and far less fun.
Woodinville Sports Cars For Your MINI Needs
Any problem with the fuel gauge of your MINI should be taken seriously and looked at right away. At Woodinville Sports Cars, we have been serving Audi, BMW, Mercedes, MINI, and Volkswagen for clients in the areas of Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, Mill Creek, Monroe, Redmond, Snohomish, or Woodinville, Washington for years.
Our mission is to provide a high-quality of service and quickly identify the source of your unique problem. Give us a call right away if you suspect a fuel gauge problem with your MINI. We look forward to earning your trust and patronage.