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Old 02-01-2013, 06:27 AM   #1
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Electrical short question

Ok here is a weird one and just hoping that maybe someone has a clue where to start or maybe experienced this same problem. So I obviously have a short but I have no idea where and not sure how to track it down.

When I drive the RV the dash lights and basically everything works perfectly fine. However of all things the fuel gauge will sporatically drop out and the low fuel light does come on but then it will for no apparent reason start reading correctly from time to time. I thought maybe it was in the collumn as I thought I saw a correlation to it cutting in and out with the position of the steering wheel. But now I'm not so sure. I removed all the collumn cover and inspected all the wiring but did not see an issue with anything. One connection was not fully seated and I thought I found the problem but seated all the way and no change. Plus I sat one day, parked turned the wheel from side to side to see if I could find a position that allowed the gauge to work and wasnt able to find a spot that made it work or cut out.

It does seem to work more often when the tank is closer to full which I assume is because a little higher voltage signal but if anyone has an idea to start looking or a good process of how to track this down I would be very appreciative. Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-01-2013, 06:40 AM   #2
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The 2 places I would look:
1) the connections on the back of the gauge
2) the connections on top of the sending unit on top of the fuel tank

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Old 02-01-2013, 06:45 AM   #3
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Sounds more like a "ground" problem... Why would the steering have anything to do with the fuel?
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:18 AM   #4
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Greatlakes, that is not a "short" but most likely a bad or loose connection. I believe what Lonestarace has suggested is the best place to start. Second would be the common grounding bar connections behind the dash. These seem to always come loose and cause problems.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:21 AM   #5
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Another problem can be the IVR, instrument voltage regulator.

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Old 02-01-2013, 09:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lonestarace View Post
The 2 places I would look:
1) the connections on the back of the gauge
2) the connections on top of the sending unit on top of the fuel tank
I would add the ground ends of the wires (usually black wires) as well.

Usually the wires at the sender/gauge are good tight connectors crimped on a wire and of the "Tab" type which hold together fairly well.

But the ground end is screwed to a metal bar somewhere (or metal plate) and many RVers have a few screws loose.. (usually electrical connection screws)
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I will take your advice.
H. Miller I only assume the steering might be connected in that wires for the smart wheel might have a loose ground and as I turn the wheel would allow contact to be inttermittent. Causing a short or as others have suggested a failing ground.
But I plan to replace the radio this spring so will have the dash panel off at that time so great time to check out the connections to the gauge and everything else behind the dash.
Again thanks for the help.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:55 AM   #8
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These electrical problems can be very frustrating. The ground wires are usually white behind the instrument cluster. You never know I have seen black grounds as well as green, why not with the key off check the wire with an ohm meter to find out for sure. I have added a known good ground and connected it to the gauge that is not working . Everyone has sent good info to help find the fault.
Finding the fault can be very time consuming but it will save you money and I find it rewarding once the problem is solved.

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