Is a partially working fuel gauge on a 2000 VOLVO C70 serious?
September 19, 2009 12:52 AM   Subscribe

Is a partially working fuel gauge on a 2000 VOLVO C70 serious?

I am interested in buying this car, but it's the weekend and I can't call up a car shop to ask about this.

The gauge apparently works from a full tank, pointing to 100% till about 60% remaining, then stops there. I was told this was an easy fix. How much would this cost to fix?
posted by gttommy to Technology (4 answers total)
Best answer: Just a guess, but I'd think the fuel level sending unit might be stuck. There's a TSB available for the sending units on 2000 C70s.

The part is at least $85+shipping. Some parts sites suggest that you'd also need to replace the float, which is a cheaper part. The fuel sending unit hangs inside the gas tank. I don't know whether it's necessary to pull the tank to access the sending unit on this car; if you can access the top of the tank from above (through the trunk, or under the rear seat, perhaps?) it might be fairly easy. In any case, I'd guess you'll be out a few hundred bucks if this is done professionally.
posted by jon1270 at 5:58 AM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: On most European cars you can just pull up the rear bench seat or remove some trim panels in the trunk to access the fuel pump/sending unit. The pump will fit into a hole with a collar and then a securing ring will screw on and clamp the pump in place, sealing the tank. On any European car, it's very likely that removal of the securing ring will involve the use of a specialty tool. You may or may not be able to rig something up yourself so make sure you familiarize yourself with the procedure ahead of time, in the event you decide to DIY.
If you take it to a shop, expect to pay about 1-1.5 hours for labor.
posted by Jon-o at 6:14 AM on September 19, 2009

Best answer: I just watched a guy remove his fuel pump and replace his float as well as another piece on his pickup. He had to remove the bed of the truck, but after watching him do it, I had that "I can do that even though I never have done anything like it in my life" feeling. A pro could do it in an hour.

My point is I don't think it is a big deal to fix nor do I think it is a big deal to leave. I have a new car and one with over 135k miles on it and I never rely on the gauge. I use the trip odometer. I know what I get per gallon and how many miles I get on a tank. When I get above a certain amount of miles, I fill up. To me, it is actually more accurate than the fuel gauage when the fuel gets below a third of a tank. I have also been told not to let the fuel go down to almost empty every time anyway so I stop to get petrol sooner than near empty.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:06 AM on September 19, 2009

I had to do this on my 94 Volvo 940. The procedure Jon-O describes is exactly what I went through. I was able to unscrew the securing ring by gently hitting the big plastic ridges on it with a mallet (not saying this is necessarily a good idea, but I was a very poor student at the time). My Chilton's manual told me the part number for the specialty tool, if I recall, but it was ridiculously expensive for something with such limited use.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 9:37 AM on September 19, 2009

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