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Old 03-03-2014   #1
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Full tank, fuel gauge reads empty and flashing

We have a several-months-old Fiat 500L. Just 2 days ago, we filled the tank, but this morning the fuel gauge is reading E and the light is blinking. Interestingly, however, there is no message in the information center. That is, there is no Warning Low Fuel message.

We called the dealership, and the service tech was rather unhelpful. He suggested that someone stole our fuel because the 500L has no fuel cap. That's kind of impossible or oddly specific considering the circumstances which would have had to occur. He must be a former IT guy, because he suggested turning it off and turning it back on. In the end he told us he'd have to research the matter and would call us back. Because my wife has to drive to work, she did, and the car clearly has fuel.

Has anyone else experienced this issue? If so, what was the fix?

Thanks.
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Old 03-03-2014   #2
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Full tank, fuel gauge reads empty and flashing

Nearest we have had to this is once our gauge didn't register we had filled the tank until we had driven around two or three miles. It still gave the 'low fuel warning' though, it was if we had put no fuel in at all, so much so we were about to drive back to ASDA and complain we had paid for fuel they hadn't supplied!!

Then it sprang into life. It's only done it the once. The 500l does seem to have these odd electrical glitches though so if it doesn't repeat I wouldn't be too concerned about it.

BTW the comments about siphoning fuel don't stack up to me as yes the 500l does not have a cap it does have an anti siphon device installed in common with most modern cars - I am however happy to be corrected on that....if any body knows different.

What I would ask though has the gauge started working correctly now? If not they clearly need to sort it.
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Last edited by MJG; 03-03-2014 at 17:51.
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Old 03-03-2014   #3
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Re: Full tank, fuel gauge reads empty and flashing

My wife had not tried turning it off and back on, apparently. That did work. We are taking it in for a checkup. Rather odd. We did have strange weather yesterday. I wonder if that confused it somehow. It dropped from 80F/27C to below freezing in a matter of an hour.
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Old 03-03-2014   #4
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Re: Full tank, fuel gauge reads empty and flashing

Quote Originally Posted by fade View Post
My wife had not tried turning it off and back on, apparently. That did work. We are taking it in for a checkup. Rather odd. We did have strange weather yesterday. I wonder if that confused it somehow. It dropped from 80F/27C to below freezing in a matter of an hour.
Strange weather indeed, which state are you in..??

it does just sound like an electrical glitch though ,

ALL modern cars have " computers" built into their construction, so turning the power off + back on has the same effect as with a P.C. ,


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Last edited by varesecrazy; 03-03-2014 at 21:14.
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Old 03-03-2014   #5
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Re: Full tank, fuel gauge reads empty and flashing

Houston, TX. Might've been a little less than 80, and a touch more than an hour, but not by much.

Yeah, I realize that there's a computer built in, but I wanted other owners' perspectives. Particularly if it turned out to be a common problem.
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Old 03-03-2014   #6
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Re: Full tank, fuel gauge reads empty and flashing

Certainly on Euro spec 500Ls they have an anti-syphoning system which has nothing to do with the fuel filler cap.

I have had a similar issue before on a Ford and it required a drive of a few miles before the digital rad out read full from still showing empty. Also restarting the car is your best bet as you found out :-)
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Old 03-03-2014   #7
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Re: Full tank, fuel gauge reads empty and flashing

Well it came back, it turns out. And now the CEL is on, too.
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Old 04-03-2014   #8
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Re: Full tank, fuel gauge reads empty and flashing

Quote Originally Posted by fade View Post
Well it came back, it turns out. And now the CEL is on, too.

Hmmm... It could be the high level fuel sensor causing an issue. Sometimes these can cause the fuel tank gauge to read empty when failing.

I'm no mechanic though so best take it to the garage ASAP.
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