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Is the Fuel Gauge On Your E36 Permanently On "Empty?"

If you leave the key in the ignition accesory position while the fuel tank is being refilled, you may find that the fuel gauge stays on empty after you've filled the tank.   If you have the OBC it will tell you that the car's range is the same as before you gassed up - i.e., you just put 10 gallons of gas in the car and it tells you that your range is only 50 miles.

Why does this happen?  Who knows - somehow one of the mighty little brains gets confused if power isn't turned off during refueling.

How do you get the fuel gauge to work again?  I've found that momentarily pulling one of the fuses for the instrument panel does the trick.  For my car it was fuse #46; others have suggested fuse #31. With the ignition off, pull the fuse, then turn the key to the accesory position (so that the instrument panel comes to life), then turn the key back to the off position, and finally reinsert the fuse.  Then see if the fuel gauge is working again.

Always be sure to completely remove the key from the ignition whenever you refuel the car!