2002 Ford Escape fuel gauge not working

Tiny
CSINNER
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 FORD ESCAPE
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 101,600 MILES
Filled up gas tank and gauge read empty. After several days of driving, gauge slowly over several days reached full. When filling tank, gauge now reads full but only drops to 3/4 full even after several hundred miles of driving. Replaced fuel pump but problem remains. Resistance of fuel pump float arm resistor increases as float arm moves from empty to full and does this both on old and new fuel pumps.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 10:10 AM

14 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
This can be a bad cluster where gauge is or a shorted wire along frame leading to pump/tank
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 10:31 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Just to add there is a micro processor in gauge panel that controls the gauges. It may be that. If you are getting high resistance from yellow/wht wire that is one coming from fuel sender. The higher the resistance the higher the gauge goes so if it gets like ousay it does then it's the cluster needing rebuild.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 10:39 AM
Tiny
CSINNER
  • MEMBER
Would it be safe to say probably it is NOT a shorted wire since the gauge does work from full to 3/4 of a tank of gas and it does this consistently?
As for the microprocessor, if it controls all gauges and the microprocessor is bad, wouldn't it have some kind of affect on the other gauges also?
Is the yellow/white wire you mention located in the plug that plugs into the fuel pump and how do I measure the resistance (from where to where) and what would be a normal reading?
You mention the cluster may need rebuilt. Is the entire set of gauges (fuel, temp, and speedometer considered the cluster?
Is there a way to check the microprocessor?
How is the gauge cluster removed? What would be the cost to have this job done including parts and labor? Is this something I could do? I have many years of automotive repair experience but I'm not sure if this is something I could do.
One more thing. I went through all the readings of the self diagnostics found when the odometer button is held in and the key turned on and the button held for about 5 seconds. The reading for the FP (fuel level) was 212. Is this normal?
Thanks so much.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 11:14 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
You can check the yellow/ wht wire at the cluster to see if it is sending the signal I would imagine if it does work part time that a short may be out of the question. I cannot answer on the holding of button and it reads whatever as I'm not really that familiar with it. I have no idea how to check microprocessor as I t may be part of the cluster rebuild and it can only effect one gauge, or the gauge is bad itself. I have pics of how to remove module which is pretty easy however the info on it needs to be uploaded onto a scan tool prior to removal and then downloaded after install so it's pretty much something a pro will need to do.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 11:28 AM
Tiny
CSINNER
  • MEMBER
Yes, please send info and pics of how to remove cluster. As for uploading the cluster information onto a scan tool, I have an OBDII scan tool. Can that be used to upload the information to? Also, what information is being uploaded to the scan tool? Is it just the mileage or other info?
Thanks
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 12:17 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
You have to have a pro model scanner not the ones that are in auto parts store so you doing this is out of the question. The pro models are $3000-5000 andi'm sure you don't have that one.
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015 AT 1:12 PM
Tiny
CSINNER
  • MEMBER
I checked with 2 companies that repair gauge clusters today. Both stated they never had any such an issue with a 2002 Ford Escape and both felt it must be something else. They both suggested I test the float arm rheostat on the fuel pump. I told them I checked the old pump as well as the new one and they were both fine. I haven't heard back from either one yet. Do you have any other suggestions? Also if I remove the cluster to check to see if there are any loose wires, worn insulation, etc. By removing it, will it require the information in the cluster to be uploaded and then downloaded after I reinstall it if I only look for something obvious as mentioned above?
Thank you.
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Monday, March 2nd, 2015 AT 3:52 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
If you are just checking it disconnect then reconnect to test wires you won't hear back form the companies by the way
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Monday, March 2nd, 2015 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
One thing I have forgot is have you checked for any kind of blockage in tank where sending unit is? It may be partially blocked then it goes up when you don't need it too. This just sounds like a wire somewhere is grounding out then incertain instances like you hit a bump it moves out of the way and works for a minute or two then goes back to where it was. If anything has been added to dash and screws have been used, take the screws out and see if it clears up you may have damaged the harness through dash.
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Monday, March 2nd, 2015 AT 4:18 PM
Tiny
CSINNER
  • MEMBER
I did check in the tank for any blockage or anything in the tank before I put in the new fuel pump and nothing was there. As for a wire grounding out and hitting a bump and the gauge works again for a while, the gauge always reads full when I fill the tank and as I drive, the gauge begins to drop as I drive several miles as it should, However, when the gauge reaches 3/4 full, it will go no further no matter how many miles I drive. The gauge never works intermittently while driving such as after hitting a bump or driving on rough roads. It always works correctly from full to 3/4 full and then stops working or moving at all. When I turn off the key, it will drop to empty as it should. When I turn on the key the gauge goes to full if I just filled it or between full and 3/4 full if I've only driven between10 and 50 miles. As for adding something to the dash, nothing whatsoever has been added since I owned the car which is over 3 years.
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Monday, March 2nd, 2015 AT 4:59 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Has this been scanned by a pro? He needs to do this to see if you get a code b1202 or 1204 see pic for another test other than that I have no further suggestions or comments.
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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 AT 7:16 AM
Tiny
CSINNER
  • MEMBER
I wanted to get back to you. With what I tried today. I disconnected the new fuel pump and connected the old one while it was out of tank. I moved the float arm from empty to full in 1/8th increments and the gauge read correctly all the time. I did the same thing with the new fuel pump with the same results. Also, while the pump was connected and the gauge was reading correctly. I moved wires around under the dash and on top of the fuel tank and no change in the gauge reading was seen.

So I guess I will drive a few hundred miles without adding gas and see if the gauge reads correctly. I have no explanation whatsoever for this problem but hopefully it is OK now.
Thanks so much for all your help and have a good day.
By the way both of the companies I emailed regarding this issue got back to several times with suggestions and ideas as to what the problem might be.
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Thursday, March 5th, 2015 AT 10:49 AM
Tiny
CSINNER
  • MEMBER
Gauge seems to be working just fine now. How do I approve payment to you?
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Saturday, March 7th, 2015 AT 2:55 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
I really don't know as I only answer the questions I guess when you go to questions it will say there under donations or contact Mike@2carpros. Com he can let you know or take care of it. Thanks glad it's fixed.
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Saturday, March 7th, 2015 AT 6:16 AM

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