Trouble shoot Fuel Guage

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Southpaw, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The fuel gauges on my 1959 172 are always off . Some times close others not even close.
    Look for ground problems , continuity ?
    Have a good VOM where to start ?
     
  2. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Line Up and Wait

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    Make sure you have ground continuity from sending unit to fuselage. My C195 sending units were missing a ground wire . After adding ground wires, they are fine. Good luck.
     
  3. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    I used to own a Cherokee 140 that had a fuel gauge inop for a fair amount of time. I supplemented a lot with the ‘known fuel quantity & timing’ thingy. I realize we like working fuel gages, but not much beats known amount & timing. Yes, round up for the fudge factor.
     
  4. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    But.... you can’t fly with an INOP fuel gauge. ATOMATOFLAMES and such. Required day VFR required equipment.
     
  5. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Original transmitters? Probably time to change them.
     
  6. Fracpilot

    Fracpilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think every 172 I’ve flown had inaccurate fuel gauges except when full or empty..lol


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Most are upgrading to digital senders, which are very accurate over a long period of time. If memory serves the original resistive senders when new were only required to be accurate for empty for the type certificate.
     
  8. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    That is a common misconception.

    § 23.1337 Powerplant instruments installation.

    (b) Fuel quantity indication. There must be a means to indicate to the flightcrew members the quantity of usable fuel in each tank during flight. An indicator calibrated in appropriate units and clearly marked to indicate those units must be used.
     
  9. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    That's Part 23. The vast majority of GA airplanes fall under CAR3, 3.672, which in essence is close to the same wording.
     
  10. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Touché.

    ;)
     
  11. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Probably. They wear out. They're being worn even when the airplane is tied down. The wind rocks the airplane, moves the fuel a bit, which moves the float and rheostat wiper, which wears out the coil of resistance wire inside the sender.

    But a check of grounding between the sender and airframe is first. The OEM grounding was already a bit sketchy. Age and oxidation and residues from seeping fuel all make it worse.

    Could also be loose connections at the back of the gauge assembly.
     
  12. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I don't think the two statements are incongruous to each other. They are more accurate on the lean side of a tank rather than more full. These were originally automotive gages back in the day, and cars using the same type of probe show more full than actual and are much more accurate closer to empty.
     
  13. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thank you all for the advice and ideas. When the weather warms up I will go have a look see.
    It's not been above 0 for a week. Currently -7 at 11AM.
     
  14. Pilot Steve

    Pilot Steve Pre-takeoff checklist

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  15. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    And your watch doesn’t detect fuel leaks.
     
  16. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    Those are spendy but AWESOME
     
  17. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    The next sentence in that FAR 23.1337 says this:

    (1) Each fuel quantity indicator must be calibrated to read "zero" during level flight when the quantity of fuel remaining in the tank is equal to the unusable fuel supply determined under [Sec. 23.959(a);]

    The misconception comes from that there. The requirement to show usable fuel in flight is still there, though no details are given as to accuracy.
     
  18. Mooneys R Quicker

    Mooneys R Quicker Pre-Flight

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    A long long time ago I had a flight instructor tell me to “never believe the fuel gauges unless they were reading empty” ,,,, I have never forgot that statement. I always check my tanks before flight and my watch during .
     
  19. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    FYI: since the rewrite of Part 23 they've included more background info on certain regs if you care to read. But as to accuracy, in aircraft that have specific fuel calibration procedures the accuracy requirements usually followed a 3% scale error limit as mentioned in the AC and TSO docs.
    https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_23-17C.pdf
     

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  20. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Thanks for that update.
     
  21. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    +1
     
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