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Which fuse is used for the fuel gauge on a 1988 Nissan Sentra?

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2010-02-13 09:30:52
2010-02-13 09:30:52

It's the 10A fuse at the right end of the top row of fuses. The label on the fuse block door says "Meter."

1) This fuse is also used for the temperature gauge and all the instrument panel warning lamps, so if they work, the fuse is not your problem.

2) If all the warning lamps work, but the temperature gauge is out as well as the fuel gauge, your problem may be the voltage regulator that provides 8V to those two gauges. The voltage regulator is mounted on the back of the instrument cluster (AKA Combination Meter) under the heat sink. The connections are clearly labeled on the circuit board as IGN, GND, and 8V. Use a volt meter to test for 8V to GND when the ignition is turned on.

3) If the temperature gauge works but the fuel gauge does not, then the fuse and voltage regulator are both fine. Check (from easiest to hardest):

a) the connections to the instrument cluster. Unplug the connectors and plug them back in. Wiggle them a little to help the contacts seat, and see if the gauge works. You can also clean the contacts with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol. (Q-tips made for cleaning electronics will leave less lint);

b) the printed circuit on the back of the instrument cluster for conductivity between the voltage regulator 8V output and the fuel gauge;

c) the printed circuit on the back of the instrument cluster for conductivity between the fuel gauge and the slot where the fuel gauge connector plugs in;

d) the fuel gauge. Several ways to do this: (1) The gauge's resistance should be about 45 or 46 ohms. (Be sure to connect your ohm meter's positive and negative leads to the same polarities on the gauge.) If the gauge has much higher resistance or infinite resistance, then it's bad. (2) Exchange it with the temperature gauge. If you now have a working fuel gauge and a broken temperature gauge, then you know it's the gauge that is bad. (3) You can also try applying 6V with jumpers from the battery compartment of any AAA, AA, C, or D cell battery device you have that uses 4 batteries, but I have not validated this test. To ensure the test is valid, try it with the temperature gauge;

e) the fuel tank sending unit. It's a 6-position connector. The black wire goes to ground, and the yellow/red wire goes to the fuel gauge. Looking at the open end of the connector to the fuel tank unit (not the wiring harness) with the clip on top, these pins are on the bottom left (GND) and bottom middle (gauge). Connect an ohm meter with positive to the gauge pin and negative to the GND pin. Resistance should be 8.0-8.5 ohms when full and 88.5-91.7 ohms when empty.

f) all wires and connections. Easiest way to quick check=use a long jumper wire with an ohm meter to test for conductivity all the way from the fuel gauge pin on the wiring harness connector to the instrument cluster connector to the gauge pin on the wiring harness connector to the fuel tank sending unit. This also tests the intermediate connection between connectors 2I/1B, which join some instrument harness wires to the body harness. Also check to make sure the black wire in the wiring harness connector to the fuel tank sending unit is a good ground. You can clean connectors with QD Electronic Cleaner and seal them against water and corrosion by coating the contacts with silicon dielectric grease.

Good luck!

Joe

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