1987 Porsche 944 – Fuel Gauge Issue

One of the issues with the 1987 Porsche 944 project car that I had purchased was that the fuel gauge did not function.  I did some quick internet research, and since I had an issue with the temperature gauge as well, I found that there was a resistor on the dash board that supposedly fixes the issue.  So I purchased that resistor and replaced it.

That job was pretty easy and I put new bulbs into the dash as well since I had it apart.  I didn’t take any pictures of the disassembly because it was really straightforward and I didn’t even think about it.  There are a couple of screws in the vents on above the radio that were kind of hidden but once they were removed, the whole dash just came right out.

The replacement of the resistor was really easy; you take the old one out and slide the new one in.  If you took the dash apart, you can do this!


I also purchased slightly brighter bulbs for the dash too.  I got this information from Clark’s garage at this link.

Unfortunately this did not solve my fuel problem……The temperature gauge started working better but that was not great either, I may have a sticking Thermostat.

So I had to go and actually figure out what the issue was.  I recommend Clark’s Garage for any 944 troubleshooting since it has a wealth of information.   I followed the procedure in this article and saw that I was getting a reading at the sender that the tank was empty.  This may have been true so I went and filled the tank.  I came back and tested again.  This time I got the same reading, I knew it was full so the sender was not sending a good signal.  This is probably my problem.

So I took out the fuel level indicator from the tank.  A word of advice, if you just did what I did and filled the tank, go drive around for a little bit before removing the fuel level sender, I had gas all over the back of the car!  Lesson learned the hard way!

The fuel level sender is under the rear carpet.

Once I got the sender out, I could see that the issue was that the float was stuck at the bottom.  This car must have been sitting for awhile and the sender got stuck at the bottom indicating that there was no gas in the car.  I took some fine grit sandpaper and cleaned off the “rails” that the float rides on and made sure that the mechanism was moving without any hindrance.  Once I was satisfied that it was moving properly, I cleaned it some more to make sure I would not have an issue.  I did not want to do this again.

After putting the fuel level sender back in the car, the fuel gauge was working!  It floats around a little bit but at least you can see if you have gas or not.  It seems to be pretty accurate as well.  Nice easy fix, didn’t cost me a dime!



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