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amitaj

Why fuel tank each quarter deliver different mileage

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Has anyone noticed that fuel tank gauge has 4 quarter and each quarter deliver different mileage? This difference is also huge like below:

  • 1st quarter - 120 kms
  • 2nd quarter - 80 kms
  • 3rd quarter - 60 kms
  • 4th quarter - 100 kms

I am just curious to know if this is happening with you guys too or not? If yes, then why?

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Its basically how most of the cars fuel level sensor is, its basically like the float you have on your toilet flush tank.

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  • 1st quarter - 120 kms - because they overfill the tank at the station
  • 2nd quarter - 80 kms - normal
  • 3rd quarter - 60 kms - so that you rush to the station to refill it :)
  • 4th quarter - 100 kms - in case you missed 3rd quarter and keep ignoring, you have some fuel reserves so that you are not stranded without fuel. 
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The reason for this is that the cars fuel tanks are not perfectly rectangular/square and the fuel sensor just measures the level of the fuel. Hence each vertical quarter actually has a different volume leading to different mileage...

 

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Good answer pankaj. The fuel tank is just whatever shape they can fit in the space given. 

 

IMG_1006.PNG

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Excellent observation and clarification @pankajrg

Awesome question @amitaj I also used to wonder and get frustrated sometime due to this discrepancy.

Question to car manufacturer, that why can't you study the fuel tank properly before installing the fuel sensor and calibrate the gauge to tell actual fuel remaining. This is the most important info that every driver rely on daily basis, than adding tons of modern gizmos in car that get used once in a while.

 

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The problem is the sender is just an old fashioned variable resistor. Below is a picture of a fuel level unit from a modern Touareg. 

The float (black part) floats on top of the fuel and moves the arm up and down. At the end of the arm is an electrical contact. This contact slides over the resistance material (curved silver part) and the voltage changes depending on where the contact is sitting on the resistance material. An electrical signal is sent to the level gauge on the dashboard which is interpreted as the fuel level.

Herein lies the problem, the height of the fuel is being measured, not the volume of the fuel. 

To design and manufacture an accurate computer system would cost a lot of money. The current system is cheap and cheerful. Which is what the majority of end users want. Cheap. 

IMG_1030.JPG

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@Barry.all technology when newly introduced is expensive, but eventually new things get invented and you would find the technology being mass produced and cheap. I agree with @Gaurav bhai that they need to introduce a system to monitor exact volume of fuel. Although it never really bothered me, but when using a rent-a-car which I am not used to, sometimes it surprises me when the needle drops from half tank to below quarter within no time at all.

The point about the fuel tank being produced in any shape they can fit is even valid with mobile phone nowadays as the non-removable batteries are no longer rectangular, they shape it in any way they can maximize the space usage and increase the battery life by 2 -3%.

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