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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all! I just went through the exhausting process of replacing both fuel sending units (levels). After the 1st attempt, the gas needle actually remained just under "E", so I suspect one of the levels was pinned somehow. So I went in for round #2 and found the level on the passenger side pinned by the black equalizer tube. Put everything back together, gas needle seemed to be working correctly, and gassed-up my tank.
This morning, my son calls to say the needle was staying low near E again and slowly rising. Ugh. Talk about disappointment. Good thing I left the seats out - just in case. So I'm about to go back in for round #3 to check closely for ANY other possible pinching spots for those sensor levels, and also check the plug connections for each at the top.
Before going back in, is there anything else you can think of that I should be checking? The sensor levels would seem to be the culprit, and the ones I ordered (Dorman 911-048) are direct fits for the Original Equipment (OE) Number: 944300W000, 944600W000, I just want to see if there is anything else I should keep in mind.
Lastly, do you folks disconnect both battery cables, just one, and/or the fuel relays/fuses under the hood for this operation? After I run the fuel line dry to relieve pressure, I want to be safe but also don't want to interrupt anything I don't have to. Thanks in advance for any tips and wisdom you might have to pass along. Here's to hoping that 3rd time's a charm.

PS ~ I'll update by saying I just watched the gas gauge in action. Upon start-up, it shot-up to almost full, then slowly started to drop to about half, then back up & down slowly. This morning my son said the low light lit-up briefly, but not this time. Also, at no time have we ever received a CEL during this event. No codes.
 

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I replaced both of my sensors in the last year or so, got them from Amazon. The 9xx part numbers look about correct. Hmm, purging fuel lines, disconnecting battery and/or fuses sound like something I probably should have done. I had to do it twice, second time I saw that one of them was obstructed. When reinstalling them the second time I kept checking for free range of movement as best I could.

I imagine you could try disconnecting one sensor and see how the needle behaves, then swap which one is disconnected and see which one is erratic. Maybe just a visual inspection of the spring pressure electrical connections would help - to make sure none of them got bent out of place. If that doesn't help, then I'd suspect you'd need to take one/both out and test with an ohm meter - and for that I'd recommend doing it out and away from the vehicle. Certainly don't want a chance of a spark around an open tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When reinstalling them the second time I kept checking for free range of movement as best I could.
That really is key. It's such a tight space, with little room to work and wiggle those things in & out, that just about anything can happen. Last night I took the SUV to pick up my wife from the airport and watched the gas gauge probably more than the road itself...... it never budged and worked perfectly. Wouldn't it be something if one of the levels was barely caught on something and worked its way loose? I'll continue to watch it and empty my tank in case I go back in this weekend. Thanks for the input Jeff. By the way, my wife flew back in from Seattle. Ha.
 

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If you have to troubleshoot to see which one is causing erratic indication, you can temporarily short the gauge connections at one, then the other, of the sender units. The gauge will show only half-scale operation but a good sender will cause smooth operation in that half-scale range.

The sender circuit isn't powered up unless the ignition switch is on so disconnecting the battery isn't necessary.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you have to troubleshoot to see which one is causing erratic indication, you can temporarily short the gauge connections at one, then the other, of the sender units. The gauge will show only half-scale operation but a good sender will cause smooth operation in that half-scale range.
That sure would seem to make sense as opposed to cracking open a port for no reason.

Is there an easy way to describe how to short-out the connector at the top of each sending unit to avoid messing-up a connection altogether?
 

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Is there an easy way to describe how to short-out the connector at the top of each sending unit to avoid messing-up a connection altogether?
A dim memory of doing this on my '01 Santa Fe many years ago suggests using a short wire or paper clip as a jumper, taking care to keep it from shorting against ground. It's a temporary arrangement only for troubleshooting. At least you can then see which side is causing the problem.

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I've learned as it seems a few others have on here that it is best to go ahead and replace both when only 1 starts to act up. The fuel sensors to be a weak point for these years of Santa Fe and my trusted independent repair facility has seen their fair share of em and strongly recommended replacing both when 1 started to act up on my mothers 07 at 60,000 miles. We did that and so far so good, 10,000 miles later. Kudos to those of you who were able to do the job yourself!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Still monitoring the situation. Been 5 days since replacing both sensor levels, and the gas needle has been quite steady. A slight (rare) movement, but otherwise doing well so far. I'm going to let the tank continue to drop as low as I can to see how the sensors react.
 
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