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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just started having a problem with my 31000 mile '05 dci. The fuel gauge operates fine until about 1/3rd full and then it drops off very quickly into the red and and the low light comes on. 1st time this happened I was towing on a motorway and I pulled into a fuel station within 5 miles or so and checked for a leak, found none so filled up. Only managed to squeeze in 40 litres so obviously thought it was a gauge fault. Next time I was towing on M6 when the gauge dropped quickly again at 1/3rd full. Thought no problem, gauge faulty, fuel station in 25 miles. 24 miles later it started to splutter up a hill and the engine died at the top. freewheeled down the hill and managed to coast to the service station slip road so ran off for a can of diesel. (Jammy or what). Needed the fuel filter to be pumped before it ran again but only put in about 49 litres this time. I reguarly put in 50 - 53 when low with no problems. Ran fine once started and fueled up. I'm now anxious to figure out what the problem is and can only think of a problem with the fuel sender or pump.

Does the fuel sender or something else tell the pump to stop running when it thinks the tank is dry to stop the pump burning out or pumping sludge. As it spluttered before dying it seems like fuel starvation rather than some electronics telling the engine to stop which would have been more immediate.

I'd welcome any feedback because experience tells me that getting my local dealership to look at it will be expensive and frustrating.
 

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Don't know how the sender unit in the tank works,but if you've got gunge in the tank it may be making it stick,could also be blocking the fuel filter .When was your F/F last changed?31K on an 05 plate seems fairly low,has the XY been stood for a long time?Particularly if stood with little diesel in the tank in winter,creates condensation.With diesel engines in boats(often unused for months in winter) this can lead to a fungus growing in the tank unless pretreated.Once there v/difficult to get rid of,most end up being steam cleaned,so most now have a good sized inspection hatch.Don't know if there's a drain plug on an XY tank,but sure someone on here will know.Never heard of the boat problem with a diesel car as most used fairly regularly but have seen reports in the Boating press to the effect that Bio mix is making this problem more frequent.Where do you get your fuel?lots of us on here now use the more expensive BP or Shell,having had F/F problems when using S/Market fuel.Hope you find the problem,let us know how you get on. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your time Woodsie...

It's low milage because I live in Guernsey so milages are low here even thought it's used daily. Therefore I only have to fill up once a month or so unless I'm abroad or in the UK. In fact a lot of the milage has been racked up on 500+ mile journeys often towing a caravan.

The fuel filter was changed out at the beginning of March when I did an oil and filter change myself. (Hence I knew exactly where to go to purge the filter after I'd conked out).

I'm currently running the tank down again whilst carrying a can of diesel to see if the gauge takes a dive in line with the tank level dropping or over a set time frame. Both times I've seen it do it were on motorway stretches when I had no opportunity to stop and see what was going on.

Because the first time it happened saw the gauge drop from 1/3rd full to empty (red light on) in a matter of 10 to 15 minutes or so and I only squeezed in 40 litres suggests to me that the problem is with the sender unit. But because it conked out the next time (still with a good few litres available in the tank) leads me to think that the pump is somehow influenced by the sender. But I've no idea what info the ECU is getting from where or what its telling what to do.
 

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Mmm,could do with an expert like Umbongo to post info about sender unit,fuel pump and any relationship with ECU.Would also be useful to know if there's a drain plug on the tank.Are you limited about where to get fuel on Guernsey?
 

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Hi
Just thinking out loud,
If the fuel tank is plastic and the breather is blocked the tank may have partialy collapsed thus reducing the volume of the tank.
I may be a million miles off the mark but it may be worth a look!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your tips...

We have access to loads of different fuel stations in Guernsey but I tend to use Shell because I have a charge card with them. There are about a dozen Shell stations here and I use several of them.

I've been waiting for the fuel to run down to check if the same happens again (has taken a while because of the low milages here). Again the fuel gauge seemed to go down pretty quick, from just over 1/4 full to just above empty in about 30 miles. I filled up at that point and put in 47 litres which is about normal so I don't know what's going on! I need to let it run out again to see how much it takes. As I said I often put in 50+ litres and never had any sign of running out before.

I'll take a look at the sender connections under the rear seats as suggested in the meantime. Thanks again for your thoughts.
 

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I also had a similar problem with my gauge (2004 Petrol Xy, 120K odometer). It started at the 1/4 tank level going down to "E" and going back to the 1/4 level after re-starting. After a month or so, I saw the same problem happening at the 1/2 mark, with the needle dropping to 1/4. Again, after re-starting, it went back to 1/2.

Google the problem and you'll find owners who had the fuel unit replaced because of corrosion, etc. A quick call with Nissan didn't do much for me, since my Xy was over the warranty....unless I was willing to shed GBP1000 to have the sending units replaced.

While researching on this problem, I came about a page in the internet recommending the use of a higher octane rating fuel. I was always using the normal Shell unleaded, but decided to fill her up with velocity to see if it'll help. After two full tanks of that fuel back in Dec 2009, the problem never repeated to this date.
 

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i think the gauge is over cautious, as having filled the tank a few times when allegedly empty ie the light is on, i have only ever managed to squeeze in 46 litres, which indicates its still nearly a quarter full? Perhaps nissan have done this deliberately as they know the mpg isnt the greatest, and dont want us to get stranded!
 

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Hello Ahto42,

I agree with Mark. :thumbs: My X-Trail usually takes 46-50litres to fill when the "light" comes on.

Recently I ran the car for a few miles with the light on as I could not find a filling station with Ultimate diesel, I usually top up with a small amount of "normal" diesel if this happens - not very often... When I finally located a filling station [it had Ultimate diesel] and I thought I was practically dry... It took 53 litres [£81] for the 426 miles - so there was still a margin for me. :oops:

I hope I do not tempt fate here, only I have never run out of diesel [yes, petrol on a couple of occasions when I was younger :oops: ]
- is it not a bit of a performance re-priming a diesel? :?:

Best wishes, John
 

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I drove to half tank and did 384km (70% city driving)and squized 29.8L in. When the car broke down(luckily in front of my house, went to limp mode before that. With my obd2 scanner i got P1273 code.) i got 684km on the clock.
So i think that is not normal.
 

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Hello Ahto42,

According to Umbongo the P1273 code relates to a faulty Suction Control Valve, as shown in this thread... :thumbs:
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5013

I know that there is more than one specification for the SCV [Suction Control Valve], so please be careful and check you spec before you consider replacing anything.

You may also find this thread helps you... :thumbs:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=3715

Take care and best wishes, John
 

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I filled the the tank with 15L and pumped up the fuel, cleared the error code and car works fine.

Today i checked fuel lines in tank and there whas no fuel going from transfer pump to the other side. Played with fuel gauge sensors and pumped fuel manually to the right side and still nothing. Have to go to my brothers workshop to lift the car and see whats going on under there.
 

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