© www.1600i.de
Created 05.02.2014

1600i fuel gauge sender repair/clean up

von phade » Fr 16. Dez 2011, 19:46

Hi everyone,

This could be a very useful tip to everyone who has had problems with the 1600i Beetle fuel gauge sender. In my case, my 1600i Beetle's fuel gauge was reading very erratically until it nearly stopped working altogether (not very helpful when you don't know how much fuel you have got left in the fuel tank !).

I have recently tried to get a new fuel gauge sender for my 1600i Beetle (original VW part number BAA 919 051 A), I could not find one from anywhere. :( When I tried the VW Classic Parts Center (via the availability enquiry and via the contact form), that part wasn't available either. :( The only option I had was to find out what was wrong with the fuel gauge sender (I think it's completely different to the carburetter one if I remember rightly).

Anyway, here are the pics of how I repaired the fuel gauge sender:-

Fuel gauge sender removed:-

I then very carefully bent the metal tabs securing the plastic rheostat/contact housing part of the fuel gauge sender with a jeweler's flat-bladed screwdriver and a pair of pliers to separate the plastic housing from the rest of the fuel gauge sender. Here's what the fuel gauge looks like inside before I cleaned up it's contacts and rheostat:-

This is what I used to clean up it's contacts and rheostat. It's also very useful to use that stuff for cleaning up other electrical contacts:-

And this is what part of the fuel gauge sender looks like after I had cleaned it up. Notice the difference:-

After I had cleaned up the fuel gauge sender, I just put it back together and bent the metal tabs back into place and the fuel gauge sender now works as if it was brand new. :)

von Manfred » Fr 16. Dez 2011, 21:13

Hello Phil,
thanks a lot for this good documetation.

Just one small add.
The sensor measures against ground.
Therefore one of the five washers is of copper.
But that will not help much, if the fuel-tank himself has no good ground conection.
So its allways a good idea to use a seperat ground conection.

The measurements of the ohm values of a brand new fuel-sender are here:


von phade » Fr 16. Dez 2011, 21:31

Hi Manfred,

I measured my 1600i's fuel tank sender and a Jopex fuel gauge sender (they are completely useless for a carburetter Beetle) for comparison:-

Jopex fuel gauge sender:-

Empty: 293 ohm

Full: 1.2 ohm

1600i Beetle (Jaeger) fuel gauge sender:-

Empty: 392 ohm

Full: 16.6 ohm

I have fitted the Jopex fuel gauge sender for now to prevent any dirt/moisture from getting inside the fuel tank whilst I was cleaning my 1600i's fuel gauge sender. The Jopex one seems to work at the moment anyway, but I will refit my 1600i's fuel gauge (probably tomorrow) as I know it will work correctly.

The main problem with my 1600i's fuel gauge sender was that the contacts were very dirty (some parts of them were almost black) and the contact ring (from the rheostat to the spade connector) wasn't making proper contact with the other half of the fuel gauge sender, eg:-

Copper ring:-