Temp & Fuel gauges reading high - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
1st Generation (2001-2007) Forum dedicated to the discussion of 1st generation Toyota Highlanders.

 
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#1 Old 09-02-2011, 03:12 PM
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Temp & Fuel gauges reading high

Strange problem here... ever since I bought my '02 Highlander (two months ago) the temp and fuel gauges have been reading too high.

The fuel gauge is always reading about 1/4 tank above what it should be, and shows 1/4 of a tank when the low-fuel light comes on. I've confirmed that the gauge is showing more gas than is in the tank, and the low-fuel light is *correctly* coming on when I have just a couple gallons left.

The temp gauge quickly climbs to 3/4 of the scale and stays there. I checked the coolant temperature with a thermometer, and it's around 190-200 degrees when the gauge is showing 3/4 of the way up.

No check engine light, no other problems with the car (besides oil consumption). The speedo and tach read correctly.

Common sense says to replace the sending units... but it's too much of a coincidence for both gauges to be reading high. I pulled the gauge cluster out, but couldn't see any obvious problems. A decent wiring diagram would be a big help (the one in the Haynes manual doesn't count).

Has anyone else had this problem???
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#2 Old 09-03-2011, 11:00 AM
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The electricals show the fuel sender coming directly to the dash meter assy, but the temp sensor info looks to come in on data bus from the engine ECU. The only thing in common with the fuel and temp meters electrically seems to be the dash assy module.

That the low fuel light comes on correctly would imply the fuel sender is fine. I doubt the temp sensor is faulty--an OBD scan tool would read the temp directly.

The dash assy has it's own voltage regulators. One may be out of tolerance for a variety of reasons, allowing the meters to read high.

If you were up to it, it may be worth pulling the dash meter assy and exercising the electrical connectors and/or examining the circuit board for bad solder joints, loose ground screws, etc.

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#3 Old 09-04-2011, 09:37 AM
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Just a thought here.. and may be a dumb one... but:

Over on the Tacoma side of this forum, it is *very* popular to change gauge colours. I.e. from orange to white or blue (yuck)
here's a typical nightmarishly long thread: Orange + Red?? Yuck!! (How to change gauge colors) Just look at the first part.

Whatever. point is, lots of people have had their instrument gauges apart.

I've always wondered... they (as you can see) have the needles off in the first couple of pics in post#1. To my eyes, I can't see if those needle posts have a notch, or are just completely round & it's a friction fit on the needle drivers.

1) wonder if some-one previous to you had the gauge cluster apart to fix something & F'd up putting it back together (as in, the didn't seat the needles at their proper "home" spot)

2) carrying it further, if you are really brave, wonder if you could use that info to just turn your two gauges down by 1/4 by re-seating them 1/4 turn back on their pins...

That would be a bit of work though - although you already had the cluster out... (& I don't know of any similar write up for our HL, since our gauges are already white)

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#4 Old 09-09-2011, 07:17 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I'm leaning towards the voltage regulators, because the gauges are acting like they're too sensitive (temp gauge starts climbing as soon as the car is started), but just have the needles at the wrong orientation. I'll try to find the voltage regulators whenever I get the chance to tear the dash apart next.
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#5 Old 02-24-2012, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante's Taco View Post
just turn your two gauges down by 1/4 by re-seating them 1/4 turn back on their pins...
This actually worked!

I had to take the gauge cluster completely apart, pry the needles off, plug the core of the gauge cluster back in, turn the ignition to 'run', and then put the needles back on where they belonged. And then reassemble the gauge cluster and dash.

(Of course this only works if you know what the gauges should be reading, i.e. the engined is warmed up completely, and you know exactly how much gas you have).


Much happier now, thanks.
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#6 Old 02-24-2012, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtunderground View Post
This actually worked!

I had to take the gauge cluster completely apart, pry the needles off, plug the core of the gauge cluster back in, turn the ignition to 'run', and then put the needles back on where they belonged. And then reassemble the gauge cluster and dash.

(Of course this only works if you know what the gauges should be reading, i.e. the engined is warmed up completely, and you know exactly how much gas you have).


Much happier now, thanks.
I might have to try this... my first half of my gas tank last 200 miles but the second half only lasts 100 miles no matter what. So I'm leaning towards my gauge is off. Also my temp gauge is always little above halfway when running normally, not sure if this is normal? 2007 V6 BTW.
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#7 Old 02-24-2012, 10:30 PM
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Ryan my '06's temp guage sits just above half way too and i've noticed that the 2nd half of my tank seems to be used up quicker than the 1st.

also is your speedo dead on for speed?

I haven't thought anything of the fuel guage thing because every Japanese car i have ever driven has done the same thing; 1st half of the fuel tank takes forever to drop then the 2nd seems to drop its 1st 1/4 in like a1/3 the distance of the 1st.

2006 Kluger (Highlander) CVX (Sport) 3.3L with leather interior and 7 seats.
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#8 Old 02-25-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix2301 View Post
Ryan my '06's temp guage sits just above half way too and i've noticed that the 2nd half of my tank seems to be used up quicker than the 1st.

also is your speedo dead on for speed?

I haven't thought anything of the fuel guage thing because every Japanese car i have ever driven has done the same thing; 1st half of the fuel tank takes forever to drop then the 2nd seems to drop its 1st 1/4 in like a1/3 the distance of the 1st.
My speedo is accurate as far as I know.
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