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I’m having problems with the fuel gauge on my BMW e46 2000 3 Series. The needle doesn’t fluctuate and is always idle, even when fuel is put in. I’ve seen it fluctuate a few times but it’s idle the majority of the time. The fuel light always stays on as well and never turns off when the car is started or running. Could it be the fuel filter underneath the back seat or a instrument cluster fuse blown? I’d like to know if anyone has had the same issue or knows what the problem could be. If someone has any kind of solution, link me to something or let me know anything that could be affecting the problem. It would be much appreciated as it could save me a lot of money paying for a mechanic to look at it, thank you!
 

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To add to MrMCar’s excellent advice, the fuel pump is located under the rear passenger seat bottom on the right side of the car. The pump has a fuel level sender. The fuel level sender can go bad. FYI, the fuel filter is located under the car, under (left hand drive) the drivers seat, behind a metal panel held in place with 10mm nuts.
 

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There are two fuel level sensors. One on the left side of the tank and one on the right side. First thing is to follow MrMCar’s instructions to see if the readings from the sensors make sense based on how much gas you believe is in the tank. If only one reading is off then possibly a bad level sending unit. If both are bad then maybe a cluster problem.


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I had a similar issue last year, turned out to be the fuel level sensor built into the pump.

Great advice here as always, start with the gauge cluster tests to see what is being reported, and you can always pull the sensor on the left or fuel pump on the right and put a multimeter on it to confirm the values.

Fuel pump and level sensor on the left are extremely easy to access!
 
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