No Fuel Gauge

From CEM to VEM, from LED to lightbulb and more. If you have an electrical problem, like a broken info-centre, search for answers in this category. This is also the place to be when you expect the problem to be of an electrical nature...

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yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

No Fuel Gauge

Post by yorkievolvo » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:48 pm

The info centre in my turbo 48'0 doesn't work: hasn't since I got the car.
I could read the fuel gauge by moving my head around, changing the viewing angle, until the light fell on the gauge and the bars were visible.
However, even that's gone - there are no bars to view.
I can manage without the fuel gauge but am going on a couple of long runs in the near future and would appreciate having a functioning gauge.
Anybody got any ideas? I don't need the full info centre - always thought it was a toy - just the fuel gauge.

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jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1766
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Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by jamescarruthers » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:54 pm

‎Well if you could just about see it, then all it needed was a new bulb which is easy enough to get. I'm rather pressed for time but someone will be along to fill you in soon I hope.  It is easily available for less than a tenner.

If it now needs more than a bulb then Brinkie is your man.‎

Change that bulb (and the rest while the cluster is out) and you might be lucky.‎

Remember that the info centre gives you temperature ‎read out. If I hadn't have had an info centre when everything went wrong last month in Scotland I would have cooked the engine good and proper. Thankfully it said 'STOP', so I did, to find all the coolant had escaped!
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

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brinkie
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Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by brinkie » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:07 am

I'm winding down the instrument cluster repairs due to time constraints, so I cannot help with that in the foreseeable future.
But the bulb is dead cheap in the UK, in The Netherlands I have to pay twice as much.
Only 2.25 + 1.95 postage here: https://www.autobulbsdirect.co.uk/r6412 ... -base.html
Before you put a new bulb in, clean the contacts on the circuit board with a fibre brush (or lacking that, with very fine sandpaper). You can apply contact cleaner but be prepared for some smoke if you switch the instrument cluster back on, the heat of the bulbs makes the contact cleaner evaporate which gives smoke and smell. It is harmless but it might be frightening :lol:
Check the fuses; the info centre computer shares a fuse with the cigarette lighter. It's specified at only 7.5 amps so a little accident in the 12V socket and the fuse blows.
If the fuel gauge bars are still invisible, try and reseat the info centre computer which sits behind the white plastic cover at the back of the instrument cluster (3 screws).
And don't forget to check out the excellent How-to written by Jaster and yours truly: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=35684
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by yorkievolvo » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:25 am

Once again, thank you gentlemen.
However, removing the dash and tinkering with electronics - not my thing. Fingers like bananas and a work history which includes rivet guns and spanners but no electrics and, certainly, no electronics.
I was hoping for something like “remove fuse X, spit on it, turn round three times and re-install fuse - all will be well”.
However, as it’s not to be; when I have a few days to spare (and a death-wish), I’ll give it a go.
On a different note, printing from the forum didn’t work - probably me (& electronics, again - computer this time). I need written instructions, so I’ll have to find a work-around.
Thanks again

yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by yorkievolvo » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:26 am

Once again, thank you gentlemen.
However, removing the dash and tinkering with electronics - not my thing. Fingers like bananas and a work history which includes rivet guns and spanners but no electrics and, certainly, no electronics.
I was hoping for something like “remove fuse X, spit on it, turn round three times and re-install fuse - all will be well”.
However, as it’s not to be; when I have a few days to spare (and a death-wish), I’ll give it a go.
On a different note, printing from the forum didn’t work - probably me (& electronics, again - computer this time). I need written instructions, so I’ll have to find a work-around.
Thanks again

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brinkie
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Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by brinkie » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:02 pm

You can remove the instrument cluster and send it to me, but I'm not doing this for free ;)
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by yorkievolvo » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:31 pm

Been away for a few days and out of touch.
Thanks for the offer, Brinkie; I'll be contacting you when I'm in a better position.
Now, on with the story.
Following the 'How To', the info-centre was removed, cleaned and continuity of all connections was checked, then it was re-installed - no joy.
Repeated the exercise a couple of times but to no avail.
Tomorrow, I'll go through the procedure once again. Luckily, the dash is now only held in place with a couple of screws.
This time, I might employ the soldering-iron. Not looking forward to that!
If it still doesn't work, the car will only be used on short runs until I locate a replacement info-centre.
Anybody got a spare?

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Jaster
Knows an Aerodeck isn't a 480
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Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by Jaster » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:35 pm

Can you elaborate on what you mean by 'continuity' in this case? I ask only as a bad joint on the board might well work on the bench but then not work in the car, or at certain temperatures, or pretty much depending on which way the wind is blowing. Also fairly hard to verify that things are working on the bench unless you have a suitable test jig to feed voltage and signals into the cluster.

Don't worry too much about the soldering aspect, it's definitely one of the more straightforward procedures that one comes up against in board repair. Even if it's been a while since you've worked on a board (or even if it's your first time for that matter) it's pretty intuitive after you've done the first couple of joints. The only hint that immediately springs to mind is to use a relatively large tip and ensure that you're heating both the leg of the connector and the pad - since it's an old car rather than state-of-the-art electronics the joints are quite large and (mostly) well spaced which makes things easier, and you don't have to worry so much about keeping your iron at the right temperature and lifting the pads etc.
Current: '94 GT & '88 ES
Former: '89 ES

yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by yorkievolvo » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:32 pm

Apologies Jaster for not answering your post. I thought I had but it seems my reply got lost somewhere in the electronics.
As I've said before 'me and electronics don't mix'.
'Continuity' in my case meant setting a multi-meter to the lowest ohms range, connecting the probes of a multi-meter to the ends of an electrical path and obtaining a reading - any reading! I checked all paths this way and obtained readings for every path so assumed all was ok and the fault was elsewhere.
Then your point about bench work and a form of test rig made me realise my approach was, in all probability: wrong.
And your reference to 'quite large' electrical joints made me realise that we are a long way apart when it comes to defining size!
Unfortunately, been a bit off-colour for the last week so it might be a couple of days before I take the cluster out again and heat up the iron.
Thanks again!

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Jaster
Knows an Aerodeck isn't a 480
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Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by Jaster » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:07 pm

Sounds like you are 90% of the way there, like I said the dry joint repair (if that is indeed the cause, let's hope it is as it's an easy fix) is pretty straightforward once you've done the first few joints.

It also occurs to me that if it's literally just a case of a bulb or two not illuminating then it could be a bad trace somewhere, but that also wouldn't be the end of the world as the lights that provide the 'backlight' are always on, so you should be able to find suitable voltage and ground elsewhere to feed to the bulb in question. Also worth going over the exposed traces where the bulbs make contact with the board with contact cleaner/isopropyl alchohol for good measure.
Current: '94 GT & '88 ES
Former: '89 ES

yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by yorkievolvo » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:58 pm

Apologies Jaster for not replying to your post earlier - not been near the car for a few days.
Used the soldering-iron on all the pins, cleaned bulb connections then re-installed info-centre cluster - info-centre still didn't work.
Oh, and now the L/H indicator light doesn't work even with a new bulb.
One step forward - three steps back.
I'll give it another go within the next few days but, at the moment, I'm sick of it.

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brinkie
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Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by brinkie » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:48 pm

Check the fuses, the infocentre is on the same fuse as the cigarette lighter. Although it may be very well possible that the infocentre computer has died.
Also, the pins inside the green and grey connectors may get pushed out of its little bracket inside the connector (check visibly), you can just click it back on if it's loose.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by yorkievolvo » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:45 am

Thanks Brinkie.
I'll leave the next info-centre R & R for a couple of days - but I'll check the fuse this afternoon.

yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by yorkievolvo » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:27 pm

Update.
Replacement Info-centre supplied by Sylvia - many thanks Sylvia.
The cold weather meant it took a couple of days to install it.
Now it is installed and working I'm in info-overload - bags of lights and stuff. I love it!
Thanks for advice and info.

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jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1766
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by jamescarruthers » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:45 pm

Excellent news! A fully lit 480 interior is a great place to be!
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

User avatar
brinkie
480 Expert
Posts: 638
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:20 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: No Fuel Gauge

Post by brinkie » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:16 am

yorkievolvo wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:29 pm
Update.
Replacement Info-centre supplied by Sylvia - many thanks Sylvia.
The cold weather meant it took a couple of days to install it.
Now it is installed and working I'm in info-overload - bags of lights and stuff. I love it!
Thanks for advice and info.
:hopping: :hopping: :hopping:
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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