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post #13 of (permalink) Old 8th March 2007
Technical Supremo

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Car Manufacturers have yet to get to grips with this problem. It should be remembered that the fuel tank senders are notorously unreliable. Even on older cars the guage readouts were even worse. Its basically just poor design in my opinion. The only way to accurately calculate the amount of fuel used is by installing a good quality flow meter (this calculates how much fuel has actually been consumed by the engine). This is not cheap and is used on aircraft - even it has its difficuties as it relies on the pilot/driver to accurately input what amount of fuel has actually been added to the tank each time it is filled. Even after that the computer can still get the estimated miles left to travel wrong as it assumes everything will run as normal. It only takes a traffic jam or simple engine malfunction and any calculations will be useless. As a safeguard the onboard computers are normally programmed to err on the safe side. - in otherwords warn you well in advance. Additionally it should be remembered modern cars don't like running out of fuel,
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