View Full Version : Fuel gauge bounce

06-03-2003, 05:44 PM
The fuel gauge on my 03 outback bounces quite a bit, to the point that it is almost useless. Just sitting on the trailer parked in a level spot with the ignition on it will bounce from 1/4 to 1/2 or even up to the 3/4 mark. I have checked all of the wires fo a good connection. What I am wondering now is if this is normal or something to have checked next time I am at the dealer.

06-04-2003, 08:30 AM
This past weekend we ran the boat pretty hard and the gauge actually pegged at "E". Filled it up and only took 19 gal, out of a 24 gal tank. So it would seem there's some play in the gauge. I would say that the highest bounce would be closest to correct.

06-04-2003, 10:37 AM
I wasn't all that worried about the incorrect readings, I've never had a boat that the fuel meter worked well on. But yeah, same thing here, rode the boat hard all weekend the thing was pegged on "E" went and filled it up and after 1/2 hour its reading about 1/4 tank but bouncing all the way up to 3/4 tank in calm water.

06-17-2003, 02:35 PM
BL: None of these fuel guages work WELL .... but these guages are particularly bad.particularly badly!

06-20-2003, 01:52 PM
I have not been able to get my gauge to read full under any circumstance. I have come to a complete stop at the marina, unloaded everyone from the boat and it will read E, still jumping around, and then I can only get about 16 gal. in it until it is pouring out profusely (even while pumping extremely slowly) then the gauge reads only about tank. It bounces around like hell even when it is supposably full. My 03 Outback has about 10 hours on it and this is my biggest bitch. But it is a big problem!!!

06-23-2003, 03:43 PM
I traded messages with some folks last year concerning this same issue. My dealer has replaced the sending unit, and replaced the gauge twice (last time with a gauge from a Supra). I still have no idea how much fuel I have, even at idle on calm water. I traded in a 1976 Checkmate and it always gave me a true reading whether at idle or 45 mph. Brian....are you guys looking into this or is there something our dealers are missing? Like most other owners, I LOVE MY BOAT, but I don't want to turn a good day into a bad one by running out of gas while cruising along and the gauge shows 3/4 full.

06-24-2003, 11:25 PM
Same here with the 99 version ( not an LS ). A couple times I've slid the rear seat forward, removed a small center pad using a screwdriver, and visually checked the level in the tank ( you can see through the plastic ). Its always had more in it than the gauge indicates.

Granite Mobius
06-25-2003, 02:18 PM
I'm hate to admit this but I've only owned my '01 Mobius for about a month and have already run out of gas once. I'll tell you what I'm doing now. I totally ignore the guage and just keep track of my time. With 5 jerry cans in the tank...I know I'll have 4 to 5 hours of running time. and the 2 1/2 gallon "easy on the ego" emergency can is always stowed away in the back locker.

Hey great participation fellow Moomba owners!! Great site.

06-25-2003, 03:11 PM
Moomba,...obviously this has been a problem for many years and is now a problem with my 03 Outback as well. What is being done to correct the problem?

Brian Raymond
06-28-2003, 11:35 PM
Newbe, sorry for the delayed reply, I just got back from vacation(I actually get to go on one). I have surveyed the responses, I personally have not run into this issue because they are only run with approx. 8gals. of fuel. I will make sure this matter receives prompt attention, by notifying Matt Brown(Moomba Design Engineer). I will let all know of any info. that is passed on. Stay tuned.Brian Raymond

06-29-2003, 08:14 AM
In my airplane the gas tanks are rubber bladders and they have a baffle at the inside (low) end to help reduce slosh from the outlet. his keeps the sending unit more stable as well. Maybe the tanks need to have such a feature. But, we never go by the guage in the air anyway--always time.

Maybe Skier;s Chice could sell an aftermarket kit that woul allow us to hook up a 2.5 gallon metal outboard can as a reserve tank????

06-30-2003, 09:39 AM
I contacted a local dealership Brickyard - Coldwater, MI and they said they have had to replace a doz or so this year and they are putting in a different sending unit that what is standard issue and that seems to take care of the problem. Not sure what unit they are using.

06-30-2003, 12:02 PM
Hey Outback-Newbe,

Did the dealer you contacted replace the tanks AND the sending units, or just the sending units (with a different brand)? Do you have any info on what brand(s) they used, or can you give us the name and number of the dealer?

07-01-2003, 04:29 PM
Not sure,...i will find out on Thursday whern i take my boat in to get "fixed" and get the 10 hour service completed. I will let you know.

07-07-2003, 10:41 AM
When i took my boat to the dealership they refused to service it since i had not purchased it there. What a waist of a bunch of time! The owner went so far as to tell me to get off his property. He relly made a scene in front of other customers who could not help but laugh at his antics.

07-07-2003, 12:13 PM
Yes,...refused even after sceduling the apt. and knowing that the boat was not purchased from them. The owner walked out while i was checking in for my apt. and noticing that the boat was not purchased there he told me to get off his property and gave instruction to his employees that they should not work on the boat. He made one hell of a scene yelling in front of other customers. He was upset because i did not buy it there,...hell he was $3,000.00 higher than another location about an hour further away. I don't have $3,000.00 to just throw away to make him happy.

07-30-2003, 02:11 PM
Hey Brian,
Any word yet on this from the design engineers?
Thanks for your help!

Brian Raymond
07-30-2003, 09:05 PM
Looking at liquid filled gauges, and enclosed float housings, the floats used now are very sensitive and directly exposed to fuel slosh, will keep posted. Brian Raymond

08-25-2003, 09:16 AM
Any news on Moomba's fix? I would like my dealer to make this change at years end.

08-26-2003, 02:05 PM
I have never had much faith in marine fuel gauges for all the above reasons. We spent the weekend with my (new to me) Boomerang with a jerry jug on board just in case. The peak fluctuations on the gauge did indicate some idea of what was in the tank. I agree that this is not satisfactory but it seems typical of the standard these days. My 1957 boat has a reserve capacity controlled by a manual tap. Very crude but very effective and gives complete peace of mind. I suppose I would install a similar system (an extra pick up and three way tap) in the Moomba over replacing the gauge/sender if I felt it was a real issue.
The boat is fantastic!

09-17-2003, 07:59 AM
Going to be taking my boat in for winterizing soon. Would like to have this corrected at the same time if there is a fix found. What is the progress? Thanks!

03-25-2004, 05:46 PM
What is the update?

07-21-2004, 03:59 PM
Any update on this? It has been over a year now since the original post.

08-09-2008, 09:52 PM
Now that it's been 5 years...any news on this issue?

08-10-2008, 06:16 AM
I hired a miget to climb down in the tank........then he sticks up 4 fingers for full, 3 for three quarters, two for half, one for a quarter, and ten for 'break out yer paddle'

08-13-2008, 10:08 AM
My gauge always says full so I don't ever put any gas in.

08-14-2008, 10:11 PM
I have an 03 Outback LS, the gauge works okay until about half a tank. From there it goes from half to below E and so on. Very annoying.

05-19-2010, 12:01 AM
I have an '07 Outback, great boat, but if we are out for a weekend or even a very long day with a lot of pulling skiers/boarders, this fuel capacity concern can be a drag. Is the gauge thing ever going to get a direct response? Alternatively, is there a kit for adding fuel capacity beyond the 28 gallons in the Outback? Sure, you can bring a jerry can, etc, but has anyone come up with any more convenient/permanent solution? Thanks...

05-20-2010, 11:19 PM
The main reason the gauge bounces all around is there is no baffles in the tank like on your car. This is strictly a large plastic container to hold fuel. As the fuel lowers the gauge will bounces as fuel sloshes around.

You could add more tanks to the boat but just like ballast it requires a space to put the tanks in, you can then plumb it to the main tank, or add an electric pump. In any case any pump system you choose to do would still need to pump fuel to the main tank as this is where the pump to the engine is located.