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1999 Aspencade
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
About 8 months after I picked up my 99 Aspencade, I was riding home and suddenly the bike died without warning. I knew it was low on gas, I was on my way to the gas station at the time, literally on the freeway offramp at the time it dies. I know for a fact that the low fuel light was working prior to this, so I presumed that I was OK since the light hadn't come on yet.

So my light suddenly stopped working. Any ideas on what might have caused it and how I could fix it? And bear in mind that if any of those ideas involve tearing apart the gas tanks itself, it's a no-go for me. The light does come on when I turn on the ignition, so it's not a bad bulb.

I try not to ride her too low on fuel, but I'm not always at a good gas station when she gets low. Even though she only has a 7 gallon tank, I'm not paying default prices, not here in Southern California. So I always wait & take her to Costco to fill her up, or one other place that has reasonably priced gas. Since the light stopped working, I have been keeping a tall steel water bottle filled with gas in the saddlebag, just in case. It's not a lot of gas, but that should be enough to get me to an actual gas station.

God bless,

~Mark
 

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Piaggio MP3, was 02 GL1800
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it might be gunked up with rust.

but, you can do a quick and easy test.

ride the bike until the tank is below 3 gallons of gas,
syphon, etc.

then remove the fuel pump.
Syphon all the gas...

get on the left side of the bike, reach in with your right hand, and feel towards the left front top of the tank,
you will find the float and 'arm' to the Rheostat that controls the fuel gauge..

Raise it up and down, full swing, lots of times. that will help to scour the rust off the element.
the gauge action should be smooth and follow the float.

IF, you would like to calibrate the gauge, pour in exactly 3.0 gallons of gas,
now bend the float arm, so that when you release it, the gauge shows exactly 1/2 tank.

once that is done, the bottom half of the gauge will read almost precisely the amount left.
the top half will be skewed and read Full most of the time, but who cares?
what you want to know, is how much is left after 150miles of riding....
and the newly calibrated gauge will let you see that right now to the last 16 oz of fuel.

when it hits RED line, it is within 4 oz or so of being empty....

much better than reading Empty, when 3.4 gallons is still in the tank.
 

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Piaggio MP3, was 02 GL1800
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62,332 Posts
IF,
the low fuel light is not working at all,
you can repair the resistor w/o buying a new float

 

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Pwhoever
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3,413 Posts
It is probably a bad thermistor and there are several options if you search to fix it.

But the easiest way to solve this is to reset your trip meter each time you fill up. Pay attention to how many miles you drive and then fuel up when you think it's ready. To get a base idea to work with, run about 100 to 150 miles and fuel up. Figure out how many miles you drove and how much fuel you put in. 30mpg isn't unreasonable so fueling up at the 100-150 mile mark would give you a good idea. You have a 6.6 gallon tank and at 30mpg, you could easily make this distance.

Obviously there will be variables where you may get better or worse mileage but you will have a better idea on when to refuel. But paying attention to your average mpg and where the level on the fuel gauge is showing, you really don't need the low fuel light.
 

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Does it pass the lamp test when you turn on the key?
If not, check the bulb, if so, check the thermistor.
BTW you can't change this bulb to LED with the stock setup.
 

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Premium Member
1998 GL1500 Asp and 2017 GL1800 4AC
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404 Posts
it might be gunked up with rust.

but, you can do a quick and easy test.

ride the bike until the tank is below 3 gallons of gas,
syphon, etc.

then remove the fuel pump.
Syphon all the gas...

get on the left side of the bike, reach in with your right hand, and feel towards the left front top of the tank,
you will find the float and 'arm' to the Rheostat that controls the fuel gauge..

Raise it up and down, full swing, lots of times. that will help to scour the rust off the element.
the gauge action should be smooth and follow the float.

IF, you would like to calibrate the gauge, pour in exactly 3.0 gallons of gas,
now bend the float arm, so that when you release it, the gauge shows exactly 1/2 tank.

once that is done, the bottom half of the gauge will read almost precisely the amount left.
the top half will be skewed and read Full most of the time, but who cares?
what you want to know, is how much is left after 150miles of riding....
and the newly calibrated gauge will let you see that right now to the last 16 oz of fuel.

when it hits RED line, it is within 4 oz or so of being empty....

much better than reading Empty, when 3.4 gallons is still in the tank.
The original poster is asking about the Low Fuel Light, not the fuel gauge.
 

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Piaggio MP3, was 02 GL1800
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The original poster is asking about the Low Fuel Light, not the fuel gauge.
I took care of that situation in post #4
 

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The original posted said "Even though she only has a 7 gallon tank, " it does NOT have a 7 gallon tank, He said he only fills up at Costco because gas is cheaper there, How much is gas worth when you run out and have to push the bike off the freeway in Calif. With only a 6 gallon tank on the wing it isn't that much cheaper to fill at what ever station is near. As others said, if the low fuel light does not work use the fuel gauge and reset the trip meter after every fill up. Around 150 miles on the trip meter start looking for fuel.
 

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1999 Aspencade
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The original posted said "Even though she only has a 7 gallon tank, " it does NOT have a 7 gallon tank, He said he only fills up at Costco because gas is cheaper there, How much is gas worth when you run out and have to push the bike off the freeway in Calif. With only a 6 gallon tank on the wing it isn't that much cheaper to fill at what ever station is near. As others said, if the low fuel light does not work use the fuel gauge and reset the trip meter after every fill up. Around 150 miles on the trip meter start looking for fuel.
It's 6.6 gallons, I was rounding up.

And I try to never let it get low enough to need a low fuel light, but if it was easy to fix, I'd rather have it working than not, even with the emergency gas I keep in my saddlebag.
 

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1998 GL1500 Asp and 2017 GL1800 4AC
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Mark, did you ever get this fixed?
 

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I know this is an older post but I have a fix. I fill all my vehicles at half a tank. That way I never run out of gas and have a half a tank to get out of town if need be! Fire, earthquake, emergency run to hospital etc...


Rayjoe
 
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GL1800
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When I had my 1500 the low fuel light would come on about where I expected it to. But it seemed like it was kinda dim and sometimes it did not stay on. I only saw it come on maybe a dozen times in 10 years. Your best fuel guage is the odometer.
 

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The light does start out dim and slowly gets brighter as the fuel level goes down. It also takes a minute or so to come on when you first turn on the key, even if you are very low. It is just the way it was designed using a thermistor and the fuel as a heat sink.
 
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