Instrument Cluster or Fuel Pump


My Audi A4 2009 stopped recording fuel level at the instrument cluster. The dealer reported finding two faults–one coming from the instrument cluster and the other from the fuel pumps. I’ve asked if they can narrow down the problem further and they said this is as far as they can narrow it down. They recommend replacing the instrument cluster first @$2,270 and if that doesn’t resolve the issue then replace the fuel pumps @$1,613. Has anyone experienced this problem and what was the solution? Is it possible to narrow down the problem further so I don’t spend unecessarily? Am I paying too much? Thanks for your insight!

You might post this on an Audi forum.

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There are Audi owners on this site, I am not one. They might have some ideas,
If it were mine, I would ignore it and just fill the tank every 200 miles,


The resistance of the fuel level units can be measured with an ohm meter to diagnose the failure. I don’t believe fuel gages are unique on Audis.


Great idea!

I’m not a fan of guess work; especially 4 digit guessing. Specs show the sending unit in the tank is about 46 ohms full and 300 ohms on empty. It seems to me that the easiest thing to do would be to unplug a connector between the pump sending unit and gauge; and then use a variable resistor (a.k.a. potentiometer) to check the gauge by varying the pot’s resistance.

When I worked for VW they had a very analog tool that was used for checking gauges. It simply had a twist knob with some rotating numbers similar to an old nightstand alarm clock.
Unplug the sender, connect the leads, turn on the key, and dial the given resistance readings in while watching the dash gauge. Accurate and easy to do.

I might ask if the dash temp gauge is fine. Unless it’s changed, many Euro cars used a voltage regulator as part of the cluster. It’s called a pitchfork and keeps the voltage steady to avoid fluctuations caused by varying electrical loads. If the temp gauge is good then this scenario is far less likely.


For what it’s worth… no dealer is going to want to spend a lot of time trying to track down an electrical problem on a 12 year old car. That’s why they’re just wanting to replace all the of the big, expensive parts all at once. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if they tried to just sell you a new car.

My recommendation would be to take it to an local, independent repair shop…or just learn to live without the fuel gauge. As others said above, just fill it up every 200 miles or so.


Do you have to drop tank for FP? Or is there access panel under seat or in trunk?

Again? I need to take Audi off my want list. Just kidding, it was never on my want list. :rofl:


Paying too much ? Don’t know , that could be the rate for dealers in your area where ever that is. An independent shop should be less costly but parts for a 2009 Audi might be hard to find . Search for an Audi shop and expect to pay 150.00 to 200.00 for a real diagnostic . Dealers really don’t want this kind of repair as the chance of it coming back is high.

This is a duplicate thread . @cdaquila Combination time again.

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The OP needs to find an independent foreign car/German car specialist in his area. The expertise there is likely to be as good as at the Audi dealership, and the price for this repair will almost surely be FAR cheaper.


A competent mechanic should determine wat the problem is rather than throw parts at it. Find someone else to troubleshoot the problem.


Set your trip odometer when you get gas. Start by filling up every 200 miles, keep increasing the miles untilit takes all but 5 gallons of the tank to fill it. then use that number of miles as your maximum before filling.

The fuel gauge sending units can be accessed under the back seat.

It seems the OP took the advice in the first reply to find a better message board, shouldn’t be difficult, how many here can repair a fuel gauge? Are we left with another dead discussion?

The dealer does not seem to be trying to save you anything. If he has the parts, he might be able to sub them in electrically without actually installing them to see where the problem is. What with computer chips scattered all over and sensor communication digital on shared serial bus lines, most of our old logical rules of thumb may no longer be effective for troubleshooting.

The dealer’s recommendations don’t scare me as much as his prices. Had this happen on one of my Hondas and all it took was $35 to replace the fuel gauge in the cluster.

I’m with others who say take it to an independent shop for a real diagnosis. The dealer is just recommending throwing parts at it without isolating the problem.

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In the past 6 years I’ve had 2 Audi A4 wagons, which of the 25 vehicles I’ve owned since 1956, these have been the best! I sold the first one, a 2003 2L turbo because I did not want to pay the outrageous price to change the timing belt. The second one, 2008 3.2L replaced the first one and has a timing chain. But 2 1/2 years of not passing emissions here in Larimer County Colorado has cost considerably but far, far less than the local Audi/VW/Porsche dealer by thousands! In the end a $40 part and a $37 part did the trick and I did the repairs.

But here’s the second ending. The State Regulatory Commission finally made a decent decision. The problem being the ECM has a glitch in it but the State emissions testing station showed no problems what-so-ever. So it passed. I’m now selling this really great, in my opinion, car as I’ve purchased a 2008 Range Rover Sport that had five exterior light bulbs burned out! A suspension problem in the right rear is being looked into otherwise all’s excellent. I’ve wanted one since I tried to get a new one for testing back in 1971. Loved the Audis but just got last Thanksgiving a car I’ve always wanted.

I’ve purchased two brand new cars in my life. I’ve also worked on cars since 13 years old changing oil in my Dad’s 1938 straight eight Olds. I enjoy the challenges of used cars to make them better for a lot less than new ones cost over the long run.

What I’d like to promote here is with older vehicles the dealers will usually charge for diagnostics that will include replacing parts that are supposedly bad but it’s easier for them to replace full components at the very high charges. I find O’Reilly and Advantage and other parts stores to be way less costly. Most of the parts are outsourced/made in other countries including the two I purchased but are the exact same as the so called Dealer Original Parts. I buy also from eBay and have been quite lucky.

You can purchase a diagnostic tool for checking codes from most parts stores or Harbor Freight. Plug it into the receptacle under the lower panel near the left of steering wheel. Check the codes if any to see any problems. BTW no ones asked if the Check Engine Light (CEL) has come on.

If you’ve almost unlimited income help the dealer build a new show room.

OK Don , but how does that help with the persons Instrument Cluster or fuel pump problem ?


Half of the threads are highjacked by regular members that want to share what happened in 1961 but someone sharing Audi ownership experiences on an Audi thread is discouraged?

A new member questioned the price of a tire for a 2016 Toyota and one of the replies was what a great deal he got on tires during the Johnson administration. What a well disciplined group.

I keep a couple of pots in my tool box for times like this. It’s not difficult to do. One is a 0 to 250 ohms and the other is a 10 to 500 ohms. Those 2 cover most all bases.
The problem with testing the sender is that one does not really know what the fuel level is even if the pump is removed. A half inch one way or the other can drastically change the resistance.
With a pot connected to the pump sender connection along with the ohmmeter one can verify or weed out the dash gauge fairly quickly.

My gut feeling is the sender is at fault since that takes most of the beating and being immersed in gas all of the time. At 12 years of age the pump is likely due for replacement anyway and I’m sure that job could be done far cheaper at an independent shop with an aftermarket pump unit. Pot below is similar to what I use.


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