Fuel Sensors Explained

A fuel level sensor is a level switch that helps identify the remaining amount of fuel in a container. Most vehicles use fuel level sensors to determine the amount of fuel remaining in a vehicle. This is an important sensor that helps many people know when to fill up their vehicles to avoid disaster along the road. Some level switches manufacturers focus exclusively on fuel sensors, but others make a variety of switches, including fuel sensors. A fuel sensor is a fascinating piece of equipment that uses a few basic principles to work properly.

Most fuel sensors use a probe or float style sensor to measure the fuel inside the fuel tank. At the end of the probe there is an actual float that sits on top of the fuel and rises or falls along with the level of the fuel inside the tank. The probe is connected to the rest of the sensor by an actuating rod.

The actuating rod helps anchor the float and provides the ability for the float to change heights with the level of fuel inside the tank. The actuating rod connects to a grounded variable resistor near the top of the tank.

The resistor is powered by battery, usually by the vehicle’s battery. A wire connects the resistor to the fuel gauge meter in the front of the vehicle. Movement by the actuating rod causes a sensor inside the resistor to move, which indicates the fuel level inside the tank. The lower the fuel in the tank, the less current is sent through the actuating rod to the sensor. The wires then send this reading back to the fuel gauge sensor in the front of the vehicle for an accurate reading of fuel levels.

It is important for level switches manufacturers to create accurate sensors on all parts of the fuel level sensor to protect travelers on the road from disaster.