Author Topic: That darn Film type fuel sensor  (Read 17610 times)

Inspector Gadget

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That darn Film type fuel sensor
« on: July 12, 2013, 02:27:24 AM »
Whilst I was getting my chemo and radiationtreatment I wasn't able to ride my 2007 R1200RT for well over a year. :(

You can imagine the first ride after that ordeal was a big enjoyment, just only a few months ago.
Unfortunately I neglected to check the fuel level, whilst the fuel level indicator showed maximum fuel level.
And you guessed it, after only a few miles, the engines stalled, the tank was bone-dry.
Apparently most of the fuel evaporated ?!

Anyhoe, filled up the tank, fuel level gauge still gives maximum fuel (full) level, and it does not decrease any more!

When the Film type fuel sensor goes, it is usually the electronics that fail, the sealed unit is not always sealed that well.
Next I also understood that the Film type fuel sensor is a heating element ánd a carbon (resistive) measuring-strip all wrapped in 1 unit. And this carbon is prone to breaking/cracking, causing the Film type fuel sensor to fail.

So, it is my fair estimate that the GS911 won't be able to do much in this instance any more.

Now the million dollar question;
This Film type fuel sensor is prone to many issues and faults.

BMW replaced that Film type fuel sensor in early 2010 on the R1200RT with a plunger-type level sensor instead.
Which also means a different fuelpump/electronics.

I can get a good-as-new plunger-type assembly, would it be feasible to replace that pesky Film type fuel sensor, and will the GS911 be able to cope with that difference in the configuration?
I guess the bottomline is, will the 2007 ZFE support a non-Film type fuel sensor?


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Re: That darn Film type fuel sensor
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2013, 07:00:13 PM »
honestly, I have no idea and I want to venture as far as to say no ways...

Here's my reasoning...

the Fuelstrip uses 4 wires and these go to completely different pins of the ZFE than the 3 wires of the lever type fuel sensor..  So even if the ZFE could handle it, you would requires n new wiring harness...

...not sure how the dealership did that on your '10 RT...


currently riding:
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Inspector Gadget

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Re: That darn Film type fuel sensor
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2013, 04:34:36 AM »
Thanks for the prompt response!

For the record;
BMW changed in August 2010 themselves the Film type fuel sensor on the R1200RT to a "regular" level type fuel sensor.
According to my sources due to an extreme high failure rate and warranty-claims. (they even put in-warranty replacement for the  Film type fuel sensor on hold for a period whilst investigating the cause of the high failure rate).

And my 1200RT is from 2007, btw.
Apologies for not making that clearer.  :-[

In the mean time I obtained the new Hayes manual, and found my possible answer there:
The Film type fuel sensor is connected to the ZFE via 4 wires, 2 for the sensor itself, 2 wires for the heating-element.
(yeah I know, fuel and heating)  :o

The level type fuel sensor is only 2 wires (duh!), and also connected to a different pins on the ZFE.
Having said that, it pure a gamble that the sensor of the level type fuel sensor is compatible with the sensor (-part, only) of the  Film type fuel sensor.

I will endeavour further in due time, I will ask a friendly BMW dealer if they have experience in that arena.
Or I come up with the dough and pay for a replacement (out of warranty, of course) of the Film type fuel sensor.

PS: Just noticed you already started a query-topic regarding the Film type fuel sensor, apologies for my oversight!  :-[
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 05:57:12 AM by DutchMidiMan »


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Re: That darn Film type fuel sensor
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 01:55:15 AM »
Just joined so I'll make this my first post. A friend of mine tried this and it worked. Good luck.
Here be dragons,

Dragon hunter

Inspector Gadget

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Re: That darn Film type fuel sensor
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 03:13:48 AM »
Frist, allow me to welcome you then!

Thank you for the suggestion!

Unfortunately, I have the dreaded issue that my fuel-level is indicated as being full and the actual fuel-level was zero.

As stated on the aforementioned link, post #259 on page 18;
"...It won't fix the bikes that say they are full while empty as that is a problem unrelated to the strip."

I have not been able to ride much yet, but it is likely I will need the BMW stealeRT for this issue.

I can then also ask them about the feasibility to replace the fuel-strip with a fuel-level type.
Although I'm not holding my breath on that one. :(


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Re: That darn Film type fuel sensor
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 09:54:56 PM »
So far as I am aware you can't replace the strip with a float. BMW are still replacing the strip with another strip which I doubt they would do if the could simply replace it with a much more reliable float. Had mine replaced twice and just gave up on it after that. I will replace it if I go to sell the bike or if BMW come up with a proper fix.

Inspector Gadget

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Re: That darn Film type fuel sensor
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 01:49:09 PM »
Please feel free to read the following I have just updated;,73.msg6857.html#msg6857

You can replace the Fuel Strip for the Floater but need additional electronics.
- If a GS(A) the Fuel Strip Pump is already "prepared" for mounting the Floater.
- if a RT, you will need to replace the complete Fuel Pump assembly and require the additional electronics mentioned in that aforementioned topic.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 01:52:10 PM by Inspector Gadget »