23rd Feb 2012, 10:30

To everyone having problems with their TJ (and over) Magna fuel gauges either dropping to empty at a certain point, or moving erratically and then dropping to empty...

As someone else pointed out above, this is a KNOWN FAULT of the TJ series. The fuel sender (the actual float unit in the tank which reads the level of fuel and "sends" the data electronically to your fuel gauge) in the fuel tank is the culprit, and it must be replaced... there's no other way around it. A dealer will charge around $120-150 to do the job, or you can do it yourself if you are a bit handy, BUT it is tricky, and you could end up with petrol all over your car and you.

To fix it (sedan), you must remove the lower rear seat squab. Underneath on the driver's side you will see a round inspection plate. This must be removed. You will then see the fuel line and an electronic connector. The connector must be unclipped and wrapped in plastic to prevent it sparking a fire. Then you need to unhook the fuel line, and this is difficult because of the plastic clamps... patience is required. Once all that is done, unscrew the retaining bolts and lift the sensor unit our carefully. Unhook the electrical contacts and then ease the unit out of its mount. Replace it with the new unit, and then connect the wiring again... then reattach everything mentioned above in reverse order.

Good luck!

4th Mar 2012, 23:00

Thanks for the useful info, I found that just removing the sender, and cleaning the contacts, plugs and entire sender unit with electrical contact spray fixed my problem. Take the fuel cap off or your tank will be pressurised, or alternately, I undid the retaining bolts first. This releases the pressure and prevents the line spewing fuel in your car. Experience taught me this. I am no mechanic, but hopefully something useful can be taken from this.

23rd May 2012, 19:36

That cost estimate looks a bit light - I just priced a new sender from Zupps on the Gold Coast; $159.10 just for the sender.

I'd imagine at least another $100 - $150 for them to do the work.

I might try pulling it out and cleaning it up first.

Cheers, Mike.

26th May 2012, 00:22

Thank you all for the easy instructions to replace the fuel sender. I removed the sender from my girlfriend's TJ Magna and found the wiring going to the lowest component (fuel low sensor I think) was rubbed bare against the inside of the tank. Put araldite over the wire and repositioned it so it was not hanging out and the fuel gauge worked. Could not be that dodgy, so got a replacement sensor from the wrecker and found the wire on it was rubbing as well. Am sending the photos of both units to Mitsubishi due to a perceived safety risk. I recommend checking the wires before cleaning the potentiometer.

Cheers, Tappet.

25th Oct 2013, 02:03

This might help maybe? There is a setting on the dash for wagon / sedan. The wagon has a larger tank, maybe it is set wrong? To test, disconnect the battery and reconnect, then you turn the key it will have a flashing S (5) or W (UU). Select the one you want by short presses to select, and hold down for a couple of seconds to confirm, then it will give option 3.0 or 3.5 select engine capacity and see if that fixes it??? Just maybe.

17th May 2014, 08:50

Hi, my fuel gauge and odometer on my 2002 Mitsubishi Magna has just stopped working. Can anybody help me?

1st Aug 2014, 01:30

Does anyone know the difference between the 96 Magna fuel pump and the 2002 fuel pump?

12th Feb 2015, 15:35

The fuel sender (the unit which actually sends information to the fuel gauge and sits inside the petrol tank) is probably faulty. It was a known problem with this model. The only option is to replace the sender. This involves removal of the back seat lower cushion, accessing the small round port found in the bodywork below the seat, and removal of the old sender and replacement with the new. A dealer will charge you around $300 for the job... a private mechanic maybe less. It is a tricky job to do on your own... not because of getting to the sender, but the actual fitting to the wiring. Good luck.

5th Sep 2015, 10:09

I've just bought a 02 Mitsubishi Magna sedan 3.5L, beautiful car. The entire engine has been rebuilt, new exhaust system, some fancy automatic transmission that I have no hope in remembering. She passed her roadworthy with flying colours ... so I had her registered.

Now for no apparent reason the temperature gauge tells me the car is overheating, boiling, and I have checked levels, she has a very good quality coolant in the radiator, and there is no visible sign of the car being overheated or boiling herself silly. There is no loss of power, and everything bar the temperature gauge tells me she is running sweet.

Any suggestions? As I am really at my whits end as I NEED a car for the family and those I care for. The car was sitting in the back of some yard before I bought her for 6 months, and the previous owner/s have said it most probably is a sensor problem...

ANY help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated, please help.

24th Nov 2015, 04:50

Check the temp sensor wire; it most likely has come off and is earthing out the gauge, causing it to rise.

19th Dec 2015, 07:51

I have a TL Magna ES. My fuel gauge reads correctly from full down to the half tank mark, then from there down my fuel gauge tends to read very much incorrect (i.e., after driving 10km, my gauge will try tell me I've used quarter of a tank). Until I get it fixed, I've just been reseting my litres of fuel used settings in my digital dash trip computer each time I fill up and I just take note on the petrol bowser of how many litres I have just put in. I get a correct reading from doing it this way for now, and a bit of peace of mind whether I'm going to run out of fuel or not, or when if I really need to get to a petrol station ASAP or not.

3rd Jan 2016, 02:43

Hi, I have a TJ Magna 2002. It starts, then stops, and then after a few turns, goes. Driving, I have no problems at all. Some say it is the immobiliser; not sure?

1st May 2016, 14:51

Same problem on a TJ sedan. Changed the fuel pump and the problem continued. Seems the problem is the immobilizer. It is not consistent. I can go for weeks with no problem. If it won't start first time, remove the key, turn it 180 degrees and reinsert the key and try again. If it won't start, remove the key and try again. Usually starts on the 3rd go for me.

29th Dec 2016, 11:02


I have a 2000 3.5 Advance wagon, Auto.

The car has recently been suffering severe loss of power. Engine still runs smooth and is fine just putting around. But as soon as I floor it, you can feel the lack of power, takes ages to wind up to 5500 RPM and change to second, and second just gets there to 5500 again, but 3rd gear won't even get near it. From a standing start, if I floor it, sometimes it stutters and dies (and takes a bit of cranking to start), sometimes takes off (rather sluggishly again). I've replaced the distributor/coil unit, air mass sensor, plugs, leads, air filter, fuel filter. Had a holey old exhaust, replaced that too. All of this has not fixed the problem. Any ideas???

2nd Sep 2017, 13:16

I have a 2002 Magna blowing cold air from the heater; does anyone know where the heater tap is located? Thanks, Jack.

22nd Sep 2017, 21:08

How do I remove a steering wheel from a 2002 Mitsubishi Magna TJ? Is there a YouTube video?