Hello everyone, just signed up! I have this old but great 2000 f150, gave it to my girlfriend to drive since her car died. Problem is that the gas gauge is broken, so it always sits on empty. I'm always worried she will run out of gas somewhere and it will be a headache for me, because even though the "low fuel" light still works, she can be a bit of an airhead so I can't rely on her seeing it in time to get to a gas station. At any rate, theres an instrument cluster for sale that I saw that is fully functional from the description. Its like 50 bucks (totally worth it imo) but the seller claims that it has some kind of immobilizer and that it needs to be programmed to work. I don't think my truck has any kind of immobilizer to my knowledge, so my question is what exactly is this immobilizer and why is it in the instrument cluster? What would happen if I just swap this functional cluster into my truck? What would work and what wouldn't?
The seller also said that I might have to take it to a dealer to have it programmed, which imo is never a good idea since any visit to the stealership always costs quite a bit...
Your at a lack of information.
The truck likely has an anti theft system called PATS.
These systems 'marry' by code to the PCM.
You cannot replace either one with out a reprogram by a dealer.
Also the keys have to be reprogrammed.
The system was design to be nearly fool proof such that you cannot work around it.
As to the fuel level gage, a look a the DTC HEC code may tell what the situation is.
Could be the dash, could be the sender on the fuel pump or harness in between.
Sorry you would like it to be easier but welcome to the computer world.
It won't get better any time soon.
If the dash diagnostics can be accessed, step to the fuel data readout and see what the value is. The number is a decimal readout to an Octal number base.
Readings are 0 to 18 is a short (a fault)..
54 is low fuel, 41 is E mark.
93 is 1/4 tank.
138 is 1/2 tank.
178 is 3/5 tank.
215 is full tank.
255 is an open sender (a fault).
To access the dasd diagnostics, push the reset **** in and hold.
Turn on the ignition swoitch to RUN while holding the reset in for about 5 seconds then step through the sequence using the rest until you get to the fuel readout, and note the value.
If this works, you can see the fuel level anytime without the gage working but not on a continious basis.
I think you can see by now that in this day and age, the systems have to be looked at in this manner or you have no idea what is going on.
Dealers techs have to do it the same way.
The designers gave thses ways to look into the systems so they have to be used.