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Discussion Starter #1
I was driving along and the CEL came on. Went to Auto Zone and had them read the code and this is what it said, Fuel level sensor circuit malfunction (P0460). Now when I start the car, it takes about 5-10 seconds for the gauges to start working and the display on the odometer will blink faintly until they start working. Sometimes the fan will kick on and won't turn off until I put the car into drive or reverse. If I put the car into Park or Neutral, the fan will kick on. This does not always happen, but for the most part the gauges always malfunction. I also noticed that the stereo is sometimes dark. When I press the knob to turn it on, it says 1 hour. It seems to be acting like the car is off. I searched on other forums and found the following possible causes:

1. Flex fuel sensor/module
2. MLPS (a.k.a. MPS, Transmission Range Sensor, and neutral safety switch
3. High Content of sulfur in gas
4. Fuel Pump

I can hear the fuel pump when I turn the key, so it seems to be working. Does anyone have any ideas on what could be wrong? Here is something else that I found. Does this mean there is a recall?

Make : FORD Model : FOCUS Year : 2002
Service Bulletin Num : 16881 Date of Bulletin: JUN 01, 2003
NHTSA Item Number: 10002599
Component: ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE
Summary:
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON AND DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODE P0460 (FUEL LEVEL SENSOR CIRCUIT MALFUNCTION) - SERVICE TIPS. *TT
 

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P0460 - Fuel Level Sensor Circuit Malfunction The PCM monitors the fuel level input (FLI) circuit for electrical failure. The test fails when the signal moves outside the minimum or maximum allowable calibrated parameters for a specified fuel fill percentage in the fuel tank. Empty fuel tank
Fuel pump (FP) module stuck open
Incorrectly installed fuel gauge
Damaged instrument cluster
CASE GND circuit open
FLI shorted to VPWR
Damaged PCM
Overfilled fuel tank
Fuel pump (FP) module stuck closed
Damaged fuel gauge
FLI circuit open
FLI circuit shorted to CASE GND or PWR GND
CSE GND shorted to VPWR
Monitor FLI PID and FLI V PID in key ON engine RUNNING. FLI PID at 25% fill (with non matching fuel gauge) and FLI V PID less than 0.90 volts [for FLI PID at 75% fill (with non matching fuel gauge) and FLI V PID greater than 2.45 volts] indicates a hard fault.
What they are saying here is that the PCM is recieving a voltage from the fuel level sender that it recognizes as invalid. This means either the voltage is shorted to power or the line is dead, 0v. given your other symptoms, I would expect to find a wiring problem. Either a bad ground wire or a melted harness. Of course it could also be a bad cluster. I would start with taking out the instrument cluster and cleaning the connector with some corrosion fighter and inspecting the wires very closely, making sure to reconnect it correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you very much, I will take a look!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I contacted a person in NC who works at a dealership and he said,

"Do this first. Go buy some Chevron Techron fuel system cleaner. Dont use any other, this is the one Ford says use. Try to have your fuel tank close to empty before you do this. Once you have it that low, fill the tank with a good grade of fuel, dont use cheap fuel or no-name fuels, and add the Chevron. Clear the CEL and drive the car for awhile, it should take care of it. The fuel card in the tank is getting dirty from cheap or no-name fuel. If youre using a well known fuel maker, try a different brand."

I did this and it fixed the problem. I hope that this will help someone else some day!
 

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wow. Thats an unexpected fix.
 
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