03 Jun Fuel Contamination
This is always a hot topic in our meeting room.
Today we want to write a little bit about this costly problem.
What is fuel contamination?
Diesel can be contaminated with water, particulates and algae.
The fuel could be stored too long, with the possibility of water entering fuel storage tanks, or dirt sitting the the tank to start with.
Why does it occur?
The new diesel vehicles have high pressure fuel injection lines. They are fine tuned and highly sensitive to dirty diesel contamination such as water, particulates or algae. Older diesel vehicles tend to be more tolerant to contamination as they don’t run on such extreme pressures.
How do I know my vehicle is contaminated?
Is the engine light on? Is the car hard to start? Has the starting changed? Is the engine lacking in power or performance? Is the engine running rough? Do you hear sounds from the engine like a misfiring sound or a ‘pinging’ noise? Any of these reasons could be contamination issues.
What can be done?
Diesel floats on water. So if the fuel is contaminated with water, the water ‘sinks’ to the bottom. So a simple advice is not to run your diesel too low. Don’t fill up the very last minute. When the fuel is very low the fuel mixes and splatters around in the tank the likelihood of water running in is higher.
If you are a keen 4 Wheel Driver, be cautious when filling up in remote areas. Go to the most frequented petrol station you can find, as they have a high turnover. Get the fuel filter changed on a regular basis or after an outback trip. The same goes for the air filter. It might safe you a lot of money in the future.
Contaminated fuel is costly and inconvenient. Make sure you keep your fuel receipts and talk to an experienced professional, who is able document the damage for you as well as fixing it properly.