This can't be right. Can it?

Chris Evans001

Full Member

Messages
52
So, the old girl wouldn't fire up this morning (iveco 2.3 diesel).
Water in the fuel filter light on the dash was lit which is unusual.

A cold morning (-5 Deg c). Turning over well... Battery good.

I decided to drain the filter.

I filled almost three of these large mayo jars with fuel from the filter housing. I'm pretty certain that the first lot was mainly water but I kept draining it and this is what it looks like seemingly coming from the tank (apologies for the naff photography!).



I'm no expert on diesel fuel but surely it's not supposed to look like ditch water. It's almost yellowy and looks very cloudy.

Is this water in the fuel? Is it waxing due to the temperature outside?

Van started up and light on the dash is now out but I'd really like to know what's going on here. Doesn't look good to me.


Cheers all

20210107_164532.jpg
 
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2cv

Full Member

Messages
4,408
If the van has had little winter use this year, possibly This is the problem. (I realise the article relates to Canada but think there are similar differences here).
 

Chris Evans001

Full Member

Messages
52
All interesting stuff.
The fuel in the tank is only from a couple of weeks ago so you would certainly hope that it's a winter grade fuel. It was bought from an esso station locally here in Devon.
If it's summer grade of fuel supplied to me I won't be best pleased.

AA patrol en route to me at the moment. Due to arrive with me at around 1pm. I'm interested in their opinion on this... Then I'll go and fill up with, hopefully, fully winterised fuel!
 

jagmanx

Full Member

Messages
2,052
As Manuel might say...I know nothing..
But if you fill up in say September surely it would be "Summer Diesel" which it seems is the problem ?
Just asking !
 

Greengrass

Full Member

Messages
109
So, the old girl wouldn't fire up this morning (iveco 2.3 diesel).
Water in the fuel filter light on the dash was lit which is unusual.

A cold morning (-5 Deg c). Turning over well... Battery good.

I decided to drain the filter.

I filled almost three of these large mayo jars with fuel from the filter housing. I'm pretty certain that the first lot was mainly water but I kept draining it and this is what it looks like seemingly coming from the tank (apologies for the naff photography!).



I'm no expert on diesel fuel but surely it's not supposed to look like ditch water. It's almost yellowy and looks very cloudy.

Is this water in the fuel? Is it waxing due to the temperature outside?

Van started up and light on the dash is now out but I'd really like to know what's going on here. Doesn't look goo
Don't think it cold enough to wax up yet
 

Red Dwarf

Full Member

Messages
692
Hmm.." looks like waxing to me. Years ago on diesels I’d often have to pour a kettle of hot water over the injector pipes on freezing mornings to get them going. Or in the case of the old York diesel, go and catch the bus...
 

trevskoda

Full Member

Messages
1,855
Looks like waxing, its the methyl ester in bio. Is it summer fuel you have in the tank, best fill with new stuff right to the top and put some fuel set in it, some small amount of petrol will also help but its also now not the real thing.fuel probs.png
 

Haaamster

Full Member

Messages
190
Filled up once on the border leaving Italy, every pump manned by an attendant in white shirt and dicky bow. Hello sir stay in your van we will fill it for you 😇
Over the border and 2 miles down the road water in fuel light came on 😝 cheeky buggers 😆😆😆
 

trevskoda

Full Member

Messages
1,855
Almost got caught at border near strabane, guy said I will fill you tank, no said i there are drums in the boot fill them, he went QT but started to fill one, stop i said since when was petrol black and im not paying for that, well he said just f=84 OFF which i did, yep bulking it with wast engine oil.
 

Markd

Full Member

Messages
993
So what did the Aa man have to say?
Looks and sounds like waxing to me.
On an old ish engine you'll get away with some petrol in the diesel.
I still have a can of Citroen 'Anti Gel' for diesel fuel I've never used.
 

Chris Evans001

Full Member

Messages
52
Thanks all for the links and info.

Definitely winter fuel in the tank I should have thought since it was only refueled a couple of weeks ago.

AA fella has been out and gave really good service to be fair.

Diagnosis : Water in the fuel tank making the diesel go cloudy and freezing up in the fuel filter meaning it wouldn't start.

He checked all over the place for anyway that water could be getting into the tank somehow. He was convinced that the amount of water I'm seeing couldn't have been produced by condensate alone.

Then he spotted it... See the picture!

The top fixing on the top of the filler neck had snapped leaving a hole probably an inch long and half inch wide.
It was at just the right angle so that water would run down the body of the van and straight into this hole.
Water must have been gradually getting in there for a while.
He cleaned the plastic filler up and then filled the hole with milliput epoxy quicksteel stuff. Looks pretty neat. Tank drained, about 15 litres of diesel added to get me to the nearest fuel station. Absolutely brimmed the tank and neck at the fuel station (Esso).

Need to drain the filter again and replace it today. Hopefully that should be the last of the problem.

Cheers all20210108_140205.jpg
 

Markd

Full Member

Messages
993
The cold weather was a blessing or else you could have ended up running water through the high pressure system and ruining the pump.
So the original water in fuel warning was bang on.
Good catch and top marks to AA for a proper repair.
I have to say that choosing AA or RAC does have the advantage that they will spend time repairing rather than just telling you that it's broken and asking g you where you want to go.
One time with a cheapy operation the guy only had a jack and no spanners so all he could do was change a wheel!
Fortunately there was someone in the pub car park where i pulled i with a few spanners to borrow so we were able to tighten up a loose caliper.
 
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