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Old 03-19-2015, 10:06 AM   #1
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Fuel contamination question

Is there a definitive way to determine if you have fungus in your fuel? I know I can cut a fuel filter open for inspection. I am told the filter medium would be black or have black specs.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:48 AM   #2
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One of my filters has a clear bowl on the bottom used for checking for water. Don't know if any black stuff would settle there but I have never seen any
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:55 AM   #3
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I have the same secondary filter with the bowl and it was very obvious that the used RV I picked up late last year had the black specs and an algae problem.
It really sucks being stranded and not having a replacement set of filters on board. I should know.
I had to change both filters at least 3 times and along with a shock treatment and regular doses of Biobor the containment is gone.

I recommend a regular dose maintenance program of Biobor if you are not sure.

Amazon.com: Hammonds Biobor JF Diesel Fuel Treatment (Clear, 16-Ounce/Small): Sports & Outdoors
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:14 PM   #4
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If in doubt, especially if early in the suspicious signs, treat rapidly with some of the above mentioned products. Be aggressive, and it could prevent this from being a PITA! By the time you can cut a filter and see it, or possibly see it in the filter bowl - you're in for some fuel cleaning.

Areas around harbors, have businesses that service the boating community. I think they call it 'fuel polishing', basically filtering the fuel to remove the bad stuff.

A few reminder tips in general (For anyone who may read this in the future too, as I know you've seen this comments before!):
> Try to buy fuel from stations with higher volumes. Sometimes saving a few bucks, ends up costing much more.
> Try to park the coach for extended periods with a tank as full as possible. This reduces the condensation build up. More important in humid areas of the country.
> Adding some of the above or similar products to tanks, can greatly reduce the risk of algae.

Best of luck to you, and all, as fighting off 'crud' can be a PITA!

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Old 03-20-2015, 06:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
If in doubt, especially if early in the suspicious signs, treat rapidly with some of the above mentioned products. Be aggressive, and it could prevent this from being a PITA! By the time you can cut a filter and see it, or possibly see it in the filter bowl - you're in for some fuel cleaning.

Areas around harbors, have businesses that service the boating community. I think they call it 'fuel polishing', basically filtering the fuel to remove the bad stuff.

A few reminder tips in general (For anyone who may read this in the future too, as I know you've seen this comments before!):
> Try to buy fuel from stations with higher volumes. Sometimes saving a few bucks, ends up costing much more.
> Try to park the coach for extended periods with a tank as full as possible. This reduces the condensation build up. More important in humid areas of the country.
> Adding some of the above or similar products to tanks, can greatly reduce the risk of algae.

Best of luck to you, and all, as fighting off 'crud' can be a PITA!

Smitty
I don't really think Algae is the cause of my intermittent 'low fuel pressure' error codes and check engine lights but want to eliminate that as an issue before I take the beast back to Cummins yet again. We did a 9,000 mile trip last summer and bought a lot of fuel and never had an issue. I always leave it parked with a full tank and buy my fuel at high volume locations. Cummins did give me a bottle of some fuel treatment that they said will prevent algae formation but I ordered the stuff in the link in this thread to use also. I am going to change my fuel filters again (just did that about 600 miles ago). I don't have a bowl on my primary filter.
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:51 AM   #6
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last spring i had a hard time to start engine and/or keep running after winter parking. while changing filters i did notice some black flakes in the size of sesame in the primary filter (no need to cut the filter to see). in this past november before parking, i added this http://www.amazon.com/Star-Tron-Enzy...155JY8CCS7BY90
looks like it worked - it's right up at first crank after 4 months. i think the black specs may or may not be an indication of alge, but i am not an expert . good luck.
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:02 AM   #7
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Diesel fuel when filtered is dirty per say, when thinking of it in "Micron" rating/filtering. When one, from what I have seen/read, has a problem, the filter/s will be full of a slime/snotty mixture.............and you will know you have a problem.....
Here are my filter's from my service last fall, they have 2 seasons(2 years) on them and 10k miles........you can tell from the color of the filter media which is the primary/secondary filter's. Then engine still ran fine, just returned from a 5k trip out west........the first photo is not mine, just a referance photo.
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:15 PM   #8
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We have a trip to Myrtle Beach planned for mid April and we intend to get there so I drove the coach today to see how it would perform. Within 3 miles of my home, I get the check engine light and code 157 - low fuel pressure on the Silverleaf. The code quickly changes to 'inactive' and the check engine light goes on and off for another 3 miles.

I stop, shut down engine for 2 minutes, restart. Coach runs like a scalded dog for another 15 or so miles with me driving it like I stole it. So, I am going to still add the Algae killer and I have a spare set of filters. I plan to nurse it along for this trip and, if problems persist, give it to Cummins again when we get back. They can keep the beast for the rest of the summer if they have to to find and fix the issue.
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:27 PM   #9
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I would suggest a filter change before you leave, cut them apart and have a look see and maybe you will have a better idea of what is going on. Have you double checked that the filter/s you are running are the correct one's? Just a thought , as I have seen problems, and the filter/s were the wrong micron rating.........maybe you have already check? Just another idea.....
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:37 PM   #10
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Same symptoms

The symptoms you are describing are exactly the same ones we had end of last summer....and it was algae. You want to get treatment quickly in the fuel, then drive it and let it run through, treat again. Keep the fuel tank full. Make sure fuel tank cap is on securely. It is a bugger to get rid of the algae.

Just had ours in for inspection and service and Cummins says we still have some evidence of algae.

Ours originally got that bad, the fuel line clogged and we had to be towed back to the Cummins dealer.

We have several spare filters and fortunately have the reservoir so see the specks right away so we can change.

Shutting down for 15 minutes and then restarting, it will run fine. Then it will start sputtering and check engine/fuel pressure light will come on again, so don't let it fool you.
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:11 PM   #11
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The symptoms you are describing are exactly the same ones we had end of last summer....and it was algae. You want to get treatment quickly in the fuel, then drive it and let it run through, treat again. Keep the fuel tank full. Make sure fuel tank cap is on securely. It is a bugger to get rid of the algae.

Just had ours in for inspection and service and Cummins says we still have some evidence of algae.

Ours originally got that bad, the fuel line clogged and we had to be towed back to the Cummins dealer.

We have several spare filters and fortunately have the reservoir so see the specks right away so we can change.

Shutting down for 15 minutes and then restarting, it will run fine. Then it will start sputtering and check engine/fuel pressure light will come on again, so don't let it fool you.
I will change the filters and I plan to cut one of them open to inspect. I expect the algae eliminator I ordered to arrive tomorrow.

I've been diligent keeping the tank full and watch where I get fuel. My filters are the correct filters for my set up. However, this coach was on a dealer's lot for 6 months and I'll bet they did not keep the tank full.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:38 AM   #12
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Run it good

After you put the treatment in, drive it good so it mixes in, then fill it again. We won't every go without putting the treatment in. Can buy a whole lot of filters and treatment for what it cost us in algae removal and breakdown.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:34 AM   #13
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I had the same problem a couple years back. Intensive treatment using Biobor fixed me up, and I continue to use it since.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:37 PM   #14
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I've added the BioBor and will change filters next. A question though... have those of you who've had this issue change both filters or just the primary filter?
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