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Old 09-15-2017, 09:26 PM   #1
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Bad diesel fuel?

275 ISB engine. Topped off my 90 gal tank at a station in Troy, NY this morning. After about 50 miles I came to my first stop light. Engine died. Took a lot of cranking to get it started but it finally caught. Same thing happened three times in the next 60 miles. After 150 miles I topped off the tank with 15 gallons of a known brand at a busy station. (Figured it would be fresh fuel) It started right up. I didn't shut down until I got to the RV park in Maine. Did I get a bad tank of fuel? Other then quitting at idle and being hard to restart it never missed a beat. I think I'll try cranking it tomorrow to see what happens. Here for five more days. Anyone else ever get a bad tank of diesel and had similar problem?
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:48 AM   #2
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Could be. Bad diesel fuel is not to be taken lightly. I would get it checked out (filters, seperator... )
Older engines tolerate it much better than newer common rail diesels.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:01 AM   #3
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This could be the start of a bad lift pump or vp44. Also could be a loose fitting getting air in the fuel line. What is your fuel pressure reading? when was the last filter change?
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:55 AM   #4
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No fuel pressure gauge. Filter was changed at last service maybe 5k ago. It just seemed strange that it started perfectly for 6 months and 5k miles then Less then a hour after topping off the tank ( added 60 gallons ) it wouldn't idle. With a slight pressure on the accelerator ( maybe 200 rpm ) it idles fine. When shutting down it idled for 4-5 minutes with no problem. I'm leaning towards old diesel fuel. The station was a small neighborhood station which might not have a large amount of diesel sales. No water in the fuel thankfully. If the problem continues I will have it checked out at a Cummins shop.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:00 AM   #5
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If you suspect bad fuel the first thing I would do is change the fuel filter. Cost should be under $25. It may be partially plugged.

Why risk another shut down trying to save $25?
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:13 PM   #6
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Well more to the story: Decided to get the Fuel filter changed at Cummins NE in Scarborough, ME about 8 miles up the road from the park we were in. About half way it went into the reduced power mode with an occasional check engine light. Had Good Sam tow me the remaining 4 miles to the shop. After awhile I got the news. My fuel tank contained heavily contaminated fuel. Mostly gasoline! With the wind blowing when I was refueling I didn't smell the gas. I believe they got a load of gas put in their diesel tank. Other then the idle problem there was no indication of the gas in in the fuel. Called the station to warn them that they have a problem but all I got was a run around that I must have pumped in gas even though my receipt clearly shows I pumped 59 gallons of diesel. The final result is over a $5K repair bill and I still don't know how much it is going to cost to dispose of the contaminated diesel. Could be as much as $1000 to $2000. The station is a private business so recovering damages in a New York court when I live in California doesn't look to be economically feasible. With the cost of travel plus living expenses etc. It could end up costing more then the max recovery allowed. $5000 in small claims court. Lesson learned. Only buy at known brand stations. Check the fuel closely before pumping. How much fuel could I buy with $7K. Do I feel dumb. My wife has made a tee shirt for me. It says "DSOB". The only thing worst that could happen would be for hurricane Jose to turn into a cat 5 and come ashore before we can get out of here. Anyone else ever gotten "gassed" at the pump? And I'm only halfway through my three month trip......
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:44 PM   #7
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Don't feel bad, it sure wasn't your fault. I mean how on earth are you supposed to know, or even check? I've never heard of this happening before, except when someone has made the mistake and pumped gasoline instead of diesel.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:45 PM   #8
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Sorry about your trouble,but that could happen at any station. Though not 100%, I always smell the nozzle and hold it at the very top of the inlet so I can see what the fuel looks like when I begin to fill. Did you use a credit card to pay for fuel?? If so I would see if there is any recourse there.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powderman View Post
Sorry about your trouble,but that could happen at any station. Though not 100%, I always smell the nozzle and hold it at the very top of the inlet so I can see what the fuel looks like when I begin to fill. Did you use a credit card to pay for fuel?? If so I would see if there is any recourse there.
Excellent idea powderman!
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:40 PM   #10
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Did you refuel at a BP station?
There diesel pumps handles are NOT Black.
The Gas pump handles are.
This is a common problem with Diesel owners stopping at BP's and not looking closely.

I know, I was in a CG, and we were sitting around and a fellow camper explained, this happen to him. The cost? $75 to pump out the tank, and then cost of fuel.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcq View Post
Did you refuel at a BP station?
There diesel pumps handles are NOT Black.
The Gas pump handles are.
This is a common problem with Diesel owners stopping at BP's and not looking closely.

I know, I was in a CG, and we were sitting around and a fellow camper explained, this happen to him. The cost? $75 to pump out the tank, and then cost of fuel.

On the East Coast BP gasoline pumps have green handles.

BP diesel pumps have black handles.

Most other brands have green handles for their diesel pumps.

I think you either got it backwards or it is different in your neck of the woods.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:11 PM   #12
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Bad diesel fuel?

There is no doubt that I pumped from the diesel pump. It said diesel and my receipt says 59 gallons of diesel was paid by my credit card. Spoke with the Weights & Measures assistant in Albany and reported the problem. He was contacting the inspector to check out that pump. Got back on the road today. Big kudos to Cummins NW shop for their fast work as well as having the need parts in stock. Spent last night in their lot with a 30 amp plug-in. They drained 70 gallons of diesel/gasoline from the tank. Blew out all the lines and installed new filters including the generators filter. New transfer pump and new injector pump. It ended up costing my $400 to dispose of the contaminated fuel. Total bill just over $5500. Less then I expected but it still hurt. Running great again. Remember! Double check that what is coming out the nozzle is what it's suppose to be. I know it's a rare occurrence but it does happen.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:21 PM   #13
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Not that long ago the Army's fleet of diesels were mutifuel rated. What that boiled down to was you could use gasoline in a diesel in a pinch but had to add a specified amount of motor oil to the gasoline. I have no idea what the ratio was and I was there to see someone get a real chewing out after adding gas without any oil.
As an aside I clearly remember my unit being told to fill all our diesel equipment with JP8 jet fuel during desert storm/shield, also changing the fuel filters was required at the time. It is my understanding that the Army's entire fleet of tactical vehicles now operates on JP8 (kerosene with some other stuff added)

Someone smarter than me hopefully can answer this question. Would adding two stroke oil to a gas diesel mix mitigate the gas dilution issue?
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:35 PM   #14
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My misstake on color, memory brown out. however, what I wrote about on the BP is correct. The gentleman picked up what he thought was diesel (Color handle), later (sooner) he found out it was gas.
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