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Old 11-26-2018, 03:49 PM   #1
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Contaminated Pilot Fuel - Caution!

Just talked to a friend reference getting contaminated diesel at a Pilot on I-65 in southern Tennessee on Thanksgiving day.

They were SB in an almost new Ram 1-ton pulling large Toy Hauler headed to SW Florida. When I just talked to him he wasn't back at his RV so he couldn't give me the Pilot station number or exit from his receipt.

He pumped his diesel and when he pulled forward the truck immediately lost some power and wasn't right. He parked it in their lot and contacted a mobile service. Mechanic came out and changed his filters. Mechanic thought he had some water in his fuel because it looked like it in the filter/separator. About 100 miles down the road he lost almost all power but was able to get off an exit and pulled in behind a regular gas station. Truck towed to Dodge dealer and upon sampling fuel it was determined he had DEF in the tank.

Final bill looks like it will be somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000. Six new injectors and crossover lines. They are hoping the injector pump stays good. It should be fixed in another 2 or 3 days.

No doubt whatever underground tank was contaminated with DEF has long been pumped or maybe they stopped using it. They have made several calls and Pilot is not admitting anything and claims no responsibility.

If anyone had issues after fueling at a Pilot in that area of I-65 on or around Thanksgiving day please post and I will pass it on to him.

Other than that I guess I'm just putting this out there for future reference. I almost always fuel at Pilot and Flying J and probably will continue due to my size limitations. However if I ever pull away from one of their pumps and my Cummins doesn't sound right or run right I'm shutting it down and going a little further than he did. I think I would get someone out there to sample the fuel and probably completely drain the tank.

The only good news he could tell me was their Good Sams program not only paid for the tow but is paying for a week in the campground they ended up at plus a rental car. He was very happy with the service he received from them.
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:00 PM   #2
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When I first read the thread title....I thought DEF

Then when I read further ---YEP DEF

Instead of 'contaminated' tank.....sounds more like your friend messed up and pumped DEF into his fuel tank
Operator error.

Gasoline, diesel, DEF---all at pump so one really needs to pay attention to which nozzle they pickup to use.
No color standards on nozzles
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
When I first read the thread title....I thought DEF


Then when I read further ---YEP DEF


Instead of 'contaminated' tank.....sounds more like your friend messed up and pumped DEF into his fuel tank
Operator error.
Does begin to sound like a self inflicted wound...
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:06 PM   #4
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A few years back the Flying J at Carlyle, PA had a fuel drop of contaminated diesel fuel which affected a lot of people, RVers, OTR etc. They stood behind repairs for those customers who could prove they purchased the contaminated diesel fuel. A good reason to hold onto your receipts for a while.
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:32 PM   #5
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Speaking from the point of view as an employee of a major petroleum refiner / marketer, the DEF problem is likely "self inflicted". Diesel fuel and DEF supply to a truck stop / service station is "almost always" provided by different suppliers. Diesel storage tanks are always underground while DEF storage tanks are always above ground. It would be very, very unlikely that a DEF delivery truck would unload into an underground diesel storage tank. It's quite possible that while being distracted that an owner of a diesel powered vehicle could inadvertently put DEF into their vehicle's fuel tank.
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:39 PM   #6
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To pump DEF at Pilot/FJ by accident is no easy task. You have to select DEF on the user screen, and then you have to use a hose and nozzle that are clearly marked DEF, and some of those nozzles require you to open a door to access the nozzle. How does one do all this by mistake? I might understand someone new to diesels who does not understand what DEF is, but otherwise, that’s a lot of wrong turns.
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:46 PM   #7
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It's an easy task to open the wrong filler cap on the truck.
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by USMCRET View Post
To pump DEF at Pilot/FJ by accident is no easy task. You have to select DEF on the user screen, and then you have to use a hose and nozzle that are clearly marked DEF, and some of those nozzles require you to open a door to access the nozzle. How does one do all this by mistake? I might understand someone new to diesels who does not understand what DEF is, but otherwise, that’s a lot of wrong turns.


The same way folks pump gasoline into their diesel fuel tanks OR pump diesel into their gas tanks......
Brain fade.


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Old 11-26-2018, 05:05 PM   #9
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Most DEF tanks at the pump have a magnetic sensor to allow the nozzle to dispense fluid and prevent accidental contamination. I use a 5 gallon container and needed to buy a magnetic nozzle adapter to dispense at truck stops.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:13 PM   #10
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Seems like if it was fuel contaminated with DEF out of the storage tank there would be a whole line of trucks and cars broke down all over the parking lot.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:23 PM   #11
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Contaminated Pilot Fuel - Caution!

Two points I have observed. 1. Loves trucks haul their own DEF and diesel AND in identical tankers. The trailers are kept separate BUT Loves has all day cab tractors and the driver who picks up a load may not be the same one that delivers it. For example, my brother pulls a tank and was loading farm urea fertilizer(same as def) in Woodward, Okla. and two Loves trucks were in line behind him. He got to talking to them and both were taking it to Loves stations in Arizona, so if they changed drivers you could easily see it being dumped into a diesel tank. 2. This very thing happened at a turnpike station(not a Loves) in Oklahoma last spring. It was found fairly quickly but the station paid to drain and repair about 50 vehicles so it can and has happened. It would certainly be rare and is probably not preventable. All JMHO
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:40 PM   #12
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Have a MB bluetec diesel, def and diesel fillers are right next to each other. One cap is green and one is yellow. Def only needs to be filled every 15 or 20 tankfulls of diesel.
I can see how "muscle memory" could have you opening the diesel tank even if you had the def nozzle in your hand.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:50 PM   #13
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If your friend has his receipt, it should show if he bought any DEF and how much. If he only drove a 100 miles his DEF tank should still be full if he pumped the DEF into his DEF tank.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:53 PM   #14
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I actually watched a similar event. My buddy pulled in with his then-brand-new 92 Pace Arrow. We said hi, then went about our business; me finishing my fill, him starting his. I got my reciept and went over to say See Ya, and I noticed he was punmping diesel into his Pace. I said "I didn't realize your new rig was diesel." He said "It's not." Oops, called our buddy who owns a shop, and he had to pump the tank dry of about 20 gallons of gas and 40 gallons of diesel.


So, yea, without hearing about all these other rigs broke down all over the lot from "contaminated diesel", I'm thinkin' the OP's buddy did something similar to my buddy.
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