Not only can these failures be
extremely costly to repair, but these catastrophic failures can be dangerous,
especially when they occur on the road or at high speeds.
Fortunately, many of these failures can
be prevented through preventative solutions such as a dependable Fuel Management Solution.
Let's take a look at the symptoms,
causes, testing, and solutions for diesel fuel contamination.
Symptoms of Fuel Contamination
Don't Ignore Your Engine Check Light
Many people have been or have known
someone that was in a situation where the “check engine” light comes on in
their vehicle out of seemingly nowhere. Anxious at first, they tone down their
driving to see if they can feel any difference in how the vehicle is running.
Strangely enough, it doesn’t feel any
different than before- so they convince themselves it probably isn’t anything
other than the truck being a bit “finicky”.
At first, a few days go by and then a
few months. The light is still on and since the vehicle
doesn’t feel to be running any different, it’s running just as often
and hard as it normally would.
However, under the hood, components are
not operating as designed and the continuous operation of worn parts is
damaging the very systems that keep the vehicle running.
At this point, detrimental engine
failure could be just a matter of time,
Clogged Fuel Filters
Frequently clogged fuel filters are
oftentimes one of the first initial signs of possible diesel fuel
contamination. The filter is designed to capture particles in your fuel before
they pass into the engine and these pieces of matter can be made up of clumps
of sludge, metallic particles, or other unwanted particulates.
If a fuel system is experiencing an
atypical recurrence of fuel filter replacements, the problem’s root could lie
in the quality of the fuel being supplied to the filter.
Heavily contaminated fuel would
consistently provide particulates and other undesired materials that quickly
clog filters, possibly leading to other issues in the fuel system.
This contamination could be stemming
from either the fuel source itself or from the internal corrosion of the very
fuel tank being used to fuel the engine.
Failing Fuel Pump
With frequent fuel filter clogging,
fuel pump failure is often to follow. Because of the restriction caused by the
clogged filters, the fuel pump could be working harder than designed to deliver
fuel from the tank to the engine.
While a fuel pump is failing, the fuel
pump will not be able to deliver a steady flow of fuel, interrupting the
mechanical stroke and function of the engine. This can be especially noticeable
under acceleration, where fuel demand is increased however the fuel pump is
unable to deliver the fuel at the requested rate.
Symptoms of a failing fuel pump may
or sputters at high speeds
loss on acceleration
loss while driving up a slope
loss while towing
surging while acceleration is not engaged
will not fire
When a fuel pump is exerted to the
point of failure, it is past the point of simple maintenance to get the engine
running again. When a fuel pump fails, fuel line pressure is lost thus not
being able to deliver any fuel for the engine to fire up. Downtime of equipment
for major repair is expected at this point to get the fuel flowing properly