2012 Mazda BT50 Fuel Filter

Submitted: Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 16:20
ThreadID: 105711 Views:15968 Replies:10 FollowUps:22
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Just had major problems with the Injection and fuel delivery system. After the initial warning light for water, the filter was drained by a Mazda dealer.100k's later the car stopped without further warning. $ 800.00 towing charge and quote for repairs $10,560.00
Are there any pre-filters suitable for the BT 50.
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 16:35

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 16:35

Can't help you with advice about filters specific to the BT-50. I thought aftermarket filters were pretty generic - just buy one that fits and that can handle the fuel flow of your fuel system.

As far as repairs are concerned, you might be covered by your comprehensive insurance. Get a written statement from the dealer that the damage was due to contaminated fuel. Present that with a claim to your insurance company. See how you go.

If you have receipts for your last fuel fill with the providers name on it, that could help too.

Good luck

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AnswerID: 523983

Reply By: Ross M - Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 17:11

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 17:11

There are a myriad of filters available for use as a pre filter, after market filters aren't generic and often they are made to specifically do certain tasks. They vary from about
2 micron size up to 30 micron size. The 30 micron is pretty useless when talking about a CRD engine and won't dewater the fuel to any extent so fibreglass flywire is probably as good for a CRD.

The idea is to have one which Filters close to the fineness of the OE filter, has a dewatering ability, can catch drops of water which collect in the bowl and has a flow rate far greater than the OE filter so it has a reserve of "free water collection" and crap collection capacity before it begins to restrict flow.
It should also not negate the sensors which detect fuel flow, ie restriction or water detection provided by the manufacturer.

Although you can use a very fine filter as a PRE, it has to have a huge filtering area for it NOT to cause a restriction to normal flow. If fine but small filter medium area it will have a short service life before it blocks or restricts.
Some vehicles have an intank pump and others are purely suction into the high pressure pump unit.

Some Watch for Water and are branded that way and are good at it but they don't attempt to filter emulsified water out of the fuel or really filter the fuel. You have to take immediate action or (before that if possible) to prevent emulsified water from going into the system.

The OE system should have warned if water was there and it appears it has but also allowed some through if HP pump and injector damage has resulted.

I agree the insurance or fuel company may be at fault but also the performance of the OE filtering is SUS if allowing it to happen so easily. Always get a receipt and keep it. A digital pic of the servo if possible, people hate neg publicity.

There are a few things which you can do to maximize your filtering but they aren't what others normally recognize or endorse.
Under a BT50 there is plenty of room to fit two parallel plumbed additional filter units to dewater, prefilter fine rubbish, catch water drops, and still provide far more flow than just one filter can.
That maximizes the filtering because the filters have twice the area and the flow through rate is halved and the filters have twice the dewatering ability and catch ability and also provide half the restriction a single filter unit would cause. not much anyway.

That leaves the OE filter to do it's designed function without being bombarded with water and crap and leaves all it's sensor ability still operational as intended.

Many filter fitters, even some "professional ones don't observe all the operational concepts and don't fully understand how the system works and sometimes their recommendations aren't as good as they intend.
Perhaps they don't make themselves fully aware of what they are working on.

If held up in the scrub with dodgy fuel just replacing one filter can get you going and proper service can be done later, and not in the desert.
Under $300 for the gear will have you on your way with two spare filters.

There is lots more in depth concepts to consider not shown at the moment.

Just remember, nothing is perfect and anything can fail, it just shouldn't under normal use.

Ross M

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Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 18:14

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 18:14
Hi Ross, I am surprised that 30 micron pre-filters will not de-water the fuel to any extent. I use a Cat pre-fuel filter of approx 150 micron on my CRD that is specifically designed for this purpose. It is also alarmed with clear bowl. I should say that the filtering capacity was not the driver behind this choice.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 18:50

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 18:50
G'day Leigh
If your filter is designed to, dewater, then that is excellent but most normal filters of 30 micron, ie, as fitted to a 60 series or CAV generic and other are not designed to dewater and they are around the physical size and cost many consider. Lots of them don't dewater.

The dewater isn't necessarily associated with micron size though and I did include the two functions in the one line as a general example, maybe a bit misleading.

When you begin to talk about specific functions the rules change.
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Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 19:32

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 19:32
Thanks Ross, I appreciate your response. Cheers, Leigh
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Reply By: Member - Barry P (VIC) - Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 19:50

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 19:50
have a3.2 ranger on order,asked dealer about a pre-filter,none available from ford,if i put any filters on eg as advertised in 4x4 magazines,could loose my warranty if they say that the pre filter causes a problem,i myself could not prove otherwise,would be a battle between ford and the filter manufacturer or supplier ,do not need these dramas,any suggestions would be helpful to me,and hopefully to helmut h bye barry
AnswerID: 523996

Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 20:38

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 20:38
However most new car warranties will not cover damage caused by bad fuel so you have nothing to loose putting in extra protection.

FollowupID: 805581

Follow Up By: Ross M - Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 21:39

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 21:39
As long as the pre filter system is carefully considered and doesn't compromise the ability or performance of the OE system and its warning systems it should act as intended and provide some additional level of cleanilness and water catching ability. That's about all you can ask for.

The hard bit is getting to find someone who truly thinks about it and actually understands how it all works. Most mechanics do not and many fuel system people also do strange things which go against what manufacturers try and avoid. ie heat input to fuel with pre filter placement in engine bays where they get heated.

I agree, with garrycol, unless you have proof of warranty action, eihter endorsed or denied and insurance coverage surety, you haven't anything to loose with a suitable, capably installed pre filter which has as many features as you can afford.
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Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 08:26

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 08:26
Hi Helmut H,
I noticed that you said the dealer (drained) the filter. Why did he not replace it with a new one?? Draining it would only be a short term fix.
I always carry a spare one as you never know when you will need it.
Cheers Andy

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Follow Up By: Slow one - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 08:46

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 08:46
I agree with Andy.

If water is found in the filter not only should it be changed but the tank should be cleaned as well. One problem is the OE tank has no drain so it has to be removed.

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Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 09:55

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 09:55
If the dealer only drained the filter, then that means it was water affected and SHOULD BE CHANGED.

If the dealer ONLY drained it and no filter replaced then HE is the cause of the failure by not ensuring the integrity of the system and leaving an already compromised filter in situation.

Same old saying is still current today.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 10:00

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 10:00
Sorry, a bit unfair there, I left out the HE or SHE, gotta have gender equity.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 11:18

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 11:18
Ross M,
How could you be so gender incorrect, you should have put down He, She or It.
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Follow Up By: yarda - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 12:51

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 12:51
Actually, that's a damn good point there folks ( you like that- non gender specific " folks" LOL),

There should be official maintenance procedures in the Mazda manuals for "water in fuel" or " water warning light activation", these should describe a series of actions to rectify and repair the vehicle.

Helmut, can you approach a different dealer or Mazda customer care, under the story of planning a remote trip, concerned about water in fuel contamination, trying to plan what spares or actions might be needed, can they please provide you with the relevant section from the maintenance manual.

If the dealer didn't follow this, then you have a claim for repair against them. If you can demonstrate the vehicle systems didn't act as designed then you have a warranty claim.
FollowupID: 805607

Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 17:03

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 17:03
Still remains, If the filter wasn't changed then negligence is the cause of the failure because the water which was present in the filter itself and not just in the drained bowl will be further driven into and through the filter medium.
The penetration of water through the already compromised filter would then have continued after the drain and so water will then have been delivered to the High Pressure pump and beyond.

The Alert the system gave, and acted upon by the owner by taking it to the dealer, has therefore been negated by incorrect response to the problem by the official channel the owner correctly accessed.
The owner could do no more BUT the dealer can and should.
FollowupID: 805615

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 22:53

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 22:53
Absolutely agree that if the Alert system is activated the filter should be changed. But maybe the driver has obligations before that can occur and the issue may not be as simple as "the dealer didn't follow manufacturer's procedures". Maybe the driver didn't (no offence intended, Helmut, just discussion.)

My Prado has two stages of fuel contamination warning. First is, presumably, just-detected water which hasn't yet contaminated the filter. The owner manual says that if the warning light comes on (it is accompanied by a buzzer) the DRIVER should drain the water.

To me that doesn't mean drive X or X hundred kilometers to a dealer and have him/her/it (attempting to be politically and gender correct here:-)). It means stop and do it now.

The second (a different symbol, with buzzer) says take it to a dealer, and if flashing, DRIVER to drain the water. Presumably that one detects a partially blocked filter as well as water.

The Prado has a water trap and detector below the filter element. Depending on the severity of the contamination, draining it immediately may or may not save the engine, but at least if you do it you have some chance of survival and perhaps a case to argue if it all goes belly up.

I know that many owners are not mechanically adept and wouldn't have a clue what the significance of the warning is or how to act on it, but nevertheless the manufacturer has said what to do, and if you don't do it, he/she/it has an out.

Yes, I know, how impractical is that? I know about it, but my better half sure doesn't. If someone wants to borrow my Prado, do I insist they sit down and read the manual before I hand over the keys? Not likely - not that I lend my car much. But the provision is there and that's an out for the dealer/manufacturer partnership if they choose to pursue it.

What does the Mazda manual say?


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Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 23:59

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 23:59
Frank P
If the system has an in tank pump the water in the tank will be somewhat emulsified into/with the fuel. Although yours and other do have a water warning I can't see how the water in the system would not already have contaminated the filter if the alarm lamp has lit up.

If the emulsified water is there, it is in the filter, no question about it.
The lamp or alarm which indicates/says, to STOP and do it now is a register for visible amounts of water, also nasty but sort of harmless if it stops in the bowl as it isn't at the filter.
Only water which goes through the filter OR emulsified water which goes through a filter affects a diesel system.

Often the filters don't act as or attempt to dewater and therefore water and definitely emulsified water will go through.

The visible water, if in sufficient volume to reach up to the filter can flood the filter and go through it. The alarm should go off before that but if large amounts suddenly leave the tank then although the alarm indicates, the amount may have got to the filter after filling the bowl above the float switch level.

Toyota V8 manual says if the light comes on get to a dealer. If they don't do the filter change they haven't rectified the problem.
Same for a Mazda I presume. Most can't do it themselves and makers know that.

Most systems have an, "undissolved water present", indicator.
None for emulsified.
And they do have a restriction sensor as CRD pumps don't like scavenging and cavitation situations at all, ever.

For Slow One.
Tanks don't need to be removed to get almost all water out of them.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 06:05

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 06:05
that word "ALMOST" is enough to scare me.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 17:21

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 17:21
Slow one

Any water left after a competent "pump out" of water and fuel may leave a very small amount in there. Even if you perfectly clean the tank by removing it, the new fuel poured in may immediately introduce some water and you are straight away in exactly the same situation, may happen at the next fill.
The amount however, if pulled into the filter should sit in the bottom of the bowl and that situation is what happens everyday in fuel tanks in Australia.
Dewatering filters or at least ones which attempt to dewater, is a further line of defence though.

What you don't see can't scare you.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 18:18

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 18:18
what it says to me, is he has got a fair amount of water in the fuel.

You might pump the tank out and only leave a litre in there and that litre will probably be mostly water. So for my money dropping the tank and cleaning properly is a much better option. While the tank is out a drain can be installed. I know I have one and if my system detects water I will not only change the filters but also drain the tank.

I have drained and changed filters before and only gone a few K's and had to do the same again.

At $10000 I know what I would be doing.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 22:56

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 22:56
Slow one
I agree the tank out is good to do but a proper pump out with the right equipment can get all but a few ml and far less than 1 litre.

Having a drain fitted is a really good idea and cost saving, money pinching by manufacturers is partly to blame for the feature being eliminated from their tanks.

We can take sensible preventative measures like you do but many aren't "part of" their vehicle and not as aware unfortunately. Dealers prey on them. Most dealers have warm hands from rubbing them together.
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Reply By: Maggsie - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 18:29

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 18:29
Hello Helmut,
I researched one for my 3.2L Ranger and the one I have bought is the Racor445R2 from Western Air Services. I have not fitted it as yet. I will be using 2micron filters (sourced from the US as the aussie prices are rediculous).The unit is a reasonable size because of the 2 micron filters, so it provides a large surface area to maintain the flow. I am currently looking at the inlet and outlet connection hoses to match the ranger. They exist as I was shown them when I was in Darwin last year.


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Reply By: Chambo - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 08:34

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 08:34
$10,560 for repairs and people wonder why I will never sell by GU 4.2DT. I can rebuild the entire engine for less than that. I do love the new stuff but I tell you, longevity I think is a thing of the past. Not to mention the cost of repairs, when 1 injector costs a grand and god knows how much for a pump overhaul. My old girl might be a bit more thirsty but I reckon it'll still be going when all these new whiz bangs will be long dead and buried.
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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 09:30

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 09:30
I sold my trusty old GU 4.2TD in 2013 and bought a new VW Amarok. I tend to agree with you and it was hard to part with the Nissan but I love the Amarok.

While I was researching what to buy the value of the GU kept going up. A lot of people know what a good vehicle they are and now you can't get the 4.2TD new the secondhand value is rising. The Red Book private sale value of mine went from $15,000 to $23,000 in a few months.
Life's great and it just keeps getting better

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Reply By: Helmut H (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 14:45

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 14:45
Thanks every one for their replies. Lots of food for thoughts. A bit of background on the story. I have been traveling WA for 20 odd years in a Defender, with either Rooftent and later with a T-van. Never had any problems with fuel, not even from Outback Stations.
Last year I bought the BT50 and a slide on camper.I didn't want to tow a trailer any more.
I had offered the outfit to some German friends to travel to Melbourne, I was to fly there and return with the Car. We had spent 2 days going over the car, camper and the manual.
The Guy is a very mechanicly minded person.
I had instructed the Mazda Dealer to have a good look at the car at 28030 k's and carry out the 30000 service, as the car was to be on the road for 6 to 7000 k's. The invoice shows draining water and cleaning fluid for the fuel lines and injectors.
8 days into the 4 week trip the car broke down. My friends had to hire a car and pay for their overnight stays for the remeinder, as the camper is stuck in Port Augusta. All up in excess of $ 3000.00. They are also to afraid to leave the Blacktop.
The warning light started flashing every now and then just before Port Lincoln. The manual states to drive to the nearest Mazda Service center. I now realise thats not the case, one should stop, drain , change the filter and inspect the fuel. The Port Lincoln Dealer should have done that.
Mazda in Sydney told me to speak with the Dealer,the Dealers tells me to speak with Mazda! I was told the cost is that high because it is Mazda policy to change the whole fuel delivery system in order to keep future Warranty claims alive.
A very helpfull Nathan Lowe from MTQ Engine Systems in Adelaide said the cost could come down a fair bit, as they would only change damaged parts and their injectors are allmost half the Mazda price. He also sourced a pre-filter suitable for The Ranger and BT50, 3.2 l , which I have ordered and will install prior to returning to WA.
I did have a lucky brake, my Insurer is covering the cost of the repairs. I am still out for the extended towing charge (850.00) and hire car from Melbourne to Port Augusta.
My friends are far worse off. Their Australian Holliday turned into an expensive nightmare.
I am very happy with the BT50, but Mazda's service procedures and the hand balling of Warranty claims are disgusting.
Thanks again to every one for their contribution, they will be of great help in my future travels.

AnswerID: 524092

Follow Up By: Member - Barry P (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 19:43

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 19:43
filter to helmut h,what is the brand and details of the pre-filter you will be installing?thank you barry
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Follow Up By: Member - Brenton H (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 20:40

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 20:40
Helmut, which insurance company are you with and what evidence did you need to present to them?

FollowupID: 805700

Reply By: Helmut H (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 21:47

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 21:47
Hi there,

Haven't got the details for the filter here,there at work, will post tomorrow. Nathan Lowe from MTQ Engine Systems in Adelaide seems to know about the Ranger and BT 50 requirements. He was very help full.
Insurance company is RAC in WA, the claim was handled by an Assessor from Sydney, some connection with the RAC called Innovation. After the initial quote and some pics of the filter he received from Mazda Port Augusta, he requested some more pics. If it had not been the public holiday period, it would have been a lot faster. They normally have a 48 hr turn around.
I hadn't realised, that fuel contamination might be covered by the full cover. The service manager (its a female) in P.A. had mentioned the fact that it might be. That's about the only positive thing I got out of all the Mazda Service people.
I am looking forward to the trip back, just having a look to see what's interesting between P.Augusta and Ceduna to spend some time there. Have not been that far east on the road since 74. Shame that I miss out on the GOR and some parts in Victoria I had planed.
There is always next time.
AnswerID: 524116

Reply By: Helmut H (WA) - Friday, Jan 10, 2014 at 16:02

Friday, Jan 10, 2014 at 16:02
Hi all,
Just picked up the filter kit. Made in USA, "Stanadine" Diesel Fuel Filter Assembly 42093.
Looks very well made. $ 264.00, cheaper than online.
to look on the net, www.dieselfilters.com.au/diesel-water-separators.html
or just type " Direction Plus Fuel Filters"
Seems easy to install before I travel back.

AnswerID: 524222

Reply By: Patrol22 - Saturday, Jan 11, 2014 at 13:43

Saturday, Jan 11, 2014 at 13:43
Helmut.....I would make two recommendations. Firstly, buy yourself a Mr Funnel Fuel Filter and carry it everywhere with you. I usually run the first 15-20 ltrs through the funnel and then just pump directly into the tank if there is no water present.

Secondly, fit a water separator like Water Watch upstream of your OEM fuel filter. This will forewarn you long before any water gets into you OEM filter and loooooooooooooooong before any damage can be done to those more expensive parts like the rail and its fittings, injectors and fuel pump.

PS: You can buy a handy carry bag for the Mr Funnel at Punkinhead Air Sports.
AnswerID: 524271

Follow Up By: Helmut H (WA) - Saturday, Jan 11, 2014 at 18:21

Saturday, Jan 11, 2014 at 18:21
Thanks Patrol22, I will google Mr Funnel Filter and have ordered a water watch with audible alarm, to go with the pre-filter I already have.
FollowupID: 805873

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 17:02

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 17:02
Links provided in my original post Helmut - might make it a bit easier then google but probably not.
FollowupID: 806071

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