fuel contamination

Submitted: Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 14:18
ThreadID: 106521 Views:2112 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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Hi, my name is Alan first time user of the Forum so be kind.

Have been interested in reading about the problems people have experienced with fuel problems, mainly in the Prados as we are looking at buying a 2008 diesel from a mate. He has never had a problem and has only done the regular Toyota services.

Wondering if the people who have either put in an extra fuel filter and or changed the standard one at regular intervals have had any of these seemingly very costly repairs that I see people have been quoted.??

Cheers Alan T4
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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 15:52

Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 15:52
G'day Alan

I went to the relatively small expense and trouble of fitting an additional filter/water trap as a primary filter (FM100 from Diesel Care). The water alert is spliced into the OEM alert wiring and so far so good.

For peace of mind I reckon it's worth it. BTW, RACQ insurance do not cover a claim from contaminated fuel. It would seem some do and some don't when it comes to insurance policies.
AnswerID: 527574

Follow Up By: Alan T4 - Wednesday, Mar 05, 2014 at 12:21

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2014 at 12:21
thanks for that Rosco, the extra filter certainly won't go astray.
Did you buy the complete kit from Diesel Care for your vehicle and if so was everything needed to do the job provided.
Also did they recommend using it before or after the one under the bonnet.

I have driven many miles all around Oz in the older diesels and never had a problem, this is a first for us of the newer generation diesels so hope we are doing the right thing.

thanks again for your interest
FollowupID: 810120

Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Thursday, Mar 06, 2014 at 08:56

Thursday, Mar 06, 2014 at 08:56
G'day Alan

I went for the complete package. With the ABS model 70 series, there's not a lot of spare real estate under the bonnet, so I figured it was easier/neater to go with their mounting bracket.

In the 70, the unit needs to go on the driver's side while the OE filter is on the passenger side, so I needed to route the lines around the firewall.

Be sure to use 12mm hose and not 10 as it may be too restrictive. I also opted for a 30 micron element rather than finer for the same reason and mounted it as the primary filter so it can trap most of the crud as the first line of defence.

Yep ... the old mech injection jobbies weren't nearly as fussy as the new CR. The days of getting out of strife with a few litres of power kero or filtered fish and chip oil are long gone I'm afraid.
FollowupID: 810187

Reply By: Ross M - Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 16:40

Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 16:40
G'day Alan
This sounds silly but, lots of people quote people who have never had a problem, there fore the problem wasn't there for it to happen. The ones who do have a problem are the ones who then have had a problem.

It can happen to anyone but doesn't happen to everyone.

Regular Toyota services aren't any surety of prevention. There have been cases where the service provider is quite possibly the cause of some of the problems, ie no change of filter.
Luck of the draw there.

Adding a degree of insurance over and above the OE filter, as Rosco has done, does exactly that, add an insurance factor, and also provides a second, although it is usually placed as a first line of defence, for catching and detection of nasties.

I use a similar thing for that reason.

Ross M
AnswerID: 527578

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 20:52

Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 20:52
My suggestions to prevent contamination:
- Buy good diesel fuel from high turnover diesel outlets (I use BP truckstops and BP Ultimate from recently constructed servos). Don't buy supermarket or similar discount diesel.
- Don't let your tank stay empty for periods of time - keep it full to prevent condensation.
- Use an algicide - I use Chemtech which also dewaters the fuel.
- Change the fuel filter once a year (before my winter trips) irrespective of kms travelled (usually travel 12-25k per yr). A fuel filter change needs to be impeccably clean - never undo the hoses from the top of the filter, or you might introduce dirt into the outlet. I shudder when I've watched others change filters.
- Drain the bottom of your fuel filter every couple of months - very easy to do on Toyotas (impossible on our VW).
I've serviced my own diesel vehicles for many years and have yet to see water or algae during a filter change. I think you make your own luck.
AnswerID: 527600

Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 20:06

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 20:06
G'day Phil
If the chemtech dewaters the fuel where does the water go?
Does it aid the precipitation of emulsified water out of the fuel?

If it doesn't do that to help collect it in the bowl then it must still be going into the system it seems.
FollowupID: 810087

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 21:07

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 21:07
Gday Ross,
The people at Chemtech told me last year when I phoned them that the formulation is now a water precipitant - so emulsified water coalesces and drops to the bottom of the tank or the filter (where it can be detected and removed).

The previous formulation some years back was a water dispersant - so it would mix the water with the diesel and it would go through the pump. The old motors could handle this.

The blurb on their website say "Handles water more effectively for greater engine protection, by facilitating the break-up of stable fuel-water emulsions."
FollowupID: 810093

Reply By: John and Regina M - Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 21:44

Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 21:44
Like anything, regular maintenance makes all the different. But a 2008 Prado is just asking for trouble.
AnswerID: 527606

Follow Up By: John and Regina M - Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 21:45

Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 21:45
Especially when u don't seem to know much about diesels
FollowupID: 810034

Reply By: Member - VickiW - Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 21:52

Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 21:52
Am I the only one who wonders that, as the diesel contamination problem is not that uncommon, common rail diesels are not actually being manufactured fit for purpose? ie this is a fairly foreseeable occurrence but they don't manufacture the vehicles to reasonably protect them from damage??

Would be interesting to get some data on the % of vehicles that experience this problem (which can be minor - from the warning light coming on to much more serious).
AnswerID: 527608

Follow Up By: kiwicol - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 21:19

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 21:19
Hi Vicki, they are being manufactured for their purpose.
European fuel and our fuel are 2 very different fuels.
Our fuel is very dirty and not as refined as European fuel.
Some of the better diesel engines like the VW V10 wont be introduced here as they wouldn't handle our fuel.
Truck engines have been common rail well before our 4x4 diesals were introduced. Look at most modern trucks and their fuel system is far superior than the average new car diesel.
Sometimes common sense prevails.

FollowupID: 810094

Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 23:43

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 23:43
It is not the quality of fuel manufacture that is the issue, it is the quality of storage in garages.

The VW V10 has been in Australia has been here in the Tourag since about 2004 and had no issues with our fuels - no longer available as it could not meet modern emission standards.

FollowupID: 810104

Follow Up By: Alan S (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 23:55

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 23:55

Exactly , it's the quality of the storage, that's where the effort needs to go to fix.
A local garage here about 15 years ago had a problem with its tanks and wreck several customers engines. His insurance had to pay out, not the drivers.
The responsibility has been pushed back onto drivers insurance because its easier to spread the risk across a lot of people instead of a few retailers.
How hard is it for retailers to fit decent filters and keep their tanks clean.
FollowupID: 810106

Reply By: Member - VickiW - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 21:42

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 21:42
Hey Col,

I think you may be saying pretty much the same thing I am. Why sell a vehicle in a market where it is know a certain % are going to fail as the vehicle cannot handle local conditions? Other industries would have to adapt their design (whether via 2nd filter as quite a few here have done) or service approach. Why leave the consumer or insurance company to bear the cost of something that is foreseeable?
AnswerID: 527659

Follow Up By: Alan S (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 23:18

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 23:18
Hi Vicki

Why not make the fuel industry adapt their product! The cleaner fuel specs were created for a reason. I dont think it is fair for criticising the car industry for not making a fit for purpose product, when the local fuel industry cant sell a fit for purpose product.

The issue is not just with refining, but also with distrubution, why should I have to fit expensive filters to protect from low quality fuel supply.

The insurance industry should be pressing the retailers to rectify the problem, and not pass any costs back to the car owner through higher premiums.

FollowupID: 810101

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