Water in Fuel

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 19:16
ThreadID: 132620 Views:3380 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Had the unfortunate experience of getting a dose of water in my fuel at a local service station a couple of days ago.

Jeep assist was no help as "They don't pay for this type of incident", NRMA Premium Care wasn't interested because I wasn't more than 100 kilometres from home.

Thank goodness for GIO comprehensive insurance. They have taken control, all being fixed with no excess payable. The fuel tank has to be removed which requires the Exhaust system, Drive Shaft to be removed before the tank can be taken out and flushed and cleaned. A flaming nightmare if GIO hadn't come to the party.
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Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 19:41

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 19:41
Thank goodness for a happy outcome.......although it sucks to be screwed around
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert1660 - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 20:01

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 20:01
Absolutely an aweful experience. I installed a WaterWatch device soon after I purchased my Toyota. It supposedly will detect any water prior to it reaching the fuel filter. Thus you have the chance to drain any water from the device and thus hopefully preserve your fuel pump and injectors. There are other solutions available however it seems that the detector that comes with your vehicle is not adequate. Certainly worth some investigation after you have your vehicle repaired.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 22:17

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 22:17
Absolutely no damage to engine. The jeep comes standard with a water separator and two filters so there is little chance of water getting through unless you ignore the visual and auditory signals. I drained the water three times before I finally decided to get it sorted. The tanks do not have drain plugs so it has to be pulled out and flushed etc. To get it out you have to remove the exhausts and drive shaft as the tank wraps over the lot.

The fuel is massively contaminated according to the Diesel Mechanic who assessed it for GIO.

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Reply By: Geoffr17 - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 21:06

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 21:06
Just puzzled by NRMA would not help you because you were 100 km's from Home.

They refused road side assistance ?
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 22:14

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 22:14
Yes - I dont understand either - normal roadside applies and you get your normal towing distance but if you are more than 100km from home it is then that all the extras click in.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 22:19

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 22:19
I was less than 100 kilometres from home so they would only tow the Jeep 50 kilometres, and no tow at all for the van.

If you get 100ks from home you are dead right it all clicks in!

AH well, one tick on the wall for GIO!
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 22:38

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 22:38
Good outcome Notso.
I am reasonably sure all insurance comprehensive policies would cover water in fuel from contamination at fuel point.
Heck, I've read many threads on various forums where they even cover if YOU accidentally put ULP etc into a diesel tank !!
Which is pretty good really, I would have thought that wouldn't be covered, but water contamination from a servo, yeah, coverage for that makes perfect sense.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 10:43

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 10:43
Les fuel contamination coverage is one of the questions I ask when shopping policy quotes
I can't remember which insurance company it was but one of the big names said that it was excluded from their coverage so it is worth checking

needless to say they were struck off my list for consideration
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Reply By: TomH - Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 09:49

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 09:49
If you have the receipt and a sample of the fuel you should go back to the company and demand some recompense for your trouble. If it was that bad there would be others with the same problem
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 12:02

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 12:02
I think once you make a claim with an insurance company you hand over all rights to them. I'll bet they would seek remedy.
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 16:00

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 16:00
Be interested in which brand of servo you filled up at?..
As for water watch, or separators, (I have had the water watch from new) my thinking is, by the time it goes off, and you slow down, to pull over safely, it's already pumped the contamination through the system.. Unless you shut the engine instantly.. Think I read somewhere, the flow rate of fuel is quite high, please correct me if I'm wrong..
Another thing, doesn't NRMA have different levels of road side assist, ranging from $110 to $300 odd dollars a year? I did inquire with them about fuel contamination, with full comprehensive insurance, and they said they did cover it?.. Again, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.. (Leaving myself wide open here) cheers all.. Odog
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Reply By: Joe Fury - Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 19:14

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 19:14
G'day Notso

I am not overly surprised at NRMA 'Premium Care' not being interested in your claim, although I do not have or have ever had anything to do with NRMA personally.

My experience though is very real, with an unfortunate traveler from New South Wales, experiencing "water contamination" from diesel purchased at a service station in the west Pilbara, this dirty fuel scenario is very prevalent throughout the remoter parts of Western Australia, it is always wise to fuel up at high volume/turnover service centres.

The unfortunate travelers in this case, a caravan towing ~ Prado diesel owner got caught out several hundred Kilometres away from the 'dirty fuel' seller, when the common rail fuel system failed catastrophically under load and close to 200k's from a town where there is anything remotely like a mechanical repair facility.

The caravan and vehicle had to be recovered and hauled back to town, the town being Newman in the Pilbara and at the time mechanical work was costed at around $180 per hour ~ plus parts. I could go on about the joys of Commerce and Industry but back then the high cost of anything in this town was due to the so called mining boom, the boom is now well and truly busted, but the high cost of everything is now blamed on the mismanagement by the current administrators of this big state.

Anyway, the caravan is parked up in one of the two van parks and the Prado is off at the local fixer upper, "Ya need new injectors" was the first diagnosis, when that proved to be a dud, it was "Ya need a new head" and on engine tear down, it was plainly obvious "Ya need new pistons" and "probably a regrind of the crankshaft" etc etc, so the cost blow out was enormous and the stress on the traveler couple was very telling. This is where I came in on the scene, back then I was running a humble one man tour operation, I got to talk to and befriend the couple, over close to a month while the "dirty fuel" scenario played out.

The Prado had to have a new engine sans the engine accessories and Injectors, to get it back on the road. The motoring club NRMA initially refused to assist their 40 year plus member apart from covering the cost of a weeks caravan park fees and the hire car, the couple had to hire for the duration.

I did ask 'old mate' if the fuel tank had been drained ~ not too sure was the answer, so the question was asked at the fixer uppers, nope just new filters on and she's good to go, no way I says, we wan't a litre of out of the tank fuel for an analysis to be done and you (the fixer upper) can run your car on the rest of the dirty fuel about 110lts.

Caterpillar heavy machinery have a sizable dealership here in the town, so the "dirty fuel" sample went to them, analysis done and the printed official result emailed back to the traveler, this email was then sent to NRMA who had a blinding revelation and came to the conclusion that the fuel sample analysis done by one of the World leaders in heavy equipment proved beyond doubt the fuel caused all the issues, NRMA paid for absolutely everything and all it took was a postage fee, some shoe leather and a CATERPILLAR spectrum test result, costing around $50 dollars. I'm not saying there is a CAT branch in every remote town in Australia, there are other options though, John Deer, Kubota and any lager machinery seller maintainer, ask for expertise, it might cost a few bob, but it will save you a bundle, in this case close to $18000, yes folks eighteen thousand Aussie dollars.

A true story, that caused a great deal of angst for the travelers throughout the ordeal ~ but I now have two people close to my heart and often in my thoughts.

Safe travels : Joe
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 20:46

Friday, Jun 03, 2016 at 20:46
Premium Care is roadside service not insurance. So NRMA Roadside service has no part in claiming repair costs. They simply fix or tow - if you are more than 100km from home other entitlements kick in like towing you home if it cannot be fixed where you are initially taken and providing hire cars, hotels etc etc
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