Water in Fuel circuit fault

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 08:33
ThreadID: 67435 Views:2874 Replies:4 FollowUps:8
This Thread has been Archived
I have a no start situation in my F250 7.3l. It cranks but doesn't start.
The Superchip DTC tells me it's a P1139 Water in Fuel circuit fault.

I've had a look on various Ford Forums and tech resources with no luck, it seems this is not a fault that happens!!! Plus I've had some really good elec tips here, so I thought I'd ask.

The Ford dealer service manager tells me its probably a P1140 WIF condition and I can't read it right because I don't have a Ford reader yabba yabba yabba etc etc Besides they are booked up for two weeks and the next nearest dealer is 120k away.

So just to be sure I drained the filter/seperator as per the manual, however the fault remains. (obviuosly I didn't put a pan underneath so now I have diesel all over the floor!!)

The WIF warning light does not come on with the other instrument lights when I switch the ignition on. To be honest I can't remember if it ever did. I suppose it must have done, if that is what is supposed to happen.

So my question is: am I looking for a circuit fault and if so where do I start looking. (I don't have a great track record with electrics) If it's a P1140 WIF condition as the dealer thinks why would not draining it fix the isssue.

I'm in the process of getting a hold of a wiring diagram but it may not mean that much to me.

Any advice or suggestions are much appreciated.
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 08:38

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 08:38
In the old days if some thing did not work you gave it a kick, now you have to re-boot.

This might work, try disconnecting the battery for a few minutes.

AnswerID: 357612

Follow Up By: Rossc0 - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 09:42

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 09:42
If it's like the rest of the Ford ECU's you need to leave it disconnected for at least 30min preferrable 1 hour.

FollowupID: 625715

Follow Up By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 10:26

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 10:26
As a starting point I've disconnected all the batteries, we'll see in an hour or so.
FollowupID: 625728

Follow Up By: Ray - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 10:37

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 10:37
Yes this is a thing that I mentioned a few days ago regarding "modern" vehicles with all their "bells and whistles" They are far better to make them basic. The more you have on a vehicle the more that there is to go wrong.
FollowupID: 625731

Follow Up By: Member - William H (WA) - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 19:46

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 19:46
Yes Ray this is the Basic vehicle....i dont have any problem's with the "bells and whistles"...on this tojo.

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Cheers for now...WilliamH...Bunbury...WA.
FollowupID: 625826

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 09:08

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 09:08
If warning light fails to come on at startup maybe the circuit is the problem and not the fuel. Drarning the water trap should have corrected the problem if it was fuel.

AnswerID: 357617

Reply By: Rossc0 - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 09:47

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 09:47
Can you clear the fault from the ecu. I only know about the petrol ones and even if you rectify the fault it is still held by the ecu until cleared manually.

Once cleared if the fault is for real then it will return on the ecu.

Is there a sensor on the fuel drain/filter, if so that's where I'd be checking first. ie disconnect the wiring to it, remove it clean and reinstall.

AnswerID: 357626

Follow Up By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 12:51

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 12:51
I had the batteries disconneced for 1.5 hours.

I have cleared the fault but it comes back again.

So looks like the fault is as the book says WIF CIRCUIT fault.

I'll see it the sensor is removable.

However given that the warning light does not come on on start ignition, does that mean that the circuit is open and therefore producing the fault? ie blown globe.

How do you test for this?

If this is the case how on earth do you get to the instument panel fault light without making it a days work disassembling the dash.

FollowupID: 625764

Follow Up By: Rossc0 - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 13:14

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 13:14
I don't know if a blown globe would cause the fault. In a BA falcon they won't.

Would suggest the sensor is more likely to be faulty or the wiring to the sensor.

I know its about 5 min and 10 screws to access the dash in an 1986 F100 don't know how long it would be in a late model F250.

FollowupID: 625766

Follow Up By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 13:20

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 13:20
I got this from a US forum didn't like the sounds of it so I'm off to pull the sensor out!!!!!

Just as well I have all day with nothing else to do!!!!! NOT GRRRRRRRR

To remove the dash panel, it's easier if you can remove the radio first with some u-shaped radio removal tools. You can find them at Wal-mart for about $3.00. If you don't have these tools, or can't get the radio out, you can still remove the dash, it's just a little less convenient. The front dash cover will just pull out with your hands. I started on the driver's door side, and worked my way around from there. Once the front is pulled off, you'll need to unplug the wiring harnesses from the headlight, and 4x4 switch, (if equipped), and the radio, (if not removed before dash cover). You'll need a 9/32" (7mm?) socket, or nut driver to remove the A/C control panel, and the instrument panel. For automatics, you'll need to reach under the dash, and un-clip the gearshift indicator, and slide it down, and out of the instrument panel before you can move it much. You may also have to tilt the wheel, and move the gear selector down, to free up the instrument panel. Then, you can unplug the wiring harnesses from the instrument panel, and completely remove it to a bench, or just maneuver it around to gain access to the bulbs. I used pliers to twist the plastic bulb retainers counter-clockwise, and remove the bulbs. I used dielectric grease on the new bulbs, and cleaned around the dash and everything really well while it was all apart.
FollowupID: 625768

Reply By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 10:46

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 10:46
After much searching the consensus was that it's a dud Cam position sensor (CPS), Ordered some new ones from US arrived 6 days later.

I installed the new CPS unit, (not a nice spot to get at I have the skun knuckles to prove it) Turned the key engine spins over but does not start.

In other words same as before so CPS in not the problem.
I said a few words..... "oh bother" may have been amongst them. Then I went inside and had a beer,( OK maybe several). Not because of the car but because it was beer o'clock.

So back to the drawing board, fault code is still "WIF circuit" so climb on top of motor poke lead light into places hitherto unexplored and lo an behold there is a SECOND sensor waaaaay down the bottom of the fuel filter. Mongrel of a place to get to!

Two wires at the back of the plug neatly chewed through.
(I live on a cattle property in the tropics and rats particularly white tailed do get into machinery even though we have baits everywhere)

Fiddly horrible job to doctor up the break and reassemble the plug.
Plug everything in, turn the key, fires immediately!!

Issue finally resolved!!!!

Moral of the story, if the fault diagnosis thingy tells you it's code P1139, believe it until you have checked EVERYTHING in that circuit and you can prove it's wrong.

Thanks everyone for your advice and assistance.
AnswerID: 360115

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 12:03

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 12:03
Hi Gone Troppo

I am so pleased to read that she GOES at last. I'll keep a note of what happened in case we should ever suffer the same. We too have a problem with rats nesting in vehicles and destroying what ever they choose to make their nests. Our son calls the tractor he has been called on to fix a few times "rat's nest tractor", and the wiring for its headlights is beyond redemption.


Red desert dreaming

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