Water in the Fuel System

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 18:33
ThreadID: 87470 Views:2575 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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G'day Folks

In July last year we took advantage of free parking space in the Pascoe River. Very quickly after that we headed to Weipa for oil and filter changes all round.

Between Feb this year and now, the water-in-the-fuel warning light and tone has gone off three times at about 2-monthly intervals. I've rectified this in the short term (obviously) by letting water out of the fuel filter and pumping fuel out.

The vehicle is a 2000 turbo diesel hilux, garaged in Canberra. Where last year it was probably used most days, now it is used only about 2 days/week.

1. Should I be looking at draining the fuel tank and flushing it?
2. Is there an additive type product that can be used?
2. Would a second fuel filter be a good idea?
3. Is the less frequent use likely to increase condensation and is that likely to be an issue?

Be gentle. If I have not already demonstrated my lack of experience, then that is where I'm coming from.

Advice would be much appreciated.

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Reply By: Hairs & Fysh - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:14

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:14
Hi John,
I've always used Chemtec Diesel Power Additive as a preventive more than any thing else. I'd be inclined to give the girl a good dose of that. Maybe triple the dose to start with and then the recommended amount after that.
Sounds like you have done things right.
See how you go with that.

AnswerID: 459517

Reply By: kiwicol - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:21

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:21
If not uising vehicle much, always keep tank full when parked up, as diesel attracts condensation in the tank.

A second filter wont help as they only filter dirt not water.

Little things go a long way.

AnswerID: 459518

Reply By: Mark C - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:23

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:23
John, sounds like you have water in the tank which needs draing off, if there is a plug in bottom of tank water will drain off before diesel. It is best to keep fuel tank full as possible as the emptier the tank the more condensation you will get. A CAV water trap filter prior to the final filter will help. It is curious that most machinery has primary & secondary filters yet Toyotas have but one filter.

AnswerID: 459519

Follow Up By: Rockape - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:49

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:49
some Tojo's have one filter and others have 2 depending on the model.

Early hzj75's had one then they went to 2 on the later ones.

FollowupID: 733077

Reply By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:53

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 19:53
If it's like my Hilux, the tank breather is in a chassis rail. Driving into water may cause the tank to suck water in.
Something to consider if you fit diff breathers.

The only safe way is to drain the tank.
AnswerID: 459520

Reply By: TTD1 - Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 21:16

Saturday, Jul 09, 2011 at 21:16
John G

If the problem has only happened a couple of times perhaps there is not a lot of water in the tank. First step would be to look for a drain plug in the tank and check that end, but and old trick for moisture in the diesel is to put a litre of metho in the tank, it is water soluble and get rid of any residues.
AnswerID: 459526

Reply By: Member - Bucky - Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 06:26

Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 06:26
Chuck in a couple lts of Metho...
I am lead to believe it absorbs up to 5 times it's weight in fuel..
Use as much of that diesel, in that tank as possible, and then drop the tank anyway, and flush it out properly. After that use Chemtec Diesel Additive, it works a treat.
The fuel filter water light, on my Patrol used to come on all the time, but it was any bump on the road setting mine off. So I braced it back to the firewall, and never had a problem since. Even on badly corrugated outback roads.

Never get fuel from a servo that is not popularly used, or if a FuelTanker is parked there, topping up the tanks, as it stirrs up all the crap in the tanks, and that in turn will end up in your own fuel tank.
AnswerID: 459534

Reply By: Member - John G- Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 08:57

Sunday, Jul 10, 2011 at 08:57
G'day All

Thanks very much for the advice. Very much appreciated.

AnswerID: 459543

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