Diesel Fuel Contamination Signals and Your Repair Information

Contaminated diesel fuel is one of your engines worst enemies. Water, microorganisms, wax, hard particles, debris and other sediments could be the culprit leading to major engine and component damage. Areas of concern include the age of the fuel, weather, onboard fuel tanks, filters and offsite storage tanks. Damage to fuel injectors, pumps, lines and solenoids may result in power loss, higher fuel consumption, poor idling or hard starting and smoke. Proper maintenance of the fuel system is your first line of defense to avoid these problems.

Some signals you might see that indicate contaminated fuel may include:

  • Black exhaust smoke
  • Discolored or rotten smelling fuel
  • Premature fuel filter replacement between regular service intervals
  • Fuel injectors require cleaning or replacement
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Premature piston ring and cylinder-liner wear resulting in increased oil consumption and excessive blow-by

Exploded view of fuel filter case in auto repair information ProDemandYour truck repair information can help you with the information you need to properly inspect, service and maintain the fuel system. Repair information, like TruckSeries, will include service and maintenance procedures, removal and installation of new components, component locations as well as have exploded views of system components, drain valves and bleeding procedures. Daily inspections including draining the water separator are covered as well. All of this information will help speed up your repair process.

While you can’t control items such as fuel storage in offsite tanks you can ensure the truck receives proper fuel system service and maintenance procedures. Avoiding major engine or component damage as well as keeping the truck on the road is a win-win situation for yourself and the owner/operator.


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About the Author

Bruce Cansler

Bruce Cansler started his automotive career in 1973 as a technician for Datsun. He retired from the U.S. Navy as a Seabee Construction Mechanic with 20 active years of service and 10 as a reservist, then spent time working in Ford, Lexus and Caterpillar dealerships. Bruce has obtained ASE certifications in both cars and medium/heavy trucks and has worked with the Commercial Vehicle Group at Mitchell 1 since 2009.