Sprinter-Forum    
 

Go Back   Sprinter-Forum > General Forums > Sprinter Talk

Sprinter Talk General discussion about anything and everything about Sprinters.
SubForums: Events Scanners


 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-05-2016, 04:42 PM   #1
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 25,000
Thanks: 12,876
Thanked 14,079 Times in 8,948 Posts
Default Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

Your Water in Fuel Light WIF dash warning came on.


I've added this post from further down in this thread to help to keep things in perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
To try to put the possibly lengthy future discussion here [and in other threads] in perspective...

Most Sprinter owners will never, ever in their lifetime get a WIF dash warning. Being aware that a WIF warning can be serious is a good thing. Worrying about the WIF dash warning which you will likely never get is wasted effort.

My advice is:

Should the unfortunate WIF situation happen to you, all of us have been given some methods to make certain the fuel is brought back to proper quality. There are remedies.

It can end up being very expensive to try to just ride through a wet fuel situation unless you can quantify the level of contamination.

vic
Keep Your Fuel Receipts!
Some great advice by Poddydodger.
I always pay by card and keep my receipts for a time. I hadn't thought to add the odometer reading on the receipt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poddydodger View Post
My diesel mechanic advised me to always pay by card, always buy the same brand eg Caltex, BP and always write kms on receipt, this way you have come-back for dirty diesel.
Rob.

Original thread starts here.

There have been quite a few discussions in the forum as to how much damage can be done by water in your diesel fuel. It is not a myth. Water can cause serious damage to the Sprinter injectors and other fuel system components. Claims are that the newer NCV3 model engines are more susceptible than the older T1N I5 engines.

The Sprinters have a Water In Fuel WIF monitor system which is designed to alert the operator of a water problem. There is also a procedure to drain off a small amount of water from the fuel filter. The system can work, but it is important to not expect too much from the WIF sensor/drain procedures.

What to do?

My opinions only. I have no data.


If you get the WIF warning then the first thing that should be done is to stop operating the vehicle and apply the water drain procedure. That may buy you some time.

The next step is kinda hard to actually commit to, but it really should be done. Use the time that you just bought by draining the filter to get to where the fuel filter can be replaced. Once you get the WIF alarm it is likely that the fuel filter water separation ability has been compromised or even overwhelmed. Changing the filter will at least get you back to OEM standard. Buy an extra spare filter to have on hand.


So you changed the filter, drove for a while and now the WIF warning activates again. Sorry. You need to stop operating your Sprinter right now and get it towed to where the fuel tank can be emptied and then properly cleaned to get rid of the water. Do not press on. You will likely cause a bunch of damage which could plague you for years to come, or at least until all the affected components have totally failed one by one to be replaced.


Worried about towing cost being covered? Remove and stash the fuel pump relay. That accomplishes 2 things. It makes your Sprinter not run so road service is required. It keeps others from starting your Sprinter and pumping any water around into your fuel system.

What I would NOT do after getting a WIF warning.

Ignore a WIF warning.
Use water dispersant additives of ANY kind (after getting the warning). Additives can cause the water to slip by your OEM filter.
Use the water drain procedure multiple times with the thought that you will ride through the problem.

Typical Sprinter Fuel Filter

OEMstyleFuelFilter.jpg

Thanks goes to CJPJ for the diagram.


Some information for emptying the fuel tank to reduce the weight is here. The tank will need to be cleaned, not just pumped out.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/sho...560#post210560

Adding a pre-filter is said to help.

My idea, since expanded by input that includes some other member's solutions, for a fuel system MAHLE KL 313 pre-filter which MAY help the WIF fuel monitor to perform a bit better is here. The MAHLE KL 313 filter is used OEM on some MB vehicles. It will not restrict flow when installed before the Sprinter filter (unless it gets plugged)

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45146

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/sho...d.php?p=433511


Some discussion regarding improving the OEM Water In Fuel monitor and response is found here.

Peas and Carrots

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43670

Be warned. That thread has over 100 postings as of this thread being created.


Please feel free to add general information to this thread. Please do not ask specific questions or start discussion about pre-filtering solutions or other subjects. Anything off-topic will be deleted.

If you found this thread by searching for a solution for water in your fuel tank, Best of Luck to you.

vic

Added:

From another forum. I like this Aussie's style. Mydmax seems to have a good handle on diesel filtration. I like his ability to make things a bit clearer. (PUN intended.)

Apparently the Sprinter OEM water design is the "Detects water but doesn't really stop the water, you have to act to do that". That means it has the manual drain to empty the filter unit of the small volume that can be stopped.

"The Water detecting systems generally don't dewater the emulsified water in the fuel and require a dewatering and particulate filter to be working in conjunction with the detecting feature to realistically provide a good insurance policy."

Quote:
Originally Posted by mydmax
Re: Feedback on Fuel water separator filters?
Doggie39

Be sure of what you ask for because of the following:
There are water separators.
There are particulate filters. Just/only a filter.
There are water detectors ie Water Watch. Detects water but doesn't really stop the water, you have to act to do that.
There are filters which filter particulate matter and mostly dewater the emulsified water contained in the fuel.

Some commonly used popular/well known filters like CAV filter and have a water bowl but don't have the flow rate ability required for CRD and modern pre CRD Toyotas.

The Water detecting systems generally don't dewater the emulsified water in the fuel and require a dewatering and particulate filter to be working in conjunction with the detecting feature to realistically provide a good insurance policy.

The micron size of the filter has to be around 10 micron or less to be adding filtering ability for a CRD engine..If the micron size is around 2 or 3 micron, that is good but it also will block more easily and presents a greater restriction to flow, so it has to be a much bigger filter area to overcome this/any restriction to flow rates if that micron size is used. Much dearer too.

The Water Watch detects the water but doesn't stop water and it allows emulsified water contained in the fuel to continue to the inj pump. Not so bad on conventional diesel but not good for a CRD engine at all. With Water Watch you have to act immediately to stop fuel and water from getting to the engine.. Drain and continue with just fuel and hope no emulsified water got through. These are very at what they do though and saves the day with globs of water present..

Some filters dewater and filter but don't have a water detecting feature to warn you. It can be there and you don't know until it builds up and triggers the OE filter warning system Expensive ones do warn you. $300 upwards.

Choices as I see it:

Use a Water Watch and act immediately and pray no emulsified water is present if you have CRD.
Use above and add dewatering filter too.
Use a dewatering and filtering unit and check frequently.
Pay hundreds of money for all the bells and whistles model which detects, dewaters and filters too.

<snip>

mydmax
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/vi...f=118&t=142583
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydmax
Doing something to aid filtering is better than nothing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
...

Mercedes Benz has provided a Water In Fuel WIF monitor system. Anyone who has been reading here now knows that it is flirting with disaster to not properly respond to a WIF warning. It is a warning as to water in your fuel. The drain procedure is not a cure if there is too much water for it to handle.

Many of the WIF disaster stories have included trying to address the WIF problem using the OEM drain capability and dispersant additives. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for those who will listen, we now know to not mess around if a WIF warning comes up on your dash.

I'm likely going to install a Mahle pre-filter. Partially because it will make my future filter changes less expensive and easier to do.
...

vic

Apparently the OM612 tank can be emptied by siphoning. No fuel pump is needed, but it will speed the process up. A floor jack can be used to raise the rear end if you don't happen to have a forklift handy. Thanks goes to Skippy and Emu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy and Emu View Post
Was shifting about a ton and a half of stuff to my country property. Stopped at a very small country service station to get fuel and one of their very nice ham and salad rolls.
Tank was about a quarter full, had just put in 57 litres when I realised I was filling with Petroleum instead of Diesel. I went inside the servo to pay for the fuel and ask for assistance. The Lady behind the counter, said it was a common problem and that she would get "Tony " who would know what to.
Tony had a quick look underneath and said, no drain plug, will have to siphon it. ( my sprinter does not have the pump in the tank )
I started the sprinter and drove it about 10metres off the forecourt. Switching the motor off immediately.
Tony supplied me with a length of garden hose and severel empty 20litre oil drums.
I managed to siphon out about 60 litres via the fuel filler, before the flow stopped. My calculations told me there was still a significant amount of fuel in the tank. I asked Tony if he had a trolley jack, so as to lift the whole rear end of the sprinter to make the fuel move towards the front of the tank. He fired up his forklift, and gently placed the forks under the towbar. No problem lifting the whole rear end ( even with the weight I had on board ), the rear tyres were about 8 inches off the ground. Magnificent, managed to siphon several more litres.
Removed the fork lift, started the motor and reversed back the 10 metres to the pump. Switched the motor off immediately. I filled the tank to the brim with fresh diesel . I estimate there may have been about 2 to 3 litres remaining in the tank. ( which would have been a mix of petroleum and diesel ).I paid for the fuel, and gave Tony $20 for his help. The sprinter started as per normal, I drove it off the forecourt and let it idle for a few minutes.
It never missed a beat, no coughing etc. Has been ok ever since.For peace of mind, I did change the fuel filter at the next service.
A cheap transfer pump will get the siphon started without risk of fuel ingestion/aspiration.
http://www.harborfreight.com/multi-u...ump-66418.html
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.

Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 08-06-2018 at 03:29 PM.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Aqua Puttana For This Useful Post:
DanG144 (07-02-2016), DesertAdventures (05-18-2018), Eurorealtor (02-09-2016), jim1071 (03-11-2017), long1pham (08-11-2019), sikwan (09-12-2017), smiller (02-11-2016), SneakyAnarchistVanCamper (03-15-2018), Terrapin (02-12-2016)
Old 02-05-2016, 05:17 PM   #2
MeRob
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: BC
Posts: 527
Thanks: 544
Thanked 202 Times in 141 Posts
Default Re: Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

I suggest that once that light goes on...shut it down...drain the filter and if it comes on again...TOW it to where you can drain the fuel tank and fuel lines.
If water enters the injection system... you've had it.
I ruined a VW diesel engine by trying to start it twice... after it quit running. I had unknowingly just picked up wet diesel at a local station.

Now I try to avoid older filling Stations...(possible leaking storage tanks?), and non busy stations (possible condensation from low level in storage tanks ?) and any station that is presently or just had fuel delivered by a tanker.( possible stirring up of sediment etc)
In an emergency...I understand that a 'new' folded pair of panty-hose will filter out water. Where to get them is another problem entirely.
MeRob is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to MeRob For This Useful Post:
Aqua Puttana (02-05-2016), long1pham (08-11-2019), LOTUS (04-05-2016)
Old 02-11-2016, 01:21 AM   #3
mawsea
sprinter guru
 
mawsea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NorthWest
Posts: 212
Thanks: 62
Thanked 90 Times in 49 Posts
Default Re: Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

seriously? plenty of water in the tank in the pacific northwest but not a single competent sprinter mechanic. What if it's just a fualty sensor?
__________________
Original owner: 2003 2500 144 low cargo 200,000 miles, outfitted for work and play
mawsea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2016, 02:33 AM   #4
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 25,000
Thanks: 12,876
Thanked 14,079 Times in 8,948 Posts
Default Re: Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawsea View Post
seriously? plenty of water in the tank in the pacific northwest but not a single competent sprinter mechanic. What if it's just a faulty sensor?
Are you being a hoser?

With the possible consequences to your engine, I would not recommend hanging your hat on "What if it's just a faulty sensor?". The only real answer is to treat any and all WIF warnings as real until proper troubleshooting has shown that "it's just a faulty sensor?".

Until then, guessing that it is a faulty sensor is the same as ignoring the warning. Hiding one's head in the sand may not work so great.

vic
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2016, 06:18 PM   #5
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 25,000
Thanks: 12,876
Thanked 14,079 Times in 8,948 Posts
Default Re: Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeRob View Post
...
In an emergency...I understand that a 'new' folded pair of panty-hose will filter out water. Where to get them is another problem entirely.
So I suppose that leaves out borrowing them from a boyfriend.

vic

P.S. - Thanks for the experience input.
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2016, 06:28 PM   #6
smiller
2008 View J (NCV3 3500)
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,516
Thanks: 527
Thanked 3,119 Times in 1,865 Posts
Default Re: Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

If I got a WIF indication I would stop the vehicle immediately/ASAP and use the filter drain tap to take a sample in a glass jar to verify whether water was actually in the fuel, and if so how much (and of course save the sample so you have at least some sort of proof.) After taking the sample I would also replace the fuel filter (I always carry a spare) before moving on, shouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes even if by the side of the road. I would then sample again after a short time and if more water was present... time for a tow truck.
smiller is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to smiller For This Useful Post:
Aqua Puttana (02-11-2016), Deancm (02-24-2017), jim1071 (03-11-2017), mawsea (02-24-2016)
Old 02-12-2016, 01:15 AM   #7
Gulfbreeze
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SE Louisiana
Posts: 60
Thanks: 256
Thanked 21 Times in 13 Posts
Default Re: Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

Thirty five years ago had a Datsun pickup with a drain plug (similar to oil drain plug) on bottom of fuel tank. Got some bad fuel with water in it. It was so easy to drain the fuel from tank.
__________________
Gene
2006 Cargo 140 2500 Hightop
Gulfbreeze is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Gulfbreeze For This Useful Post:
jim1071 (03-11-2017)
Old 02-24-2016, 09:54 PM   #8
mawsea
sprinter guru
 
mawsea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NorthWest
Posts: 212
Thanks: 62
Thanked 90 Times in 49 Posts
Default Re: Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

I drained all 25 gallons out and dropped my tank and scrubbed it clean. I took lots of samples as I was draining it, never did see any water. My guess is the filter was doing its job with the minute amount of water cuasing the water in filter light to be triggered. I have a clean tank now and know how to prime my fuel lines....
__________________
Original owner: 2003 2500 144 low cargo 200,000 miles, outfitted for work and play
mawsea is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to mawsea For This Useful Post:
Aqua Puttana (02-27-2016), Deancm (02-24-2017), jim1071 (03-11-2017)
Old 02-25-2016, 12:38 AM   #9
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 25,000
Thanks: 12,876
Thanked 14,079 Times in 8,948 Posts
Default Re: Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

My recollection is that you got the WIF warning, went to a dealer who basically changed the filter (no tank cleaning) and sent you on your way? Did you get any further WIF warnings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawsea View Post
I drained all 25 gallons out and dropped my tank and scrubbed it clean.
Not an easy task.

How did you drain the OM612 fuel tank which doesn't have an in tank electric pump?

Added: Answer found in another thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mawsea View Post
My 2003 does not have the in-tank pump. I went down to the local auto parts store and bought a universal, inline, 12v diesel fuel pump and hooked it up to the inlet hose at the filter and sucked all 25 gallons out. I paid $55 for the pump but I see them on Amazon for around $25.
Good to know that the pump works to empty the tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawsea View Post
I took lots of samples as I was draining it, never did see any water.
I guess that is a good news bad news thing.

The good news is that you now know your tank wasn't badly affected.

The bad news is that it took the effort of draining and cleaning to verify that. (Given the possible consequences of damage to your Sprinter fuel system I would ignore the bad news comment.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawsea View Post
My guess is the filter was doing its job with the minute amount of water cuasing the water in filter light to be triggered. I have a clean tank now and know how to prime my fuel lines....
That is a good data point.

My stance has been that if the operator responds properly to an OEM system WIF warning, then it will not be fatal. (I have little data to base that upon other than the known negative consequences of using the OEM filter drain multiple times and pouring in water dispersion additives.... I don't recommend trying that.) Even though nobody could 100% visually confirm the specific level of water contamination in the tank (we don't really know how bad your fuel was), for you inthis set of circumstances, the OEM system worked for you. That the system worked is great assurance for me.

FWIW. By draining and cleaning the tank you basically did what I would do if I ever get a 2nd WIF dash warning. At this point I don't know of any other way DIY to verify that the fuel isn't beyond the capability of the Sprinter OEM fuel filter design to be able to handle the contamination.

Thanks very much for the feedback.

vic

P.S. - My problem would be what to do with the removed fuel that is probably ok. Off the top of my little pointy head I would be very comfortable with siphoning, or pumping of the majority of a 5 gallon jug of fuel for re-use. My theory would be that the water will settle to the bottom of an undisturbed fuel storage container. An alternative would be to give the fuel to some boat guy who likely has superior water separation capability built into the fuel filtering system.
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.

Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 02-25-2016 at 02:35 PM.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Aqua Puttana For This Useful Post:
DanG144 (07-02-2016), LOTUS (04-05-2016)
Old 02-25-2016, 11:13 PM   #10
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 25,000
Thanks: 12,876
Thanked 14,079 Times in 8,948 Posts
Default Re: Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
Are you being a hoser?

With the possible consequences to your engine, I would not recommend hanging your hat on "What if it's just a faulty sensor?". The only real answer is to treat any and all WIF warnings as real until proper troubleshooting has shown that "it's just a faulty sensor?".

Until then, guessing that it is a faulty sensor is the same as ignoring the warning. Hiding one's head in the sand may not work so great.

vic
My apologies to Mawsea for the above somewhat flippant response.

I didn't realize that he was in the throes of deciding what to do after getting a couple WIF warnings.

Apparently a dealership just overcharged him for a water drain and minor service and sent him on his way.

As indicated above, the fuel tank has since been drained and cleaned. I think that even though that is a bunch of work, given the possible consequences to the fuel system and injectors, it was the right thing to do.

vic
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Aqua Puttana For This Useful Post:
mawsea (07-24-2016)

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.