Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
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.

PLEASE read this post before continuing.

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.

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

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.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?p=210560#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)

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45146

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?p=433511


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

Peas and Carrots

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/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."

mydmax said:
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/viewtopic.php?f=118&t=142583
mydmax said:
Doing something to aid filtering is better than nothing.
...

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.
...

:cheers: 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.

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-use-transfer-pump-66418.html

Added:
Check this

Million Mile Sprinter.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk8wg8P0y58

bill
"Still has a space for the water". There may be a space, but there is no separating membrane.

I checked with the manufacturer for the MAHLE KL 313 fuel filter which is used on many MB V6 diesel engines. The filters that don't have a WIF warning and drain capability don't have any water separation technology included in the design.

The space at the bottom of the filter housings may work as a catch space for heavy debris, but it is not there to catch and retain water.

The MAHLE KL 313 or equivalent is also an "air leak free" filter. The only openings are the fuel inlet and outlet.

:2cents: vic
 
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MeRob

Member
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.
 

mawsea

sprinter guru
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?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
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
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...
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. :lol:

vic

P.S. - Thanks for the experience input.
 

smiller

2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
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.
 
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.
 

mawsea

sprinter guru
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....
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
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?

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.
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.

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.)

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.

:cheers: 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.
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
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.

:cheers: vic
 

talkinghorse43

Active member
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....
Were any of the fuel samples cloudy? If cloudy, then the fuel contained dispersed (emulsified) water which would carry water through the OEM filter and potentially cause high pressure fuel system issues. If the fuel drained was clear, then the OEM filter/water separator was most likely working as designed and it would probably have been safe to continue on without draining or cleaning the tank, responding to the WIF warning with a fuel filter water drain when necessary. The picture below shows what the fuel in my '02's tank looked like when I suffered through my WIF experience in late 2014. I didn't realize at the time the consequences of soldiering on with cloudy fuel. This particular sample didn't clear up on its own until after several months storage in my garage.
 

Attachments

hayduke

2005/2006 leisure travel
Question from a curious observer (btw,thanks so much for the warning.I would have probably ignored the warning light)Could you remove the fuel filter and pump out a few gallons of fuel to examine the cloudiness,or use a siphon to remove fuel from the tank directly to do the same, before draining and cleaning the tank? And why isnt draining the tank without cleaning it enough to remove the problem? Thanks
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Question from a curious observer (btw,thanks so much for the warning.I would have probably ignored the warning light)Could you remove the fuel filter and pump out a few gallons of fuel to examine the cloudiness,or use a siphon to remove fuel from the tank directly to do the same, before draining and cleaning the tank? And why isnt draining the tank without cleaning it enough to remove the problem? Thanks
A fuel sample could be taken.

Running the pump will not necessarily bring out the water and contaminants. The water is heavier than the diesel fuel so any free water basically lays on the bottom waiting to be sloshed around. The OEM fuel pump pickup is not right at the bottom of the tank.

Given the possible consequences of water getting into the fuel injectors and doing damage, I am not the one to say whether a sample with a Hail Mary blessing is sufficient.

:2cents: vic

Added:

I use Power Service Diesel Kleen additive. If the marketing hype is to be believed then there can be some benefit in the occasional use of an additive to avoid the build up of Water In Fuel levels over time before any WIF warning, but not after.

Some reading for those inclined.

Power Service Info said:
To answer my own question I found this while searching google and thought I would share it [here at DieselStop]. Interesting info I pasted from a forum. Looks like a response from Power Service.

Diesel Fuel Supplement (DFS) [white jug] has an antigel which prevents the fuel from gelling. It also has a detergent, cetane boost, lubricity, anti-icing, and corrosion package.

Warm fuel will carry more water than cold fuel. When it gets cold some water can fall out of the fuel, or the water separator can squeeze out water which can freeze on the filter face and cause the fuel to stop flowing through the filter even though the fuel is still liquid. This is call Fuel Filter Icing and is often mistaken for fuel gelling. Our Diesel Fuel Supplement contains a deicer that is intended to keep the water in the fuel from falling out. The deicer can also help to solubilize small amounts of water in the fuel system. If too much water is in the fuel tank it can overpower the deicer in the Diesel Fuel Supplement.

Cetane will cause the fuel to ignite a split second sooner than fuel with low cetane. This will cause the engine to start faster and help the fuel to burn more completely and aid in fuel economy, reduce emissions and noise.

The detergent in DFS will help to keep the injectors clean which is the key to better fuel economy. The EMA (Engine Manufacturers Association) recommends the use of a detergent. Their research shows that low sulfur fuels have a tendency to form carbon deposits on fuel injectors. The DFS will prevent these deposits from forming. These deposits interfere with the fuel injector spray pattern, cause the engine to smoke, emit more emissions and reduce fuel economy.

Lubricity will help the fuel pump to last longer. The vast majority of fuel pumps in diesel engines are lubricated by the fuel and in the USA one-third of the fuels do not meet the minimum lubricity requirements. The DFS has enough lubricity to raise these fuels up to the minimum standard recommended by the fuel pump manufacturers. The fuel pump manufacturers BOSCH, Delphi, Denso, Siemens and Stanadyne say that lubricity is the most valuable and crucial property of diesel fuel.

Our Diesel Kleen is a summer additive and it is intended to give you the very best injector cleaner, cetane, lubricity, fuel stability package and corrosion protection. It will not do much for water and it is not intended to. The injector cleaner is strong enough to clean up a dirty injectors to the spray pattern of a new injector. The Cetane Boost will help your engine start quicker, reduce emissions (even NOx) and improve engine performance. The lubricity package will bring the lubricity of the fuel up to the standard recommended by the fuel pump manufacturers. It meets the N14 Standard for corrosion and it will stabilize the fuel. The stability package helps the fuel to resist thermal breakdown which can cause the fuel to darken and form particulate materials which create gum residues in the fuel system.

Diesel Kleen is the only additive on the market that has effectively demonstrated the ability to reduce NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) which are the fine particles & ground level ozone often called Urban Smog. It will also reduce the other diesel emissions like black smoke, PM, CO, and HC. It also has the strongest detergent package on the market.

When it comes to water dispersal the following will apply.

A Demulsifier, an emulsifier and a water solubilizer are all water dispersants. All diesel fuel has water in it. The water that is in diesel fuel will not hurt or harm the motor, pumps or injectors. Low Sulfur diesel fuel usually has around 50 to 65ppm (parts per million) water in the fuel. When the water content of the fuel gets around 100ppm or higher, the more likely fuel filter icing will occur.

Demulsifiers will cause excess water to fall out of the fuel. This water will fall to the bottom of the fuel tank or fuel system and can cause corrosion, rust, reduced lubricity and in the winter months it can freeze in the fuel lines and prevent fuel flow. There are about a dozen demulsifiers or de-hazers on the market. None of them will work on all fuels. You have to test the fuel your are using against the various demulsifiers to see which one will work with that fuel. They are fuel specific and when an additive company says they use demulsifiers in their additives it is for advertisement purposes only. If you talk to any Chemist that knows anything about demulsifiers they will tell you the same thing.
An emulsifier will pull water up into the fuel as small droplets and often will cause the fuel to be cloudy. In the winter months when the temperature drops below freezing, these water droplets can freeze on the filter face of the water separator causing the flow of fuel to stop, even though the fuel is still liquid. It does not take much water to cause Fuel Filter Icing problems. Both Ford and Chevy have advised against the use of emulsifiers because of possible engine damage caused by water droplets in the fuel. These water droplets also reduce the lubricity of the fuel and hurt fuel pumps and can pit, scare and destroy injector tips, according to Ford and Chevy.

Diesel Kleen and Diesel Fuel Supplement do not contain demulsifiers, emulsifiers or alcohols.

Our Diesel 911 is a solubilizer. It will take free water and combine it with the fuel so when you look at the fuel it is clear. Diesel 911 will combine with the fuel first and it will also keep the water in the fuel from falling out. It then will act upon the free water in the system. If the fuel is dry and is not saturated with water, it will pick up more free water than when the fuel is wet. A fuel solubilizer will not suspend water in the fuel as water droplets and it is not an emulsifier.

There is a lot of misinformation about additives and water dispersants. When you use an additive like our Diesel Fuel Supplement or Diesel Kleen these are mixtures of additives in a package. These various chemicals have to be balanced so they will not separate when you mix them together. It doesn't matter if you use our additives or one of our competitors, a good water dispersant takes a lot of room in the additive package. If you add a strong detergent, strong cetane, excellent lubricity, corrosion, top of the line antigel, and stability to the additive package there is not much room left for a water dispersant. A good multiple benefit package will always have a weak water dispersant package. It is a matter of chemistry. The only way to get a strong water dispersant is to get an additive whose top attribute is to control water like our Diesel 911. It takes a lot of water dispersant to take care of free water so it will take up a lot of room in a container.

If you think you have a water or water related problem then you need to use our Diesel 911 to take care of the water. Diesel 911 is completely compatible with Diesel Kleen and Diesel Fuel Supplement and they can be used together in the fuel. If you live in areas where the temperatures can be severe in the winter months then you need to use our Diesel Fuel Supplement. Use the Diesel Kleen in the non-winter months. Also, just before winter sets in I would use the Diesel 911 to help take out the water/condensation in your fuel system. You might also use it once a month in the equipment during the winter just to be sure condensation doesn't build up in the system. One-third of all fuel flow problems in winter is caused by water. Diesel 911 is the perfect product to take care of this problem. It will solubilize the water back into the fuel so the water will act as a component of the fuel. The water will be in solution and not in droplet form in your fuel. All fuel contains water. When used as directed it will prevent fuel filter icing problems, it will not hurt or harm your pump or injectors and it is the only practical way to rid the system of water in a vehicle . Again, use the Diesel 911 when you think you have a water problem .

Diesel 911 does not contain any methyl or ethyl alcohols. It is a proprietary mixture containing Hydroxyl Compounds. These de-icers are used in many diesel fuel additives that are currently on the market.

It is also interesting to note that Power Service Products, Inc. is one of the few diesel fuel manufacturers that have their own chemical storage tanks, own lab and one of the most modern and automated production lines in the industry. We buy our chemicals by the truck load, tanker load and sometimes by a million gallons at a time. We control our costs in this way which keeps us cost competitive and we also do not experience shortages which would stop production in the critical winter months. Our chemist in our own lab come up with our formulations and test them for performance and quality. We mix our own chemicals at our tank farm and then send them to our warehouse for bottling, box the product and store it for shipping. Most of our competitors use what we call "cold blenders". That is they come up with a formulation and then send it off to a blending facility who purchase the chemicals and mix them to the required specifications, bottle and box and label the product and then ship it back to the owner who warehouse it until it is sold. This causes their prices to be usually higher than ours. Often since they have higher costs due to the cold blend process they put out an inferior product and say it is equal to or better than ours.
http://www.thedieselstop.com/forums/f33/water-fuel-removal-additive-167475/


http://www.dieselplace.com/forum/63...-info-directly-power-service-my-decision.html

The above is for reading. It is not an invitation to turn this thread into an additives discussion. Please start another thread if that is what you need.
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
A DIY fuel tank cleaning will not necessarily break the bank.

A basic list to DIY a Sprinter fuel tank empty process.

Fuel containment

Inexpensive blue tarp.
Large funnel with flex tube
Shop towels or paper towels
Disposable vinyl gloves. (optional)
Permanent marker to label containers.

5 gallon Homer buckets
http://www.homedepot.com/p/The-Home-Depot-5-gal-Homer-Bucket-05GLHD2/100087613

5-gal. Homer Leakproof Lid
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leaktite...-5GLD-ORANGE-LID-for-5GL-HOMER-PAIL/202264044

More expensive alternative:

5 gallon fuel containers (yellow is for diesel, but color is not critical).
Briggs & Stratton 5-Gallon Diesel Can
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Briggs-Stratton-5-Gal-Diesel-Can/203165852
$17.98 ea.

Fuel Transfer

1/4" or 5/16" fuel hose to direct fuel from fuel pump hose to the fuel cans.

Low pressure hose for transfer only. Not for use on Sprinter fuel system.
http://www.amazon.com/Raider-714B-5...bxgy_60_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0Q9PVZ71QVPPP94JG17A
http://www.amazon.com/Raider-715B-5..._UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=1XBG6Q1GE70NXKG8H7BA



Hose barb joiner connector to connect to OEM fuel hose. (plastic or nylon will work fine.)
http://www.amazon.com/Generic-Splic...d=1456585929&sr=1-3&keywords=hose+barb+joiner

For NAS aka NAFTA 2004 and up (with in-tank electric fuel pump):
Short jumper with male slide-on connectors to jumper fuel relay for fuel pump constant run.

For NAS aka NAFTA 2001 - 2003 (OM612 engine with mechanical fuel pump):
In-line universal 12 volt fuel pump.

PM Info said:
Here are 2 each inexpensive fuel pumps either of which which I believe can be used to empty the tank on your OM612 engine with mechanical suck pump. You may need to prime these pumps, but once they are pumping they should pretty much empty the tank.

http://www.amazon.com/W8sunjs-Unive...8?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1455933891&sr=1-12

http://www.amazon.com/Hilitchi-Univ...8?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1455934062&sr=1-30
A cheap household extension cord can be chopped up to use as the wire to power the electric fuel pump. For safety reasons it would be best to use a 10 or 15 amp fuse for the fuel pump power feed.

The fuel pump can be used to transfer the fuel back into the Sprinter tank if the fuel is to be reused. If the tank is being emptied because the 2004 and up OEM in tank electric fuel pump has failed, once primed, an in-line pump should work to pull fuel up and out through the dead OEM pump.

Verification that a small pump will extract fuel through a non-operating Sprinter fuel pump. Thanks goes to Sebtown.

When I mistakenly filled my Sprinter with gasoline last year I realized my mistake before I started the engine. I had it towed to a shop where they used a small electric pump attached to the inlet hose at the fuel filter and pumped the tank dry. Refilled with clean diesel and I have enjoyed over 10,000 trouble free miles since. I now double and triple check the pump before fueling. Best of all I was only charged $49 to pump the tank and even with the cost of the gasoline I was only out $100. Drilling a hole in the tank is a terrible idea in my opinion.
vic

Added:
Some information about using the OEM fuel pump to empty the tank is here.

Some general info and T1N is here.
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?p=210560#post210560

Some NCV3 specific fuel pump control information is here.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?p=331624#post331624
 
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talkinghorse43

Active member
Question from a curious observer (btw,thanks so much for the warning.I would have probably ignored the warning light)Could you remove the fuel filter and pump out a few gallons of fuel to examine the cloudiness,or use a siphon to remove fuel from the tank directly to do the same, before draining and cleaning the tank? And why isnt draining the tank without cleaning it enough to remove the problem? Thanks
The quantity of fuel that is unavoidably drained along with the water from the bottom of the OEM fuel filter when responding to a WIF light is sufficient to determine whether the fuel in the tank is cloudy. I attached another pic below to show what one of those samples looked like for me.
 

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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
The quantity of fuel that is unavoidably drained along with the water from the bottom of the OEM fuel filter when responding to a WIF light is sufficient to determine whether the fuel in the tank is cloudy. I attached another pic below to show what one of those samples looked like for me.
Not to rain on anyone's parade...

When you had your fuel quality issues wasn't an additive used in an attempt to "cure" the water problem?

My question would be whether the visual cloudiness shown in your samples was a result of the moisture levels alone, or was it enhanced by the fuel additives put in the tank after the fact? Those additives may have caused the water in the fuel to react differently.

If there is free water in the fuel tank is the fuel always cloudy, or can the water be lying on the bottom to only be a problem when it is agitated up enough to be sucked up by the fuel pickup? I have no answers, only the questions.

It *seems* to me that using an additive as a regular maintenance procedure may have some value as to water in fuel problems. Once one gets a WIF dash warning the horse is out of the barn. In that case trying to treat the "wet" fuel with after the fact additives may send you down the wrong path.

Added: Small amounts of water are likely pulled out by good quality fuel.
That's my understanding too. In extreme cases water in fuel can even crack injector bodies and nozzles.

That's my discussion here. Water doesn't seem to automatically build up in our tanks. Are we all always getting perfectly dry top quality fuel? That seems pretty doubtful. [Also, our tanks are vented to atmosphere = humidity.] ALL diesel fuel can carry a bit of water. Some types (biodiesel/blends) can carry more. Temperature affects the water capability. I would expect that the heat/cool cycles that most tanks see would tend to precipitate out the water at one time or other.

The fuel in our Sprinters is heated and circulated back to the tank. The heated fuel will hold more water than cold fuel. Assuming that the fuel we pump into our tank is not very "wet", does that heat and circulation process help to keep the free water from accumulating in our tanks by taking the moisture away in very small doses?

The OEM filter membrane is designed to trap free water. As I mentioned earlier, it must not be trapping the "in range" amount of water in the fuel or else we would all be regularly draining our WIF filter system. Originally "dry" at lower temperature biodiesel when heated may be more efficient at water control than is heated dino diesel.
...
vic

The stakes as to possible damage and reliability can be high.

I have no data.

vic

Added:
I have read where it is not unusual for 10,000 gallon in ground diesel storage tanks to have 1" or more free water at the bottom. If a storage tank can have free water, then why not a vehicle tank? It seems to me it is just a matter of quantity and whether the water gets sucked up by the fuel pump or not.
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
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.

:cheers: vic
 
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talkinghorse43

Active member
Not to rain on anyone's parade...

When you had your fuel quality issues wasn't an additive used in an attempt to "cure" the water problem?

My question would be whether the visual cloudiness shown in your samples was a result of the moisture levels alone, or was it enhanced by the fuel additives put in the tank after the fact? Those additives may have caused the water in the fuel to react differently.

If there is free water in the fuel tank is the fuel always cloudy, or can the water be lying on the bottom to only be a problem when it is agitated up enough to be sucked up by the fuel pickup? I have no answers, only the questions.

It *seems* to me that using an additive as a regular maintenance procedure may have some value as to water in fuel problems. Once one gets a WIF dash warning the horse is out of the barn. In that case trying to treat the "wet" fuel with after the fact additives may send you down the wrong path.

The stakes as to possible damage and reliability can be high.

I have no data.

vic
I always add Amalgamated Inc's former product labeled TDR-S (they no longer sell it) because it contained the highest concentration of cetane booster (2-EHN) that I could find on the market and it was cost effective. Just so happens that this additive package also contained a water dispersant, the presence of which I gave little thought to. (Their equivalent product now contains a water de-emulsifier; no more dispersant.) Not realizing at the time the possible consequences, I continued to add TDR-S throughout my WIF experience. In hindsight, I probably should have discontinued additive addition , and accepted the lower fuel economy, until the WIF situation was resolved as that may have resulted in breaking the water emulsion and allowed the OEM water-separating filter to work as designed. That MAY have worked, but Donaldson's product literature talks about how ULSD contains additives for other purposes that also act as water dispersants, so it may not be possible to have clear, normal color (not fluorescent green) fuel (in the ULSD era) in the presence of water (and some sloshing/agitation). I still don't have enough hard evidence to be able to say that for sure, but some of Dennis' reports of incidents through his shop suggest the presence of a water emulsion carrying water through the OEM filter and accompanying high pressure fuel system damage.

PS - My stock of TDR-S has been modified by addition of the de-emulsifier that Amalgamated now sells in their additive packages.
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Water In Fuel Draining

NCV3 (OM647 T1N in tank electric pump should work similarly.)

from: Operators Manual


Draining the fuel filter

WARNING: Fuel is highly flammable. Improper handing of fuel creates a risk of fire and explosion.
Avoid fire, naked flames, smoking and creating sparks under all circumstances. Switch off the ignition and auxiliary heating before carrying out work to the fuel system. Always wear protective gloves.

Environmental note: Dispose of the water-fuel mixture in an environmentally responsible manner.
If the indicator lamp lights up, drain the fuel filter with water separator immediately. Otherwise, the engine may be damaged.


Vehicle with a diesel engine:
http://www4.mercedes-benz.com/manua...bols/mbsymb1b_inv/mbsymb1b_inv_003a-large.png if the indicator lamp in the instrument cluster goes on, drain fuel filter with water separator immediately.


Mercedes-Benz recommends that you have this maintenance work carried out at a qualified specialist workshop.

Park the vehicle safely and secure it from rolling away.

Switch off the auxiliary heating system more.

Switch off the engine.

Open the bonnet more.

Place a suitable receptacle under drain hose

Turn the key to position 2 in the ignition lock.

Open drain plug immediately until the water/fuel mixture flows out of drain hose

Screw in drain plug as soon as approximately 0.2 litres of the water/fuel mixture have been collected.

The electrical fuel pump halts the flow of the water/fuel mixture after 30 seconds.

After draining, turn the key back to position 0 in the ignition lock.

Dispose of the collected water/fuel mixture in an environmentally responsible manner, e.g. at a qualified specialist workshop.

Check drain plug. The drain plug must be closed.
When the engine is running and drain hose is open, fuel is lost through drain hose

Close the bonnet.
If the indicator lamp does not go out after draining:

Drain the fuel filter again.


If the indicator lamp does not go out after draining for the second time, have the cause checked immediately at a qualified specialist workshop.




T1N OM612 with mechanical "suck" pump.

I've been trying to understand the intended significance of CJPJ's post of the filter draining procedure for, I guess, an NCV3. I'm thinking now it was meant to show that MB labels the OEM filter as a "fuel filter with water separator" - as if that label could fully describe its capabilities. Here's the verbiage from my owner's manual, circa 2001, pp. 10.2 & 10.3:

"Draining Fuel Filter with Water Separator
Diesel fuels and diesel fuel mixtures must be disposed of properly; we recommend water be drained from fuel filters by an authorized Sprinter Dealer.
NOTE: The fuel filter must be drained as soon as the indicator lamp lights up.

CAUTION
Delaying draining of the fuel filter for a considerable time after the indicator lamp lights up may lead to engine damage.
NOTE: Turn water drain screw (2) on and off only by hand.
After draining, the engine may run briefly but stall for lack of fuel. If this occurs, bleed the system.

Draining Fuel Filter
- Stop the engine.
- Prior to opening water drain screw (2), place a suitable receptacle underneath.
- Open the water drain screw (2) about 3 turns (counterclockwise).
- Open the bleed screw (1) about 4 turns (counterclockwise) and let fluid drain completely.
- After draining, close the bleed screw (2 (sic, should be 1)) and water drain screw (2)

Bleeding the Diesel Fuel System
The diesel fuel system [air] is bled [purged] automatically during the starting procedure.
- For this purpose, start[S/] [crank] the engine continuously for up to 60 seconds until the engine [starts]/runs evenly." [Do not crank for excessively long time periods or starter may be damaged.]
...
 
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navylife59

New member
I started have the WIF flickering on for a few seconds then off, staying off for periods of times, coming on solid for shorter period times. This only began to happen after I changed out the OEM filter. I don't know if it was the original as I bought the van at 49K miles. The times where it stays off, are far longer than the times that it is on. It has a seemingly random pattern to it. I have replaced the filter twice since then. Except for purging/flushing the tank, I have done all of the other troubleshooting/maintenance techniques. I use HEET for diesels, which has always worked wonders in a '93 Mercury Sable that would go wonkers whenever a little bit of water was in the fuel. I never find water in the separator when I drain it. This has been going on for over 3 years now. I just ignore the light completely. I have had not issues so I believe that I have some sort of electrical problem with the sensor/harness. Visual inspection shows no issues. Don't have the electrical troubleshooting schematics to test with a multi-meter. Anyone else have the similar false alarms?

BTW: The following MB procedure simply does NOT work. I prime the pump/filter with an internal full pump sitting in a jug of diesel. Works every time. The air in the line between the tank and the filter (where gravity has not already primed) is minimal and bleeds itself after starting. The idle is only rough for about 5 seconds.

Bleeding the Diesel Fuel System
The diesel fuel system [air] is bled [purged] automatically during the starting procedure.
- For this purpose, start[S/] [crank] the engine continuously for up to 60 seconds until the engine [starts]/runs evenly." [Do not crank for excessively long time periods or starter may be damaged.]
 
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