Water in Fuel Light WIF warning is on.

Cole

OUTLAW SPRINTER!!!
Not that anyone asked...

Sensor failures and harness problems can give a false warning. My course would be to at least use the water drain feature to get a fuel sample into a clear container for visual inspection. To just assume that the warning is a bad sensor can have some serious negative consequences.

:2cents: vic

Fwiw, I tried all the other options first. Eventually trying the sensor. Which cured the warnings.

A failed sensor is apparently a common issue according to the dealer
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Good info from Creosoted. :thumbup:

I posted a [WIF] question similar to this a while back. I had the same problem where my fuel/water light kept coming on then off. I was very concerned and ended up draining my fuel tank the best I could and refilling with clean diesel. Soon after the light kept coming on/off again. It's been over a year now and it's still doing the same thing. I'd like to fix it so I would actually know if there ever real water in my fuel. I found this in an old thread.. the connectors may go bad and need to be replaced:

I changed my water in fuel sensor and the light was still on. Then finally after two years of driving with the light on I found that you can buy the connector (standard motor products s1238 connector) on ebay for like 25 bucks- it might say its a GM ABS connector but its the same thing and fits perfectly. Its simple to change, just cut the old one off and it comes with three wire crimps to attach the new connector. My light is finally off after all these years. Hope this helps someone
Maybe get a GM ABS connector from a scrapyard/breaker.

vic
 

Ldfeat

Member
"...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. "

Interesting! Larry 2014 Reyo P
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
"...All diesel fuel has water in it. ...
Interesting! Larry 2014 Reyo P
Generally bio-fuel can hold more water than dino diesel.

I started a thread for that discussion.

Bio Fuel and Water
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56421

Here's one post from that thread. Sources are cited elsewhere in the thread.

...

My understanding is that the problems with water in fuel are not so much related to the affects on combustion as they are on the fuel system itself. Particularly the latter end of the fuel system - the injectors and high pressure pump.

These have very tight tolerances and depend on the fuel itself for lubrication. Water, or a water and fuel emulsification, make lousy lubricants. So get too much water (whatever that "too much" is according to the engineers), and you have fuel system problems and failures.
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. 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.

Granted, sufficient amounts of water in the combustion chamber can cause problems, too.
It would seem to me that the amount of water would need to be pretty high for that to become a real concern. Our WIF monitor should be warning us before that is a problem. I have no data.

vic
My conclusion is that our diesel fuel will remove small amounts of water over time. It's when large(r) unexpected quantities of water are introduced that the troubles begin. Otherwise we would all be having trouble with water.

:2cents: vic
 

Russ61

Member
2014 Sprinter 3500 (Roadtrek CS) with ~ 18,000 miles. 4th time I've had the WIF sensor light. 1st time I was apoplectic but went thru the WIF separator purge, finding NO evidence of water in a clear glass pint bottle. Just to ensure, I took a small sample of fuel and added a teaspoon of water....VERY obvious separation of these 2 immiscible fluids, ie diesel and water. Restarted engine and no WIF indicator. 2nd & 3rd warnings reset as I turned on the ignition as I prepped to again do the separator purge....never had to proceed to actually purging, certainly suggesting a faulty sensor. I refueled last in October and haven't driven much since. Started it up the other day to take it for some exercise and noted WIF sensor active. Purged a pint, WIF sensor remained on. Purged another liter. Neither showed any water, warning light remains on. So begins the unnerving discussion with dealers who seem to be just guessing at what's wrong, ie "bring it in and we'll take a look at it", ie change the filter for almost $400. When I ask if it's confidently enough a sensor issue such that I can drive it in vs trailering (roadside assistance) their answer is "probably". The several (3) dealer service reps did not seem to really know how the fuel filter and sensor really functions and whether purging (especially a large quantity like a liter+) substantiates that there's no apparent water in the fuel. I sure would like SOMEONE to confirm that the WIF separator pulls off the BOTTOM, ie water, layer preferentially.

Do you think it's just a faulty sensor? Drive it or trailer it to dealer (50 miles)?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
... I sure would like SOMEONE to confirm that the WIF separator pulls off the BOTTOM, ie water, layer preferentially.
...
:idunno:
Refer back to post #1. The bottom water chamber would suggest that is where it collects/pulls from.

...
Do you think it's just a faulty sensor? Drive it or trailer it to dealer (50 miles)?
You've not shown any evidence of water in your samples. Your call, but it seems reasonable to drive for a diagnosis.

vic
 

Claude15

Member
2015 NCV3 Water In Fuel light went on and it ended up being a little bit of water in the electrical connector at the fuel filter. Blew out both halves of the connector with compressed air and haven't had any trouble since. (been about 25000 miles)
 

Russ61

Member
2015 NCV3 Water In Fuel light went on and it ended up being a little bit of water in the electrical connector at the fuel filter. Blew out both halves of the connector with compressed air and haven't had any trouble since. (been about 25000 miles)
I looked at mine and couldn't identify where the fuel filter is. I did see the water separator hose running out from underneath a large black plastic covering atop the engine. Not sure I want to get into that. Do you have any further advice or, ideally, pictures/images/diagrams as to where the filter and specifically the connectors are on a 2014 6cyl? Thanks.
 

JonnyGnwc

New member
Our 2013 sprinter just displayed the water in fuel light. Big snow storm here, is it possible that some snow got in there while pumping? My friend says it might just be ****ty diesel...filled it at a Sunoco
 

CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
The water In fuel sensor is in the Fuel Filter. A water amount as small as a table spoon (fluid ounce) of water could trigger the water sensor. I suggest that you Drain the water from the Fuel Filter as described in the operator Manuel. Easy to do.
Bty: - it possible to spray fuel all over if done wrong.
 

Bobnoxious

GONE FISHING
The water In fuel sensor is in the Fuel Filter. A water amount as small as a table spoon (fluid ounce) of water could trigger the water sensor. I suggest that you Drain the water from the Fuel Filter as described in the operator Manuel. Easy to do.
Bty: - it possible to spray fuel all over if done wrong.
Good point. I would suggest adapting an extension hose to reduce or eliminate spraying diesel fuel all over the engine and compartment.

NOx
 

JonnyGnwc

New member
Update: dealership replaced the fuel filter for $416!!! Am I wrong in thinking that’s high?

We were in a rush, en route from upstate NY to NC, and there is a nasty storm today. We also didn’t want to drive it too far with the light on, so we brought it to the Wappingers Falls dealership that just happened to be 12 minutes away.

The light is now off. Could this nasty snow/rain nor’easter be to blame? Our roof vent had some drippage today too!

Dealer said it was last changed at 28,000, and we’re at 57,000 so I figure it’s just time, I just wish my mechanic had checked it for me when he had it two weeks ago!
 

Bobnoxious

GONE FISHING
Update: dealership replaced the fuel filter for $416!!! Am I wrong in thinking that’s high?
Probably a bit high. What's the hourly shop rate? At least a $100 for the filter. Couldn't imagine booktime over 1.5 hours.
 

JonnyGnwc

New member
Probably a bit high. What's the hourly shop rate? At least a $100 for the filter. Couldn't imagine booktime over 1.5 hours.
It took them 30-45 minutes tops. And I left my damn sushi and lunch there! He was nice enough to call me and let me know

He said we could’ve kept going a bit but it would have caused problems. So I’m glad we got it done and got out of the storm...takin her to florida and back with stops in Asheville, Atlanta, Richmond, Charleston, etc http://www.lespecial.net if you’re interested
 

CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
For that amount of money $416 dollars surely they did a complete (A service) ; that includes changing the engine oil.
 

JonnyGnwc

New member
For that amount of money $416 dollars surely they did a complete (A service) ; that includes changing the engine oil.


I had the oil done just two weeks ago so no need...all they did was change the filter. $416
 

CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
To be fair they owe you 200 bucks
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I had the oil done just two weeks ago so no need...all they did was change the filter. $416
Some of the OEM fuel filters are $100+ for the parts only. Given the dash warning did they also do some additional testing and troubleshooting. MB dealership repair costs are not cheap, but troubleshooting/testing over and above a simple filter change does take time. That time is generally billed out hourly.

Not that anyone asked...
Once out of warranty, a pre-filter can extend the fuel filter change intervals and maybe make the replacement operation easier.

Some info is here that may help to decide if it is for you.

T1N and NCV3 Fuel Pre-filter
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45146

Please take any pre-filter discussion to that thread.

vic
 

Skydaho

New member
Is there anybody who has installed a drain plug for the fuel tank. Sure would be nice to bleed off any water in the bottom of the tank now and then, like I do on the heavy equipment I operate.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Is there anybody who has installed a drain plug for the fuel tank. Sure would be nice to bleed off any water in the bottom of the tank now and then, like I do on the heavy equipment I operate.
:idunno:

It may be problematic to install an effective water drain in a poly tank after the fact. Any aftermarket additions are likely to protrude into the tank enough that the water wouldn't be moved/removed unless there was a significant amount.

Puncturing the plastic tank is not recommended. I suppose that plastic welding would be a way to add a flush drain port.

I don't believe a drain is necessary. As long as the new fuel is in grade I believe that our circulated warmed fuel is capable of removing small amounts of moisture during normal operation.

Some discussion is here.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56421

vic
 
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