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Watered down gasoline from a local service station.

Discussion in 'Aerostar Forum' started by BrooklynBay, January 1, 2019.

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    1. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I was driving my 1995 van this morning without any issues then I noticed that I was about one notch away from the empty mark. I went to my regular gas station to fill up. This place is usually the lowest price in my area. I pulled out, and didn't have any issues driving home less than a half a mile to my house. I parked for 10 or 15 minutes, then pulled out of the driveway. The van was very sluggish, and I had to floor it to accelerate. I thought that it might be sluggish from a cold start, but I didn't have this issue when I pulled out earlier after sitting a whole night.

      The issue kept getting worse as I was driving. I had difficulty trying to maintain 32 MPH on the highway, and slowed down with every incline on the road. I was trying to go 45 MPH which is the speed limit but I wasn't able to get it to go that fast. By the time I got home, it was so bad that I couldn't go up into the driveway without rocking it back & forth. I was able to rev in park or neutral, but in drive the engine was too loaded down. I could feel misfiring during low RPM driving, and while it's reving in park or neutral. The transmission wouldn't change gears automatically the whole time because the RPMs were very low. Fuel consumption was a little worse than usual.

      Did anybody else have this experience from watered down fuel? Do these gas conditioners really work or do I have to drain the whole system? I hope that it's not some other issue with the transmission or the engine. There was no check engine light on at any point. I was listening to the exhaust. It might have a slight sputter but no water or white smoke was present.
       
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    3. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @BrooklynBay
      Is the vehicle E-85 rated? Is the fuel marked "up to 15% (or something like that) Ethanol? In a 10 gallon fill, that's a gallon and a half of alky, capable of swallowing quite a bit of water. If you are E-85 OK, if it were me, in that cold place of yours, I'd get as much Ethanol into the tank as possible, and try it. Drain fuel if necessary. I've heard 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (available at Wally-World) will work, too, but never tried it. Short of that, draining seems needed.

      Did you complain to the seller? Careful it's not something else, but considering it came on right after fueling.......imp
       
    4. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      My van isn't E-85 rated. I didn't go back to complain. It's barely driveable. I have some additives that I want to try. I read that something called HEET is supposed to absorb moisture in situations like this. I might have to get a bottle of it if the stuff I have doesn't work. It cost me $40 to put in 16 gallons of gas from this place so I would like to find a way to get around dumping the entire tank.
       
    5. Josh P

      Josh P Shaggin Wagon Elite Explorer

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      It could be the gas station got a delivery of bad gasoline, not watered down. I've had that happen before, I just kept topping the tank off at a different gas station.
       
    6. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @BrooklynBay
      The main ingredient in HEET is alcohol; those little cans are not very cost effective. Saving the 16 gallons with intent to remove the contaminant (if water, or whatever) would be pretty difficult. If it's water, the batch could be chilled very cold, since some alky is bound to present, until the frozen alky/water mixture could be sieved out (gasoline won't freeze until REALLY cold), but to save forty bucks, well, not fun. To prove a point, start a possible lawsuit, another story. Best of luck resolving this. imp
       
    7. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      You sure a delivery driver didn't mix up and put diesel in the gasoline tank? I had that happen to me several years ago to my six month old Camry. They had to eat all the repairs recommended by the Toyota dealership, and pay for a cat a few weeks later. It ran the way you are describing.
       
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    8. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I’d shake the van up real good and pull a gallon sample out of it. You’d smell diesel, and you could see separating(water) if in a clear container.
       
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    9. shucker1

      shucker1 Elite Explorer

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      True statement.

      Alcohol and water will go into solution just fine. Water and any petroleum based fluid are not and will separate over time.

      I have heard of instances where the delivery driver to the gas station did not put the caps back on the underground storage tanks properly and after a heavy rain the underground tanks got loaded.

      Since the pick up in the storage tank is about 6" off bottom of the tank the water gets pulled out first.

      When I worked at a gas station we would always coat the bottom foot of the meter stick with a water indication paste.

      The darker the color the more water content in the tank.

      If you suspect water you could pull a fuel sample and get the paste and test your fuel with a stick.

      Kolor Kut Water Finding Paste
       
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    10. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I tried going back & forth in the driveway. The transmission seems to have slippage, and a delay engaging when I shift to 2 or 1. Drive & overdrive didn't slip as much. I added a quart of transmission fluid. It helped a little but not much. Maybe it will improve after it warms up. It's only idling after sitting all night.
       
    11. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      This also happened at a local to me gas station/convenience store. By the time it was discovered they ate over 20 car repairs, some needed new engines.
       
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    12. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I was impressed that the Camry engine survived as well as it did, and ran badly, but ran during my commute home of about 30 miles. Also started again and made it to the dealership later that day. When I told the dealership it wasn't on my dime, they went nuts, pulled and cleaned out the gas tank, replaced fuel pump and filter, replaced engine oil, filter and plugs and some other stuff I don't remember. It was about $700. Then the check engine light came on a few weeks later and when I took it to Toyota, they said the cat was bad, and they had never seen one go bad before. I mentioned the diesel in the gas tank incident, and I could see the light pop on over the tech's head. I called the gas station manager and he sent a check directly to the dealership to cover the cost. I traded that car in on my Silverado about a year later. The car was fine, for someone else. It did everything okay, but driving it was no fun, just nothing enjoyable about it. Life's too short to drive vehicles that don't make you feel good.
       
    13. boominXplorer

      boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      Got an extra maf you can swap in and try? It's about the only thing that matches your symptoms other than poor fuel quality.
       
    14. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      After adding a quart of transmission fluid, I could feel a little improvement after it warmed up. The delayed engagement, and slow shifts weren't that noticeable. I added 1-1/2 quarts of barbeque lighter fluid to the fuel tank. It slowly started to get power back! It's not perfect, but it wasn't perfect before all of this occured either. I didn't test it on the highway yet.
       
    15. shucker1

      shucker1 Elite Explorer

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      They are getting smarter these days. Tank to truck interconnects are different adapter ends for different products.

      I do remember an incident several years back, while working offshore.

      The deck hand on the supply boat pulled up the wrong hose while sending us potable water.

      You guessed it. We took on 50 Gallons of diesel to our main water storage tank before the boat skipper saw it.

      Ever take a diesel fuel shower????
       
    16. Adam_tinkerer

      Adam_tinkerer Member

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      My former boss filled his almost new diesel F250 with gas once. He liked to partake of certain herbal substances which was likely a factor!! Lucky for him, he didn't kill the engine, just an expensive dealer flush!
       
    17. shucker1

      shucker1 Elite Explorer

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      Yes!

      A vegetable tester?
       
    18. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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