Bad Gas...How bad could it be?

gasoline

#1

While out of town I stopped to get gas. Immediately after pulling out, my engine warning light came on, my van started sputtering, lost power, then died.



I had it towed to a mechanic who said there was water in the tank. He drained the tank, refilled it and it ran.



Since then it has continued to misfire and lose power. I have burned through several tanks of high test, but the problem continues.



Now the engine warning light is on again. I’ve called the gas station several times, but no response.



Can water really cause continuing issues like this? Could the gas have been contaminated with something other than water?


#2

Water is about the worst. You may have got a blend of some alternate fuel too. Water is not good at all. Stop wasting the hi-test. The stuff won’t help you get through the problem.


#3

Time to get a can of SeaFoam and use it. =)

-Matt


#4

Hopefully the mechanic also added some heat or other produce to eliminate the water that would be remaining. It happened to me once, I got five gallons of water into that 6.2 gallon tank.

High test fuel will not help at all.  You can try adding one of the cans of stuff used to absorb water un these cases.  

It is also possible that additional damage was done to the engine (mine ended up with a cracked intake valve, paid for by the station that provided the gas) or more likely today would be a sensor.

  That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code not just their translation into English and post it back here. It likely will have a format like P1234.

#5

We still don’t know what is actually wrong with your car nor what caused it. I am not buying the “water in gas” story, not just yet. If it were true your car should have made a full and immediate recovery. Did the mechanic actually show you what came out of the gas tank?

We haven’t enough clues to even tell you where to begin. The actual problem might eventually be traced to anything in the fuel, ignition, or emission systems. Clearly you need to find a mechanic who can test each system. Good luck.


#6

We had a local incident of this where the accident was that the delivery driver put diesel fuel into the regular fuel tanks.

Getty fessed up and took care of the issues, some people made it about a half mile while others further with running problem. I feel bad for the station owners who are very hard working Indian family who take great pride in ownership and customer service.

I am not saying this is the issue. However your mechanic could would very well notice diesel vs gasoline though.

Anyway best of luck.Did your mechanic keep a sample of the “bad fuel”?


#7

Thanks for all of your comments/suggestions.

We immediately put a heat product in it after we got it pushed off the highway when we first broke down.

The mechanic drained the tank, changed some spark plugs, and did note on the bill that water was found in the tank. Unfortunately, I didn’t ask him to keep a sample.

He said there were several codes, and cleared them because he thought they were sent to the computer in error. He suggested I take it to the dealer.

The engine light came on again, the van continued to misfire and lose power.

The dealer said it was the transmission and I could get a new one for $3800. That’s more than half the value of the van. Plus I’ve already bought three transmissions for my first two chrysler vans, so I know what a failing transmission acts like. My transmission isn’t acting up at all.

Then my regular mechanic at home read the codes. He said there were 8, thought they were in error, so he cleared them and asked that I bring it right to him when the engine light came on again. When it did, he read the codes again. There were three, a Torque Converter malfunction code, and two of the same code, a trans contoller code.

Per my husband’s request, my mechanic changed the transmission fluid, put a lubricant in it, and checked to see if there were any metal shavings in the fluid. There were not.

He is not convinced it is the transmission. Nor am I. It doesn’t slip or anything.

The van didn’t have any symptoms of anything until I got gas, pulled out, it started to lose power, sputtered, then just died right there in the middle of the highway.

Maybe it was a coincidence, but even the mechanic wrote down on paper that there was water in the tank.

Hopefully, I will be able to get the true diagnosis before it breaks down.

We contacted the gas station several times, but no reponse. I called the state regulatory complaint line today.

Thanks again for all your comments,

BusyLo


#8

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you may well be facing a bad trans torque convertor. At times a bad T/C will exhibit loss of power. Metal shavings may not be immediately apparent in the trans fluid since the T/C does not readily exchange fluid with the trans body.

Let us know how this turns out…if the T/C is bad it will fail completely in the coming weeks. Drive with care


#9

Water in fuel often brings dirt and/or rust which damages fuel pumps and overloads filters. You might pull the fuel filter and pour the contents from the input side into a glass to inspect for possible trash.


#10

[i]He said there were several codes, and cleared them because he thought they were sent to the computer in error. …

The engine light came on again, the van continued to misfire and lose power.

Then my regular mechanic at home read the codes. He said there were 8, thought they were in error, so he cleared them and asked that I bring it right to him when the engine light came on again. When it did, he read the codes again. There were three, a Torque Converter malfunction code, and two of the same code, a trans contoller code.[/i]
Well at least your mechanic read the third set of codes. Maybe just maybe all those codes that keep popping up are important.

You shoul have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code not just their translation into English and post it back here. It likely will have a format like P1234.

Note: You may want to repost the message with a new title. Maybe something like Bad Gas = Bad Transmission? That should get transman’s attention who is THE MAN when it comes to transmissions.


#11

Okay, thanks again everyone.

The code I know that was read was 0740.

Here’s the first mechanic’s labor desciption on the bill:

NO START
HAS 48 PSI FUEL PRESSURE-SPEC 53-63
CK FUEL FILTER
FUEL FILLTER CLOGGED-REPLACE
NEW FUEL PRESSURE 55 PSI
HAS FIRE FROM IGNITION
CHECK SPARK PLUGS
3 FOULED - REPLACE ALL 6
STILL NO RUN
CK COMPRESSION-COMPRESSION GOOD
SLIGHTLY LOW ON CYLINDER 2 BUT
ADEQUATE
NOW HAS FUEL FIRE AND COMPRESSION
CK FUEL CONDITION-CUSTOMER JUST FILLED UP
FUEL CONTAMINATED WITH WATER
DRAIN TANK REPLACE FILTER AGAIN
ADD 12 GALLONS FUEL
ADD LUCAS FUEL SYSTEM TREATMENT AND WATER REMOVER
VEHICLE HAD CODE 0740

I also have notes on the bill from the dealer who said I need a new transmission, if anyone thinks they could help from that.

Thanks again,
BusyLo (a busy Mom with a not so happy van)