Fuel injectors


#1

I had one fuel injector fail, then 10 days later another. So I replaced the other 4 also. 05 Ford freestar van, 51,000 miles. I got the idea it might be from cheep gas around the Portland Or. area. Anyone else with this problem?


#2
All gasoline should meet specifications that would ensure it is not a problem.  Likely by the time the gas gets in the tanks at the gas station, it is good, but what happens to it after that can vary.  It may sit a long time, or they may not have drained the water out of the tank or they may be accepting gasoline from other stations that may have closed etc. 

Normally your fuel filter would have caught anything that could have caused those problems. Has your fuel filter(s) been replaced? Maybe it is past time.


#3

I am an environmental engineer so I sometimes read the enforcement actions that the regulatory agencies publish. I have not seen one lately, but I have seen a number of cases through the years where gas stations got busted for receiving used industrial cleaning solvents and blending them in with their fuel.

This has many economic benefits - the hazardous waste hauler gets rid of the solvents for free, but collects disposal fees from the company that originally used the solvent. The gasoline station gets free ‘gas’ which they can sell, and since they pay tax on what they buy, not what they sell, they get to pocket the tax revenue as well.

If the solvent is benzene or toluene, it will burn just fine in your car. If, however, it has halogenated solvents or certain alcohols in it, or it is contaminated with dissolved solids, it can cause a lot of damage to your fuel system, oxygen sensors, and catalytic converter.


#4

All gasoline should meet specifications that would ensure it is not a problem.

Sorry but bad gas is the MOST LIKELY problem. First off…tanks have been known to get contaminated. The contaminants are pumped into a person gas tanks. I know one gas station (which I refuse to go to any more) on a hot summer day they were having problems with the pumps. They were pumping very slowly. So they removed the filters.


#5

Injector failure is very rare so it would be interesting to know the details behind the injector failures.

Failed electrical circuit, clogged, or failed injector based on what you were told?
Failure occurred shortly after filling up or what?

If the gas is really bad enough to cause an injector failure then I question why all of the injectors did not fail. Contaminants are not selective.

If there were solid particulates in the gasoline then the strainer in the tank will filter out the larger ones. The fuel filter will weed out the smaller stuff and anything that is tiny enough to get through the filter will be stopped by the screen in the injector or it will pass on through that screen.


#6

Another case where it looked like"bad gas" had a leg to stand on then BAM reality reared its ugly head.


#7

I’m with ok4450 on this one. I’d want more info on exectly what the failure mode was of the injectors before blaming bad gas. I’d also want a look at the filter.

While bad gas happens, I’ve seen far too many operating problems blamed on bad gas that were some other cause. Last summer a friend was having misfiring and poor operation. Someone who should have known better told her it was bad gas. I asked her how long it had been since she’d had a tuneup…it was way over 100,000 miles…on copper core plugs. A complete tuneup solved the operational problems completely. And you should have seen those sparkplug electrodes! Such erosion I’ve never seen!


#8

You base your conclusion, that you got bad gas, on the fact that you put gasoline into your fuel tank, and sometime later, a fuel injector, presumably, went bad, and a few days later, another fuel injector, presumably, went bad? If you hadn’t gotten gas, your car wouldn’t have run at all. That “proof” is rather weak.
I don’t doubt that you got gasoline; nor, that two fuel injectors went bad (for some reason; but I can’t connect those dots. For proof, you’d need a chemical analysis of the fuel. The fuel supplier can have that chemical analysis done if enough people complain to the fuel supplier’s headquarters. The service station manager, where you got the gasoline, might contact the fuel supplier, and the fuel supplier may carry the ball from there.
Do you have a sample of the “bad” fuel to submit a part to the fuel supplier?
About a month ago, someone came here, to Car Talk forum, with a sample of bad gasoline, and wanted to know where to get it chemically analyzed. He didn’t find a lab which would do the analysis; but, the station manager sent the sample of bad gas to the fuel supplier who had it analysed and found a large amount of an alcohol in the sample.
When a fuel supplier acknowledges bad fuel, the fuel supplier will pay for the repairs.

Here is the link to that instance of proven bad fuel: http://community.cartalk.com/posts/list/2117197.page


#9

First, thanks for all the ideas. i have been away on an emergency so i am late replying.
Now, i will start with the first reply, Joseph, My fuel filter was two years old, maybe 20,000 miles. i have replaced it. also replaced the one on my little truck. On the van the fuel in the filter pored out was dark. on the truck it was clear. We buy most of out gas at the same place with our discount card. . Mike, thanks. Manolito, i wonder about solvents, my mechanic has stated that some gas smells like a tar for the roof…4450, thanks… Mountianbike, my van has 51,000 miles on it not over 100,000… hellokit, sorry but i never save samples when i buy gas… thanks to all. looks like it could be bad gas or idiot driver, maybe both.