Water in tank

I am having a problem with my friends car. Seems she went to fill up the other day and her car was running fine before. After she filled up (the fuel truck was there adding to the tanks at the time of fuel up) her car started sputtering and lost power. She got it home and it died and would not start.

I have changed her fuel filter. checked her spark plugs and replaced them. I also replaced the distributor cap and rotor cap. Her rotor was pitted and burnt. After replacing the rotor cap and distributor the car started again. It took a little babying and time to warm up before it was driveable, but it still ran like garbage.

I also put some seafoam fuel additive into the tank to take care of any water problems that may have occures. I believe it is water in the tank now. There were 13 stations in the Portland, Oregon area who received shipments of bad gas in the last few days. I believe she found one of them. But how long should it take for the car to get back to a normal operating mode?

what are you referring to? other stations got bad gas? any info from the station concerning their paying for repairs to customers cars?

it may be a coincidence but an earlier post referred to the gas station accidentally had diesel put into the regular gas tank, so several others have had this problem also.

yes, for some reasons connoco/phillips got some gas from some supplier and it was then delivered to various stations statewide. I have not read the article, but am going to look it up to see exactly what happened. As far as paying for repairs I have heard nothing.

found the article. this is cut and copied from it.

Eight Salem police cars were taken off the road earlier this week because of bad gasoline.

The gas station that supplies the city of Salem?s vehicle fleet received a new shipment of gas Wednesday. After the gas was used, reports began to stream in that several city vehicles, including eight police cruisers, weren?t running correctly.

?Officers were reporting poor performance, it felt like the engine was missing, and there was a lot of smoke and steam coming from the exhaust,? said David Okada, of Salem police.

According to the Salem Statesman Journal newspaper, testing revealed water had been mixed with the gasoline. The 13 contaminated loads were delivered to stations around the state, including retail gas stations open to the public in Aurora and Woodburn.

A mechanic said the repairs of typical problems caused by bad gasoline could cost more than $500.

The cost includes towing the car to the shop, draining and changing the bad gas, cleaning out the fuel tank, replacing the fuel filter and cleaning out the fuel injection and its lines.

All of the city of Salem cars have been repaired.

Police said the shortage of cruisers never affected the public?s safety.

She needs to go to the service station and submit her claim. If they are among the stations served by the same fuel supplier as the police, the supplier should work with Friend to a solution. At other times, when gas suppliers have delivered “bad” gas, they (often? sometimes?) pay for the fuel system repair.
You could detach a fuel line, drain some fuel into a clear container, and let it sit. If it has water in it, it will separate, with the water on the bottom, in a few hours. This could, also, be your “proof”.

Proof can also be a receipt for the gasoline.

thanks for the input. Im going to suggest she do that. I may just end up draining the tank and getting her going again. It runs now, but just has problems at first. Car needs to warm up for a bit before it stays going. Then is real slow to accelerate. I’m just hoping the water will work itself out naturally. I put the seafoam stuff in her tank to help with the water problem. I hope it works without causing too much damage or costing a lot to fix.

Proof would be good, but it may not be necessary. Going to the station would be a good start. It happened to me once (the day before my wedding). A seal broke and rain water got into it. I had about a gallon of water floating on top of five gallons of water (7.2 gallon tank). When I walked back with a sample of what was in my tank (about a mile down the road) they were towing cars in. I did my own repair and they paid for all my cost along with related secondary cost, no problem. I drained the tank, refilled it added a couple of containers of dry gas. The next tank I added one container of dry gas and that seemed to do it.

My son had a similar problem with water in gas from a local station. He had to take his truck to two repair shops before the problem was diagnosed. Total towing, repair, and rental came to over $700. I sent an email to the HQ of the company (BP) complaining about the water in the gas. They sent a check in about a week for the entire bill. Seems other people had this problem. BP did the right thing.

I added seafoam the other day and then today I put some heet in the tank and topped it off. So I’m thinking it should slowly work its way through the system. Once the car gets going i have no problems. juat a little hesitation and some sputtering. but it picks up good and drives ok after I have it going. Thank you all for your input. I think the problem is going to go away slowly but surely with what I have done. Thanks again!!!

I told her to go in and ask if there were other vehicles that were affected, but I don’t think she is going to. Don’t think she got a receipt from them anyway. If she did she tossed it. She pays cash all the time. It’s her car and I suggested she tell them, but I can’t make her do it. I know I would for sure. I think the total cost for repairs for her was a little over a hundred dollars. I won’t make her pay me back. She offers I tell her no. I’m just glad to get her going again.

35 years ago when I got water in my gas tank (stupidly hooked the Porsche 912’s winshield washer output onto the tank’s vent tube) I used plain old rubbing alcohol (isopropanol), on the advice of my Dad the chemist. Cheaper than the commercial ‘dry gas’ stuff. As I recall, it was about one bottle of alchohol to a per tank – or maybe half-tank. Probably not critical. Took a couple of tankfuls, but it did the job. Don’t know how much difference fuel-injected engine would make.

Keep the tank full - never let it go below 3/4. Add a pint of ethanol every time she fills up before adding the gasoline. It can be denatured ethanol (10% isopropanol). The alcohol will combine with the water and disperse it into the rest of the gasoline. The water will float on the gasoline until this process is finished. After about 4 treatments, try filling the tank with just gasoline and see if it runs satisfactorily.

Does she often shop at this gas station? If she is recognized, that might help her even if she did not get a receipt. It is possible that it will cost her several hundred dollars to get this fixed. If she is too timid to get what she deserves from them, then, well, maybe she is getting what she deserves anyway. I mean no disrespect to the young lady, but we get what we ask for. Ask for nothing, get nothing.

It would have been interesting to see just how clean and pure that water in the vehicles actually was.
Just wondering if a tanker driver may have made a stop somewhere to offload a hundred gallons or so and made up the difference with a water hose.

Nice supplemental income for the driver and it would be pretty easy to pass the buck off if questioned. “Hey, all I do is pick the gas up and deliver it”.
We had several Subarus towed in taht quit after getting gas at a Texaco station and it looked pretty suspect on the station’s part because there was a lot of water and it was sparkling clear. A Mason jar full of it held up in sunlight and one would swear that it was potable water.

A truck driver I did a favor for once came up to me later and gave me an entire case of Hormel Black Label hams in gratitude. He made deliveries for Hormel and stated that was one of the “extras” on the truck. I bet. :slight_smile:

the truck drivers are just bringing the fuel to the stations. you would be surprised what happens to petroleum when it is being shipped!

the only thing that is constant is that petroleum gets contaminated, water gets introduced, and sediment is mixed in. this is a huge shipping process, and it is NOT perfect. (sometimes it is, but there are goof ups)

if water gets into the fuel, it goes to the bottom of the tank. but if it gets pumped (agitated) it gets really blended into the gas. it takes a couple hours to settle out. although this does not apply to a tank truck, because they just dump the gas into a filling station, the water may have been in suspension during the trip from the supply terminal.

She did call the station today and told them. She didn’t get a receipt, but goes in there all the time so they know her. She called corporate today and they e-mailed her some paperwork to fill out. Not sure how it’s going to change anything since she didn’t get a receipt, but she is trying.

I know you mean no disrespect, but it’s true the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

maybe you could help her fill out the required papers, and go through the process with her, so she sees just what happens when you stand up for yourself.

it would be interesting to see how this plays out, and how other news clippings from the same day effect your results.