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  1. #1
    Silver Member nelsond7004's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Coeburn, VA
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    2009 Mahindra 2816 Gear

    Default Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    Hi All,

    So I have encountered my first real diesel fuel problem. This weekend after I filled up from empty, my tractor began to have some power loss while doing some chores, most notable while tramming down the highway cresting several hills. At one point I thought I was going to stall out. To make a long story short, I was able to get the tractor back to the barn. So today I decided to filter a 5 gallon container of the last batch of off-road diesel that I purchased using a Mr. Funnel filter. The attached pictures are a result of my filtering. Also the fuel appears cloudy; more of a pink color than the normal red that I am used to.

    What is your interpretation of the substance at the bottom of the jar? I honestly don't think it is water because it looks creamy. Is that gel, wax separation, or something else? And if you are wondering, I did treat this fuel directly at the fuel station with the white bottle of Power Service.

    I suspect this fuel was already degraded from when I purchased and by me adding the Power Service would not have much affect. Our winters in South West Virginia are fairly mild, but we did hit a single digit temp a few times this year.

    I plan on taking this fuel sample back to the dealer and ask that they make right by this. It is sad because I have dealt with the fuel station for quite sometime and for our area has a decent turnover of diesel fuel.

    Regards,
    Nelson

    -imag0003-jpg-imag0006-jpg
    2009 Mahindra 2816 Gear, 106 FEL, 3710 BH
    Kodiak 5' SD Rotary Cutter w/slip clutch
    Howse 12" Single Bottom Plow
    Ford Disc Harrow 5ft



    U.S. Navy Veteran

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    385
    Location
    Florida Ma.
    Tractor
    Ford 1720 SSS 4x4

    Default Re: Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    Fuel contamination is always a possibility though thankfully rare for most.
    Fuel is transferred quite a few times on its way to the pump and each time it is possible for contamination to occur.
    Perhaps the fuel level was very low when you purchased your fuel or a bad load was delivered.
    Tanks are dipped with a water sensitive paste on the end of the dip gauge to manually check for water accumulation and is sucked or drained out when necessary.
    All contaminates settle out over time and the pump will deliver it to your container if not monitored.
    All the more reason to filter or check your fuel before you fill your tank.
    One way to do this is to keep 1 empty fuel can and dump the fuel into another container after it has set for a day or two. Slowly empty the fuel into your clean empty container watching for contaminates.
    The fuel should not be cloudy. Empty all but a quart or so and dump the last bit into a clear jar as the final inspection.
    Keep spare fuel filters on hand.
    If this is an ongoing problem perhaps you need to install a clear bottom fuel filter with a drain on your tractor.
    90cummins

  3. #3
    Elite Member /pine's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    4,493

    Default Re: Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    In the marine industry algae can be a problem...usually first indication is clogged filters...
    Slash Pine
    blunt and succinct but sincere...in the immortal words of Popeye..."I yam what I yam"

  4. #4
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    7,903
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    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    I would say that you got about half water in your load. I assume you have some sort of home storage tank from your post. You may have gotten a contaminated load and then again your tank may be contaminated with water and needs to be drained off. It may not be possible now, but a bottom drain in your storage tank with a valve so you can take a bottom sample now and then would be my suggestion. Tip your tank so the pump side is an inch or so higher than the drain side so any water will flow to the low point drain and keep your pump suction a couple inches off the bottom of the tank so it doesn't suck up any water or rust.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    Ohio
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    Kioti DK-40, MF-135, Ventrac 4500Y

    Default Re: Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    That is water at the bottom.
    Murph ------------

  6. #6
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
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    6,089
    Location
    Nova Scotia
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    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Re: Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    Could be flakes suspended in water. Hard to say. Wax if it was colder could be an option.

    Get yourself some water finding paste like Kolor Kut and dip it. The stuff is cheap and will change colour if water is there.

    Side note... Glad to see the Mr Funnel is working for you. I swear by mine now. Those pics and your story should be posted whenever somebody asks if "they're worth it" or if they work

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Taylorsville, GA
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    3000 Ford 66' 260A International Backhoe

    Default Re: Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    If I may add one thing to the pot about buying fuel is to never buy fuel when you see a fuel truck dumping fuel at the station. It mixes up the trash and such in the bottom of the storage tank and then pumped out to your vehicle or container if your pumping at the time.
    I've got a cutting torch and a welder sooo YEAH it'll fit!!

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Jan 2013
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    Location
    jackson,oh
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    918 allis-chalmers

    Default Re: Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    Water and diesel oil DO mix, and they make a bad-looking muddy mess like you have.I wouldn't use that fuel at all......except to put on a controlled brush fire. Sometimes when the water has emulsed into the fuel or vice-versa, the water detecting paste will not give you a definite red indication,but a speckly red indication.Still, the fuel is bad. don-ohio (:^)

  9. #9
    Silver Member nelsond7004's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    Location
    Coeburn, VA
    Tractor
    2009 Mahindra 2816 Gear

    Default Re: Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    Thanks for all your responses. Lucky for me I only purchased 10 gallons worth of this fuel. I wanted just a enough to get me through until my area switches over to summer blend. I am pretty happy with the Mr. Funnel filter. I didn't know until yesterday that they recommend adding a fuel supplement after you have filtered the fuel. I guess I didn't take into account that some of the water could potentially pass through by the aid of the supplement. The ironic thing is the fuel was filtered three times before it got to the engine. I use the Mr Funnel filter on top of the drop in filter at the mouth of the fuel tank, and then it gets filtered by the tractors paper filter. I honestly think this fuel has more problems than just water.

    That being said...I decided that I am going to drain the fuel tank completely on my tractor and replace the filter. I can use the waste diesel for brush as you say and I hear it might take out some poison ivy.

    Now back to the drawing board to find my next fuel supplier.
    2009 Mahindra 2816 Gear, 106 FEL, 3710 BH
    Kodiak 5' SD Rotary Cutter w/slip clutch
    Howse 12" Single Bottom Plow
    Ford Disc Harrow 5ft



    U.S. Navy Veteran

  10. #10
    Bronze Member pizzaguy's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    Location
    Northwest IA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240 HSTC

    Default Re: Help identifying diesel fuel contamination

    It looks an awful lot like this:
    -memorial-day-2010-006-jpg
    Get it out of there ASAP as it will immediately start to corrode fuel system. This cost a local gas station around $10,000 to replace the fuel system in my last diesel pickup. I normally ddn't buy fuel from there, but was on empty on the way home. I didn't drive the truck for 2 weeks before I found out I had purchased bad fuel. It was too late and too much damage was done from sitting with water in fuel.This was the 4th and 5th draining of the water separator.

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