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Your Friendly Hack Is Open For Business!

Discussion in 'The Hack Mechanic Goes Online' started by hackmechanic, Aug 5, 2014.

    • Member

    shelbyvnt Baby Bee...

    Post Count: 189
    Likes Received:23
    SOS!!!

    For reasons too painful to disclose, my poor little Bee got a big gulp of Diesel Fuel at my last fill up.
    I got about 20 miles before the little guy lost his will to continue. After spending a week at the dealer,
    it was decided that he would need a make-over, replacing everything that came in contact with the sludge
    that was pumped into my tank through the premium fuel hose. (100% Pure Diesel Fuel)

    New fuel pumps, new injectors & new spark plugs, the work will run over $5K. Okay, so now for the big
    question, before I sign off on any liability release forms, are there any other risk associated with the pistons, rings & block that need to be taken into consideration? Obviously if the thing won't run correctly from the start, that's a problem, but what I'm concerned about is any long term damage that will not be evident when the original repairs
    are completed.

    This car has 43,000 miles on it & has been given the best care possible for the past 6 years, how do I insure that this one unavoidable incident does not take the stinger from my Bee?
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 3,397
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    eek - ah man, that sucks; you do everything possible to take as good care as you can & then have something like that happen.

    I'm no expert on that, have never had it happen - found this, seems to corroborate doing what you mention. I found another post that suggested it would be good to change the oil and filter too. I take it they're also draining your gas tank too, to get the diesel out? From a little googling, it seems that although serious damage is possible, more often than not, basically just getting the diesel out and replacing affected parts should get you back to running. The diesel is thick/oily compared to gas, from the few comments I could find, wasn't much mention of potential to damage the engine internals. Sounds like it clogs up the fuel injectors once it's reached that far, and then, the engine's gonna die out and you're stuck in place. Without more definitive experience, I'd suggest keep googling or finding others you know 'til you're satisfied with the answers you get. Would love to be definitively reassuring, but it's nothing I have experience with!

    http://www.cartalk.com/blogs/dear-car-talk/what-really-happens-when-you-put-diesel-gas-car.

    Did the gas station have their diesel delivery accidentally go into their premium supply tank or what?
    • Member

    shelbyvnt Baby Bee...

    Post Count: 189
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    Yes, someone slime'd up the premium fuel storage tank at the time of delivery & those of us
    Lucky enough to fuel up that day were treated to some extra thick go juice. Specified repairs have been covered, I'm worried about long term damage that may occur after the claims are settled.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 3,397
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    All I can think of would be the prospect of hydro-lock from the unburned diesel, which would kill the whole engine suddenly & catastrophically. However, I also think you'd know if anything like that happened because it would likely be pretty noisy & dramatic. If yours is a manual, presumably would've torn the drivetrain to shreds too if it happened while rolling. But, I'd think that would take far more diesel than could get through the fuel injectors before they clog (would have to fill the whole combustion chamber space at full compression, right? I don't know, but, guessing, wouldn't that be something like at least the equivalent of 1/2 cup of water? For fuel injectors that atomize gas, seems like that would be a lot & would take some time). If you were merrily rolling along and the engine sputtered, stalled, & then quit, and nothing more dramatic than that, then the logical guess would be that when the diesel got to the fuel injectors & whatever went through to the engine, since it wouldn't combust, the only thing keeping the engine moving at that point was the momentum of the drivetrain from still rolling. If you just silently rolled to a stop after the engine died out with no dramatic or ugly sounding noises, the rest of the engine is probably ok; if you have a manual, disengaged the clutch, and coasted to stop, all the better, but same scenario with an auto, probably ok too. Unfortunately, yeah, the only way to know for sure would be to tear the engine apart (it would be easy though to put a boroscope in the spark plug holes to see if there was anything visually noticeable from what could be seen of the piston tops).

    Since this is the gas station's fault (or their delivery company's, anyway), it might take checking with your lawyer or just what the law allows, but perhaps whatever waivers or releases they might want you to agree to could have some sort of agreed time frame were something to come up, although I imagine their insurance or whoever would be reluctant to agree to a statement saying that if something were to come up within 6 months of the completed repairs, determined to be related to the diesel getting into your car, and further repairs were needed, they would agree to pay for said repairs (or some such legalese language). But, if they would, then you'd get some peace-of-mind & reassurance, & they would be avoiding the prospect of you suing them in court, particularly if some further related problems were to arise. Again, I wouldn't know, but, I'd think if there was any other problems, it would be evident quickly, if not immediately. Engines are obviously pretty finely engineered to be able to operate, & it doesn't take much for any particular piece to be out of whack to show itself as a problem. Guessing again, but I'd think if any engine internals were damaged, that would be immediately evident after the fuel system work upon first start up. All that and the engine's not running smoothly, obviously there's a problem. It's worth asking your dealer service rep. what their after-effects experience has been - it's probably a rare happenstance, but it also would seem unlikely to me you're the only instance they have had where diesel accidentally got into a gas-engined car. From what I came across googling, the opposite is much more destructive; gas into a diesel motor can be catastrophic to the engine.
    • Member

    eblue540 Fourth Gen Bimmers

    Post Count: 293
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    So sorry to hear that you got tagged with this, such a bummer. I have not seen any mention of the potential impact on the catalytic converter, and maybe the O2 sensors not being too happy with the oily mist they may have taken in. If you are looking to get absolutely everything, I'd say its up to someone to convince you why those itemsshould not also be replaced as part of the claim. Cats are not cheap.
    • Member

    shelbyvnt Baby Bee...

    Post Count: 189
    Likes Received:23
    Thanks guys, I appreciate your advice. I'm working with a new dealership that is dedicated to superior service. Hopefully they will be as focused on doing a first class repair, as I am focused on preserving the condition of this car.

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