Sugar Contamination Nightmare
Vehicle presented to a body shop with evidence of sugar contamination. Low pressure electric fuel pump was replaced, fuel lines from tank were flushed and fuel tank cleaned prior to being referred to our shop. Codes presenting upon arrival and prior to any other repairs were 11A031-low psi electric pump, 110001-cylinder injection shutdown, 11A002-fuel high pressure plausibility, low psi intermittent. Vehicle runs great during a slow, steady acceleration. On a heavy acceleration, vehicle would set codes & go into limp in mode. Cleared codes and vehicle would run fine until another heavy acceleration. Since this was an insurance job, decision was made to replace all components coming in touch with the sugar contamination. Therefore, we replaced the high side fuel pump, fuel rail pressure sensor, and all injectors. Still have the same codes and same symptoms. Insurance is now out of the picture feeling like they have met their responsibility. The customer has hired us to fine the problem.
I have tested the following:
-power, ground, & current pattern of the electrical fuel pump in the tank during the "event". Did not loose voltage nor ground. Amperage was 3 amps.
-the low side fuel pressure during the "event" remains a steady 85 psi
-scoped power, ground, & signal of fuel rail pressure sensor. Reference voltage & ground are with normal limits. Sensor signal showed a drop of pressure to roughly 30 psi which lasted about 1.2 seconds. The signal then went back to normal pressure but by then the vehicle was in limp in mode. Also caught on scan data from one frame to the next, 3 seconds apart, the high side psi dropped from 2899 psi to 30 psi. The electric fuel pump activation shows 14.9 gal.hour & 15.61 fuel pump status on both frames. Terminal 15 status on, both frames. Terminal 87 status 14.7 V on both frames.
Throw me some ideas please.....and thank you!
One thing stuck out to me. You stated that you have a steady 85 psi at the low side fuel pressure. How was this checked? Mechanical fuel pressure gauge or scan tool? This engine does not have a low pressure fuel sensor. The reading seen via scan tool is calculated by the DME.
I highly suggest hooking up a mechanical gauge if you haven't done so already and redo your testing.
Nelson, I was using the Hickok Pressure Pro software and plumbed in at the disconnect at rear of engine. One day I'm going to get my grand kids to teach me how to up load all of the captures I have . I have fought similar issues on an Isuzu diesel before and found bad wiring but all connectors and wiring looks pretty good. Plan to scope the quality control valve of the high pressure pump tomorrow but it is new with the new pump. I am also wondering about glitches from TPS or MAF sensors.
Great. That would be amazing if you could post up those captures!
What is the nominal high fuel pressure value the DME is asking for when the "event" occurs? Or in other words, what is the DME requesting from the HDP when the event occurs (in pressure)? Did you get around to scoping out the quality control valve at the HDP?
How many miles on this car?
Also, did you hook up ISTA and start a test plan?
Good evening Chuck, I'm working on a 2014 GMC Arcadia 3.6 L GDI with Heavy sugar contamination fortunately I got the car early in the insurance/repair process, Replaced tank , low pressure pump , high pressure pump , all injectors , high pressure lines , and high pressure fuel rails , removed and flushed the low pressure lines with hot water. Codes before repair just a p0300 owner had been driving the car for a few days gas station attendant spotted the sugar. Wrapped up the part replacement on Friday afternoon and she started right up , set to road test on Monday. The extent of the contamination was pretty wide spread through out the fuel system. Could there possibly have been some missed contamination were the body shop had tried to just clean the fuel tank ? The low pressure pump had at least 1/2" of sugar in the bottom and there was very noticeable contamination trough out the bottom of the tank. Which would have been very difficult to get it all cleaned out.
First question i have for you, is why the vehicle was in a body shop in the first place.
To my experience so far, a vehicle that was at a body shop, and later on has any sort of issues, is always tied to wiring issues and misplacement of connectors or components in general.
Was the car involved in a crash? If yes, where was the damage located and how bad was it?
Any ideas of where or even when was the sugar contamination made? At least approximately. (e.g before or after the car crashed, assuming it was involved in one) Or even better, do you have some freeze frame data on those codes that might indicate when did these faults start to appear?
Can you tell us the full VIN and possibly a complete fault code report? I personally could run through BMW and see what that has to say.
Through actual values you could possibly see which cylinder is being shut down, and maybe focus on that alone. (which i suspect it will be a multiple cylinder shutdown)
Just for the sake of discussion and throwing ideas, i personally would consider a "couple" of things.
- Fuel pump not being OE. An aftermarket pump could work, but maybe not to the desired quantity (pressure to me is one thing, quantity on the other hand is another thing).
- Consider bad routing of the fuel lines. Pinched fuel lines, clogged filters and anything in between you can imagine that could possibly cause even the slightest restriction.
- Consider a pin like tiny hole, which instead of leaking fuel, could potentially suck in air to the fuel system. (i have seen this myself a couple of times)
- Maybe is worth visually inspecting if the fuel tank has visually vacuum applied to it. I have seen similar cars with similar issues, where the fuel tank did not have a way to "breath" and compensate the suction done by the fuel pump. Possibly from a breather line, or a faulty gas cap. Due to the "vacuum" applied on the tank, the pump might have quite some difficulties on the ability to operate to what it should.
- Preferably in your place i would do a compression test and a leakage test to the cylinders. Sugar+heat=caramel caramel+heat=hard carbon formation hard carbon+cylinders=possible compression change
- And lastly, did you check the spark plugs?
These could possibly seem odd, but they do happen. I could go on and on, on other possible issues here, but i think is better to stay within a limit.
Also if i where you i would run a BGproduct series of chemicals to car and see if that would help, as any left over contamination would hopefully be dissolved, and hopefully injected and burned with no further damages done.
Would be interesting to see (just for curiosity sake), if the oxygen sensors have any soft of crystal etc formation to them.
Paul, no crash, no body damage. Domestic dispute which lead to third party vandalism. ( draw your own conclusion) Car was keyed and sugared. Body shop installed BMW pump, I have installed all Bosch parts. I even installed a second rail sensor knowing it most likely would not help. VIN is WBA8E1G51GNT335421 production date 10/15. I will be looking into your suggestions today. We do carry BG products, may give it a shot. Thanks for your help.
Chuck, you are right. To me a car that has been to a body shop means that a crash was involved. At least this is what happens in my area.
Plus body shops in my area deal with nothing else except from body repairs and painting.
Ok, so 11A031 does return with:
Secondary fault caused by an empty fuel tank
Perform a function test of the electric fuel pump.
Check the lever sensor
Check whether the flow is obstructed in the fuel line and in the fuel filter
110001 returns with:
Too little fuel in fuel tank
Sym0 can be entered instead of Sym3 in the case of fault in fuel level detection
11A002 returns with:
Consequential fault caused by an empty fuel tank
Perform a function test of the electric fuel pump.
Delete adaptations of the low-pressure fuel system.
Check rail pressure sensor.
Check wiring harness between DME and rail pressure sensor.
Replace high pressure pump.
804951 and 804954 returns with:
Disconnect the plug connection at the left-hand fuel level sensor and perform a visual inspection.
Check the left-hand fuel level sensor for short circuit to B+ and renew if necessary.
Disconnect the plug connection on the control unit of the BDC and perform a visual inspection.
Check the wire between the left-hand fuel level sensor and the BDC control unit on the wiring harness for short circuit to B+ and repair if necessary.
Check the plug connections, lines and fuel level sensor for damages and function. If the components are OK, check the BDC control unit.
These come right from BMW AG.
Vehicle does not have any open campaigns so i am unsure if this could be actually the software in the Instrument Cluster.
My gut tells me to doubt on this.
BUT as far as i can see from the OEM info, this seems that by running low on fuel on these cars, control units try to avoid any possible issues by limiting the power output of the vehicle.
Keeping in mind that the vehicle might think that the fuel level is either very low or no fuel at all, it just refuses to start. So a good idea would be to have another look on those levels etc. (This is the reason why a fault code report is always helpfull to all. A fault can be caused by a second system on the vehicle, which when left behind in the mentions, it can seriously lead us to a different conclusion.)
I would also suggest to have another thorough look on any sort of blockage or anything that can limit the quantity supplied to HP pump.
I really do hope you get to the bottom of this and share it with us.
I don't know what other option you would have other than using a high pressure fuel gauge(VAS 6394) to confirm a pressure sensor issue. Hoping someone could chime in with other ideas as to confirming or ruling out faulty sensor.
Sorry Dean, I thought I responded to you last night but must not have pressed "POST". The car has 55668 miles on it. I do not have ISTA but Identifix has sent me some good information pertaining to the system. While I feel sure in isn't the same as a test plan, it is full of specs, locators and diagrams. Just using a pragmatic approach in the absents of tooling.
No troubles Chuck. That's really low miles, so cam wear on the high pressure pump would not be the issue.
The reason I asked about ISTA is because it will develop a test plan and find a direction for you to go in. Its really intuitive.
As stated verify low pressure fuel psi with a gauge. If ok, test high pressure psi with a gauge. If high pressure is the issue check the pump roller/plunger and cam lobe for damage since pump is new.
Update, I have checked and rechecked all of the suggestions and still no answer. Did however fine more questions. The rear electronics module had two codes for level sensors 804951 and 804954, which I cleared have they have not come back. One of the trouble shooting steps of 11A031 states to check the level sensors. Then I found a bulletin B621817 where instrument cluster software can cause the 110001 and 11A031 codes. Any thoughts?
Hi Chuck , I have been the post very knowledgeable guys been replying. is there a FPR on this system. I know 1 thing working on CRD engines I have learned even though you replace all the parts until you reset the adaptations all the components, new parts means nothing. I do 90% work on sprinter when ever we have contamination fuel issue. FPR always go down 1st . vehicle only would looses power under normal or heavy acceleration. under very light driving conditions sprinters never stall , looses power or set the codes. when happens always set high or low fuel pressure code.so my ques is have you reset the adaptations using OEM tool. I seen when comes to germans vehicles aftermarket tools are hit and miss. I know you working on BMW but set up is very similar. I had 2016 sprinter 651 engine with 50k miles few weeks ago. was in minor front end collision.body shop fixed it .when customer picked up it was stalling under acceleration and was setting fuel pressure plausibility code. I graphed the low and high pressure I notice low side pressure would drops lower than spec before vehicle stall. long story short it was fault FPM. now the fuel pump module is under the driver seat. I still can't figure out why and how module got damaged with minor collision.
I may have missed it, was the high pressure fuel regulator replaced?
Not sure where to enter the fix to this Sugar Nightmare. I attached some pics above. I now have a "sweet ending". The test results led me back to removing the fuel pump supply line. Blew thru the line and collected additional sugar. The pics of the fuel show there are still a few granular's left in the tank. Upon removing the fuel supply line on the high pressure fuel pump, I found three granular's in the inlet of the pump (which required a magnifying glass). Cleaned the inlet & reconnected the fuel supply line. Problem solved. The code no longer sets and the drivability problem has been resolved. Encouraged insurance company again to replace fuel tank instead of flushing, which they declined. Instructed customer to not run fuel less that 1/4 tank.
Thank you for the update Chuck. I know myself, and I'm sure others, really appreciate the closure, even if we weren't able to help in a particular instance.
This is yet another one to go in my memory. I appreciate the time you put in and hope to continue seeing more.