Water in fuel

Christopher Diagnostician Wyoming, Michigan Posted   Latest  
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Driveability
2009 Nissan Altima 2.5L (QR25DE) (RE0F10A)
Crank / No Start

Vehicle came from another shop as no start. Other shop replaced fuel pump and injectors. Then gave up stating it must be an electrical issue and t… dont do electrical work. 

No codes,data looks normal and engine cadence sounds normal. Has injector pulse and coil trigger, fuel pressure within spec. No start on ether. Figured plugs were saturated from cranking and wanted to do visual inspection of spark strength. I know I could have scoped but wanted visual and to dry plugs. 

Found cylinders have water in them. Pulled 10oz of liquid from tank and is 99% water.

Figured I would do my dudiligence and ran compression test after drying cylinders. All 180+-3psi. (Doesn't appear any rod damage) Verified injectors open close and hold pressure. Smoked fuel tank to verify no hole/crack allowing water in. No leak found. Has gas cap. Engine oil mixed with water. 

Wanted to verify it would run (after drying) on alternate fuel source but management scoffed at that. 

I wrote up draining tank, adding 3 bottles of dry gas, 2 oil changes with b&g flush, spark plugs and fuel. Stating may require other work but should start, engine longevity unknown due to water mix. 

Question is any other parts you would recommend and why? I am not a fan of parts cannon but open to thoughts as first time with this much water. As stated other shop already changed pump and injectors.

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Dan Owner/Technician
Ingleside, Texas
Dan Default
   

...Chris...It sounds like it tried playing U-Boat and someone left the hatch OPEN...I have to REALLY wonder about that other shop (the one that put a FUEL PUMP in a tank that was (almost) FULL of WATER. ...HOW in Blue Blazes does a place MISS THAT ????...You know what I mean?...I bet this one saw DEEP WATER ...proceed with caution....Dan H. ...South Texas...

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Christopher Diagnostician
Wyoming, Michigan
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Dan I agree could be flood vehicle but I see no other signs to point to that. Trans fluid is clean, p/s clean ,engine oil is mixed but level is correct (a little low) and interior doesn't show signs of water. Thought is t… pissed someone off or got fuel from from station that wasn't sealed correctly. Thinking water got past rings during cranking? As for other shop I do know what you mean…

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

With pump gas having 10% alcohol in it why would you prescribe 3 more bottles of alcohol?

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Christopher Diagnostician
Wyoming, Michigan
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Justin My understanding is dry gas is mainly isopropyl or methanol which binds better to water and mixes it with gas better? 3 maybe over kill? I dont know if this vehicle sits for extended periods of time and water will separate from ethanol rather quickly.

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Mike Technician
Salina, Kansas
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Like others said if that much water , we're else did it get ? Pull dipstick or drop oil filter cut open see if water in oil too .

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Dan Owner/Technician
Ingleside, Texas
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...Mike...His 4th and 6th paragraphs mentions oil/water "MIX" (that's why his boss nixed the idea of trying to start it on alternate fuel...I question that logic)...Dan H.

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James Instructor
El Campo, Texas
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Drop the tank. If there is water in the tank, you know where it came from. If not, it's probably an engine issue. Some people say water when they mean coolant.

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Christopher Diagnostician
Wyoming, Michigan
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James It is definitely water as I pulled sample from fuel tank. Engine issue is unknown at this time as management just wants to know what "should" make it run.

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Dan Owner/Technician
Ingleside, Texas
Dan Default
 

...James...I have found that on DN that a person should always start their reply with the NAME of the person they wish to have that reply go to (as I have done here)...I feel that your reply to me was meant for the OP (Christopher)...I never found coolant in a gas tank by the way (plenty in the oil)...found a Baby Ruth in a gas tank once though (yuck)...Dan H.

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James Instructor
El Campo, Texas
James Default
 

Sorry Dan, not accustomed to this format yet. From what I got from the discussion, I wanted to isolate the issue first, then proceed with diagnosis. If there was water in the fuel, it'spretty obvious what the repair would be. Filters, tank cleaning, flush lines, plugs, etc. Sorry again for the confusion.

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Stephen Educator
Bethel, Ohio
Stephen Default
 

Sounds like a flood car to me. If you try to repair this vehicle you will be married to it. Best advise is to walk away. Recommend taking it to the scarp yard. Your playing with fire!

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Christopher Diagnostician
Wyoming, Michigan
Christopher Default
 

Stephen Not my call to walk away. It is up to management to explain pros and cons to customers. I already recommended that we walk. If management does their part correctly the only one I am married to is my wife. ;)

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Albert Owner/Technician
Towanda, Pennsylvania
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Chris you're right. I'm thinking management is only seeing dollar signs. They should have walk away from it as soon as you found the water. Hope you don't have to see that car again.

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Stephen Educator
Bethel, Ohio
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i wish you the best my friend. I understand management sometimes shots themselves in the foot. they see dollars going out the shop they want. Here's what I would do if this were my personal vehicle. 1 drop the tank and clean it out. 2 flush out all the fuel lines and the rail. 3 check each one of the injector inlets. They usually have some kind of a screen on them in the inlet side. 4 reverse…

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
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I think the water in the oil came from the other place cranking it extensively. It can't have ever ran with that much water in the fuel. We would drain the tank, replace the external fuel filter if there is one, replace the oil and filter, then start it. No extra chemicals or treatments. Then recommend they return in a few hundred miles for another LOF.

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Dan Owner/Technician
Ingleside, Texas
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…Geoff...I agree...but it seems his boss wouldn't even allow him to see if it would hit on alternate fuel...if the water in the oil was emulsified WITH the oil (peanut butter)...it ran...if it was raw water...it didn't (very much anyways)...I would have (at lease) seen if it would hit/run on spray (maybe after an oil change)...I have seen GM work trucks that were driven with emulsified oil…

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LaMont Owner/Technician
Smithville, Ohio
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I always felt that way till I replaced intake gaskets in 3.1 one time that had emulsified oil from the intake gaskets leaking coolant into the oil. Shortly after completing the job the customer returned with a rod knock. Antifreeze can wreak havoc on engine bearings. Lesson learned.

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Dan Owner/Technician
Ingleside, Texas
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...Lamont...I guess my customers just got lucky...I've been told I lead a charmed life...Dan H. ...South Texas...

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LaMont Owner/Technician
Smithville, Ohio
LaMont Default
 

That being said, it's pretty easy to tell if you have water or antifreeze in the oil by letting it set a while and cracking the drain plug loose enough to get a little sample out for examination. Some of the water or coolant will settle out and go to the bottom of the pan. Don't tell anyone this but I've even been guilty of doing a taste test from time to time.

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi LaMont: You raise a good point. I used to spin the filter down. If it was full of mud, it was time to have a conversation with the front of the shop. Their job was to make sure the customer was aware that there may be issues with their car and that my crystal ball was broken. The mud may be the only thing holding the lower end together. I was given tickets to that movie once. Never happened…

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LaMont Owner/Technician
Smithville, Ohio
LaMont Default
 

It only takes once. That was years ago. I didn’t inform the customer of all the possibilities beforehand. Lost a customer because of it and learned a costly lesson.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

I can’t remember how many GM 3.1 and 3.4 engines I have seen with leaking intakes that turned into milky brown soup in the crankcase. Not a single one needed anything more than a couple oil changes after resealing the intake. If I had to guess I would say somewhere in the range of 100.

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Dan Owner/Technician
Ingleside, Texas
Dan Default
 

…That's right Justin...you must lead the same charmed life as I have...I used good 'drainings' from previous oil changes,about a gallon each time (sometimes a little ATF , too) until it came out looking like what I put in(black instead of peanut butter) with total run time of about 30 seconds each time...then followed up with (new) good oil and a new filter...I would rinse the old filter out…

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Christopher Diagnostician
Wyoming, Michigan
Christopher Default
 

Thanks for input guys. I talked management into letting me make it run just to verify engine integrity after changing oil. Runs quiet. Customer declined plugs as other shop also replaced those. I pulled pump out to start draining tank and it appears water got in from a missing gas cap? White paper towel peices in bottom of tank. Other shop probably put cap on as well? I didn't bother asking…

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Mike Technician
Salina, Kansas
Mike Default
 

This maybe a strange questions does the owner of car have young kids , they put water in tank playing around? Did the owner make someone mad and they messed with car ? Was the last shop have a blank blank tech that was mad and did it to car ? Are they old and just forgot to put gas cap back on ? Thank you for letting us know how it was going

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Anthony Owner
Boca Raton, Florida
Anthony Default
 

Hi Christopher, I hope you are healthy and safe. … Dieselcure, and … Fuelcure both remove water and moisture content in fuel successfully, and also works exceptionally well in preventing all gelling and waxing. One of my friends had a problem with a Bosch CP4 fuel pump, and used Dieselcure to solve the problem. I have another friend who used Dieselcure in his fleet of semi trucks…

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