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  1. #1
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    Identify the Unknown Contaminant in Diesel Tank!

    Hello GermanBoost, I had something terrible happen to my car and I feel compelled to share the story, both as a warning to others and to seek advice from fellow members. Click here to enlarge

    Last Wednesday, my ML350 BlueTEC was almost empty so I brought it to the local diesel pump for a fill up, left it in the garage and drove the E92 for the weekend.
    Fast foward to Monday night, the car started stalling and I had it towed to the dealership.
    Click here to enlarge

    My SA called me yesterday and told me that they had discovered what seems to be a blue gooey "cleaning agent" contaminant in the tank, and quite a large amount too. At first they suspected that I had filled up the tank with petrol, but a quick chemical test showed that there was nothing in the fuel tank but diesel and the unknown contaminant. More speculating and finger pointing lead to them asking whether or not I had the car detailed recently, but I prefer to do the detailing myself, and the idea of someone sabotaging their own car is simply absurd. Estimated costs of this repair will be at least $10k, as all 6 of the fuel filters need replacing, and some of contaminant may have cycled into the engine.

    Currently, we have no idea what the unknown contaminant is, and how it got there, but we believe that it was caused by a dirty fuel pump. I have heard stories of jet fuel accidentally put into petrol pumps, but this does not seem to be the case, as most of the solution in the tank is diesel, so perhaps the contaminant is some fuel pump cleaner or something.

    Thank you for reading. If anyone has any experience with this, have any idea what the contaminant may be, or have suggestions as to how to deal with the situation, please chime in and share your thoughts.
    I have filed an insurance claim and plan to show the gas station the contaminant sample tomorrow.

    Pictures of the contaminant:
    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
    Last edited by Karura; 02-05-2013 at 11:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    Looks like Zymol

    Was the car in your garage? Couldmit be vandalism? I have heard of kids pouring Karo corn syrup in fuel tanks to sieze the motors and $#@! up the fuel system.
    Click here to enlarge

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  3. #3
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    Car was stored in the garage after it was fueled up so I don't see how it could have been vandalism. Also, I've been going to the same diesel station for many years without any problems, so this was a huge shock to me.

  4. #4
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    Moved to Mercedes-Benz diesel.

    Thank you for sharing, I have no idea what is. Can't they send it in to be analyzed though?

  5. #5
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    Thanks for moving it. I believe they did some quick testing to see if it was petrol, but that was it. I will ask them tomorrow to see if they can do any further analysis, but I think I might have to pay to get it done myself. Will post results if I find out. I really hope I won't have to pay out of pocket for the repairs, cause $10k is a lot of money that could be going into N54 performance mods!

  6. #6
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Karura Click here to enlarge
    I will ask them tomorrow to see if they can do any further analysis, but I think I might have to pay to get it done myself. Will post results if I find out.
    I'd be interested just to find out and how whatever that is got there.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Karura Click here to enlarge
    I really hope I won't have to pay out of pocket for the repairs, cause $10k is a lot of money that could be going into N54 performance mods!
    I don't see why you would, that could really be anything and from a gas station or who knows what.

  7. #7
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    3 out of 3 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    I would be talking to the gas station.




  8. #8
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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Could be in-ground tank sludge from the gas station. See if any other motorists of the gas station have had problems, although they likely won't tell you anything unless you know someone that works there.

    Flushing a fuel system sucks!

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