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Old 8th June 2010, 14:34   #1
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Question Half a litre SODA in fuel tank!

Well, this may sound stupid, but then that's just what happened to my Ford IKON flair (2007)

We had a party (family get-together) going on at my house and as usual some really naughty children came home as part of the party package. One of them took, a KINGLEY 2ltr Club SODA bottle, opened my fuel tank and started emptying it into the fuel tank. Lucky, one of my cousins saw it immediately, but unfortunately by then about half a bottle was already in.

Further that day we all just forgot about the incident and went along with the party. The car was running pretty well, with absolutely no issues whatsoever for about a week(500kms), till we went on an ooty trip.

I love revving up the engine all the way up its redline while climbing up the ghats and did the same that day too. But then after about half the way up the ghats, engine started behaving strangely and it would not revv up above 3-4k. I stopped the car, checked the temperature and it was not 'so high' (even the 'third fan' was not running) . Checked the air intake and every thing was just fine. I called PVS Ford guys and they told me it was due to an 'ignition coil' malfunction and I will need to take the vehicle to them.

But then after about 10-15 min of checking I got in cranked up the engine and it was running pretty well. Again after 3-4 times of redline'n the problem popped up again. Somehow I ran the car below 3k in ooty, and managed to come back to my place, but as soon as the car got to lower altitudes the problem vanished.

Now, what I doubt is that was the problem due to the SODA in fuel tank??. Or else what caused the problem (I dont trust ford guys)??
Also WHAT will happen if half a litre soda goes into your fuel tank??

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Old 8th June 2010, 17:06   #2
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Nice work. You shouldn't have even cranked the engine after the incident without fully draining and washing the fuel tank. The water will float as a different layer in the tank. If it gets sucked into the engine, catastrophic failure will happen. Catastrophic as in literally, the engine will self destruct inside. Google "hydrolocking" to know what happens when water gets into an engine.

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Old 8th June 2010, 17:35   #3
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do not ignore this, you'll spend whole lot of money in complete over-haul if this is not attended properly.

Get tank and fuel lines flushed As soon as possible to start with.
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Old 8th June 2010, 17:44   #4
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To be honest, I am quite surprised you actually cranked or drove the car immediately after this incident.

Remember, incase of any liquid, apart from Diesl or Petrol, that enters your fuel tank, the best things is to get the fuel tank removed, emptied of its contents and then you shuould be safe, as it is not possible unless cranked, for the fuel to travel.

But, again it is quite foolish to have done so, as you could have even put lives in danger if some thing bad had to happen on the ghats

And the cars gods seem to have been on your side, else you could have been looking at a new engine
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Old 8th June 2010, 18:33   #5
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@Immortalz - Wow, you just enlightened me on something that provoked me to ask you a question. What about the moisture content or humidity in the air? Is that considered too negligible within the cylinder?
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Old 8th June 2010, 18:59   #6
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Actually diesel engines are a LOT more prone to hydrolocking than petrols are, simply because of their far higher compression ratio.
That said, please do get the fuel tank & lines flushed.

Nothing more is required.

Also to answer your question, the moisture content in air is negligible.
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Old 8th June 2010, 19:00   #7
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.. I didn't think 500ml in about 50000ml could cause this much catastrophe. Well, I have driven the car for about 1000kms now and now there are no symptoms, though I will be cleaning up this mess immediately.

Though I do want to ask,

a)Is there a chance "of course if the car gods are on my side" that the water will dry up?

b)and are these
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post


. But then after about half the way up the ghats, engine started behaving strangely and it would not revv up above 3-4k.

But then after about 10-15 min of checking I got in cranked up the engine and it was running pretty well. Again after 3-4 times of redline'n the problem popped up again. But as soon as the car got to lower altitudes the problem vanished.
symptoms shown by my car related to the SODA event?.. I just want to make sure that my car does not have any other serious problems.

c)and as there are no visible symptoms (no power drop/harshness) what would be the current situation of my engine/fuel lines/tank?.
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Old 8th June 2010, 19:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
.. I didn't think 500ml in about 50000ml could cause this much catastrophe. Well, I have driven the car for about 1000kms now and now there are no symptoms, though I will be cleaning up this mess immediately.

Though I do want to ask,

a)Is there a chance "of course if the car gods are on my side" that the water will dry up?

b)and are these symptoms shown by my car related to the SODA event?.. I just want to make sure that my car does not have any other serious problems.

c)and as there are no visible symptoms (no power drop/harshness) what would be the current situation of my engine/fuel lines/tank?.
No, the water will NOT dry up. Basically, you have lowered the octane rating of the fuel with the water. That is the reason why your car, under stress on the ghats, was behaving the way it did.

If you do not want to take the tank flush route, you can do this...
Keep your car for some hours on a level parking, then get a mechanic to open the tank (from the fuel pump side), & check for water at the bottom of the tank. Though i suspect that it has already been used up by the engine.
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Old 8th June 2010, 19:13   #9
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IMO the safest thing to do would be a fuel tank and fuel line flush & clean.
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Old 8th June 2010, 19:20   #10
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Wow I still cant beleive that you drove your vehicle knowing that there is Soda in your fuel tank . You should have cleaned your tank before even switching on your ignition.

Here is my question on the Diesel Engine. The Fuel filter of diesel engine separates water particles from the fuel. So my assumption is that in case of a diesel engine, even a accidental spill of water in the fuel tank should be taken care of. Is my assumption correct?
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Old 8th June 2010, 19:37   #11
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The same situation would arise if you fill a petrol car with diesel and vice versa. The former is really worse!

Nirmal
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Old 8th June 2010, 19:43   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElantraGT View Post
Wow I still cant beleive that you drove your vehicle knowing that there is Soda in your fuel tank . You should have cleaned your tank before even switching on your ignition.

Here is my question on the Diesel Engine. The Fuel filter of diesel engine separates water particles from the fuel. So my assumption is that in case of a diesel engine, even a accidental spill of water in the fuel tank should be taken care of. Is my assumption correct?
Yes, the fuel filter in a diesel engine does filter out water & collects it. In modern cars, there is a level sensor loacted there, which is connected to a dashboard light. So when it lights up, you know there is water in the diesel.

However, it is effective for trace amounts of water only.
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Old 8th June 2010, 19:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
@Immortalz - Wow, you just enlightened me on something that provoked me to ask you a question. What about the moisture content or humidity in the air? Is that considered too negligible within the cylinder?
Water vapor is roughly 1-4% of air. This is vapor, remember, and thus compressible. Water in liquid form is not compressible. Well, not with your average engine's reciprocating parts. Try compressing water like you would petrol or diesel and things just break.
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Old 8th June 2010, 20:20   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
Water vapor is roughly 1-4% of air. This is vapor, remember, and thus compressible. Water in liquid form is not compressible. Well, not with your average engine's reciprocating parts. Try compressing water like you would petrol or diesel and things just break.
ImmortalZ, NO liquid compresses, be it water, petrol or diesel. What burns in the engine is atomized particles & associated vapours. In fact i saw this case in a Hyundai A.S.S. workshop here in Pune, where a Santro ECU malfunctioned & left injectors open ALL the time the engine was running (not sequentially as is normal). The engine hydrolocked (or petrol-locked?) on petrol & broke 2 pistons & associated connecting rods!

Last edited by 1self : 8th June 2010 at 20:29.
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Old 8th June 2010, 20:49   #15
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Well, as of now, there are no symptoms of damage but I would like to know if THIS has caused any 'invisible' damage. I guess, the connecting rods' and compression are to be checked?

and checking with a workshop (flushing the tank/fuel lines) is not easy in my case as the nearest Ford dealer is about 100kms away and I don't feel comfortable driving my car more looking at these comments. However there are many good Maruthi workshops in my place. Can removing/installing fuel tank/lines of a Ford IKON be dealt 'safely' with maruthi guys?.
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