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Your Fuel Could Be Contaminated: How To Find Out

Refilling fuel
Normally, you do not have to worry about a contaminant getting into to your fuel. The fuel that a petroleum company supplies to your business will be clean. However, if something is wrong with your equipment or if you pumped the wrong fuel type into your tank, you will need to look for warning signs of contamination. 

Water Ruins Fuel and an Engine

One reason for contamination is when you have high water content. This results from a problem that occurs while delivering or storing your fuel. High water content often results from a container or delivery unit rusting and developing holes that allow water to infiltrate. You can apply a water-indicating paste to a stick and lower it into a sample of the fuel. The paste will change color to indicate that the fuel contains water. 

Gasoline Occasionally Contains Polymeric Residue

Occasionally, petroleum companies recall gasoline because of other contaminants, such as a higher than normal amount of polymeric residue. The presence of residue can lead to higher repair bills.
If you only add a small quantity of bad gas, you can add fuel cleaner and fresh gas. However, if you have a larger quantity of polymeric residue in your gas tank, you will not only need to remove the bad fuel, but you will also need to have every component in your engine that has come into contact with the bad fuel flushed out.

Your Car Must Use the Right Grade of Fuel

High-grade fuel prevents knocks on cars that have high compression ratios. If your owner's manual recommends that you use a fuel of octane level 92 or 93, make sure to do so. If your owner's manual does not recommend this, you will simply be wasting money.
Always make sure to purchase gasoline from a reputable seller, especially if you are driving a luxury vehicle. You must put the right type of gasoline in your vehicle. However, disreputable sellers will mix regular fuel with premium fuel to create a more profitable blend that will not serve your car well.

Contaminated Fuel Often Has a Noticeable Impact on Your Engine

When you have added bad fuel to your tank, the engine will likely be noisier. The exhaust will produce more visible smoke than usual. You may also find it more difficult to start your vehicle, especially when it is warm outside. 
You will want to pull over and stop your engine to avoid causing further damage. Then, you will want to clean all equipment that may have come in contact with the contaminated fuel. If you are not handy with cars, you are best off contacting an auto repair technician.
Black smoke results from unburned petroleum. With clean fuel, the engine will burn off the fuel with no smoke. You may also have a clogged air filter, a blocked manifold, or the ignition timing might be off.

Contaminated Fuel Looks and Smells Different

Also, pay attention to the color of the gasoline. The gas will have an off-color if there is something wrong with it. The gasoline may have a strange smell that results from microbial contaminants. Other signs of microbial contamination include:
  • Clogged dispenser filters
  • A rotten-egg smell
  • A slow flow rate from the dispenser
  • Metal components covered in slime
  • Hoses with blisters
Fortunately, you can kill microbes by introducing biocides to your fuel.
Because fuel contamination often results from defective equipment, you will want to purchase fuel equipment from a reputable dealership such as us. Contact us at R & R Petro Services Inc and take a look at our product line and other services.