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Old 11-08-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
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Water in Fuel

i'm still having performance issues w/ my 2000 chevy prizm. i keep the car VERY well maintained and my FE supports that(over 40 mpg avg).

my question is could water or "junk" be in the tank causing my hesitation issues? for those who do not recall, i have a VERY intermittent problem under load(acceleration) ONLY. if water, not junk, is present, would that not have been burned up by now? it's been several months.

i observed today that before i refueled it acted up, but not since. i have not noticed the level of fuel in previous events of this nature, but i will now! there are no codes and all maintenance is up to date.

i'm ruling out bad injectors because i had them cleaned and the fuel pump/filter is fairly new and OEM as well. the car runs like it's new except for the hesitation from time to time.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:16 AM   #2
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Is this anytime the vehicle is under load, or only warm, cold, fuel level low, etc? If its contaminants in the tank, be it water or "junk", I would think that the problem would worsen as the fuel level reaches the bottom of the tank. If you use ethanol blended fuel any water that was in the tank should have been absorbed and flushed out by now.

-Jay
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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Chances are the fuel filter has water in it and under load the fuel moving through it faster stirs it up and gets it to the injectors. Lower fuel levels in the tank really shouldn't matter since the pickup is at the bottom of the tank and water sinks in gas not floats.
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:01 PM   #4
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i don't ever remember it acting up cold, so the engine is warm when it does it. and i have had the filter changed since the issue began. i'll keep a close eye on where the fuel gauge is in the future when this occurs. thanks guys.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:50 PM   #5
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It's a 2000 model, about 10 years old. Have you checked vacuum hoses?
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:26 AM   #6
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ok, got an update on my hesitation issue...

this morning it started to act up relatively cold @ ~125*F. so i limped to the gym thinking it was so bad it would stall. never did. the tank is just over half full.

over an hour later, i came out and drove home. the car performed like a top the entire way.

just for kicks, the next time it does it, i may try EOC just to see if restarting solves this issue!
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JoeBob View Post
It's a 2000 model, about 10 years old. Have you checked vacuum hoses?
vacuum hoses check out. just to be sure, i had my mechanic check as well.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:15 PM   #8
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the car didn't act up yesterday, but it did today. i turned the key off, performed EOC, and then bump started. it resumed perfectly as it should w/ no hesitation all the way to work(and home later).

it's gotta be an electrical issue.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:21 PM   #9
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Maybe it just wants you to EOC more.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:04 AM   #10
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While it seems to be ruled out, for future note, I would dump a pint of 91% isopropanol into the tank if water is suspected, if water in the fuel is suspected. Maybe a little acetone for good measure. Ethanol would also do the job, but you don't know how much water the alcohol in the gas picked up on its journey to your fuel tank. It might even be the source of the water causing the problem.
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