Not every job we do is a wrong fuel emergency, in fact our engineers are always receiving calls from customers asking advice about various fuel related issues. One very common question is about fuel storage and whether or not it’s OK to store fuel for a long time or to leave fuel in a vehicle fuel tank if it’s going to be stored over the winter or whilst the owner is away for a long while. Very often we provide a fuel drain service for car owners who are going to work overseas for a long period of time or classic car owners who are putting their cars into storage because they won’t be used for a period of time, such as during the winter.
Another common fuel drain that we do is on boat fuel tanks. Our engineers work on all sorts of boats from motor boats to cabin cruisers and canal barges to yachts. A lot of boats are stored in harbours or on canals during the winter whilst the seas are too rough for sailing or the canal is just frozen up altogether. We always advise boat owners to change oil and fuel filters before the boat goes into storage and to have the fuel tank and engine fuel system flushed through with clean fuel and drained so that diesel isn’t allowed to sit in the tank during the winter months. It’s also important to drain your fresh water tanks and make sure engine coolant water has plenty of antifreeze in there.
Draining the boat fuel tank is an important part of yearly boat maintenance to make sure that your boat engine keeps running smoothly. Many of the jobs we do involve new boat owners who have purchased a boat that has been dry stored for many years with fuel left in the tank. This fuel is obviously unusable and there is now a build up of sludge in the bottom of the tank. Just removing the liquid with a hand pump and topping up with fresh fuel is not enough. Even the best fuel filter will struggle to cope with the sludge and this will lead to further engine problems down the line. Our wrong fuel mobile units are equipped with a high power pump that can completely evacuate the fuel tank. We can then flush the whole fuel system with fresh fuel and remove all traces of sludge, debris and old fuel, restoring the fuel system to its optimum working condition.
If fuel stabilisers are not used in diesel fuel then it actually oxidises quite quickly and can start to cause engine problems, such as clogged injectors, after as little as 30 days. If your boat will be stored for 6 months then you can imagine the problems you may encounter after the fuel has been left in the tank for that long! There is also the problem of condensation forming in the tank and getting into the fuel. Ideally, the fuel tank would be left unsealed and once the boat was being prepared for the good weather in the spring, the owner would have the tank flushed to remove any condensation that may have gathered in there over the winter.
If you will be storing a boat over the winter or storing a car for any length of time, speak to our experts about arranging for a fuel drain. Our charges are very competitive and it’s a job that may save you many hundreds in engine repairs if the fuel system is neglected.