Well as most know the weather has been unseasonably frigid in the Northern tier and a week ago, the mercury fell to the -10ļ range. I have always filled up at a large volume truck stop and have never needed fuel supplement in the winter months. Temps in the past have dipped to -20ļ with nary a problem. So I was a bit surprised when I noticed the fuel pressure gauge dropping the other day. The regulator is set to 62 psi
and I was running closer to 50. Time to change the filters I thought. However the next day, it dropped to 48 or lower especially when giving it some throttle. Damn. What a time to have to drop the Dahl filter and change it. No break in the weather forecast and no garage to change the filter in. Life sucks. If I could only make it 'til the weekend I might be able to change this out when the temps were in the 20s. So Wednesday morning when I fired up, I was pleased to see the initial fuel pressure of 58 psi
and took off for work. Well after about a 1/4 mile, the pressure was falling fast. Like steady in the thirties and dipping lower in the 20s with some throttle. Turned around and tried to make it back home. As I drove the 1/2 mile back, the pressure dropped to 0 but the truck kept running. It had no power but it kept running. I was coasting down hills and gently running on the flats to keep the pressure as high as I could. Finally got off the urban arterials and into our neighborhood when I noticed the gauge go to -10 psi
. I guess the injectors were sucking against the obstructed filters and non-functioning fuel pump. I parked off to the side of the road out of traffic. Sigh.
Okay, was this frozen fuel lines, water obstructing the filter, gelling/clouding of the fuel, or dying fuel pump. On Saturday, I put the recommended dose of Power Service Diesel 911 in the tank and let it sit overnight. The next day, I put in Power Service Diesel Additive (white jug) and then turned the key on. Fuel pressure gauge went to .............. wait for it................ 0 psi
. I went outside and could not hear the fuel pump (whole neigborhood full of snow blowers going in the background). Damn, not only do I have to change the filters but I am going to have to replace a fuel pump. Life is a bitch! I also thought I might need to charge the batteries so I turned the key back on to check the voltage and voila. The fuel pressure snapped to 58 psi
. I had my daughter jump the truck and was able to drive it to the driveway where the battery was charged. The next morning it fired up fine and the fuel pressure was 62 psi
! So I dodged a bullet.
Now the question for all the arm chair mechanics and engineers. Did I damage the injectors, score them etc. sucking against (presumeably plugged) filters?
, normally I would have just parked the truck at the first sign of trouble but being a short hike from home with the windchills in the 30 below area made me try to make it back home despite the aberrant pressure.