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Brad B
Brad B, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1076
Experience:  ASE Master Certified & ASE G1. Ford Engine and Chassis Master. Been at a Ford dealership for 9 years.
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When I open my water separator valve on my 08 F250 6.4L nothing

Resolved Question:

When I open my water separator valve on my 08 F250 6.4L nothing comes out, but my warning light is coming on telling me to drain it? What should I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.

Hey howard;

 

When you open the fuel seperater valve something should be coming out (double check that you are opening it all of the way.) I have seen many times where the light will come on with no water in the fuel and it is the sensor causing the fault. How many miles are on the truck?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
49,000, I bought it used yesterday, this is my first diesel, Yesterday evening when I opened it I did get what appeared to be diesel fuel out of it, but this morning it did it again so I opened the valve again and got nothing.
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.
Being you drained it and it is still on, I would bet the sensor is bad. If you bought it from a car place I'd call and see if they'll pay to replace it or at least buy you the part. Most places offer 30 day warrenties. Doesnt the truck have a 60,000 mile warranty? It seems weird to have nothing coming out now, try turning the key from off to run (do not start) about 5 times (when you turn the key on wait a second or two / until the injector noise goes away.) Then try draining again.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok I am goin to try that now, so I will reply back to you and let you know what happened, would this be covered under the 100,000 mile warranty? I have to drive 70 miles back to the dealership, will it be safe to drive with this problem?
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.

You'd be best to call the dealership and tell them the issue (tell them you believe it is the water in fuel sensor) and see if it's covered. As far as driving with the light on, it will not harm anything. I know some people who have had the issue for 20,000 miles (draining every 5k, which the light would stay off for a little bit, then come back on.) and nothing has been harmed!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I tried what you suggested and I am still not getting anything out of it, no water, no diesel, nothing. The valve on there starts at the closed position and only rotates out 90 degrees to fully open is that correct?
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.
Yes that is correct. Does the vehicle run when started? I wonder if you have gelled fuel in it causing it to not drain / the sensor to be tricked? I am looking up if Ford has seen any issues like this before.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yeah I have driven it a couple different times today and it starts with no problems and runs pretty smooth. Its just weird to me that yesterday I got fluid out of there but today I get nothing. I am always nervous when I buy a used vehicle for reasons like this. I get in, start it up and no alarms or messages, about 20 miles down the road that light and message comes on to drain the water separator, happened 2 times yesterday ( first day owning the truck), and all 3 times I have driven it today, only difference is today I am not getting anything out of the separator at all and yesterday I did. I am just extremely worried and hoping its safe to drive.
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.
Description and Operation
Notes

FUEL CONDITIONING MODULE

Fuel Conditioning Module


The internal components of the fuel conditioning module include the following:

  • electric fuel pump
  • 10 micron fuel filter and water separator
  • water in fuel (WIF) sensor
  • recirculation thermostat

The electric fuel pump draws fuel from the fuel tank through the 1.27 cm (1/2 inch) fuel supply line. When the fuel enters the fuel conditioning module it flows through the 10 micron fuel filter which separates particles and removes water from the fuel. The separated water collects at the bottom of the pump. If enough water is collected, the WIF sensor detects it and the PCM turns the WIF indicator ON. The conditioned fuel is then delivered to the secondary fuel filter.

The unused fuel returns from the secondary fuel filter through the 0.95 cm (3/8 inch) fuel return port and enters the unfiltered side of the fuel conditioning module. Depending on the fuel temperature returning from the secondary fuel filter, the recirculation thermostat directs the fuel to the fuel tank or through the fuel conditioning module back to the inlet of the primary filter.

 

 

 

One thing you may try doing is to take a small piece of wire or something and poke it through the drain hole when the valve is opened, I have yet to see one not drain. But you may see if something is clogged in the drain or if it is gelled. It is not uncommon to have a sensor failure but the draining part is odd. You are safe to drive, if you have a loss of power then thats another issue, but do not see that as of yet.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, I will try that. You have been a big help, thank you. At least its good to drive, so first thing Monday Morning I will be up at the dealership getting it looked at. Again, thank you.
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.

Try that and let me know if it makes a difference.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I rodded the valve out, and had fluid on the wire, its definetely diesel not water so I do believe the sensor is probably bad, but even after I rodded out the valve it still did not drain, the diesel on the wire was liquid and a few drops even rolled down the wire in the process, so I dont think its gelled up. But shouldn't it still flow out of there pretty good when I open that valve?? Cause I am still not getting any drainage.
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.
I am doing some research to make sure that it only drains when water is in the system. Hold on for a minute please.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok, waiting patiently, haha.
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.

It appeares that the fuel flows throuh the filter and the separated water sits at the bottom of the pump. (I have never seen one not drain, I've never tried draining twice either.) It is normal. The sensor you need is the WIF Sensor.

 

Service and Repair
Notes

WATER-IN-FUEL SENSOR

Removal

All vehicles

  1. Remove the fuel conditioning module.

  1. Note the orientation of the water-in-fuel sensor locating guides.
  2. NOTE: Use care when removing the water-in-fuel sensor. If the sensor is damaged during removal, the fuel conditioning module cover must be removed and the module cleaned to remove any pieces of the damaged sensor. Using an appropriate tool, turn the water-in-fuel sensor at least 45 degrees counterclockwise.
  3. Pull the water-in-fuel sensor straight out of the fuel conditioning module.
  4. Inspect the water-in-fuel sensor for damage. Make sure that there are no pieces broken off of the sensor. Vehicles with a damaged sensor
  5. Remove the screws and manifold cover.
  6. Clean the inside of the fuel conditioning module, making sure that any loose pieces of the water-in-fuel sensor are removed.

Installation

Vehicles with a damaged sensor

  1. Install a new manifold cover seal and clean the seal mating surface.
  2. Install the manifold cover and screws.
    • Lubricate the manifold cover seal with clean motor oil just before installing the cover.
    • Tighten to 5 Nm (44 lb-in) .

All vehicles

  1. NOTE: Make sure the water-in-fuel sensor hole is clean. Lubricate the water-in-fuel sensor hole and water-in-fuel sensor seal with clean motor oil.

  1. NOTE: The guides on the water-in-fuel sensor should be pointing downward. Align the water-in-fuel sensor to the water-in-fuel sensor hole and insert the sensor until a click is heard or felt.
  2. If required, using a rubber mallet, gently tap the water-in-fuel sensor into place. Pull on the water-in-fuel sensor to verify that it is securely in place.
  3. Install the fuel conditioning module.
  4. Start the vehicle and idle for one minute while noting engine performance.
  5. If engine is running rough, check for air leaks.
  6. Shut the vehicle off and inspect for fuel leaks.


Definatelty call the dealership to see if it is covered. You may want to have the fuel filter replaced at the same time. If it is covered and that the whole module is replaced the filter should come with it.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So for sure we need a new sensor, and about the drainage, are you saying it should only drain if it has water in it?
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.

From my experience at the dealership I have seen this sensor go bad many times on these trucks. The light will go away for a little bit then come back and the sensor is the cause. If I remember correctly the whole module is replaced (the whole unit the fuel filter is in) As far as the draining goes that is what is described on the operation of the drain valve.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I read that part under the operation but its not specific as to when or what should drain out of there as far as if it will only drain if there is water or if if it will drain out diesel anytime you open it, what is your understanding of that?
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.

When the fuel enters the fuel conditioning module it flows through the 10 micron fuel filter which separates particles and removes water from the fuel. The separated water collects at the bottom of the pump. If enough water is collected, the WIF sensor detects it and the PCM turns the WIF indicator ON. The conditioned fuel is then delivered to the secondary fuel filter.

 

I'd say that only water drains from it reading that. I asked a Tech. I worked with that is very good with diesels and he has never tried draining twice to see if anything comes out or not. Try driving the truck for a little ways and redraining to see if anything comes out or not.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok, so just to recap, the truck is safe to drive, I just need to go to the dealership and get a new WIF sensor.
Expert:  Brad B replied 5 years ago.

The truck is safe to drive

 

And yes the WIF sensor is the most likely problem (only one I've seen yet for this issue.) Hopefully it will be covered under warranty.

Brad B, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1076
Experience: ASE Master Certified & ASE G1. Ford Engine and Chassis Master. Been at a Ford dealership for 9 years.
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Brad B
Brad B
Mechanic
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ASE Master Certified & ASE G1. Ford Engine and Chassis Master. Been at a Ford dealership for 9 years.