I have a 2005 Toyota Echo. In October, the car started shaking and running roughly so I went to the mechanic. I paid $700 to change spark plugs and wires which appeared to be corroded. Problem continued and I could not leave the mechanic's, so he took it to the Toyota dealer and they claimed it was because there was water in the gas tank. I paid another $700 to have them flush the system. It happened again shortly after and they told me there was more water in the tank, flushed the system and charged me another $350. They told me that water in the gas tank is the issue and the only way the water could get in there is through faulty gas or someone putting water in there. I had already gotten myself a locking gas cap and only bought gas at reputable dealers. Also, I've been told that if the water was entering the gas tank from a fill-up, I wouldn't be able to drive for very long before the car stopped running but that wasn't the case. I drove for hours before the car started shaking the first time. Apparently the charcoal filter is in need of replacement but I've been told that it shouldn't be affecting the performance of the car. Also, the last time I went for a fill up, it was very slow to fill up. My dad removed the gas filler tube from the gas tank to check for a blockage and there didn't appear to be anything but immediately after that, there wasn't a problem filling up. I haven't filled up since, so I'm not sure what would happen. It's starting to act up again, only a few months after the first incident. I'm out of money, out of patience and I'm feeling pretty fed up and ripped off. Can you help??? Pretty please.
Country: CanadaMake: ToyotaModel: EchoYear: 2005
Hi,Ok, first, you were misinformed on the charcoal canister. This canistor is part of the fuel and emissions system. If it is full and no longer able to absorb fuel from the return system, the vapors back up through out the fuel system, including the delivery lines and tank. The net affect of this is that it can be slow to accept fuel due to vapors and it can cause poor running conditions as there is vapor in the fuel lines all the way up to the fuel injectors.Replacing this will resolve all your issues.you are correct in the water in the fuel. if there was that type of contamination in the fuel, the fuel pump would have burned up, the fuel injectors would have been damaged within a hundred miles of driving with that type of contamination. this was major misdaignosis on their part
So how did the water get in the gas tank?
Hi,you can get a little water in the tank from gas stations, even the best ones, if you happen to fill up when their inground tank is near empty. also, in cold regions, there is always a certain amount of moisture(water) that accumulates in the gas tank. This is why they sell such products as HEET, which is a gas line dryer. This is normal. I live in SD which is a cold region of the US and I have to add a bottle of HEET once a month to my gas tank due to the moisture accumulation.Also, as they didnt diagnose the running rough issue correctly and and misinformed you on the function of the vapor canister, I have my doubts on just how much water was actually ever in the tank.
you can get a little water in the tank from gas stations, even the best ones, if you happen to fill up when their inground tank is near empty. also, in cold regions, there is always a certain amount of moisture(water) that accumulates in the gas tank. This is why they sell such products as HEET, which is a gas line dryer. This is normal. I live in SD which is a cold region of the US and I have to add a bottle of HEET once a month to my gas tank due to the moisture accumulation.Also, as they didnt diagnose the running rough issue correctly and and misinformed you on the function of the vapor canister, I have my doubts on just how much water was actually ever in the tank.
Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician
Relist: Incomplete answer.We were not told by the expert how water continues to enter the fuel system. We've also been told by a variety of people (mechanics, autosource expert etc) that a problem with the charcoal filter will not affect the performance of the car, yet this seems to be this expert's solution.
Hello. Since you have resisted, I will assist my colleague in helping you out. Regarding how water enters the fuel: water enters the fuel thru several different ways. The most common cause is via condensation. You can see basic condensation when you see your windshield fog up. Again, this is a minimal form. A better example would be moisture forming on the interior of the windows in your house, on a cold day. Now, visualize the window moisture, but, instead of your house, a large tank in the ground. The moisture content in the atmosphere ends up turning to liquid on the sides of the tank in the filling station. Eventually, this moisture slides down the side of the tank. When you purchase fuel, and the filling station owner has not taken measures to reduce the unavoidable moisture forming in his main tank, you can, under certain conditions, pump the moisture right into the fuel tank of your vehicle. As Eric stated, there are products on the market devoted to removing moisture from your fuel tank.Regarding the charcoal canister, repeated filling the tank, as full as you can get it can cause liquid fuel to enter the charcoal canister. Only fuel vapour is supposed to be in the canister. On deceleration, your car's computer opens a valve, and the fumes stored in the canister are consumed by the engine. If you have wet fuel in the canister, when the valve open, on decel, there will be an excessive amount of fuel admitted to the engine. This will cause misfires, poor running, and could possibly stall the motor. If you have any further questions, I am sure my colleague will be happy to clarify them for you. This post is for information only; Eric is still the lead expert on this issue.
My frustration here is because I have been told on both occassions by the mechanics that the problem is water in the fuel tank. And that this problem is not from simple condensation (this began in the warm fall weather) but is significant enough that it must have been someone putting water in the tank or as a result of faulty fuel...twice...in a row. I feel like we've taken concrete measures to definitely eliminated these as a possibility so we are left to wonder how water could continue to be entering the fuel system. I would understand your theory if this was a problem that was limited to the cold weather, but it started when it was warm.
In regard to your reply about the charcoal canister, I'm not certain why you've assumed that I've filled it as full as possible. That's not the case. Also, the sputtering doesn't happen on deceleration but upon exceleration, and it seems to be sporadic. Again, we've been told by a number of people that the charcoal filter will not affect the performance of the vehicle. The only reason I'm aware of the filter is because, when the check engine light came on last spring, the mechanic did a diagnostic and told me that was the issue. The problems with the water did not begin until early fall. Are you suggesting that the issue with charcoal filter would explain the issues with the water?
The possibility exists that hairline cracks in the top of the fuel tank can admit ground water, regardless of the temperature. You can find water entering fuel tanks anytime of the year; it is unfortunately too common on older metal tanks, which now must be replaced with fiberglass tanks.The charcoal canister is not a filter. It is a storage unit for fumes that are emitted from the gasoline. The fumes can be consumed, and said consumption extends your MPG...in other words, cars today burn more of the available fuel per tankfull. Fumes included.Regarding the issue on acceleration. If there is wet fuel in the canister, the additional fuel is, again, drawn into the intake manifold, via the line from the charcoal canister. The additional fuel fouls the plugs. This will cause you issues on acceleration.The people who are "telling you that the canister will not affect the performance of the vehicle" apparently are unaware of ramifications of a damaged or failed canister assembly. Sorry.
Thank you for your time in replying to my questions. I was told that any leak in the system would be identified in a diagnostic because there would be an imbalance of pressure. Their answer to me was that the only way the water could be making it's way in there was by way of the fuel intake. It looks, sadly, like I will be on the hook for yet another painful mechanic's bill that I really can't afford. A bus pass is looking like the only viable option for me at this time.
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