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sprinkles08, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep master tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 22669
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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Def was added to my fuel tank..Unfortuanately it was started

Customer Question

def was added to my fuel tank..Unfortuanately it was started and died after about 50 feet. Drained system and changed filters. Stats right up runs fine but dies after a few minutes
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

The exhaust fluid may have pushed up into the high pressure pump, fuel rail and injectors. If this wasn't removed then it's still going to run poorly until it is purged.

How was the tank drained?

Were the lines flushed?

Do you know what codes are currently setting?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the tank was drained. The lines weren't initially flushed, but are going to be. I do not know about the codes. Even if the DEF is purged from the system can there be some residual damage to injectors etc.?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it's possible that injectors and high pressure pump were damaged but they are probably ok. The DEF doesn't contain lubrication that the fuel provides.

How was the tank drained?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was driven about 50 feet and it stalled. I then had it towed to the Dodge dealer. I can't honestly say how it was drained. There were probably 4 gallons added to a full tank of diesel. It seems to run fine but stalls after running for awhile
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

What needed to be done was remove the tank, drain it and wipe it dry as well as remove all water and fuel from the pump. the filters needed to be removed and the lines flushed out and then the filters replaced.

If the engine died it was because enough of it had pushed into the high pressure pump and then the injectors that it could no longer run. Unless the high pressure pump, rail, injectors and lines and the return system was flushed out then there is still DEF in the system which is causing the present issue and it's going to circulate back to the tank and back into the filters. To get it running correctly again then either all of this is going to need to be done so fresh, clean fuel is all the injectors have available to them, or an additive with alcohol is going to need to be added to the fuel to allow the water to bond with the fuel and pass. This method will take a few hundred miles and at least another fuel filter change to accomplish. We were specifically warned to not use a fuel additive with alcohol on common rail engines though because of the small tolerances in the high pressure pump and injectors.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are currently doing what you said................would you expect there to be any residual problems after it is cleaned out?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Most likely not because it didn't run long before it died. Technically the correct repair would be to flush the entire fuel system and replace the injectors and high pressure pump, but I've never seen that done.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok Thanks........anything I should watch out for. It seems to be running fine
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Just watch for the water in fuel light or the engine light. If it runs ok and there are no warning lights then everything should be fine.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome!