Buddy put diesel in gas tank. Over 2.5 weeks of TS. Still won't start...
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This is a discussion on Buddy put diesel in gas tank. Over 2.5 weeks of TS. Still won't start... within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Okay, so my buddy had his car towed to my place after he called and said his car died after ...

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    Buddy put diesel in gas tank. Over 2.5 weeks of TS. Still won't start...

    Okay, so my buddy had his car towed to my place after he called and said his car died after filling at some major fuel place. So after two and a half weeks of troubleshooting and finding diesel in the gas tank, we pumped it out (both sides of the fuel tank) and it STILL won't start. I'm bashing my head on this one. Here's what I've found/done so far.

    2004 Impreza WRX 2.0L turbo - stock with STi exhaust that I found for $100. Not a bad score, but anyways...

    I'm getting fuel (As far as I can tell)
    I'm getting spark (Because I shocked myself)
    I'm getting air (Because it's not blocked and I'm able to spin the turbo)

    NO CODES - It will crank but won't start.

    Replaced timing belt and all pulleys. Quadruple checked timing marks. (Needed to get replaced anyways - old pump sounded like a bag of rocks)
    Replaced crank sensor (on forum suggestion)
    Replaced crank pulley and reluctor ring (20+ tooth one, NOT the 6 tooth one)
    Replaced plugs (carbon buildup)
    Replaced fuel pump to new Walbro fuel pump
    Replaced fuel pressure regulator
    Replaced the fuel filter

    Checked all fuses under dash and engine compartment
    Checked fuel pressure (43 psi on first fuel pump priming key turn. 55 psi every key turn thereafter)
    Checked compression (~120 psi on all 4 cylinders)
    Checked for spark (it's got it while shocking the $h!t out of myself)
    Pulled and had injectors tested (108ml before - 109ml after cleaning and testing)
    Checked for continuity to all sensors and wire harness
    Checked all important sensors (MAF, TPS, CPK, CPS, MAP, etc.)
    Pumped out the fuel tank and dried it out.
    Purged all fuel lines and replaced the fuel filter (again)
    Filled with 5 gallons of 92 Octane NON Ethanol fuel
    Pulled exhaust and checked cats (checked good)
    Double checked both o2 sensors
    Replaced many dry and brittle vacuum/ fuel hoses
    Reset the ECU by disconnecting the neg- and holding the brake peddle for 10+ seconds, waiting 45 minutes before hook up (just to make sure)
    Did the whole lock/unlock with the key FOB

    What am I missing? Is this a case where the ECU is locked? Am I just way off in my findings?
    Last edited by chimera76; 09-03-2015 at 09:07 PM.

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    Water.....sometimes waves rqjoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chimera76 View Post

    I'm getting fuel (As far as I can tell) How do you tell?


    I'm getting spark (Because I shocked myself) This does not mean the plugs are firing.



    Replaced timin

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    The only way I can tell is that I had the injectors tested, new fuel pump, filter, lines and when I put the injectors in and crank on it, a friend can see fuel mist coming out of the plug holes.

    I also tested the harness at the coil packs and I'm getting 12 volts while cranking.

    Unless I'm wrong on this which, by all means, please let me know so I can go back and change how I'm going about the testing process. I DO know it's impossible to test the injector harness at the injectors.

    I am getting power across SBF-5 under the hood. From what I'm told that supplies power to the fuel injectors and is fed by the main relay.

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    Water.....sometimes waves rqjoe's Avatar
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    So the 12V is upstream of the coils. The coils themselves put out something like hundreds or thousands of volts - I forget what it is but it is a lot. That is why it is a "COIL" to up the voltage. You either need to take the plugs out and connect the ground electrode to the chassis and crank and look for a spark or use an "in-line" plug tester tool.

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    Well I just tested the plug that feeds the coils. I'm getting constant 12v on pin 1 and constant 10v on pin 2 with pin 3 being ground. Now it's my understanding that pin 2 should be a pulse, not constant. That pulse comes from the ECU which gets the signal from the CPK with reference to the cam sensor. Pin 1 is getting a 12v signal from the ignition switch. That should be the constant voltage that feeds the coils.

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    For External Use Only irickchad's Avatar
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    Im just curious as to how this even happened. If you're in the US, all diesel pumps are a certain diameter, and the hole in the upper portion of gas tanks is a certain diameter. Diesel pumps won't fit into the hole on a normal gas tank, BUT, normal gas pumps WILL fit into a diesel gas tank.
    I have an STi with an intake and no tune, I never change my oil, and my wheel spacerz are mad tyte.

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    Water.....sometimes waves rqjoe's Avatar
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    OK so one of us is very confused. When I say "plugs" I mean the spark plugs, not "electrical connectors." You need to check for spark at the tip of the spark plugs? Have you done this?

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    "Buddy put diesel in gas tank" An old idiom:

    With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    With friends like that, who needs enemies? - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
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    @irickchad - We actually have different sized diesel pump handles. Newer diesel pumps include the standard small handles for diesel cars. It's the same size as the regular gas pump handles. At least in Seattle. Where it's stupid.

    @rqjoe - Sorry yes. This is how I shocked myself the first time. I meant to say that I've checked on both the spark plug end and the wire harness connector located behind the battery. I get 1 spark on the plug then everything ceases to be. That's it. Just 1. I think I found the issue though. I think the ECU is shot. I think..... Here's my findings. I'm not getting the standard 5v reference voltage to other sensors as well. It's somewhere around 1.72v to 1.75 when I'm positive it should be at least 5v. I've damn near unplugged everything from the engine with no differentiation in voltage beyond either 12v or 1.72v.

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    Administrator ...De Rerum Natura TheJ's Avatar
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    I hope you get your issues resolved. I can't help you much with your problem but I do have to ask about the how it happened too. I mean unless it was done from an improperly marked or unmarked gas can, I really can't understand what happened.
    Quote Originally Posted by chimera76 View Post
    @irickchad - We actually have different sized diesel pump handles. Newer diesel pumps include the standard small handles for diesel cars. It's the same size as the regular gas pump handles. At least in Seattle. Where it's stupid.
    It's not the "handle" that is any different, it is the nozzle (the tube protruding from the handle that one would put in to the fill hole under the gas cap) that is typically a larger diameter... So that if you grab a diesel pump handle and try to fill your unleaded tank, before you can even get the nozzle in the fill hole, you are typically met with a strange clang as a diesel nozzle won't fit in the fill hole of an unleaded car. There are diesel cars and diesel pumps all over the country and the actual pump nozzles are regulated to be smaller on regular unleaded gas pumps/vehicles to prevent mis-fueling.
    -The J

    "Driving most supercars is like trying to manhandle a cow up a back staircase. . . This is like smearing honey into Keira Knightly" -JC

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    Solved - I think...

    So I got word from the shop that took a look at the car. They said both the front up pipe cat and the rear down pipe cat were melted. Causing too much back pressure resulting in the engine not starting. It'll cost my buddy ~$2k to get it replaced pending no turbo damage.

    They think the green fuel was a red herring and that the two issues are unrelated. They also said there is no sign of diesel in the fuel. (Duh, because I cleaned it out) But that the diesel wouldn't have caused this to occur. (I think the diesel is what caused the meltdown of the cats- personally)

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    Registered User UEDan's Avatar
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    $2000? At this point might as well go catless with custom tune at half the price.

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    Unfortunately in Washington State, cats are required if they were OEM due to EPA rules. Kinda like emissions codes for California. One loophole that we have is that we can get aftermarket highflow catback systems and trick the emissions if they don't catch you. It won't show up on the typical OBD2 code reading and no one here ever visually checks under the hood or does an undercarriage inspection unless it's by the State Patrol to put a severely damaged car back on the road. Then a full inspection is done.

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    Yes, if OEM equipped, it is federal law to have one.

    Just passing along knowledge:
    Catless mods are typical for our cars. A catless up pipe is actually recommended for 2002-2005 WRXs:
    Attn '02-'05 WRX Owners: The Importance of the Uppipe Mod
    Mine actually clogged up and the dealership recommended a catless uppipe.

    High flow CATs or any change to the downpipe, will require a retune. Less back pressure means the turbo will not like the stock tune.

    And if WA state's smog testing is like CA(ODB2 only) a catless downpipe will pass an ODB2 readiness type smog check as long as it has been remapped(tuned). It will not pass a sniffer test.

    Good luck to your friend!

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