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Ask Smithy Xtra Fix water in Ford Focus fuel

Asked by Gerard Pinto

Soon after I bought my 2003 Ford Focus 2.0 CL automatic it developed a problem that was diagnosed as water in the fuel. Both Caltex and Shell rejected my claims of contaminated fuel purchased from their outlets. Ford recommended changing parts like the fuel line, fuel rail, injectors, fuel filter and sparkplugs, which were valued at $2990, but I refused. My local mechanic completely drained the tank and replaced the fuel filter, but disconnected the fuel line that connects the fuel tank to the engine via a charcoal filter fitted to the firewall. The car is now running well, so what could be the problem? I am hesitant to reconnect the charcoal filter as it may be converting the moisture in the atmosphere into water and feeding it to the fuel tank. Can you suggest a solution please?

Answered by CarsGuide

30 Nov 2010 Graham Smith

You say the car is now running well, so it would seem that by draining the fuel tank and replacing the filter the mechanic fixed the problem. You can connect the charcoal canister, it’s there to collect the fuel vapour from the tank so it’s no released into the atmosphere; the accumulated vapour is then burnt in the engine, so it’s safe to reconnect it.

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