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Topic # 228798 23-Jan-2018 11:14
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Can one of the expert mechanics here explain to me what this is about? Why do slightly elevated sulphur levels in petrol stuff fuel gauges? What is the mechanism at work? This is new to me.

 

 





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  Reply # 1945247 23-Jan-2018 11:20
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I also wondered - makes no sense to me. Do cars these days still use floats to measure fuel or do they use an ultrasonic pickup? 

 

 


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  Reply # 1945249 23-Jan-2018 11:23
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The little Elf inside the tank gets ill from the smell of sulphur and gives up. tongue-out





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  Reply # 1945250 23-Jan-2018 11:23
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Has happened before!

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5086367/ns/business-autos/t/drivers-hit-bygauge-gumming-gasoline/

 

The sulphur corrodes the silver on the float pickup.

 

 


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  Reply # 1945251 23-Jan-2018 11:27
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MikeB4:

 

The little Elf inside the tank gets ill from the smell of sulphur and gives up. tongue-out

 

 

Heh! Remember the guy in the movie 'Waterworld' that lived in the bowels of the oil tanker?

 

 


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  Reply # 1945270 23-Jan-2018 11:44
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Hi,

 

The current regulations allow 50 ppm of total sulphur in petrol, reducing to 10 ppm in July this year. The petrol was below the 50 ppm total sulphur, but some of the sulphur was in the active form. Active sulphur consists of elemental sulphur, hydrogen sulphide, and mercaptans, and arises from some of the refining processes. It's supposed to be removed at the refinery, but the NZ petrol specifications no longer have a test for active sulphur ( it was often either the "doctor" test ( dark precipitate with lead salts ), or Silver Corrosion test ( 50C for 4 hours - followed by tarnish comparison with a coloured silver standard ).

 

Why it's important is because fuel level sensors are effectively a rheostat containing silver or silver-palladium coated wires and wiper contacts, and as the sensor float moves an electrical connection wipes across the rheostat wires varying the resistance. Active sulphur reacts with the silver, and the sulfide affects the reading of the unit. 

 

As noted above, it's quite common, and countries usually reinstate one of the active sulphur tests into their specifications. Given NZ is going to low total sulphur, it's quite likely the test will be reinstated, as it only takes a few ppm of active sulphur to screw up the sensor calibration.


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  Reply # 1945373 23-Jan-2018 13:40
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This has effected my Mazda6 badly .. ran out of gas 3 times in December before I worked out the gauge was reading wrong (almost half a tank showing when ran out). Only ever used the same Z station as its on my way home. Mechanic advised me he had seen 3 Mazda6 in that week alone with the issue and to ignore the gauge and use trip meter as the cost to replace/repair is far too extreme but my wife has been using the car more lately and I doubt she will remember to ignore the gauge.

 

I know that Z have issued a warning for Holdens on their website .. what about the rest of us ?? -   https://z.co.nz/about-z/news/general-news/questions-and-answers-on-fuel-supplied-potentially-causing-fuel-gauge-accuracy-issue/

 

I wonder if there is any way to get the fuel company to rectify the issue on my Mazda without me having to pay the ~$600 1st and then making a small claims ?


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  Reply # 1945414 23-Jan-2018 14:17
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GoranZ:

 

This has effected my Mazda6 badly .. ran out of gas 3 times in December before I worked out the gauge was reading wrong (almost half a tank showing when ran out). Only ever used the same Z station as its on my way home. Mechanic advised me he had seen 3 Mazda6 in that week alone with the issue and to ignore the gauge and use trip meter as the cost to replace/repair is far too extreme but my wife has been using the car more lately and I doubt she will remember to ignore the gauge.

 

I know that Z have issued a warning for Holdens on their website .. what about the rest of us ?? -   https://z.co.nz/about-z/news/general-news/questions-and-answers-on-fuel-supplied-potentially-causing-fuel-gauge-accuracy-issue/

 

I wonder if there is any way to get the fuel company to rectify the issue on my Mazda without me having to pay the ~$600 1st and then making a small claims ?

 

 

Surely the fuel companies are liable for the repair?

 

The fuel came from Marsden Point so Z, Caltex, BP and Mobil will all be affected.

 

 


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  Reply # 1945418 23-Jan-2018 14:22
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kryptonjohn:

 

GoranZ:

 

This has effected my Mazda6 badly .. ran out of gas 3 times in December before I worked out the gauge was reading wrong (almost half a tank showing when ran out). Only ever used the same Z station as its on my way home. Mechanic advised me he had seen 3 Mazda6 in that week alone with the issue and to ignore the gauge and use trip meter as the cost to replace/repair is far too extreme but my wife has been using the car more lately and I doubt she will remember to ignore the gauge.

 

I know that Z have issued a warning for Holdens on their website .. what about the rest of us ?? -   https://z.co.nz/about-z/news/general-news/questions-and-answers-on-fuel-supplied-potentially-causing-fuel-gauge-accuracy-issue/

 

I wonder if there is any way to get the fuel company to rectify the issue on my Mazda without me having to pay the ~$600 1st and then making a small claims ?

 

 

Surely the fuel companies are liable for the repair?

 

The fuel came from Marsden Point so Z, Caltex, BP and Mobil will all be affected.

 

 

 

 

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/348675/fuel-companies-to-pay-out-over-sulphuric-petrol


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  Reply # 1945421 23-Jan-2018 14:27
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vexxxboy:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

GoranZ:

 

This has effected my Mazda6 badly .. ran out of gas 3 times in December before I worked out the gauge was reading wrong (almost half a tank showing when ran out). Only ever used the same Z station as its on my way home. Mechanic advised me he had seen 3 Mazda6 in that week alone with the issue and to ignore the gauge and use trip meter as the cost to replace/repair is far too extreme but my wife has been using the car more lately and I doubt she will remember to ignore the gauge.

 

I know that Z have issued a warning for Holdens on their website .. what about the rest of us ?? -   https://z.co.nz/about-z/news/general-news/questions-and-answers-on-fuel-supplied-potentially-causing-fuel-gauge-accuracy-issue/

 

I wonder if there is any way to get the fuel company to rectify the issue on my Mazda without me having to pay the ~$600 1st and then making a small claims ?

 

 

Surely the fuel companies are liable for the repair?

 

The fuel came from Marsden Point so Z, Caltex, BP and Mobil will all be affected.

 

 

 

 

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/348675/fuel-companies-to-pay-out-over-sulphuric-petrol

 

 

Well at least that's something!

 

What a monumental screw-up though. I sure hope they have checked their AVGAS for the same issue. (most pilots of piston aircraft usually rely on dipping the tank and don't trust fuel gauges anyway)

 

 


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