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  #1  
Old 09-08-2013, 10:32 AM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 291
Fuel leak - thankfully it was diesel!

I replaced the primary and secondary fuel filters in my 300TD two weeks ago. It had a Mercedes secondary on it and I put a Hengst I had on hand. The Hengst is a bit bigger than the OEM filter. Drove the car for a bit in town and all seemed fine. Could feel a little wetness when running my hand under the filter, but assumed it was leftover from the bleeding. A couple of days I go, I drove to the cottage (over an hour of highway). On the way back, 15 minutes from home, I noticed the fuel tank was half empty (I had filled it up on the way to the cottage). Pulled over, popped the hood, and there was diesel fuel everywhere on the left side of the engine, it was dripping on the ground. Shut off the engine, took out some tools, checked for tight fittings and hose clamps, snugged one up. Decided to drive to the next exit and check it out again. On stopping, I noticed a trail of diesel behind the car, puddle under the engine, rear hatch and window covered with oily film. Even though I was only 10 minutes from home, I figured it was safer to call CAA and get it towed.

Went out and got a MB filter from the dealer, put it on, and leak went away instantly.

Inspected the Hengst and looks like it was banged up in shipping because the bottom was dented and I could see the crack from which the fuel was pouring out under pressure.

Lessons learned: always carefully inspect filter before putting on (for dents or cracks); don't dismiss any slight surface leak; and: I will stick with OEM Mercedes filters from now!

One thing I am thankful for is that I drive a diesel. With a gas engine, my MB would likely be a charred write-off by now (and who knows about me and my passenger and my dog). One great advantage to us driving a diesel car!!!!

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Fuel leak - thankfully it was diesel!-mbfilters1.jpg   Fuel leak - thankfully it was diesel!-mbfiltercrack.jpg  
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:13 AM
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This seems like an unusual circumstance.
I have read nothing in the forums to indicate any particular company makes bad Secondary Filters. However, the good quality Filters are not overpriced and are competitive with the cheapie ones so most people buy a decent make of Filter.

Also the Hengst, Mahle and Mann versions are often priced slightly lower (on the internet) then the US versions.

In general when spin-on Filters have a problem it is often with the rubber Seal on the Filter or some issue with the threads.
If there is an issue inside of the Filter itself you normally cannot see that.
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:33 PM
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Its cool to see a Mercedes brand filter, but I would think the cost would be three to four times that of a good filter from another company...I think you just had a freak accident, and no way does that require you to use a OEM brand filter....in my opinion...
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:53 PM
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Glad you got it taken care of without having to call the fire department!

Also a good reminder that we should all be carrying spare filters.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OM617YOTA View Post
Glad you got it taken care of without having to call the fire department!

Also a good reminder that we should all be carrying spare filters.
I thought you meant carry fire extinguisher. I did and I always do. It saved my 300SDL as it caught fire due to an electrical fault on the freeway 3 years back.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:40 PM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Good points, no, GREAT points (reminders really as I should know better), to carry a fire extinguisher and spare fuel filters (and necessary tools to change them).

Yeah, the MB filter was $16 cdn, one can order 2 if not 3 OEM filters for that price (in the US I mean, because we get hosed in Canada with prices on this stuff - ex: one Canadian online parts distributor sells the Mann filter for $16 - at that price, I might as WELL get a Mercedes one! :-)

I'm wondering if MB may have designed the diesel filter locations in such a way that a leak like mine would not necessarily cause a catastrophic fire...
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:56 PM
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Diesel isn't flammable, its combustible.....you have to mix it with a certain fertilizer to make it flammable....it will cause a horrible mess but never a fire.....now mice eating the insulation off of wires under the dash, that will cause a fire...
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:15 PM
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It's hard to burn diesel by itself. Pour some in a cup and try lighting it. You won't be able to ignite it no matter hard you try. Diesel soaked insulation is a different story. Put a piece of cloth in the cup of diesel and it will burn so you still need to be careful with diesel.
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstl99 View Post
Even though I was only 10 minutes from home, I figured it was safer to call CAA and get it towed
What is CAA? Is that something like California Automobile Association?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooljjay View Post
Its cool to see a Mercedes brand filter, but I would think the cost would be three to four times that of a good filter from another company...I think you just had a freak accident, and no way does that require you to use a OEM brand filter....in my opinion...
Agreed. NAPA filters are actually rebranded WIX filters, (a good brand), so that's what I buy.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:40 AM
Diesel forever
 
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CAA is actually the Canadian Automobile Association (equivalent of AAA in the States). The annual fee pays for itself with a single tow. Good insurance for the road, driving older cars as I do...

Thanks for the tip about Napa filters.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:01 PM
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If you look closely at the Mercedes filter, you will see either Mann, Hengst or Mahle/Knecht on it.
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2013, 07:49 PM
Diesel forever
 
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What was I saying about us getting hosed on car parts in Canada? I followed Jooseppi's recommendation on the NAPA filter so called my local NAPA store. Would you hazard to guess how much they are selling a secondary filter for an '83 300D? ... $28.50 !!!!
I immediately called the MB dealer and ordered three at $16, a real bargain! :-)

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