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Old 09-02-2007, 04:27 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16
Angry Laundry soap poured down gasoline filler tube

Someone poured some laundry detergent/soap into the filler opening of my 300SE. I am not sure how much actually got into the tank due to the restrictor, but before I could clean it all out it rained and I believed a little got washed down into the tank.

What I want to know is, can I just fill up my tank and get away with it? I had little or no gas in it right now. The only reason that I checked the opening was I was going to add gas to the vehicle because it would not start and I noticed the gauge read empty. The vehicle had been sitting for about six to eight months. Any help would be appreciated. We have had a heat advisory here in Phoenix for quite awhile and I don't want to have to work outside to remove the tank.

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Old 09-02-2007, 05:29 PM
Ta ra ra boom de ay
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,915
That sucks.
I wonder if you can know for sure if and how much soap got into the tank... I know that sugar will foul everything up but never heard of soap being in there and or what it might do. Is there a chance that, while it was sitting someone could have poured the soap in and run it until the injectors were fouled, and that is why it wont start?

How empty is the tank... if there is anything in there you might want to crack the fuel line and use the fuel pump to flush it out into a gas can just to keep the system from needing a lot more attention.

1986 300E 220,000 miles+ transmission impossible
(Now waiting under a bridge in order to become one)

Reading your M103 duty cycle:
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:13 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Walnut Creek, CA & 1,150 miles S of Key West
Posts: 4,874
Can't imagine soap is going to be good for it and you have noway of knowing how much, if any, got in there.

Probably best for the tank to be pulled and flushed at a radiator shop. You'll probably need to pull the upper filler portion too and flush it out after the tank is pulled.
Terry Allison
N. Calif. & Boca Chica, Panama

09' E320 Bluetec 77k (USA)
09' Hyundai Santa Fe Diesel 48k (S.A.)
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: beautiful Bucks Co, PA
Posts: 961
Sugar does nothing more than fine sand would do-it doesn't dissolve in gas. I suspect that powdered soap is about the same.
That said, I wouldn't risk some of the finer particles being drawn into the system and causing problems. I'd flush the tank and after settling and filtering, burn the flushant in my lawn mower.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:19 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16
Tested soap

I tested some of the soap that was pulled out and it doesn't seem to dissolve in the gas, although it had harden a little already. I suspect that it has similar properties as bar soap, which has been used to plug holes in the fuel tank. I will try some of the powdered stuff that we use to wash clothes with. It looks to be the same as the stuff that I pulled from around the filler neck opening.

Thanks for the input.

1989 300SE
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