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Old 04-04-2000, 09:24 PM
Posts: n/a
Anybody had any experience with
algae in the fuel lines/tank?

My prefilter stops up within a few weeks with
little black flakes. I'm sure this is diesel
algae. So, i have to change the filters
pretty often. Even when i change the filters
and prime the fuel, more black flakes suck right up into the filter as I pump it. I'm also having trouble with rough idling on and off. (not consistent) I'm wondering if the idling problem could be related to the algae? Any experiences in this line? or what it will take to get rid of this stuff?


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Old 04-04-2000, 10:27 PM
Luke's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Saint Helena, CA
Posts: 166
You could try shock treating the fuel with a product from Biobor called "Diesel Doctor" and see if that kills the algea. You will need to replace the filters, and likely the fuel tank strainer afterwards. If the infestation is profound, a shop should drain and clean the tank. But try the Diesel Doctor first. Diesel Doctor is probably available from PartsShop, and comes in something resembling a toothpaste tube. Caution, even inside the sealed tube, the product smells like a graveyard of rotting bodies. :0 It gets even worse after you twist open the cap. I had a modest algea problem with my car, and it solved the problem. Good luck, and don't forget to put a clothspin on your nose.

Regards - Luke
Saint Helena, CA

'78 300D
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Old 04-04-2000, 10:36 PM
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Thanks for the info Luke. I'll get the diesel dr.

Did you have any engine performance problems
because of the algae? Where is the tank

How many miles on your 78?

Mines an 81 300d with 240 k miles. Runs like
a top, just takes 'spells' idling rough and
missing. Does fine tho when on the road. I'm thinking it may not be getting enough fuel.
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Old 04-04-2000, 11:13 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
The tank screen is a filter that is in the bottom of the tank..To check it you will need to run the car almost out of fuel. Then take out the plug (also the screen and the rest of the fuel, and algae will drain. Replace the screen and the prefilter and drive away...We sell all of this including the shock you need. Look in partsshop.

Donnie Drummonds
1981 280GE SWB
1987 16V
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Old 04-05-2000, 12:05 AM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 154
Are the "flakes" soft and slimey? -- well I guess anything soaked in diesel qualifies as slimy. But algae would be more soft and flexible than say rust or general crud.
My experience with algae is sooner or later you have to deal with it, and it seems sort of like slime clogging the filter. Do as Benzmac suggests, and see if at least some of the flakes in the drained residue sink quickly to the bottom of a glass. If so its not all algae.
Could something have hit the bottom of your tank recently that could knock sediments loose?
Is your tank metal? Rust? If so, I have no idea what you do.
Hope its just algae. The stuff I got from PartsShop knocked mine out.

'75 240D 300000 miles
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Old 04-05-2000, 04:08 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Saint Helena, CA
Posts: 166
Phill, mine has about 200k on the chassis, with about 15k on a Benz factory rebuild. The previous owner decided to drive the original engine around without any water. Since the engine, injection pump, etc... is new I wanted to get the algea out fast. Kidding aside, do wear some plastic gloves when you use that stuff. It is just foul and stays in your skin no matter how much you wash your hands.

Regards - Luke

Phill wrote:

How many miles on your 78?

'78 300D
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Old 04-05-2000, 11:32 PM
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Ok, guys.
I went ahead and changed the prefilter again,
took it apart and examined the black flakes
in the filter.

The black flakes are soft, not hard, they
do not sink to the bottom in bowl of water.
They float on top.

So, must be algae. I will get around to
draining the tank asap, change tank screen, and treat with diesel Dr.

Thanks for the help!

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