Fuel Filter Life Severe Drop - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Fuel Filter Life Severe Drop

Hey everyone,
Had something odd happen. Took a trip up to Sequoia & Yosemite with my Baby Duramax the past few days. Before I left for the trip my fuel filter was showing 90% filter life (3900 miles). When I got to my campground in Sequoia (250 mile drive) I noticed my fuel filter dropped to 60%. Then on my drive to Yosemite then back down to home it dropped to 30% (new tank of diesel fuel since Sequoia). Found it really odd that it would drop so much so quickly especially since the first tank was from the same Chevron that I've been fueling up at since I bought the truck. Only thing different about this drive was the extended mountain driving.
Anyone have anything similar happen? Gonna be taking it to the dealer soon for oil change but I'm curious if it's just an error or some thing I should be concerned with.
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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 03:10 AM
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Easiest way to figure out what happened is to find out how it measures the filter's life. If it actually measures filtration, then you've picked up some contaminated fuel. Losing 60% in what, 250 miles?
And if that's the case, I'd bring it in ASAP to see what's inside the filter, and obviously get a new one.
A quick call to your dealer's service dept will answer this
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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:05 AM
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Yes, I am interested in what the dealer will say in this case, what it is based on. On a Cummins forum, they claim was it was based on mileage, on the Chevy forum for the 6.6L claims it was based on pressure differential.

Not to hijack this topic, but is there a water in fuel indicator as well? Don't see it mentioned in my manual, but do see a valve to open to drain it out if there is.
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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 02:54 PM
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I am pretty sure that there is a pressure sensor on each side of the filters but can't be positive. I am betting that the OPs experience almost proves this and he picked up a bad batch of fuel. It can happen at almost any station unfortunately. The key is to use stations that go through diesel quickly and thus get in a new load of hopefully good fuel to dilute or replace the crummy stuff. In the fall and spring this also makes sure that you get the new blend (winter or summer) in a timely manner. I use the local station that provides the fuel for the school buses. They get a new fill at least once a week, and sometimes twice.

There is no 'water in fuel' indicator. The OP could try the water drain and see if that bumps the filter life back up. Since the filters are designed to trap the water, it will increase the pressure differential if they are loaded up with water. IIRC it is best to drain it after it has sat overnight.
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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 05:59 PM
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The fuel filter assembly contains a water in fuel sensor AND a fuel heater. No pressure sensors.

Not sure it's related but when I did an oil change and reset the OLM, it also reset the fuel filter life to 100%.

OP - the fuel filters are located on the inside of the drivers side frame rail; there is a yellow drain valve.
You may want to drain some fuel into a container to check for contamination.
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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Alright so thats what I was wondering if it was just based of mileage or something else. Probably got a bad batch of fuel which is a bit of a bummer. Not going to be driving it much so probably try draining a bit to see if anything happens. Regardless I have to take it in next week for a couple small issues I'll probably mention that to them also and see what they have to say too. Thanks everyone
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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:09 PM
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not sure its because of bad fuel... the same thing happened to me I was at 76% at 5000 or so miles went out on a trail by the time I got back home I was at 13%. truck was running fine but I did notice a drop off in fuel economy. because of laziness and scheduling issues I didn't take it to the dealer until 7000 miles the whole time it stayed at 13%. the tech called GM to report the issue they told me GM hasn't heard of this before I'm the first one. so they replaced the filter and sent me on my way. the gas station I filled up at is the same one I use all the time.
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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 08:24 AM
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I asked this question in another thread where one of the members (Hacklerjason) has online access to the full service manuals and the fuel service indicator is based on mileage. Looked at mine and it lines up with replacing the fuel filters at 37,500 miles.

So, probably just a hickup when it dropped like that. On my 6.6, the engine operating hours would reset randomly. No one ever figured out what was causing that.

We do have the water in fuel indicator, a message should pop up when there is a problem. I hope that GM got the bugs out of this system compared to the 6.6 in the early years.
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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 01:15 PM
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hmmm... The filter life monitor being based solely on mileage may be true. If so, mine is definitely not going to make it to 37,500! I am at 8804 miles and 41% life remaining. That puts me suspiciously, almost exactly at 15,000 for replacement.

While I can live with ~once per year replacement, that is far sooner than the 37,500 that is outlined even in the severe duty schedule in the owner's manual supplement for the diesel
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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alcal1084 View Post
not sure its because of bad fuel... the same thing happened to me I was at 76% at 5000 or so miles went out on a trail by the time I got back home I was at 13%. truck was running fine but I did notice a drop off in fuel economy. because of laziness and scheduling issues I didn't take it to the dealer until 7000 miles the whole time it stayed at 13%. the tech called GM to report the issue they told me GM hasn't heard of this before I'm the first one. so they replaced the filter and sent me on my way. the gas station I filled up at is the same one I use all the time.
Yeahhh I forgot i did get the extreme drop in fuel economy. When I was heading into Sequoia I was at 3/4 of a tank. By the time I got to my campground 30 miles later I was at half. I just figured it was because of climbing a really tight and steep mountain road for pretty much that entire time but I was still thinking the drop was way more than expected.
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post #11 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 06:58 PM
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Same thing happened to me. I was at 92 percent with 5500 miles and went on a back country trail drive. When I returned, I was showing 67 percent remaining. Always fuel at the same facility. 1000 miles later, still at 67 percent.
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post #12 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 07:47 PM
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Help... I bleeding green diesel!!! Dealer replaced my springs to fix a lean problem and dropped the tank to get to the shackle bolts.
today I pulled into my garage and the motor quit and would not restart... open the door and diesel was all over the floor...
The tank line to the fuel filter had blown off... I put it back on and primed it and it started and ran about 30sec and blew off again...
It is now at the dealer but they don't know why it keeps blowing off.... any body got any ideas?

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post #13 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 09:36 PM
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Help... I bleeding green diesel!!! Dealer replaced my springs to fix a lean problem and dropped the tank to get to the shackle bolts.
today I pulled into my garage and the motor quit and would not restart... open the door and diesel was all over the floor...
The tank line to the fuel filter had blown off... I put it back on and primed it and it started and ran about 30sec and blew off again...
It is now at the dealer but they don't know why it keeps blowing off.... any body got any ideas?
I think another guy had this problem and they found it to be debris in the line from manufacturing.
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post #14 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 10:30 AM
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My local Dealer fixed it... as it turned out the fuel tank was dropped when they replaced my leaf springs.
The clip on the line to the fuel filter was damaged and lucky for me it died in my garage... new clip and
all is great again.. Except I need to love the smell of diesel in the morning when I open my garage! : ^ )
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post #15 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Marty G View Post
I asked this question in another thread where one of the members (Hacklerjason) has online access to the full service manuals and the fuel service indicator is based on mileage. Looked at mine and it lines up with replacing the fuel filters at 37,500 miles.

So, probably just a hickup when it dropped like that. On my 6.6, the engine operating hours would reset randomly. No one ever figured out what was causing that.

We do have the water in fuel indicator, a message should pop up when there is a problem. I hope that GM got the bugs out of this system compared to the 6.6 in the early years.
Perhaps share those documents i uploaded for you for some more insight, but if you dont by the time i get to my tuning laptop at home i can do it at that time... I have my fsm on my efi laptop that i had with me that day but not today... I was going through a few things in my tune while at work... The reason being i dont have online access any more... I used up all 3 of my 3-day subscription to rip the **** thing... I have it only on digits and its at home

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post #16 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 02:26 PM
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ok, here they are.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Water In Fuel(1).pdf (194.2 KB, 71 views)
File Type: pdf Maintenance Schedule.pdf (30.1 KB, 57 views)
File Type: pdf Underbody Components (LWN) (3 Of 6)(1).pdf (283.1 KB, 51 views)
File Type: pdf B116 Water In Fuel Sensor (LWN)(1).pdf (163.7 KB, 56 views)
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post #17 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 02:27 PM
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ok, here they are.
Oh snap thanks bud! I totally spaced it

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post #18 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 09:53 PM
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The differences we see in the projected DIC fuel filter life 'could' have something to do with how much fuel we use. When towing (almost half of my miles so far) I use twice as much fuel as someone driving unloaded. Same thing for off roading, or city driving.

The maintenance schedule in the owners manual, and as posted above, state that dusty conditions and biodiesel can also change the filter life. The only way for the system to know about those conditions is if there is a pre and post pressure sensor to measure how clogged the filter is getting.

I think I will see if I can find if there are actual pressure sensors on the system. If not, it must be going off of volume of fuel used.
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post #19 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 09:54 PM
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The differences we see in the projected DIC fuel filter life 'could' have something to do with how much fuel we use. When towing (almost half of my miles so far) I use twice as much fuel as someone driving unloaded. Same thing for off roading, or city driving.

The maintenance schedule in the owners manual, and as posted above, state that dusty conditions and biodiesel can also change the filter life. The only way for the system to know about those conditions is if there is a pre and post pressure sensor to measure how clogged the filter is getting.

I think I will see if I can find if there are actual pressure sensors on the system. If not, it must be going off of volume of fuel used.
I have the drawings... When I get home to my beer I'll look into it but I don't think differential pressure sensors are used in this system

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post #20 of 66 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 01:57 AM
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Just to add to this, I was at over 30% filter life. Noticed it drop today to 8% out of the blue. About 14,500 miles now. No way I'm making it to 37,500. I have a 3k mile trip coming up this week so I just amazon primed acdelco filters, $35 kit.


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