How often should I drain the water/fuel separator? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-04-2011, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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How often should I drain the water/fuel separator?

I've got a 1998 E350, and the Water in Fuel light hasn't come on for over a year now, even though we've had the wettest winter in 10 years. The lamp works because it lights during the indicator check when I first start the engine. But that's it.

I finally drained the fuel/water separator last week, just to see what's going on, and it didn't look like there was any water in there, just fuel.

Should I drain it even if the indicator isn't coming on? How often?

And how would I test that the WIF sensor is working properly?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-07-2011, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by muhoo View Post
I've got a 1998 E350, and the Water in Fuel light hasn't come on for over a year now, even though we've had the wettest winter in 10 years. The lamp works because it lights during the indicator check when I first start the engine. But that's it.

I finally drained the fuel/water separator last week, just to see what's going on, and it didn't look like there was any water in there, just fuel.

Should I drain it even if the indicator isn't coming on? How often?

And how would I test that the WIF sensor is working properly?

Thanks.
The sensor is attached to the fuel bowl. I have the Ford Factory CD that has every test you can think of on it. I am at work so I can't get to it at the moment. Later on I can copy the info for you. In my opinion, I don't care about that sensor because as long as you drain the fuel bowl of water every oil change (3000 miles) you should be pretty safe. Unless you buy really Sh**ty fuel. Also, if you all of a sudden decide to use biodiesel in any grade )B5, B20, B50, etc... you should change the fuel filter right away as well as drain it, because I hear it cleans your system out and the filter catches all the crud it cleans.

Anyways, I'll post that testing procedure if I remember tonight.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-08-2011, 12:40 AM
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Ford recommended oil change 5,000

Fuel filter change 7,500

fuel bowl drain every time you replace the filter
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-08-2011, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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@mike3026: Thanks, I'd like to see that service procedure for the sensor if you can find it. I have the service manual and didn't see anything about checking the sensor.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-06-2011, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, dieselmann's page says to drain the fuel/water separator every MONTH, and more often in wet weather! Seems like a lot. But the guy worked on 7.3L Navistars for 12 years, so I guess he knows. I hope I didn't mess anything up after not draining it for a year. Still don't know why the WIF light isn't coming on.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-06-2011, 04:46 PM
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I drained mine the other day then went to drive it and after a mile it started to have a miss. Possible air in fuel?

But on the subject my light has come on more often since it's been so hot.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-12-2016, 06:59 AM
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I know this is an old thread, can anyone direct me to where the drain valve for the water separator is? I just got my truck last week and when I made a quick turn into a parking lot my "Water in Fuel" light came on for a split second.

Is it under the drivers side of the truck where it is on newer 7.3's? My truck is 96.

Last edited by Odin; 02-12-2016 at 07:03 AM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-13-2016, 05:58 AM
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Look for the little yellow handle on the passenger side of the fuel bowl, if I remember right.
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