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Old 10-05-2016, 11:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Tenino, Wa (20 mi SE of Olympia)
Posts: 19
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: CAT 3208
Rated Cap: 84 pass 36200 gvw
Bad fueling situation inTexas

My son-in-law won a bus at auction in Portland, Oregon and flew up from San Antonio to pick it up. Since I only live a couple of hours north of there I drove down to get him and take him to his bus. We brought it up to my house, went through everything to make sure the bus could make it 2200 miles.
He had an easy trip until he got to Big springs, Texas. He bought 25 gal of fuel at an automated station, (middle of nowhere) just to hold him until he could get somewhere bigger. About 5-10 miles later I got a call because his bus looked like it was on fire there was so much smoke out his exhaust and it was all he could do to get up to 10 mph. After having him tell me what temp gauges and oil pressure were reading, and having him check drains for water I had to tell him that he must have gotten some bad diesel. I told him to try to limp somewhere he could get help. He found someplace relative close with a mechanic and was towed in. They had to completely drain his tank and filters and refill everything then run it long enough to get everything out of the lines.
Fortunately he didn't ruin anything but by the time everything was said and done he was out about $700.
The mechanic told him they had been having lots of problems similar to this in the general area because of all the little companies in the area and the intense competition. I don't quite see how destroying a customers engine in the middle of nowhere (there is a lot of nowhere in Texas) could help your company but apparently this mechanic had worked on two or three rigs himself.
I think anyone going through West Texas should make sure and get fuel at large, big name stations for the foreseeable future.
This wasn't fun for my son-in-law (non-mechanic) and delayed him about four days on his trip.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:57 AM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 903
What a nightmare!

I had a similar experience one winter driving a bus from MI to WA state. Temps for most of the trip were highs in the low teens. At those temps diesel can start to display some odd characteristics.

I made the mistake of putting biodiesel from a pump in western NE or eastern WY. All I know is I went from poking along at 60-65 MPH with virtually no smoke to barely being able to eek out 55 MPH while at the same time I was throwing up a smoke screen that could have rivaled a naval cruiser.

The addition of fuel conditioner with each subsequent tank of fuel pretty much cleaned it all up. But it had me sweating as I was struggling to get over the top of the big hills between Ogalla, NE and Rock Springs, WY.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote

fuel, texas, traveling

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