Well had you posted this a few days ago,I would've had a great specimen for ya!!
Our 2005 Saturn L300 has 67,000 miles on it and was displaying difficulty starting. It'd start up and stall right out. No DTC's. Fuel pump was replaced under warranty about 20,000 miles ago.
Turns out the serviceable fuel filter was the original - which is totally my fault as we bought the vehicle new w/ 17 miles on the odometer. I never thought of changing the fuel filter, although Ive always put top shelf synthetic oil in the engine...lol.
Once I removed it and drained the gas out of it, I was shocked to see black gas and dirt/particles coming out of the filter. I let it sit for a few days and hacksawed it open. It was completely clogged with all kinds of debris - dirt, metal flakes, etc. When I ran my finger along the paper cartridge, it left a black muddy smear on my fingers that was hard to wash off. It was pretty obvious we had a few bad batches of gas.
Bad news - I threw it away and garbage day was yesterday. Otherwise I would've posted pics all over this thread!
Where do you buy your fuel? There seems to be a belief developing that fuel contamination is a rare problem. Notice how fuel filters are migrating toward hard-to-access locations. My 88 Civic had a neat little canister on the firewall. My Camry has one integral with the pump in the fuel tank. You've got to remove the back seat, remove an access port, get into the tank, etc. to make the switch if you want to (you should probably extinguish smoking materials as well...). What a pain.
Anyway, any clue about how, when, and where you got the bad gas?
Are we sure it's bad gas?
So many fuel tanks today are plastic, not metal. So could the "gunk" getting clogged in a filter be parts of the tank eaten away by the chems in the fuel?
Seems like there are so many filters at most places before the gas gets in your tank that it unlikely, but not impossible, to get gunk in your tank from the filling station.
Just thinking outloud.
Have you surveyed your local gas station for his filtering techniques and products?
I can show you one who only uses an 80 micron mesh, another with a cellulose engine oil filter complete with a 10 psi by-pass valve.
I got one station to use a 2 micron filter, but he gave up because he had to change it twice a day. At least he settled on a 10 micron.
I may be one of the few that dislikes the 10% ethenal/alcohol blended fuels. If you ever come across a gas station w/o E10 fuels - you will tell a difference in the way your vehicle runs plus you'll get a wee bit more mpg. But - getting back on topic - we've dicussed quite a few people getting the black slime in their fuel filters. I really believe this is caused by the E10 fuels eating the rubber fuel hoses. I have had major issues on 2 of my older/classic vehicles. Both my 78 CJ7 and 84 Sportster had all the carb gaskets as well as fuel tank liners ate away from the use of E10 fuels. So, while we may have better filtering of fuels at the pumps and the gas itself is cleaner - I think the E10 just brought on other problems that cause fuel fulters to be replaced that never would have needed it. This may not be an issue for the easy to reach filters - but the ones in the tank - those guys I feel for. Just my 2cents...
I replaced the FF on my 528e after 100k miles. I blew it back and the gas left in it came out black. On the 528e, the main pump and filter have about 40" of hose connecting them to the pickup. Prolly should think about changing hose to something compatable to 10% ethanol gas
I remember long ago a major brand of gasoline=Amoco?= made a big deal about filtering the gas. There was a long cylinder just before the pump handle that was marked as 'Filter'. I haven't seen that recently. If it is filtered , why are there so many posts warning about not getting gasoline at a station when the delivery tanker is filling the underground tanks? The concern is the pumping of the gasoline into the tanks causes the sludge at the bottom to be stirred up.
I was wondering that as well.
I googled plastic fuel tank problems and also did the same search for deterioration and didn't see a single link about problems. Not that I looked at all the links, but it seems plastic fuel tanks solved a lot of problems.
The other thing I thought of is how much stuff in the pump itself gets picked up? There is crud on the nozzle, and those rubber hoses may deteriorate. Not to mention corrosion of the metal fuel lines in the vehicle.
I simply don't recall as many fuel problems as I had 25 years ago, so I think overall things are much better in both fuel delivery and fuel systems in cars.
I just traded a 99 Expedition with 178K + on the odometer. I would change my fuel filters about every 9 months or so. I always cut them apart to see what they caught.
The filter media was full of brown "mud" looking stuff, fine as flour, could have been rust. However I never had a fuel starvation issue.