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Fuel leak

184 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  jmperlik
I just had my first issue with my engine in the form of a fuel leak. I would not have even noticed, as I normally don't idle the truck, but this morning I had some suitcases to load and I needed to move it out of some mud and (rapidly melting) snow and onto a concrete pad. It was approaching a continuous stream of fuel dripping from the right rear of the engine. I had a flight to catch and a warranty, so I didn't diagnose any further. I threw a fire extinguisher in the truck and made the 230-mile trek to the dealer near the airport without any issue.

Turns out it was a failed o-ring on the fuel return line for the #1 injector. It is a $28 part that includes a fuel line and all the parts needed if one were to replace that injector (JL3Z-9229-A).
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I'm sure most of you know, but the fuel rail supplies a constant volume of fuel; if the injector is calling for a small amount of fuel, the bulk of that volume goes back to the tank. That makes this leak worse at idle.

Anyway, I am posting this because in retrospect there were a couple symptoms that I noticed but had dismissed. The first was a slight aroma of diesel fuel under the hood, sort of like an older diesel tractor. This had been present for almost 4 months, but I never really bothered to track it down. The second symptom, as the deterioration progressed, was a slight miss on cold start for maybe one or two seconds. I now realize this was the fuel system bleeding out air that came in from the leak. It was present for about 4 weeks prior to my discovery of the leak. Long story short, don't ignore these symptoms if you have them; that fuel runs down the exhaust manifold and could result in an insurance claim instead of a minor repair.
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@beaker - thank you for the detailed post including lead up symptoms = very helpful information for any 3.0L PSD owner
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