Today was the day to hit the road. With plenty of time to get to our destination of Branson, MO, we took our time packing up and getting ready to leave.
The nearby Walmart has a gas station and the good news is it carries diesel at a good price. Better yet, buying a prepaid Walmart gift card and using it at the gas station, I was able to get ten cents off each gallon, and I needed almost 60 gallons.
I topped off the tank, Marti and I hooked up the Element and we headed off down the road. That’s when the trouble started.
The Journey’s engine started missing when I pushed the accelerator pedal down, putting the engine under load. That was not good.
Sometimes knowing the intricacies of diesel engines and how they work can be a bad thing. I listened closely, watched the gauges like a hawk and had visions of big dollar bills to repair bad injectors or a fuel injection pump. You see, even though I have an extended warranty, warranty companies often will not cover fuel system parts failures because contaminated fuel damage is not from a component failure.
Also there could be another cause for the engine missing, diesel fuel that sits in a hot environment can grow a type of algae in it. I had run the tank down to under 1/4 when we arrived in South Carolina last month in the (unsuccessful) hope that the then falling price of diesel fuel would continue its downward spiral. A choice environment for the algae growth, diesel fuel, a dark, hot tank and lots of oxygen from the tank being so low.
Driving along, the miss slowly cleared up. The gauges all remained reading normal, no “Check Engine” light came on and after about twenty miles it disappeared completely.
I think that there really was a little bit of algae that had started growing in the fuel lines or filters. Once the bad fuel ran through the engine, the good fuel took over and the Journey ran like a top. Note to self: Fill fuel tank whenever extended periods of non-use in hot weather. The couple of dollars saved pales in comparison to the potential thousands of dollars to replace bad injectors or fuel injection pump.
Just to make sure, I stopped at the next truck stop and bought a container of diesel fuel conditioner that helps clean out fuel system problems. Half of the container went in the tank, saving the other half for tomorrow’s fill up. Dodged a bullet, for sure!
We drove through the mountains of North Carolina, the Journey took all the hills in stride. The scenery was beautiful, as always.
Even a tunnel to break up the monotony of all the scenery. ;c)
We set our goal to stop for the night at the Escapee's Raccoon Valley Campground just outside of Knoxville, TN. When we were here last June, it was a sweltering day and the campground pool looked so inviting. Unfortunately, it was locked up because it had not had its annual county inspection. I was bummed.
Pulling in today, after only 261 miles (I am recovering from PDD – Paul Dahl Disorder for driving too many miles in one day), I saw the pool looking very inviting. I registered and asked the Host if the pool was open. He said “Yes”. I quickly got the Journey set up and donned my swim trunks.
Hoofing it up to the pool gate, what did I find? A padlock! I guess I’m not destined to ever swim in this pool. Sniff! :c(
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