Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Not luck

So one of the few issues with driving a Dodge (Cummins) Diesel pickup is that the fuel filter goes from "fine" to "too clogged to let the truck move" in about 2 miles. Seriously. You go from driving fine to barely able to maintain 45 MPH in less than 2 miles.

Now, I love my truck. I love the power, the torque, the fuel mileage. (I get 22 MPH in mixed driving on diesel...3/4 ton, 4wd).

But the fuel filter issue means that you HAVE to keep a spare filter with you. Or get towed. Or burn shoe leather. 

It's not a big deal, nor is it difficult to change.

So I had this happen today on the way to work. Foot to the floor, the best I could do was 45 MPH for the last 2 miles or so. I knew what was happening, and planned on changing it when I got out after my 8 hour shift.

So I get off work, go to the truck, open the hood. Rummage around in the back seat storage and find the filter and the wrench. Climb on the truck, use the wrench on the filter housing lid on the firewall.

Spin the lid off, remove it (and the attached filter) step off the truck, place old filter in a plastic bag, put the new filter on the lid, lube the gasket, climb back onto the truck, place filter and lid in place and spin it tight. Snug with wrench and climb off the truck.

It takes about as long to type as it does to do it. If you have a filter.

So some older guy is watching me. Asks what I just did. I politely explained.

"Lucky for you that you had a filter, son" he says. "Today must be your day. I'd get a lottery ticket."

Dude. Seriously. No luck involved. Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

When I got home, I put the next bit of luck under the back seat, so in 40K miles or so, I'll have that luck with me again when I need it. And I went to Amazon and ordered 2 more lucky filters, so I'll have them when I need 'em.

And I bought my lottery tickets yesterday.

3 comments:

Brigid said...

It's a fine looking truck, I give you that. When I was went throughPIC training on the BE400 (T1 Jayhawk is the military version) there was a particular part (which I will not mention) that the instructors told the chiefs to ALWAYS have in the back of the airplane as a spare. It was good advice, on more than one occassion.

Old NFO said...

Yep, the 6 Ps work :-)

Mr. Engineering Johnson said...

Coworker of mine got in a bind this way. Marginal filter combined with first cool snap of the winter left him 5 blocks from home. He didn't have a spare and had to wait for the filter to warm up enough for the ice crystals to melt.
This is why I carry a tool kit, flashlight, jack, air compressor, fixaflat, serpentine belt, jumper cables, primary wire, electrical tape, idle air bypass valve, and yes fuel filter in the car. Though I must admit if my filter clogged on the road, I'd be screwed. Can't get those push-connect fittings loose under good conditions, forget the side of the road.