FAQ Spotlight: Dark Wet Stuff On Your Used Filter?
What is the dark, wet stuff I found coating my used diesel fuel filter?
That dark, sometimes wet, stuff coating your used (and probably clogged) filter, is bacteria and their protective slime that have traveled from your fuel tank.
These “diesel bugs” grow and make a self-protective mat of slime between any water at the tank bottom and the diesel fuel above it. With tank agitation, or if they die due to a biocide additive, the dark, dead slime mixture will travel to your fuel filter, quickly plugging it. High percentage Biodiesel mixtures are more prone to this problem, but it can happen in any fuel tank; especially tanks sitting less than full for an extended time. That’s why diesel fuel should be filtered at every transfer. In short, your tank needs cleaning; or at least a proper dose of approved biocide and several replacement filter elements.
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