Volvo Penta’s High Capacity Fuel Filter and the Battle Against Ethanol
We have discussed the problems related to ethanol in fuel in an earlier blog (Ethanol and Your Marine Engine), but Volvo Penta has been re-emphasizing a couple of earlier bulletins dealing with this issue.
Below is a Volvo Penta bulletin talking about the high capacity filters. Volvo Penta states that this filter “is especially useful in areas with ethanol-blended fuel or other fuel quality issues” and recommends that “…where the new filter will fit, 3847644 (click for pricing) should be used whenever the filter is changed.”
I believe if you have room for the filter you should use the new filter when you change the filter. The new filter is about $4 more expensive.
Personally (and this is definitely not Volvo Penta speaking), I have some doubts that a larger filter will make much of a difference in respect to the Ethanol issue. Volvo Penta has had a large number of Carter produced fuel pumps fail.
From what I understand Carter blames the Volvo Penta application while Volvo Penta blames the pumps themselves. We have certainly sold (and warranteed) a fair number of these pumps, but I can’t see there is a direct causal relationship between the pumps that fail and the fuel that went through them.
We have had a significant number of pumps fail that customers swear had only used non-ethanol treated gas (many marinas offer non-ethanol gas at a premium), while at the same time we have had customers who have never had any problems using gasoline with ethanol.
I think the characteristic screaming failing pump (sometimes the engine just runs oddly) may be a complicated combination of the fuel pump’s manufacturing, the Volvo Penta use of the pump, the age of fueling dock pumps, the amount of time the gas sits in the fueling dock tank, the number of hours put on the boat, the ambient air temperature, the average dew point and the way the boat is actually used.
All I can say is that it seems like pumps fail more on the 5.7L engines and then secondly on the 8.1L engines than they do on the 4.3L engines. But this may be more a function of the number of engines out there than any real insight to what causes the premature failures.
I have also attached the Volvo Penta bulletin talking about Volvo Penta’s new Ethanol Fuel Treatment. I think it makes good sense to throw this in with your gas each time you fuel up and while we have had good luck with this Volvo Penta product, I suspect that any fuel treatment that does not contain alcohol would probably also work.
Just as an aside, if your Volvo Penta engine is still under warranty, I would recommend that you use original Volvo Penta fluids and parts. Volvo Penta is very reasonable about their warranties, but if there are any issues and it is determined that aftermarket parts and fluids were used, it muddies the water and adds unnecessary complexity to what is usually a fair and straightforward warranty process.
More On Ethanol:
Volvo Penta Parts Bulletin P-23-3 Number 4 Version 1 – New High Capacity Fuel Filter
Volvo Penta Parts Bulletin P-18-8 Number 1 Version 1 – Ethanol Fuel Treatment
Ethanol and Your Marine Engine (direct from the official Marine Parts Express Newsletter)
J. D. Neeson, President
Comments? Questions? Suggestions for topics for our blog or newsletter? Send them to
Marine Parts Express is a division of Water Resources, Inc., a privately held Maine Corporation.
For all your marine engine parts needs, call us toll free at 877.621.2628, or outside the U.S. at 207.882.6165.
May 17, 2014 / JD Neeson / 1
- Things I Found While Looking For Something Else – Part VI
- Re-Introducing the OneList
- Winterization Guide
- Labor Day Sale 2016
- Memorial Day Sale 2016
- Turbocharger Damage Prevention Bulletin
- The Art of Quilling
- Winter – Maine Style
- XDP Upgrade Promotion – Extended!!! (through 12/31/14
- Lubricants, Oils, Sealants, and Adhesives – Discussion and Cross-Reference
bird feet configuration
maine hunting camp
Margaret Graham Neeeson
Margaret Graham Neeson
Marine Parts Express