posted 6 years ago

Put Wrong Type of Fuel In Car?

Dear, oh dear. Halfords say that three-hundred thousand vehicles per-year are filled with the wrong type of fuel in the UK.

Dear, oh dear. Halfords say that three-hundred thousand vehicles per-year are filled with the wrong type of fuel in the UK. This equates to one every minute and forty-five seconds. Owners of newer machinery seem most likely to have that “oh oh” moment as fifty-three per-cent of incidents involve vehicles less than four years old. Furthermore, Halfords claim there are more incidents in September and March. Why? Because these are the months new registration plates emerge. These boost sales, of course, so there are more people on the road with unfamiliar cars. There are regional trends too. As such there are more “eeek” moments in Scotland and Yorkshire than other parts of the UK. This is followed by the South West but those in London and the South East are less likely to pump the wrong gas.

Paul McClenaghan from Halfords said: “We know how distressing and disruptive mis-fueling can be for motorists but we were unaware of how widespread and costly the problem was until we saw this research. Putting petrol in diesel vehicles is unfortunately very easily done as the unleaded nozzle on the pump fits into the filler neck of the diesel vehicle without any problems. It only takes a momentary distraction or lapse in concentration and the consequences are often costly. The diesel nozzle has a larger diameter so it is more difficult to do the other way around - although some people have managed it."

So, what steps can a motorist take if they put the wrong fuel in their car? Step one is to cry like a newborn baby, curse fate, and swear. Step two is to ensure that nobody starts the engine. This is even more important than the bad language. The key should not even be turned to the “accessories” position and this might start a pump that circulates fuel. So, simply place the car into neutral and push it somewhere safe. If it has auto transmission, look for a release button on the gear lever that enables it to move into neutral without engine/electrical power. Then call a recovery company such as The AA or a fuel specialist. Some gas stations have the contact details. The mechanical hero should then drain the fuel, clean the system, and install new filters if required. However, if the engine has been started or the work cannot be completed on sight the car will need to be taken to a garage.

Repair costs vary according to the type of vehicle, whether its engine has been started, and the hourly rate of the hired help. There is the price of the wasted fuel too. However, expect to pay a few hundred pounds for a straightforward drain and clean. This could rise to several thousand pounds if the engine has been started. Why? Because expensive components such as the fuel pump might have been damaged. Luckily these costs can be recovered from some insurance companies. Not all, though. As such, according to insurance specialist, LV and John Lewis protect motorists against mis-fueling as standard whereas other providers cover it only as a cost option. It is clearly worth considering this protection especially for those that swap between petrol/diesel cars.

But my preference is to avoid that “oh help” moment. Fortunately, new technology makes this easier. The FuelSure system, for starters, prevents petrol nozzles fitting diesels. How? Courtesy of a replacement cap that can only be opened with a diesel pump. Installation only takes moments. Motorists can also have an audible warning device. As such, when the fuel flap is open the phrase “stop diesel remember diesel” rings across the forecourt. Better than “boo-hoo”, I reckon. Furthermore, some new cars such as the Ford Fiesta have systems that prevent them swallowing the wrong gas. I wonder which fuel my car prefers?

I own and run a company based in the north west that specialises in the removal of the wrong fuel from vehicles. we have found that vehicles equipped with mis-fuelling prevention devices fitted are still easily mis fuelled. At the end of the day, if you think that the fuel you are trying to fill up with is correct then you WILL get it in

"...completed on sight the car..." .... Really? I bet the author is one who has done it to. Can I suggest 'site' would make more sense in this context?

I've don it twice deisel in petrol. Fortunately beofre Cat coverters were universal so I was able to drive and then fill up very regularly until the thing sorted itself out about 14 days later. Starting was not always first attempt and the pong was something to behold. I was told that an odd couple of pints did no harm then and cleaned the plugs etc. I sdon't know abou that because I put almost a full tank in. With Cat Convetrters I would not like to drive on now it sounds costly

Misfuelling is VERY easy to do, I've done it! I regularly drive 2 cars, i petrol, 1 diesel. I was amazed at the number of times it happens each year. Ford are trying a system with a magnetic filler cap but the real solution lies with the filling station operatores and th ecar manufacturers. Most cars have a mechanism in the filler neck that preventa diesel going into petrol car. Diesels have a restictor too. So it shouldn't be too difficult to devise a shutter that will stip petrol going into a diesel, except that the filling station operators refuse to do anything about it, certainly without a shove from central government

If you put petrol in a diesel car, provided its only a small amount and the car was not completely empty, then there is a good chance that if you immediately fill up with diesel you will get away without any problems. Mixing a small amount of petrol with diesel use to be a deliberate trick for better winter starting - although I'm sure every manufacturer will now swear the end of the world will happen if you did it now. The other way round doesn't work - but fortunately that is less likely with the nozzles. Be a good idea if adverts were banned from the pumps - they really should not be there as they are both distracting and confusing..

Forgive me for being old fashioned , all this talk about size of nozzles etc. Whatever happened to using your eyes (and your brain) and good old fashioned common sense !

I normally use Tesco where all the fuel pump pipes are color coordinated, green for petrol and black for diesel. Made the mistake of using a single fuel pump at a BP garage as we had a 3p off voucher. All their pipes are black and they then stick the largest advert on the filler spout so missed the green body protector! Also the signage on the pump was small so again missed the 95 octane until too late. Is this a deliberate ploy so motorists do get it wrong so have to have it pumped out and then buy more of their black gold. I won't be using BP until they improve their signage etc.

In the 70s I was driving through France back to the UK in a nearly-new, petrol-engined Ford Transit van. The pump attendant filled it up while I went for a leak. I came back to find he had pumped about 10 litres of diesel in. Of course I didn't pay for the diesel and we finished with about 50 litres of premium petrol. Fingers croees I set out again. It ran OK for the thefirst couple of miles then began to run really rough, top speed perhaps 40mph but it kept on going and finally after a couple of hundred more miles it finally ran fine once again. No harm done! They don't make 'em like that any more. The engine had a carburettor (remember them). No fancy injection system to clog or worse.