The Wrong Fuel In A New Car Curse

This is a situation that our wrong fuel emergency engineers encounter time and time again. Rarely will a week go by for most of our engineers without them being called out to a case whereby a motorist has just picked up their brand new motor, only to then pop to their local fuel station to fill up with the wrong fuel type.

As mentioned in previous posts, we know this happens because many motorists are swapping from a petrol vehicle to a diesel one after many years of owning and driving various petrol engine vehicles. Modern diesel power-plants are so quiet when compared with older models that it is often necessary to check documentation or fuel flap stickers just to be sure of the required fuel type. Our wrong fuel emergency customers that fit into this bracket, are usually overcome by the excitement of having a new car and taking it for a spin. They are then are not completely focused when they are refuelling and unfortunate mistakes are made.

This type of wrong fuel emergency tends to be a very stressful one for those affected as, after having committed to pay out many thousands of pounds for a new vehicle, they are then faced with the uncertainty of whether their new vehicle warranty will be affected. At this point we are happy to state that in the overwhelming majority of cases, a fuel tank drain and a fuel system flush through with fresh fuel will completely solve the problem and there is no need to fear that your vehicle warranty will be affected.

The problems here only occur with a tiny minority of motorists who have read somewhere that if you put some petrol into a diesel car and you can top up with diesel until the tank contains mostly diesel, then it’s OK to keep driving the car until the petrol has been effectively eliminated from the system by subsequent refuelling top ups. This is most certainly not recommended by the expert fuel drain technicians out there. We believe that motorists need to be better informed about how damaging even a small amount of petrol can be to a diesel engine. Petrol does not have the lubricating qualities of diesel and so the lubrication of moving parts where there is metal to metal contact in the diesel engine fuel system, is compromised and excessive wear will occur leading to future problems. The extent of these problems depends upon the amount of petrol in the system and how long it remains but it is highly likely that at some point the engine will start to exhibit related issues, such as problems starting when warm and stalling at low idle speeds. Petrol is also a solvent and will damage internal seals leading to a requirement for replacement fuel pumps and filters. On many premium vehicles this can be an expensive job.

All we can say is, be careful with your new car and if you’re buying a nearly new car that is a few months old, make sure you test-drive it when the engine is warm. We’ve had a recent rash of cases where motorists have been sold a diesel car that has been filled up with the wrong fuel and then been driven with petrol in the fuel tank resulting in damage to fuel system components and unavoidable expensive repairs. The problem is, it’s very difficult to prove if the petrol has been diluted out of the fuel tank by subsequent fill ups. The related damage is there but no trace of petrol in the diesel tank.

Take care with your new cars folks!

Wrong Fuel Emergency Prioritisation

At Wrong Fuel Emergency, we have always offered a priority service which means that if a motorist should put in the wrong fuel and then find themselves in a precarious situation, we would endeavour to get to them as fast as is legally and safely possible. Over the years we have had many cases where our engineers have been required to attend an urgent petrol in diesel case and the causes of these cases have varied wildly. Probably the most common prioritised cases are those concerning vulnerable elderly motorists or lone female motorists who have become stranded in an unfamiliar place, possibly late at night.

Another important category of wrong fuel emergency prioritised cases are those where the motorist has put some petrol into their diesel car, possibly with a large amount of diesel still in the tank, and has managed to drive away from the forecourt only to have their vehicle break down further along the road. As you might imagine, these motorist’s vehicles very rarely come to rest at the side of the road where they are out of harm’s way and more usually, the engine stalls either right in the middle of the road or at a busy junction. In some of these cases, when the motorists first contact us, depending upon their state of mind, we may ask them to make an assessment of the situation they are in. If they are causing a major obstruction for other motorists and traffic is building up badly, causing a major delay, then it may be necessary for us to inform the local police about the wrong fuel emergency. If they can get to the scene faster than our engineer, then they will be able to direct the traffic until our emergency fuel drain unit gets there to move the vehicle to a safe place.

Our final category of wrong fuel emergency prioritisation cases can be the most serious in terms of the safety for both the affected motorist and our engineers. These are cases concerning motorists who have filled up with the wrong fuel at a motorway service station and have subsequently driven down the slip road onto the motorway where their vehicle has then stalled. Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence and our engineers deal with these type of cases several times a week. In almost all scenarios we have to inform the emergency services, especially if the vehicle is blocking a lane on the motorway. It is extremely dangerous for the motorist to attempt to move the car to safety manually due to the speed of the other traffic. We always recommend that motorists in this kind of wrong fuel emergency situation, put on their hazard warning lights and exit the vehicle safely to wait on the verge of the hard shoulder for our arrival or the police, to take control of the situation. These cases are our highest priority and our engineers are all trained to deal with these often very stressful and dangerous scenarios.

If you find yourself in dangerous predicament after putting the wrong fuel in your car, call Wrong Fuel Emergency straight away on 0345 302 2980 for emergency assistance and immediate advice.

Wrong Fuel Emergency Auto-suggestion

Occasionally, coincidences become concerns and this is certainly the case with a few wrong fuel situations that we have dealt with recently. It’s all to do with auto-suggestion. If you put something into somebody’s mind there is a chance that they will either consciously or even subconsciously carry out that action. We have now had at least three similar cases where our wrong fuel engineers have been on a forecourt assisting a customer who has accidentally put diesel in a petrol vehicle, and have then had someone else using the filling station walk across and say the following or something similar, “You’ll never guess what I’ve just done, I’ve filled up with the wrong fuel. Can you help when you’re finished here?”

After the second case we thought it might be purely coincidence as putting in the wrong fuel is a commonly occurring scenario affecting many thousands of motorists every year. But, after the third time it happened, the customer said, “I was just reading the sign on your van and for some bizarre reason I just did what it said!” So, we took a look at the van in question which has the slogan, “Have you put the wrong fuel in your car? Call 0345 302 2980 now”. It is indeed very eye-catching but then that’s the whole idea of having the livery on the van, to spread the word about our services. We couldn’t really use unmarked mobile fuel evacuation units as it wouldn’t help motorists who may be in need of our services or, indeed, help our business very much!

These strange situations do, however, give credence to the theory that most wrong fuel situations occur in the first place because the motorist’s attention is momentarily diverted to somewhere or something else just at the moment that they are choosing a fuel nozzle.

It’s a strange business to be involved with sometimes, where we seem to spend a significant amount of time offering suggestions to motorists to help them avoid doing the very thing that keeps us working! Even so, the number of wrong fuel cases is rising every year and we understand that it can be a real headache when you’re on a tight schedule. So if you see our van driving onto a forecourt whilst you’re filling up your vehicle, just look away while you choose the correct fuel nozzle!