Wrong Fuel Emergencies – Beware Of The Muppets!

Patience seems to be more and more of a rarity these days as we are all leading stressful lives. Jobs are less secure and time is more and more precious. Unfortunately, a lack of patience means that a select few motorists make snap bad decisions as our wrong fuel engineers experience time and time again. Now, this isn’t just a rant about road rage, it’s actually more of a heads up for motorists who find themselves in a precarious situation after putting the wrong fuel into their cars. Whilst the majority of our customers call us out to the relative safety of the fuel station forecourt, there are also a large percentage of customers who find themselves stranded on a main road after their vehicle has broken down. These customers tend to be those who have put petrol into a diesel vehicle that already has a significant amount of diesel in the tank. They don’t realise their mistake until the vehicle starts to stutter and then stalls altogether as they are driving down the road.

Sometimes, these motorists are able to get their cars to a safe place at the side of the road before they call us to attend. There are also those who are unable to do so and so their cars are causing an obstruction on an often busy, main road. This is when driver patience becomes an issue and the safety of our customers is at stake. Some folks don’t like being held up in traffic due to a broken down vehicle and may react badly. They turn an already stressful situation for our wrong fuel customer, into an even worse situation by making sudden dangerous manoeuvres and then roaring past the stricken vehicle blasting their horns. An unnecessarily dangerous and callous thing to do, but never-the-less quite common, unfortunately. We have seen situations where our customers have been on the receiving end of abusive language and hassle from ill mannered motoring muppets.

Our advice, if you should find yourself in this type of predicament, is to let us know as soon as possible and switch on your hazard warning lights. In many situations we are able to inform local police who can then decide whether to take action and send a traffic control officer out to ease any congestion. We will prioritise such cases and send a mobile wrong fuel emergency unit out to get the vehicle moved to safety as quickly as possible. This is particularly important during hours of darkness when the problem is exacerbated and the situation more dangerous. If you can do so safely, leave the vehicle and wait for our engineer somewhere nearby where you can see the vehicle, but in safety.

This predicament is particularly dangerous for those who may have filled up with the wrong fuel at a motorway service station and have consequently broken down as they are pulling back on to the motorway. We will always inform local police in these cases as they can usually get a highway safety vehicle to the scene very quickly.

Happy motoring and be safe!

When The Right Fuel Becomes The Wrong Fuel

Sometimes, even though you may have put the right fuel into your vehicle, it can become the wrong fuel. Confused? Then read on!

This is probably the right time of year to bring this topic up. Holiday time. Now, most of us can only get away for a few weeks in the sun at most during the summer and leaving your vehicle at home on the drive or on the airport long term car park for a few weeks is fine. Nothing untoward will happen to the fuel left in your vehicle fuel tank. But, for some lucky souls who are able to get away for a much longer period of time or for those not so lucky souls who need to work abroad for long periods of time, leaving a vehicle stationary for a long time with fuel in the tank can potentially cause issues. Fuel issues also often crop up for classic car owners who leave their beloved vehicles in storage for the winter and only get them out on the road for a few weeks during the summer.

The cause of the issues is fuel oxidation and the symptoms can range from complete failure to start, through to misfiring, occasional power loss and poor performance. In the majority of modern cars fitted with a plastic fuel tank and fuel lines the system is sealed tight and the fuel should be just fine for up to a year. There is, however, a chance of condensation forming inside the tank which may get into the fuel and affect the performance when a vehicle has been left standing for a long period. The problem is exacerbated with older vehicles and classics fitted with metal fuel tanks and fuel lines. The system is less likely to be completely sealed and there is much more potential for fuel oxidation to occur, sometimes to the extent that the fuel becomes completely unusable. This is when we get the call, either from a mechanic looking to get the bad fuel completely removed from the vehicle fuel system, or from the vehicle owner asking for advice upon the recommended course of action. The situation is usually easily resolved with a fuel drain and fuel system flush with new fuel but we will also run a check on the condition of the metal tank and fuel lines where condensation can be a big problem because of its potential to corrode the metal parts.

If you have stored a vehicle for a long period of time and you think you may have a fuel oxidation related problem, please do call our team of wrong fuel experts who can offer you a very cost effective solution. Also, if you are going to be storing your vehicle and would rather store it with no fuel in the tank and lines, we can evacuate the whole system for you. Fuel can then be stored in sealed plastic or steel containers to be put into the vehicle when you’re ready to drive it again.

Call us and talk to one of our experts for further advice.

Wrong Fuel Emergency Customer Care equals less stress

One of the most important aspects of our service as well as the obvious one, removing the wrong fuel from the fuel tank, is customer care. It might not be something that you would normally associate with an auto mechanical industry and everyone seems to have a story about having to deal with a rude, obstinate, dodgy or generally curmudgeonly mechanic at some point when something has gone wrong with their motor. Our sector of the auto industry is different in that, often, the customer is in a highly stressful situation. Let’s look at the stress factors at play here according to what goes through some affected motorists’ minds:

  • I’ve put the wrong fuel in my car, is the engine now ruined?
  • Is the repair going to cost me a fortune?
  • I don’t have time for this, I’m going to be late for work/my appointment/getting the kids to school
  • I don’t know who to trust to help solve the problem
  • My car has broken down on the road and I’m causing a dangerous obstruction to other road users
  • I can’t start or move my car and I’m blocking other motorists’ access to the pump on a busy forecourt
  • Someone is expecting me to turn up somewhere and I can’t let them know what’s happened
  • This is not my vehicle, am I going to be in big trouble with the owner here?

Time is very precious these days and even if nothing else on the above list is relevant, no-one likes waiting around unnecessarily and unexpectedly. Many motorists are affected by more than one of the above factors after putting in the wrong fuel and we are always receiving calls from stressed or distressed motorists. Knowing how best to assist a stressed customer is an important skill, here’s how we approach such situations:

  • Offer reassurance – In the vast majority of wrong fuel cases, even if the vehicle engine has been started, a fuel drain and fuel system flush will solve the problem and return the car to it’s previous working state
  • Don’t make false promises – We won’t tell our customers that “We’ll be there in five minutes” just to get their business if the traffic is heavy, they’re in an out of the way place or all our engineers are busy. We’ll be realistic and give a proper estimate of our arrival time to avoid building on the existing stress level.
  • Ask basic questions – We won’t bombard a stressed customer with technical questions about their vehicle. It’s our job to know the technical stuff about removing the wrong fuel from a vehicle. We just need to know your vehicle colour, make and model and roughly where you are. We even have a “Find Me” feature on our website to enable customers with a smartphone and internet access to pinpoint their location if they’re in an unfamiliar area.
  • Prioritise jobs where the motorist may be vulnerable – If you’re a lone female in an unfamiliar place at night, an elderly motorist or you’re in a precarious position where your vehicle is causing danger to you or other motorists then we will prioritise your case and get the nearest engineer to you as fast as possible. Depending upon the severity of the danger, we may need to inform the local police. All of this is taken care of by our experts as we know these situations inside out and are well aware of what can happen.
  • Treat customers with respect – The last thing you need is a miserable, ignorant individual turning up to begrudgingly offer you a half-hearted service. Our engineers are courteous, kind, respectful and polite. They are smartly uniformed and will treat customers as they would expect to be treated themselves. Our engineers will go above and beyond the basic call of duty because that’s the philosophy of the type of people we have working for us.
  • Inform customers of the service cost before committing to a job – Everyone knows where they stand if we’re up front about our costs. We will not ask for payment before the job is completed and there are no hidden, unexpected costs added on to catch anyone out.

Caring for our customers leads to wrong fuel situations being solved quickly, calmly and safely. It also means that our workforce are happier, more committed and more professional. It also means that we receive a lot of very encouraging and very positive feedback which is extremely good for our business. That’s what every customer can expect from the Wrong Fuel Emergency team and it’s a philosophy that means our business is growing year on year.