Car Auction Buyers – Beware of Wrong Fuel Symptoms

Here’s an interesting situation. We recently attended a wrong fuel incident at a client’s home after he had become suspicious that a car he bought at auction may have had the wrong fuel put into it. The vehicle in question was a 4 year old diesel Ford Mondeo which had been picked up for a bargain price at the auction where it was sold as “in full working order”. Our client did have an opportunity to inspect the vehicle before the auction and even started the car, which it did quite happily. He picked the car up after putting in the winning bid and then drove it twenty miles to his home, without incident. The trip had given the car an opportunity to warm up and when our client came back out to the car a short while later to run an errand, he noticed that the car had trouble starting. He had a look under the bonnet and checked for something obvious but noticed nothing especially unusual. Once he had got the car running again, he took the car on a short run and was certain that the car engine was getting more noisy under acceleration than when he had driven it back from the auction. He also noticed that the exhaust was smokey although this was nothing too unusual for a diesel car that has not been driven for a while.

Over the next few days these symptoms started to worsen and our client took his vehicle to a friend who was a knowledgeable mechanic. After scratching his head for a while over the problem, the mechanic drew the conclusion that the car had had the wrong fuel put into it and it had been driven with the wrong fuel, namely petrol, mixed into the diesel. This was the only obvious answer that he could come up with as the symptoms closely matched those of a car that he had dealt with a short while ago. In order to obtain more definitive proof that this was indeed the case, the mechanic, as a favour to his friend, inspected the injectors and found that they had an unusual amount of swarf in them. These tiny metal particles in the fuel are a result of a reduction in lubrication of the fuel system components, caused by the petrol diluting the lubrication properties of diesel.

Armed with this evidence, our client called us for our advice. We recommended that in the first instance, he should speak to the auction house and ask for his money back. As of the 1st of October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act says that you can reject a second hand car and get a full refund within 30 days of the purchase if the car is deemed to be unfit for purpose or not as described. The car did not have a high mileage and would not normally have been expected to display any of the symptoms described, and so our client was able to get his money back.

If you have bought a second hand car from an auction or from a dealer and you feel that the car may be displaying the above symptoms or something similar, please speak to one of our experts for advice. We deal with wrong fuel problems day in and day out and our experts are more than just familiar with what happens to a car which has been running with the wrong fuel in the tank, mixed in with the right fuel. Don’t ignore a potential problem until it’s too late.

Wrong Fuel Emergency – Don’t drive tired!

We’ve all seen those harrowing adverts on the TV about not driving when you’re tired. All sorts of things can go wrong, the very worst of which is having an accident on the motorway. With everyone leading more and more hectic and stressful lives, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to be off on their morning commute at 6 in the morning and then driving home in the dark 12 or 14 hours later. We’ve had an alarming increase over the last couple of years in the number of cases where motorists have pulled into the motorway services and have been so tired that they couldn’t focus properly whilst refuelling and have managed to put the wrong fuel into their cars. The worrying thing is, that they’re on the road at all. The number of people taking big risks in order to keep their jobs going or to be there with their family as quickly as possible, is increasing all the time. As the saying goes, you’re no good to anyone if you’re in hospital after an accident.

Our engineers have reported having arrived at the scene of a wrong fuel incident to find that the client is so exhausted that they are twice as badly affected by the trauma of having put petrol in a diesel car. When you’re too tired to think straight, it’s hard to consider what to do for the best. We usually get the call from a friend or relative in these cases, or even someone from the forecourt who has offered some sound advice to the motorist.

The vast majority of motorists are well aware of the perils of driving whilst tired but we still do it. Opening the windows to let in the cold air or turning up the tunes just doesn’t do it sometimes. What does help is a power nap. You’d be amazed what a 15 minute nap will do for you. If you’re worried about how drowsy you’re feeling and you’re trying to think of ways to stay awake then you would be much better off just pulling into the motorway services car park, find a quiet corner and take a nap. Pop your phone alarm on if you’re worried about napping for too long. When you’re feeling a little fresher, then you can fill up and you’re much less likely to be putting in the wrong fuel type and much less likely to be involved in an accident.

Drive safely!

Wrong Fuel Emergency. Prioritising priorities!

There’s a reason we’re called Wrong Fuel Emergency and that is because putting the wrong fuel in your car or van is rarely a stress-free scenario. In fact, none of our engineers can seem to recall a situation where they provided a fuel drain service for a client who was just out for a nice, leisurely Sunday drive! Putting the wrong fuel into a vehicle seems to go hand in hand with stress and rushing. Motorists take their eye off the ball for just a moment and before they know it, they’ve put a half a tank of petrol in a diesel vehicle.

We offer a priority service as our previous customers will know, and that involves making decisions about which emergency should be attended first. We will quickly ascertain a client’s situation when they first call us and then we can decide how best to proceed. Vulnerable elderly or female motorists are usually towards the top of the list, along with motorists who are in dangerous situations where their vehicle is causing congestion or they are at risk of being hit by another vehicle. Vehicles blocking busy main streets or those who have broken down on the hard shoulder of the motorway are also high priority cases.

However, every so often we will come across an emergency situation which is quite possibly altogether more serious. We recently had a call from a midwife in Birmingham who had put the wrong fuel into a BMW 120 diesel whilst on her way into the Hospital in the early hours of the morning. There were a lot of expectant mothers in the hospital who may have at any moment needed the help of our client. She went straight to the top of our wrong fuel emergency priority list and our closest engineer was on his way to her within minutes. He arrived 15 minutes later and got straight on with the job to avoid any further delay. Luckily, our client had only put in about 20 litres of petrol into a nearly empty diesel tank and she hadn’t tried to start the car. The forecourt attendant had informed her about Wrong Fuel Emergency and she had placed a call to us straight away. Our engineer had the job done quickly he then sent an extremely grateful midwife on her way to work at the Hospital just 40 minutes after her initial call.

Our fast action earned us a really lovely thank you letter from the midwife team and also demonstrated to us the importance of our ability to prioritise priorities.

If you have a wrong fuel emergency, when you call us, let us know the nature of your emergency and we can use our incredible network of experts to get to you as fast as possible, armed with full knowledge of the situation.