Wrong Fuel Emergencies Caused By Fuel Thieves

Wrong Fuel TheftFuel theft is still a major problem for the UK fuel industry, costing millions each year. As fuel prices increase and motoring becomes more and more expensive, many motorists are looking for ways to cut costs. One of the major costs is, of course, fuel. Our wrong fuel engineers see an awful lot of cases whereby the motorist has been offered cheap fuel and the source has seemed to be legitimate. The problem is that the stolen fuel either hasn’t been stored properly, or it has been contaminated in some way and has then ended up causing running problems for motorists who are tricked into using it.

Cheap Fuel From Commercial Driver Only Outlets

We’ve heard this one a number of times. Motorists hear about “cheap fuel outlets” that are only to be used by those driving for a living and then an acquaintance will tell them about how they can use it too. Those motorists with high fuel bills might not ask questions about where the fuel came from, they then pay a little less than they would on a legitimate fuel station forecourt but end up putting contaminated fuel (the WRONG fuel) into their expensive cars. As we have mentioned countless times in our blog posts, long term use of the wrong fuel in a car will reduce performance and damage the engine over time.

Why Is Cheap/Stolen Fuel The Wrong Fuel?

Well, apart from the obvious damage to the economy, those selling cheap or stolen fuel don’t tend to be too choosy about how the fuel is collected or stored. Fuel station forecourts have expensive underground tanks that are regularly maintained and are kept according to stringent fuel industry and Environmental Agency legislation. Therefore, the fuel we obtain when we visit a big brand forecourt is guaranteed to be clean, pure and of a high standard. In the extremely rare circumstance of anything going wrong with this fuel (we have heard of cases where the wrong fuel has been loaded into a tank on a forecourt) the motorist has recourse.

Fuel obtained from a cheap source is almost always stored incorrectly or has been collected haphazardly with no thought given to possible contamination. There are many ways in which the fuel is obtained, here are just a few possibilities:

1) “Bilking” – This is the term given to the act of filling up a vehicle with fuel on the forecourt and then driving away without paying for it. The thieves often use “cloned” vehicles to do this. They obtain a false number plate for a vehicle of the same make and colour and then use this vehicle to steal the fuel. This is because many fuel station forecourts have number plate scanners and CCTV systems to help with security.

2. Fuel Tank Drilling – This is an incredibly dangerous and foolhardy way of obtaining fuel, but it’s common nonetheless. The thief will drill through the bottom of the vehicle fuel tank and then drain the fuel into a container. Many modern vehicles have secure fuel caps nowadays which makes getting to the fuel through the fuel tank aperture extremely difficult. Thieves don’t care that they are causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage to your vehicle by drilling through the fuel tank, they’re only interested in getting the 30 quid that a tank of fuel might fetch them. If you should ever return to your vehicle and find that your fuel indicator is mysteriously reading empty or a lot less than when you left the vehicle, check underneath the rear of the vehicle on the fuel aperture side. If you can see a fuel puddle or smell fuel strongly then ask an expert to take a look for you. You may have been a fuel tank drilling victim.

3. Fuel Delivery Vehicle Theft – As you might imagine, a fuel delivery vehicle holds thousands of gallons of fuel which equates to many thousands of pounds worth. They are targets for thieves willing to take a big risk in stealing them, as their contents are so valuable. Vehicles are sometimes stolen from the refinery and we have even heard of delivery vehicles being hijacked by masked gangs when travelling in remote areas.

Cheap/Stolen Fuel Problems

Fuel thieves rarely give any thought to contamination of fuel when committing the act of theft. They don’t care that the wrong fuel may be accidentally mixed into a container. Some of the wrong fuel cases our engineers have attended have involved contaminated fuel where the motorist has obtained the cheap fuel which has been a mix of petrol and diesel probably caused by the thief not paying attention to which fuel type they are stealing (or not caring) and then adding it to a container of different fuel. Often the motorist’s vehicle will have been running for some time using the contaminated fuel because it might be 10 or 20% of the wrong fuel type allowing the vehicle engine to function, but after a short while the contaminated fuel takes its tole on the engine and fuel system and that’s when the problems begin.

You can avoid contaminated fuel problems by only obtaining fuel from legitimate forecourt sellers. We all know it’s expensive, but in the long run you’ll be doing your vehicle engine and fuel system a favour. Obtaining fuel from dodgy sources may well eventually cause catastrophic problems for a vehicle which just don’t justify the small saving made on fuel costs.

Wrong Fuel Emergency – Modern Engines Need Premium Fuel

wrong fuel emergency caused by cheap diesel fuelModern vehicle engines are becoming increasingly complex with almost all functions either controlled or closely monitored by a sophisticated electronic system. Consequently, modern fuel is formulated to keep such engines in prime condition. A number of our wrong fuel engineers have recently experienced incidents where vehicle owners have not treated their new vehicles accordingly and they have suffered the consequences. One particular recent case involved a customer who had just spent £40,000 on a new BMW X5, a significant outlay for him which left him watching the pennies. Our engineer was called out to his home early one morning because the customer had been unable to get his vehicle to start so that he could get on the road and go to work. At first our man was a little puzzled as to why the client wanted a wrong fuel engineer when he had an RAC membership, that was until the client sheepishly revealed that he had been buying cheap diesel fuel from a dodgy outlet that he knew of.

Learning The Hard Way

Our Wrong Fuel Emergency expert got himself sorted and left to investigate the problem. He arrived to find an X5 that was indeed struggling to get going. The engine would eventually start, although reluctantly, but would then run roughly and eventually stall. Our man connected the fuel tank up to his fuel drain pump and removed all of the suspect fuel from the vehicle. He then went through his usual routine of flushing through the system with fresh premium diesel fuel to clear out all of the remaining contaminated fuel. He could then reset the engine ECU which had been previously displaying all sorts of errors regarding various fuel system components. This improved things but the engine was still not 100%. Our customer then further revealed that he had been putting the dodgy diesel into his X5 for about 6 months, since he had bought the car in order to try to save a few quid so that he could make his vehicle loan repayments. The engine ECU was still showing problems with the vehicle fuel pump and fuel injectors. Despite the best efforts of our wrong fuel engineer, the repeated use of sub-standard fuel in the X5 had resulted in internal damage to the fuel pump and blockages in 2 of the fuel injectors. Our customer then had to take his nearly new X5 to his local mechanic to get the parts replaced. On a premium BMW, this was not a cheap job and it ended up costing our customer well over £1000 in parts and labour costs. This outlay dwarfed the amount he believed he had saved by buying cheap fuel. Needless to say, this was not going to happen again and our customer vowed only to use premium diesel fuel in the future.

Cheap Diesel Fuel May Be Harmful For Engines and Bank Balances

Cheap diesel fuel is cheap for a reason. Even if it is premium diesel, it has probably been obtained illegally and fuel theft costs the UK fuel industry in excess of 30 million pounds each year. Who pays for that? Motorists do! The money has to be recovered somehow and fuel theft is one of the main reasons why fuel is so expensive in this country. Those who knowingly buy stolen fuel to save a few quid are shooting themselves in the foot because fuel is always going to be expensive as long as fuel theft continues. If it isn’t premium diesel, then it’s probably sub-standard or has been contaminated in some way. Premium diesel fuel is a complex substance which acts as a lubricant for the diesel fuel system as well as a fuel for the engine. If its lubricating qualities are compromised by a contaminant or are not at the expected levels, then damage will be done to your vehicle fuel system and engine. In the long term that will in all likelihood lead to catastrophic failure of a fuel system component or engine component and consequential large repair bills. If fuel costs are a problem then we would advise the motorist to buy a more efficient car, drive more efficiently or even limit use of the vehicle but never buy cheap fuel from a dodgy source as this only ever leads to greater expense in the long run.

Wrong Fuel Emergency Help – 24/7

Wrong Fuel 24-7For the vast majority of our customers, it’s the first time that they have put the wrong fuel into a vehicle. It tends not to be the kind of thing that you do more than once. The shock of a scary experience makes you more wary when filling up in the future. The fear is brought on by the unknown, with many of our customers calling and asking whether their cars will need new engines because they have tried to start the engine without realising what they’ve done. They have had visions of having to pay huge repair bills and the shock only subsides when we tell them that their vehicles will likely only need a fuel drain and fuel system flush to return them to their former working order. But that initial shock leaves its mark on the psyche. The lack of general knowledge when it comes to what to do in the event of having filled up your vehicle with the wrong fuel adds to the confusion and fear. Many people do not even know that this industry and such services even exist. Even those that do assume that a fuel drain service would only be available during normal working hours. We visit many customers at their homes after they have had their vehicle towed home at great expense. In almost all of these cases the wrong fuel mishap has taken place late in the evening, at night or very early in the morning. The victim has assumed that help would only be available between 9 and 5. The fact is that help is available from Wrong Fuel UK 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the exceptions being Christmas day and New Years day when filling stations tend not to be open anyway.

One of our engineers recently reported a case after having received a call at 2.30 am from a desperate lone female. She had been travelling home after a shift working at a nightclub and had stopped to fill up. She had accidentally put half a tank of petrol into her diesel vehicle and had then tried to run the car. After making it about a mile further down the road she had broken down in the middle of a cold dark and rather lonely road with no street lighting. Her breakdown company had given her a minimum 2 hour wait and she couldn’t raise her local mechanic to see if a tow vehicle was available. In a last ditch attempt to resolve her predicament she searched for what to do in the event of putting the wrong fuel into a car and she found the Wrong Fuel UK website. The customer was amazed when we told her that we could be with her in 30 minutes time and that our cost was less than half what her breakdown company had quoted her. She quickly cancelled her breakdown assistance and awaited the arrival of our engineer.

Our prioritisation policy means that we will quickly organise the fastest response that we can manage where a customer is in any potential danger. In this case, our client had broken down in the middle of a dark, unlit road some distance from civilisation and she was alone. Even though she had breakdown service membership, they are catering for customers who have broken down for all sorts of reasons and are stuck with a schedule system. Our engineers specialise purely in wrong fuel emergencies and our close network of UK professionals means that there is always someone available to help whatever the time of day or night and whatever day of the week it may be. 2 am on a Sunday? No problem! Just call our team of wrong fuel experts.

Wrong Fuel Emergency – Cooking Oil Catastrophe

wrong fuel emergency biodieselAs we have established in previous blog posts, the internet can be a gold mine or a minefield when it comes to useful wrong fuel or general motoring related information. As car ownership becomes more and more expensive, we have been aware for a long while about the huge array of cut price motoring advice websites out there. Many of them offer sound advice about driving safely and efficiently, how to source the best value insurance or warranty and how to do simple maintenance yourself to save money. But, every so often, one of our wrong fuel engineers will come across a site which tries to take things a step too far by trying to make a complex and potentially dangerous job sound like something that just about anyone could do.

One of our engineers was recently called out to an unusual wrong fuel emergency in Birmingham. The car in question, an expensive premium model, had broken down at the side of the road about 2 miles from the owners home. The owner explained that he thought the car might have some bad fuel in it but didn’t elaborate until our engineer had reached him. The first thing our engineer noticed when he arrived on the scene and opened the car bonnet, was the strange smell coming from the car. The owner then went on to explain that he had found a website describing how to make your own diesel from used cooking oil. This is a perfectly reasonable and legal idea and diesel vehicles can indeed be made to run using used cooking oil, but the cooking oil needs to be chemically treated before it can be used as fuel and the additional chemicals required can be extremely hazardous if handled incorrectly.

Diesel fuel made from cooking oil is referred to as “biodiesel” and most website explanations of how to make it do stress that biodiesel manufacture should only be carried out by trained, experienced chemical engineers under carefully controlled conditions. Firstly, the process requires a lot of methanol which is a highly flammable and volatile chemical, even more so than petrol. It is also extremely poisonous if ingested. Secondly, caustic soda is used in large amounts which, upon skin contact, will cause severe chemical burns. These two hazardous chemicals need to be mixed together as part of the biodiesel making process and so it is fairly plain to see that great care is required when doing this. The process is also quite complex and exact quantities of chemicals need to be used at the right point in time. If something goes wrong then you may very well end up with a barrel of completely useless but highly dangerous chemicals.

It transpired that our wrong fuel customer had attempted to make his own biodiesel in his shed as he was fed up with having to pay ever increasing diesel fuel costs. He also confessed that the process had been very difficult and time consuming as he wasn’t really 100% sure what he was doing. The process appeared to be successful but the resulting biodiesel had not got his car very far and so something must have gone wrong during manufacture. Thankfully, our expert wrong fuel emergency engineer was able to drain the substance in question from the clients fuel tank without too much trouble. He then went on to thoroughly flush out the car’s fuel system to remove all traces of the biodiesel and refilled it with professionally refined diesel fuel. The car started and the engine ran smoothly. Our client had had a lucky escape.

Further investigation into biodiesel revealed that biodiesel made from waste cooking oil will freeze in cold weather and so even if our client had been successful with his attempts, he may very well have encountered this problem on particularly cold days. Also, biodiesel can often be more viscous than regular diesel fuel and so may transfer debris and sludge from the bottom of the fuel tank, to the fuel pump, eventually causing a blockage and consequent running problems. Fitting an inline filter is recommended if you are seriously considering the biodiesel route for your car. If you are adamant that you want to use biodiesel to run your vehicle, please only source it from a verified and certificated supplier and during winter months make sure you source specially blended biodiesel to avoid the fuel freeze problem.

Happy green motoring!

Wrong Fuel Emergencies Caused By Bad Advice

wrong fuel bad adviceAlthough 150,000 people every year, put the wrong fuel into their vehicles in the UK alone, the wrong fuel emergency industry is still one that very few people have a good level of knowledge about. In fact, unless you’ve been personally affected or know someone who has, very few people even know that a mobile fuel drain exists. Unfortunately, this means that those affected are often misled by others who claim to have a little knowledge or they may read something about what to do if you’ve put in the wrong fuel, on the internet. Our engineers are often dealing with customers who have taken bad advice from someone who appears to have a little knowledge of the situation and sometimes from those in the auto industry who should know better. At this time of year, there is one piece of bad advice that seems to do the rounds more than usual and that is as follows:

“Diesel can turn a little sludgy in really cold weather, so if you’re having trouble starting your diesel vehicle or it’s running rough, add some petrol to it to loosen it up a bit”

If you’re contemplating doing this with your diesel vehicle, Stop right there! This is actually terrible advice even though it might sound logical to some. It makes more sense to keep your diesel vehicle fuel tank topped up as full as you can or to try and park it in a garage or a sheltered location. Once the vehicle has warmed up, it should run fine so try allowing yourself some time to do that. Let the vehicle engine run for a short while before you go anywhere.

Why shouldn’t you add a little petrol to diesel fuel?

As we have covered several times in similar articles, petrol is a solvent and does not have the lubricating properties of diesel. Petrol vehicle and diesel vehicle engines have very different fuel systems which work in very different ways. The diesel vehicle fuel system relies upon the lubrication of the diesel passing through it to ensure that there is no friction where metal parts come into contact which each other. If you add petrol to the diesel fuel then this will indeed “loosen it up a bit”, unfortunately this means that the lubrication of the diesel vehicle fuel system is compromised and you start to get a friction build up between metal parts which can cause damage to them. This may result in the requirement to change fuel system parts such as filters and pumps, but there is also another far more serious consequence. The friction between moving metal parts can result in tiny metal particles, called swarf, getting into the diesel fuel as it passes through the fuel system as the metal parts begin to disintegrate. If this swarf makes it as far as the fuel injectors, then you may be in serious trouble. Blocked injectors are very difficult to remedy and if the injector is damaged then it will need to be replaced. Very often, this is an extremely expensive job, especially if you drive a premium vehicle such as a BMW or Mercedes. Even a regular family saloon would be an expensive fix.

One of our engineers recently came across a situation where the customer’s vehicle was running badly and they were requesting advice. He turned up at the customer’s home to take a look at the vehicle and learned that the vehicle had been running with a little petrol in it’s diesel tank for a while because the customer had been advised by a friends that this makes them run better! In this case the diesel injectors were damaged and one was completely blocked and beyond salvage. The vehicle was a BMW X5. The repair bill was frightening!

Always consult a wrong fuel expert before following any dubious advice that you see on the internet. Even if it comes from a trusted friend, our experts have many years of experience in this field and will usually have better advice for you.

Be safe!

Wrong Fuel Winter Blues

wrong fuel emergency at nightWell, it looks like it’s finally well and truly upon us. Judging by the thick layer of ice to be scraped off the car this morning, winter has arrived with a vengeance and with it comes the wrong fuel winter blues. As the weather gets colder and wetter, more and more people are putting their push bikes and motorbikes into winter storage and hanging up their walking shoes in favour of getting into a nice warm car in the morning and driving to work. The roads are always more congested when the weather is bad and patience is in short supply. At Wrong Fuel UK we always see a spike in the number of cases we deal with during the winter months. It is, without doubt, due to the shorter days and dark nights combined with increased amounts of traffic on the road. Even though all motorists ought to be considering adding 10 minutes onto the UK average 41 minute commute, life isn’t always that easy and so we find ourselves in a constant hurry which leads to distraction at the fuel pumps and a lot of petrol going into diesel cars.

As we are obviously an outdoor business, Wrong Fuel UK engineers need to be constantly aware of the weather as it can very much affect our response times. As we have already established, the traffic is heavier and slower if it’s raining and road surfaces are more dangerous requiring much more thought and care when driving on them, especially with a mobile wrong fuel unit laden with heavy equipment and potentially carrying a large amount of hazardous contaminated fuel on board. We are also very much aware that customers do not like to be kept waiting and so we have to be honest and realistic with our estimated time of arrival at a wrong fuel emergency job.

The dangers related to wrong fuel emergencies are also more prevalent during the darker winter days. The majority of cases occur during either the morning when people are on their way into work, or in the evening when they are on their way home. During the winter, the chances are that both your morning and evening commute will be in the dark so if you should be unfortunate enough to accidentally fill up with the wrong fuel, then you may end up stranded on the road in darkness, adding to the hazardous nature of your predicament. Our advice in these circumstances is always to make your vehicle situation as obvious as possible by immediately switching on your hazard warning lights so that other motorists know that they need to pass you safely, or if they’re so inclined, to offer you some help in moving your vehicle to a safer position if possible. The very worst winter wrong fuel emergencies occur when motorists fill up with petrol instead of diesel at the motorway service station. Many of these motorists manage to make it down the ramp and into the first lane before their vehicle stalls. Some are lucky and can limp onto the hard shoulder, but others are not so lucky and get stranded in the slow lane becoming a major hazard to other traffic. As previously mentioned, if this happens to you and it’s dark, make sure that you put your hazard warning lights on to warn other traffic that they will need to take action to avoid your car. Whether your vehicle is blocking the slow lane or is stranded on the hard shoulder, you should exit your vehicle on the safe side, away from the traffic and wait for our wrong fuel engineer in a safe place away from the road. We always prioritise this type of case as we recognise the dangers involved and so our engineer will be with you quickly to provide a fast solution.

Be careful if you’re commuting in the dark and if you should be unlucky enough to put in the wrong fuel, you know we’re here to assist.

Wrong Fuel Emergency – Saving The Day, Again

Wrong Fuel EmergencyFor most of our customers, their wrong fuel emergency couldn’t have happened at a worse time, whether they are on their way to work, to pick up the kids or heading off on holiday. There’s always some kind of negative impact to having put the wrong fuel in a car but there are degrees of seriousness which help us to prioritise cases. We prioritise where a customer’s car has stalled in a dangerous place on the road, if the motorist is vulnerable, such as a lone female who is stranded at night in a bad part of town, or in special circumstances where the customer desperately needs to be somewhere as a matter of urgency. One scenario that some of our engineers have experienced more than once, is the wedding dash. The following case study relays one of these incidents:

Back in August of this year we received a call from Dan Chambers who was best man at the wedding of his childhood friend, Spencer Granger. Dan had been taking the groom for a drive in a BMW 735 diesel that they had hired for the wedding, to calm his nerves before taking him on to the church. Whilst they were out, Dan decided to stop and fill up with fuel in Hollywood near Birmingham, as he had offered to take the bride and groom on a long trip to Gatwick airport the next day to send them off on their honeymoon. Dan’s daily run around was a 2 litre petrol engine VW Passat and such was his level of stress and anxiety as he was anticipating carrying out his duties for his friend’s big day, that he picked up the unleaded petrol nozzle and proceeded to fill the diesel engine BMW with petrol. A full tank of it! He and the groom didn’t realise what had happened until Dan had paid for the fuel and had then returned to the car only to discover that the engine wouldn’t start. It then dawned on both of them what had just occurred. Dan went into meltdown and wanted to call the hire company to see if they would bring a replacement car and get the BMW towed away. He was willing to foot any repair bill that they came up with just to save the day. Spencer was a little calmer, surprisingly, and he did an internet search which flagged up Wrong Fuel Emergency to him as a company who may be able to help. At this point, Spencer had to be at the church in 50 minutes time and so Dan called us up and explained the situation. As luck would have it, due to our extensive network of wrong fuel engineers, we had a technician in the vicinity who had literally just finished dealing with another customer just 5 miles away. We got in touch with our guy and rerouted him to Dan and Spencer’s location. It took just 10 minutes for him to reach Dan and Spencer as the traffic was kind, our engineer then proceeded to drain the BMW fuel tank of the mixed, contaminated fuel so that he could flush the fuel system with fresh diesel and re-fill the tank for the lads. After resetting the engine ECU following its traumatic ordeal, Dan and Spencer could get on their way and we’re happy to report that they were bang on time for the wedding.

Thankfully, this situation was resolved with a simple fuel drain, but if it hadn’t have been for Spencer’s moment of calm thought, things could have gone seriously awry. The BMW was a hire car and we have heard no end of terrible tales whereby a motorist has put petrol into a diesel hire car and has then asked the hire company to sort the problem out, thinking that the whole thing would be covered by the insurance. The fact is that in most cases, the insurance does not cover wrong fuel incidents. The hire company’s vehicle warranty then usually requires extensive fuel system component replacement or at the very worst, replacement of the engine. AS you might imagine, replacing the engine in a new BMW 735 diesel would have been incredibly expensive and would certainly have put a huge dent in Dan’s finances. We’re pretty sure this would have resulted in a damper for Spencer’s big day too. As we have mentioned several dozen times previously in our blog posts, in the vast majority of cases a simple, low cost fuel drain and fuel system flush with ECU reset will completely solve the wrong fuel problem. It isn’t a quick fix or a sticking plaster, it’s a total fix. Provided all traces of petrol are removed from the vehicle fuel system there is no risk of damage occurring to the engine and no risk of problems developing with the vehicle at a later date. However, the job must be done thoroughly and professionally, as it always will be when one of our wrong fuel experts is involved.

We have many other similar tales whereby one of our engineers has heroically saved face for the best man, groom or wedding car driver, so if you ever find yourself in such a situation or indeed any other type of wrong fuel incident, call Wrong Fuel Emergency for the ultimate, fast solution.

Wrong Fuel Emergency – Diesel in a petrol vehicle

Diesel In Petrol VehicleMost of the wrong fuel cases that we deal with on a day to day business are those where a motorist has filled up a diesel car with petrol. There are no end of reasons why this scenario is much more common than diesel in a petrol vehicle. The diesel fuel tank aperture is larger than the petrol filler nozzle, diesel engines are so quiet nowadays that they can easily be confused with petrol engines, a lot of motorists who have previously owned petrol cars are switching to more fuel efficient diesel cars and they then fill up on autopilot having forgotten that they switched to a diesel – the list goes on. In contrast, the reverse scenario whereby a motorist puts diesel into a petrol vehicle is rare. For one thing, the diesel nozzle is wider than the standard petrol fuel tank aperture on a car, 4×4 or van and so it’s highly likely that a distracted motorist who has picked up the diesel nozzle instead of the petrol one, will notice when they try to insert the nozzle.

Problems usually occur when the fuel tank is non-standard and we have seen cases where big old American classics have been filled with diesel or classic UK cars with retrofitted non-standard tanks have suffered the same fate. We have also seen a number of cases where diesel has been put into a petrol engine car from a fuel storage container or “Jerry Can”. Diesel is also occasionally put into motorcycle fuel tanks and this blog post mainly concerns a case of this very type. Hopefully, motorcyclists in the same predicament may view this article and follow our advice on what to do if this happens to you and what the possible symptoms of diesel in a petrol motorbike may be.

The case we’re looking at here is fairly typical. One of our wrong fuel engineers received a call from a stricken motorcyclist who had put half a tank of diesel into his motorcycle fuel tank which already had half a tank of unleaded petrol in it. He had apparently not noticed at the time of filling up and had then proceeded to ride on and only noticed that something was wrong a few miles further on down the road. As he continued, the bike had begun to run more and more roughly and emit an increasing amount of white smoke as more of the diesel fuel was drawn into the fuel system of the bike. Eventually his bike had stalled completely and would not restart. It was only at this point that our customer had realised his mistake. He called Wrong Fuel Emergency after doing a search for a solution using his smartphone. His breakdown company had informed him that they would need 2 hours to reach him and that they would then need to transport the bike to a local garage for them to do a fuel drain on the bike, as they didn’t have a suitable vehicle available to help him out.

Our customer was on his way into work on his bike and didn’t have the time to spare to wait around for his breakdown company. He called us and we dispatched a wrong fuel engineer to help him straight away. Our man was there within 30 minutes, fully equipped to carry out a fuel drain on the motorbike. He also flushed the motorcycle fuel system through with unleaded petrol to remove all traces of diesel fuel. He then cleaned the spark plugs on the motorbike engine and advised the customer to change the fuel filter as soon as possible just to be thorough. The motorbike started up first time and our customer was on his way less than an hour after his call. Another happy customer and another exceptional situation dealt with efficiently by a Wrong Fuel Emergency engineer.

Wrong Fuel Emergency – Right Service, Right Price

wrong fuel make the right choiceMany drivers will have, at some time or other, had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a bad or untrustworthy mechanic. You may have been given bad advice, been overcharged for a job or a job may have been done to an unacceptable standard. Unless you have a sound knowledge of the inner workings of engines and running gear, you are reliant upon the good nature of the mechanic who you have taken your vehicle to. We’re not just talking about your local back street mechanic here, we’re also talking about disreputable main dealers with lavish showrooms and large well equipped workshops. Wherever the business profits come before customer satisfaction, we see problems. The wrong fuel industry is no exception. We know there are many rogues operating in this sector and we know this because a large percentage of our day to day operations is spent putting jobs right that have been done badly by these rogue companies. There seems to be a misconception that removing the wrong fuel from a vehicle is a low skilled job, well that’s a little like assuming that just because everyone can write, that makes authors low skilled people.

Wrong Fuel Emergencies Need The Right Skills

Our wrong fuel emergency engineers are highly skilled. They have many years of experience with performing fuel drains on all manner of vehicles, that goes without saying, but most importantly we recognise that a large percentage of our business comes through word of mouth. The power of our customer’s opinions of our engineers and how they conduct themselves whilst attending a wrong fuel emergency, is immense. Filling up with the wrong fuel isn’t something that you plan for and will be completely unexpected. This leads to a highly stressful situation involving an unexpected and avoidable cost. Our engineers fully appreciate this, and so a large part of our service involves reducing the hassle of the situation. The affected motorist will not be in the best frame of mind whether that’s caused by the possibility of being late for work, late to pick up/drop off the kids or potentially missing out on a holiday. The effectiveness of our service is something the motorist only really reflects upon, after the event when the situation is resolved and they are back on the road again. Once the wrong fuel emergency has been resolved, our engineers will ask their customer if they would mind leaving feedback about the service they received, at their convenience. There is no pressure put on our customers to give feedback. We are happy to report that a great many customers do go on to leave feedback on our website, and in all our years of operation we have yet to receive a negative comment! It’s good to know that all our engineers are out there taking care of wrong fuel situation victims.

Getting The Right Service At The Right Price

Apart from reporting the effectiveness of our wrong fuel service, this blog post is also concerned with how motorists should go about getting the right service and avoiding paying for unnecessary or shoddy repairs. We don’t do pressure sales, when a motorist calls us for help the first thing we do is offer advice and, where possible, reassurance. It often seems like a huge problem that may attract huge repair bills to someone who doesn’t understand how a vehicle fuel system works, but in the vast majority of cases – that is certainly not true. We will explain to the motorist what needs to be done and actually how little that will cost them. We let our potential customers make their own mind up about whether to use our service or not, but we will point them in the direction of our many very positive feedback comments left by previous customers and more often than not, this reassures the customer that they are making a wise choice by using Wrong Fuel Emergency. We are experts in this field; our engineers perform fuel drains day in and day out on all manner of different vehicles with different fuel systems. It may feel like the right choice to take your new car to the main dealer but having heard so many negative comments from customers who have been staggered at how much their main dealer wanted to charge them to do a fuel drain on their vehicle, we would recommend extreme caution. A main dealer has huge overheads to cover and may have been informed by warranty companies that all repairs must be carried out using brand new OEM parts if there is even a small chance that they may be required. If a main dealer engineer is not a fuel system or fuel drain specialist, and most are not, then they will always err on the side of caution and recommend full replacement of all fuel system components and even, on occasion, of whole engines. That can be frighteningly expensive and often totally unnecessary.

We also advise caution if you’re tempted to call your breakdown/roadside assistance company who you may have a membership with. Again, they have large overheads as they offer a very wide range of services and will charge to carry out a fuel drain as this is highly unlikely to be covered within your membership. Once more they do not specialise in fuel drain operations.

A Fuel Drain Will Solve 99% Of Wrong Fuel Emergencies

Even if you have started your vehicle with the wrong fuel in the system, in most cases a fuel drain will fix the problem completely as long as it’s done properly. The whole system must be completely drained and then flushed through extensively with fuel of the correct type to ensure that absolutely none remains anywhere in the system or in the engine. It is not enough just to remove as much of the wrong fuel type as possible from the tank. Any residual fuel of the wrong type left in the system will, in the case of petrol in a diesel vehicle, compromise fuel system lubrication which will damage internal components and result in component failure at some point in the near future. This will mean expensive repairs are required. A professional fuel drain is not nearly as expensive and even if money is tight right now, please don’t expose yourself to avoidable big bills a few months down the line.

Try Not To Panic, Be Cautious

If you have filled up with the wrong fuel, we acknowledge that you are under pressure and will feel stressed. The last thing you need to hear is that your car will be off the road for a few days and will cost thousands of pounds to repair. It is so important to consult an expert as soon as possible, who is willing to give you advice rather than simply secure the job. When you call our engineers we will give you advice depending upon your particular situation and give you our expert opinion of the best course of action. If you decide to use our service we will send an expert to you as quickly as possible. Our extensive network of wrong fuel engineers enables us to do this amazing quickly so that you are inconvenienced for as short a period of time as possible. If you are consulting a main dealer or local mechanic, listen to what they say but don’t commit to any action until you have spoken to a wrong fuel expert.

Wrong Fuel In Large Vehicles

Wrong Fuel Emergency BusOne point regarding the wrong fuel industry that we frequently come back to, and will continue to do so due to its importance, is about choosing a reputable and capable company to attend your wrong fuel emergency. Our engineers are fuel drain specialists. That doesn’t mean that they only know how to remove the wrong fuel from a vehicle fuel tank, it means that they know and have experience of a wide range of vehicle engines from older models up to the very latest vehicles hitting UK roads. Our engineers know about removing contaminated fuel from sophisticated vehicle fuel systems whether they are in the latest high tech BMW diesel engine or a double decker bus.

Which brings us on to the main point of this blog post. We received a call recently from an exasperated manager of a local bus service. Someone refilling the tanks at the depot meant for refuelling buses, had managed to accidentally put petrol into the diesel tanks. One of the buses had then been refuelled with petrol instead of diesel which caused a major problem as they already had 2 buses out of action due to breakdowns. When the depot manager called us, he had already spoken to 2 other companies about the problem. The first told him that they did not have the capacity on board their mobile fuel drain units to cope with the job and the second company turned up having drastically underestimated the fuel tank capacity of a bus and with decidedly suspect equipment. The job was explained to our engineer and he knew exactly what to do. The problem here was quite a basic one, buses have huge fuel tanks – much larger than a car. This particular bus had a 150 litre fuel tank and a normal family saloon car has a 60 litre fuel tank. The depot also had about 400 litres of petrol mixed with 100 litres of diesel remaining in the refuelling tank for the buses.

650 litres of fuel is a lot to drain and move and requires a properly equipped mobile fuel drain service to do it. Our mobile units are fitted with fuel scavenging equipment with a capacity of 250 litres. The contaminated fuel is stored in a specially built steel storage unit on board the vehicle. When our engineer attended the job, he was able to completely drain the bus fuel tank and then flush the fuel distribution system with fresh diesel to remove all traces of petrol from the bus engine and fuel system components. Modern buses are fitted with an ECU which also needed to be reset once the job was completed. This enabled the bus driver to return to his route within 90 minutes of having called our man out to attend the job. Our engineer was then left with the task of transporting the rest of the contaminated fuel to our disposal centre, which took a further 2 trips.

This kind of wrong fuel emergency happens from time to time and usually find that other companies have been asked to solve the problem but have been unable to do so to the standard required. Sometimes due to a lack of capacity but more often due to a lack of understanding of how large vehicle fuel systems work and what is required to do the job properly. If you work for a transportation company dealing with large vehicles such as buses or HGVs, do your boss a favour and point him in our direction if there’s an emergency situation we can help with.