The Dangers of DIY Wrong Fuel Removal

wrong fuel do not DIYWe have touched upon the danger of trying to do a fuel drain yourself on a vehicle in the past, but we also feel that it’s very important to come back to this particular subject because it’s one that we feel strongly about with several of our engineers having either averted disasters or, sadly, having heard about disasters that have happened because a motorist has followed some terrible advice or has seen a video on the internet making the job look easy. There is one particular video doing the rounds online at the moment, which shows someone attempting to do a fuel drain on a car, having put in the wrong fuel – in this case petrol in a diesel car. The person in question is using an electric drill to run a small pump with a plastic tube running into the fuel tank and another plastic tube running to a container for the contaminated fuel. The massive risk in this scenario is with the electric drill. When the drill trigger is pressed and the motor is activated, any DIY enthusiast who regularly uses a drill will have noticed the electrical spark that can be seen through the vents on either side of the drill casing. It doesn’t take a scientist to know that sparks and petrol fumes are a recipe for disaster and possible tragedy. Petrol fumes are incredibly flammable and even if great care is taken to seal the fuel tank aperture completely where the tube comes out of it and again to seal the container where the tube goes into it, there is still a significant risk of ignition.

Another case has been recently highlighted in the media concerning a motorist who accidentally filled up an older car with petrol instead of diesel. He then contacted his local mechanic and his breakdown company and was given quotes for removal of the wrong fuel. The motorist then decided that the cost of their services was too high, as the vehicle was not worth very much money, and the waiting time was too long. He made the decision to attempt to do the fuel drain himself at the side of a public road using some rubber tubing and a hand pump. What transpired may have been somewhat unlucky and difficult to foresee but is not entirely surprising. A small amount of contaminated fuel had escaped from the tube that was being used to drain the tank into a bucket and had started to trickle down the side of the kerb near the vehicle. A passer by who was smoking a cigarette and who didn’t realise what the motorist was doing to his vehicle at the side of the road, threw a smouldering dog end into the kerb. This immediately ignited the trickle of fuel which ran back to the car and the still half full fuel tank causing it to explode. Miraculously, no-one was severely injured, but the resulting car fire was a major cause for concern for the businesses adjacent to the vehicle and caused an avoidable call out for the local fire service.

We continue, unfortunately, to hear of similar wrong fuel DIY cases where the outcome was not so lucky for those involved and can only continue to stress how important it is to engage the services of an expert where a vehicle fuel drain is required. We spend thousands of pounds on safety equipment, ongoing training and state of the art wrong fuel removal equipment because that is what the law requires in this industry. Please don’t attempt to save a few quid by doing the fuel drain yourself. There is a chance that you are putting your safety and the safety of others at risk. Call Wrong Fuel Emergency for some sound advice and for safety’s sake.

Be safe!

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