Wrong Fuel Emergency for the pace car

Never a dull moment for our wrong fuel emergency experts! One of our team was at the Birmingham Wheels raceway recently attending a wrong fuel incident which, once again, was certainly a matter of some urgency. Our man received a call from one of the race organisers who was in a stressful situation whereby one of the staff members had accidentally managed to put petrol into the tank of their diesel engine pace car. The race was due to start in 30 minutes and the racers were getting ready to line up on the grid after their qualifying laps.

Andy, our engineer, was working in the vicinity and managed to get himself on the scene in just 15 minutes. This was going to be a tough one as the pace car had been filled to the brim with petrol on top of a quarter of a tank of petrol! He got straight onto the job and connected up the pump unit to remove the contaminated fuel from the tank. With this job done he then needed to flush the fuel system of the car through with fresh diesel to ensure that no trace of petrol remained in the system to compromise the lubrication of internal fuel system components where there is metal to metal contact. The presence of petrol in a diesel fuel system can cause excessive wear resulting in the accumulation of tiny metal particles or “swarf” in the fuel lines. These can find their way into the engine injection system resulting in blockage of the injectors which causes the engine to run badly, if at all. In extreme cases you may even end up having to replace the diesel injectors which is a lengthy and expensive job.

The pace car engine, however, has not been started with the wrong fuel in the system as the staff member responsible realised his error before putting the key into the ignition. Thankfully, he was quick thinking and got straight onto Wrong Fuel Emergency and explained his situation.

Once Andy had flushed the fuel system, he then reset the engine ECU and the pacecar was ready to go. The race started and no-one even noticed there was a problem, except for the staff behind the scenes who were all thanking Andy profusely and wiping the sweat from their brows!

The show must go on!

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