Cracking the Wrong Fuel Code
Cracking the Wrong Fuel Code

What everybody ought to know about misfuelling and this biggest mistake can be avoided

During the past decade, with the ultimate advancement in the vehicles and means of power generation – these vehicles are using – have been ultimately transformed. With this high-end transformation, all the sectors connected to the industry have been immensely disturbed.

A majority of them have transformed according to the industry need as well. So, this undeniable process of change has evolved almost everything in the car industry. Fuel is also one of the most important things that directly is connected to the car industry and it would not be wrong to say it the backbone of the car industry.

Because none of the vehicles would be able to sprint when there is no fuel. Similarly, having the correct fuel is another factor that can actually amplify the efficiency. With the instigation of a new era of vehicles, new engines also introduced which use different types of fuels.

All of these modern engines have very strict protocols to follow during the combustion process and a minor mistake can ruin the entire engine. Modern petrol stations have also been transformed and they are serving more than four different fuels from the same fuelling point.

This situation has even worsened the situation for a common driver. They usually face problems to select the correct nozzle for refueling. So you got my point! Yes? Indeed it is all about the miss-fuelling or wrong fuel.

In the past several years, wrong fuel has become the biggest dilemma for a common driver in the UK. it is also one of the most discussed issues in the motorists circles and you would be amazed by knowing that every fourth driver in the UK is the victim of this mistake, either he has done this right away or has just realized at the last moment that OMG!!!

It is a wrong nozzle with the wrong fuel. The motorist is feared of adding wrong fuel as it leads to the entire engine breakdown. Yes, this is one of the bitter realities in the UK.

Actually, it is not right to blame the fuel stations because they have enforced several corrective measures already to save drivers from doing this costly mistake but what about the common driver, trying to add up fuel while speaking to someone on the phone?

There is the only way to teach them, to give them the right information about the adverse effects of misfuelling by telling them about myths and facts of doing this mistake. Only by describing the facts and the myths are not enough, there must be some solutions to every problem, right? Let’s have a look how not to become a victim of wrong fuel or?

Why wrong fuelling soar?

There are several factors including a full vehicle breakdown, no damage data, not even covered by warranty, breakdown recovery cost, repair bills and most importantly the hassle a driver face in this time period.

Wrong fuel is not a thing that proves a driver – a dumb – it is a common mistake and even the police department, ambulances, and major organisations are also the victims of this mistake. Did you know why?

Because the drivers are unaware of the situation, they do not know about the misfuelling etc. etc. when they are unaware of the case, they report it as an un-identified issue to the department. Only AA and Wrong fuel Assist handle more than 170,000 cases every year.

What people usually ask about this problem is a list of question, let’s try to answer them all to understand the actual issue. Most common questions are; what should I do? I have filled the wrong fuel in my car. Can I drive a bit too clear of the petrol station? Can I turn my engine ON?

Even they ask about the other parts e.g. filters and say do I need filter replacement as well? What would be the dent to come back on the road? What would require repairs and what is the potential damage? All these questions reflect customer anxiety by large.

First of all, before answering the other questions and agreeing on a conclusion, it is strictly advised that you must not start your vehicle to save you from a big damage. At the fuel stations, usually the staffs are very sympathetic and they can help you out pushing your vehicle out into the parking bay.

Can I drive the vehicle?

The answer is a big No! It is advised that do not drive the vehicle. By doing this, all wrong fuel would be injected into the fuel delivery system and everything has gone. A diesel car might run for several miles but a patrol car won’t go a quarter mile either.

Can I turn the engine on?

The same rule would apply to this question that there is no chance of survival, once the engine has been started. Just ask for a help to push the car to the parking bay and car wrong fuel assist services.

In most modern vehicles fuel pumps start working even when you turn the ignition switch on. All the time you spent to turn the vehicle into neutral and free up the gear, it is all dangerous time for your vehicle.

Do I need to change my filters too?

There are two scenarios when misfuelling happens, first, is engine started after adding wrong fuel and the other is when the engine is not started at all. In the second case there is a likely chance that the filters are OK and they do not need to be changed but if the engine has been started to pull over the vehicle into the parking bay even, it is advised to change the filters as well.

Soon after igniting the engine, filter came into action and fuel start flowing through them, so it clearly means they are full of contaminated fuel now.

Generally, fuel filters are relatively expensive, depending on the vehicle make and model, they can be somewhere between £25 and £75 but they are simple to fit. The fuel filter changing can be easily done in 40 minutes to one hour.

Please consider a warning advice here as well that if the vehicle is under warranty then act accordingly. Because some dealers are habitual to tell their customers that if these parts were changed, the warranty would be voided or invalidated.

Misfuelling can go up to four figures in repair bills and it depends upon the vehicle type and its exclusivity.

Driving it with the wrong fuel, made it worse?

It is sad to say but the answer is yes! But again it depends that how long the vehicle has been driven out? In case of diesel cars, they built tough and the nature of their fuel delivery system informs about the fuel change instantly.

Otherwise, the damage is unavoidable and it would lead to the hefty repair bills, and it is important to act instantly and stop the engine to minimize the risk. It is quite possible that the vehicle could sit more than several days in a car park before the recovery or repair commence.

In most case, if the damage is minimal, usually, catalytic converters, fuel pumps, and filters will fail. But if the damage is serious, it is quite possible that a need of an engine replacement would arise. Petrol engines, on the other hand, do not usually run longer after misfuelling and start misfiring.

Diesel is much thicker than petrol and it combusts really hard. Upon flushing out the fuel and restarting the vehicle, there would be heavy smoke on the exhaust pipes and in terms of damage, the problem intensity would be greater in old and higher mileage vehicles.

How much would be the repair bills?

It is one of the toughest questions to answer here because it clearly depends on the intensity of the damage done on the vehicle. However, still, there are three options to understand the things clearly and would help in predicting the costs.

If it is just misfuelling and the engine has not been started, mobile roadside fuel drain service would cost you around £175.00 to £300.00 in busy areas of cities like London. Secondly, if the recovery to the garage is also involved, then the cost would increase from £300.00 to £400.00.

Recovery to the main dealer when the vehicle is under warranty would definitely be a big bite on your pocket, it would cost you around £2,000.00 – £10,000.00.

What option is the best?

It is easy to make your mind here that the option 1 would offer a swift wrong fuel draining facility and it would be easy as well. But the hard side is repairing the damaged parts of the fuel delivery system caused by the misfuelling.

While taking it to the garage has greater scope, all the associated issues would be handled and repairs would be carried out easily. But the downside of this option is wrong fuel would last long in the system, recovery costs and repairs would be higher and definitely, the downtime would be greater as well.

Taking it to the main dealer would have a greater peace of mind and everything would be available with the main dealer and warranty would also be saved. The only bad factor is cost and downtime.

What parts would require repairs?

It depends upon the condition of the damage done on your vehicle but when with the main dealer, the service and repairs would be comprehensive and most of the repairs include new parts including fuel tank maybe.

However, pipeline, fuel delivery system, fuel pump, and injectors would definitely be replaced with the new ones. On the other hand, a local garage would completely drain the fuel out of the fuel system and depending on the requirements, repairs or replacement of new parts would take place.

But in the case of a mobile wrong fuel assist service, fuel recovery system would suck out all wrong fuel and flush out the fuel delivery system. Sometimes, they would use additives to clean the system and dispose of any contaminated elements left there.

What would be the Potential Damage?

It is hard to assess the actual damage; it is hard until an expert would come down to your vehicle and assess all the damage. Sometimes there would be no symptoms of wrong fuel but misfiring.

However, in the most cases, following parts found damaged in the case of misfuelling, Fuel pump, Injectors, catalytic converters, contamination of fuel tank, carburettor service and valve guides and seats.

Petrol in Diesel – What to do?

As it is already advised that petrol acts as a cleaning agent in diesel and it breaks diesel strength to convert the mixture into a rough fuel which is enough to damage the vehicle parts.

Therefore, if the vehicle is the modern automatic car, which doesn’t have an ignition key, the damage would be high. In this case call in the mobile services who offer fuel drain recovery.

They would send a technician to look into you’re your vehicle, no further action would be necessary. But if you have a traditional vehicle, however, it is highly recommended that after flushing out the wrong fuel, some quality additives must be used to remove contaminated fuel particles left in the fuel delivery line.

It is also recommended that the fuel filters must be changed as well.

Diesel in petrol – what to do?

Again same rule would be followed that starting the engine would cost you thousands in repair and it might be possible that an engine replacement would be asked for by the garage.

Instantly call the wrong fuel assist services and see what they recommend. If it is possible to clear the contaminated fuel by drainage of the fuel tank, then it is well and good, otherwise, they would recommend the nest best possible solution.

The diesel in petrol takes almost double time to clear the fuel delivery system than its diesel counterparts. Once the car would be cleared, it can be started instantly to get back on the road.

But a driver must keep in mind and must be clear about it that the engine would emit a relatively high amount of smoke for some time. It would be due to additives used by the wrong fuel assist to naturally clean the fuel delivery system.

It will keep smoking while wrong fuel residues burnt off in the combustion chambers. So, this is not something, a driver need to worry about it.

The Process of Removing Fuel

The contaminated fuel removal process consists of a number of factors and in the majority of vehicles, it can be achieved relatively easy on the roadside with the help of suction machines.

Mobile units have all the necessary equipment installed to handle the situation. Secondly, a recovery to the nearest garage if the damage is high. However, if the car is in warranty period, it must be recovered to the main dealer for all the work done to save warranty.

Mobile fuel drainage method

There are a number of stringent safety procedures implemented on the mobile units, they include strict safety procedures to operate in the busy UK roads. These wrong fuels assist mobile units have contaminated fuel storage tanks of 250 to 300-litre capacity.

They store the contaminated fuel to dump it as per standards set by the UN compliance standards. Every mobile vehicle has been designed to handle explosive materials and comply with the ATEX compliance system.

Every mobile unit has all the necessary equipment from jump start leads to starter packs, spill kits, and rescue kits. The removal process can take 20 to 70 minutes depends on the vehicle type and conditions.

Upon cleaning the contaminated fuel out of the fuel delivery system, and fleshing out the fuel delivery lines across the system, the vehicle again filled with enough amount of correct fuel to restart the engine. Now the driver can carry on their journey.

Garage recovery and repairing

If the damage is severe, and the vehicle has been recovered to the garage and they will detach the fuel tank and clean it manually, all the fuel delivery lines would be cleaned and the mechanic would either utilize a static suction pump to remove the fuel.

The tank would than reattached to the vehicle and after adding some fine fuel, mechanics try to restart the vehicle.

Main dealer service station

If the vehicle has been recovered to the main dealer service station, they will make a proper analysis report of the damage including the list of the parts required to be replaced. At the main dealer service station, no repair work would be done but all parts would be replaced with the new ones, including fuel tank in most cases.

At the main service dealers, the average turn-around time would be not less than a week because they ask for the required parts from the manufacturer and then replace them all. The repair costs at the main dealer remain always high.

All the contaminated fuel stored in the bonded tanks owned by environmental agencies. The agency collects the contaminated fuel and delivers to the refinery where after various processes, the fuel again manufactured to be used in vehicles.

The strict EA rules on the hazardous materials stop the garages and mobile vehicles to return the fuel to the driver, so there is the use of asking the fuel assist guys for contaminated fuel.