Monthly Archives: September 2011
Sometimes owners of new cars misfuel heres one we done recently.
This car is less than a week old, on its very first visit to a petrol station in north London it was misfuelld.
The owner calld us and someone helped them to push it into a corner of the petrol station, we arrived 45 minutes later and performed a fuel drain.
The car was fine and hadent been started and once all the wrong fuel was removed we lifted the back seats and took out every last drop from the tank itself by accessing both access panels from the inside, we took extreme care whilst doing it to avoid ruining the new car smell with “eue de misfuel”
The car started perfectly after we brimmed it with the right fuel.
As a point of note; if a fuel drain is not done correctly a dealer can often tell if petrol is left in a diesel car by a number of things, the telltale “pfffft” as you open the diesel cap and petrol vapour escapes from the sealed pressurized tank, (diesel does not vapourize and expand like petrol)
The other way is sometimes the glue in the fuelfilter innards gets loosend by a throput of petrol, this does not happen in all cases and wont happen if a car has not been started with the wrong fuel
I do about 4 fuel drains a week from vauxhall cars (and vans) that have had the wrong fuel in them. Vuaxhall is making some good diesel cars lately, and not surprisingly some of them are getting the wrong fuel put in them. If you have put the wrong fuel or petrol in your diesel vuaxhall then don’t panic, they are easy to fix and don’t pose a challange to a competent fuel drainer. Vuaxhalls are front wheel drive mostly which means the fuel tank is a single unit instead of a twin fuel tank set up as seen in rear wheel drive cars. The easy way to remove wrong fuel from a Vauxhall is through the tank with a special fuel draining hose, however if the car has been driven then it will need to have a fuel system flush which is done by unclipping the feed line into the high pressure pump and drawing clean fuel through which purges the contaminated fuel out of the line. When a fuel purge is done it only draws clean fuel up to the high pressure pump, from the high pressure pump forward the contaminate (about 300ml) will have to be pushed through by the working of the pump and engine. Wrong fuel in a vuaxhall van is common, they also have a snag on the filler neck on newer vans which makes pulling the syphon hose out awkward, i have never looked into one so I dont know if it is an anti syphon device or just a sharp bend on the filler neck into the tank but you will have to be patient if you are drawing the syphon line out becuase it can catch and snag. vuaxhalls can be hard to start (impossible actually) if they have been driven with the wrong fuel and NOT had a fuel flush, there is about 1 litre of fuel that sits in the hoses, filters and pumps to the engine and if the fuel is not purged from the system it takes too long to purge it by simply turning the engine, trying to repeatedly start the car by turning the engine will flatten the battery at best and burn out the starter at worst, if you have put the wrong fuel in your vuaxhall car or van then I strongly suggest getting a fuel drain done by a professional
we do our fair share of fuel drains on vans, possibley the most common call out is for wrong fuel in transporters followed closely by transits, then sprinters.
Every monday we seem to have a few vans that need a fuel drain, drivers still in weekend mood can be forgetfull at the pumps, or drivers of vans who drive a petrol weekend car can easily slip up.
Some vans have 120 litre tanks, and that fits allot of wrong fuel!, some vans have different requirements when draining heres some of them;
Renault Traffics that have had wrong fuel; has a hard twist in the filler neck and this can snag hoses used to drain fuel when it is being withdrawn, – use smaller hose
Ford Tranits can be very stubborn about starting again after being driven on wrong fuel, – after a fuel drain it needs to be bled from SOUTH of the return line to draw clean fuel thru common rail and clear the pum
Volkswagon Transoprters that have been filled with wrong fuel or had petrol put into diesel need to be tilting slightly towards the filler cap or not all the wrong fuel can be gotten to, this is done by jacking up the far corner to the filler neck
Sprinters that have wrong fuel or petrol in diesel; these can sometimes have a fuel guage that reads Full when it is empty if they have been drained, (something to do with movement being required to gradually move the in tank float down – which is stiff) best practice is to measure wrong fuel removed to accurately calculate tank level.
hope that helps
Over the weekend we had a callout from a lady in London who had misfuelled her brand new volkswagon scirroco TDi on saturday morning while putting the wrong fuel in at a BP station, she was a member of the AA and thought that it would be coverd by her membership and was then told it was 250 pounds and they could not attend her until sunday but they could tow her home and do it there, she then called volkswagon who told her she had to get it recoverd to a dealers, 10 minutes later the dealer called her qouting well into 4 figures but re-assuring her the car was coverd by her insurance and the costly engine re-build would not cost her anything. volkswagon sent out a recovery unit to bring the car in and she got a taxi home.
Checking with her insurance company she was told she was in fact not insured for misfuelling and the 4 figure sum was going to come out of her own pocket, she started googling the subject and found us, she called me this morning at 8am.
I met her at the dealership that it was sitting at and informed them that the car was to be released to me, 20 minutes later I completed the fuel drain, flushed the fuel system and re-filld it with clean fuel, it started first time and she drove off to work, to give the dealership credit they didnt try the usual scare stories or make threats of an invalid warranty and I got the impression they felt just a little bit guilty for trying to pull a fast one.
We do lots of fuel drains at car dealerships whereby the car has been towed in for extensive and un-needed repairs, in this instance the car had not even been started so an engine re-build was far fetched, even if the car had been started with the wrong fuel it would not have needed an expensive repair, a fuel drain and flush is a straightforward and non invasive procedure, think of it like keyhole surgery for a car.
If you have had a car taken to a dealership to have the wrong fuel removed you should consider getting a fuel drain first, its allot cheaper and can be done anywhere by a professional fuel draining company
Wrong fuel in a mercedes is something I am called out to frequently.
I Have done hundreds of Mercedes, including, a class wrong fuel , b class wrong fuel , e class wrong fuel, s class wrong fuel, petrol in diesel Mercedes vans is also a common problem, sprinters, vitos and even atego’s and some of the bigger trucks
If you’ve done it, dont panic, heres some simple pointers
Most mercedes are rear wheel drive – this means a twin tank system, not unlike BMW’s, you have a few options for getting the wrong fuel out of a merc.
1) call a fuel mechanic, they come to you and do the messy bit, it takes about an hour and costs between 160 to 200 quid.
2) pull up the back seat and reveal the 2 fuel tank access panels, unscrew the tops and then unscrew the big metal donut that holds the intank pump in, this is not a hand tight item, it needs a firm wack in the right place to unscrew it, once you unscrew that, unclip the fuel lines and electric plugs and remove it (the in tank pump and sender float) – this is the part where you cover the inside of your lovely car if “Eau de diesel”you are not carefull – dont worry it goes away in about 6 months, and if you stain the leather just wipe it all down with a diesely rag to make it blend in….. ok enough sarcasm. once you have access to the fuel simply syphon it out and refuel
3) open up the engine bay and find the flow line into the pump, south of the filter, disconnect it (you may need to remove the engine cowling depending on what type of merc it is) - the interception point is the most southernly accessible point on the fuel line, connect another hose to the fuel hose you have unplugged and put it into a container (25 litre drums work best) then simply put the key in the ignition and put it into accessory position which will send a cup of diesel thru each time, do this a few hundred times and you will have emptied the tank, then put in clean diesel and repeat the process, sending thru 2 litres of clean diesel to flush the lines, reconnect the lines and you are ready to go!
4) invest 25k in a fuel draining kit and simply pump it out into a tank in the back of your van, jack up the car at the side opposite the tank to transfer the fuel from the far tank to the near tank
There should not be any long lasting effects of misfuelling mercedes engines, although a freind of mine who works in a merc dealer sais he suspects that misfuelling does shorten injector life.
We get called out allot to all areas of london, often delivery drivers, taxi drivers, and private motorists.
Misfulling in London is no fun, there is no such place as a “good place” to break down in london, and your parking options become limited when you lose power becuase of a misfuelling and need to push a car off the road.
If you have put the wrong fuel in your car/bus/taxi/bin lorry/police car/spaceship then as soon as you have got the car off the road give us a call, we attend very quickly and can manage in the most awkward of spots, if we have to tow you a short distance to drain your car we will, we wont make your day any worse by unhelpfully insisting you move the car yourself to a location of our suiting, we do whatever it takes, wherever it may be and we have a 99.5% succes rate.
Motoring in london is a rough business, any car spending allot of time in london will have the usual battle scars and scrapes on every corner, broken number plates and cracked mirrors, keeping a car in good condition in London is hard at the best of times, and there are no garages in the center.
We have a van in London 24 Hours a day (yes we really do work 24 hours a day, that means real people answer real phones within 4 rings at 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 am) and real drivers that work for us come out and drain cars all hours of the day and night.