Monthly Archives: November 2011
Having drained the wrong fuel from thousands of cars I have spent more time on petrol station forecourts than most.
Every wrong fuel removal involves putting a flexitube into a fuel tank and letting a pump do its thing, on a corsa with 5 litres this may take 5 minutes, a rangerover with 100 litres of wrong fuel in it, or an Iveco van may take an hour, there’s not much to do in this time other than monitor the fuel system and chat with the customers, in between daydreaming I find myself playing the “how much game”, thats where I watch cars coming into the petrol station and try and guess how much they will fuel they will buy before they pump, different stations have different clientele, BP M&S for example tends to have a higher spending customer who will often fill the tanks up, it surprises me still how many people fill up with fivers and tenners – which must be a daily fill up.
I cant stand filling up, so when I do its always to the top from empty, but next time your in a petrol station look at the pumps and see what the last sale was, it would give you a fairly good idea of the clientele of the petrol station and the area your in
There’s also a loyalty to specific stations, some people turn up at the same time and place every week for the top up, and often misfuel when they go off the beaten track and try somewhere new. ive done the same car 3 times in two months in the same station that had been misfuelld, always on a friday night after she had done her weekly shop, I didnt have the heart to charge for the 2nd and 3rd drains but it still cost her 2 full tanks of wasted fuel, I havent seen here for a while and fingers crossed she has learnt her lesson
Had a call from a distraught lady yesterday who had put petrol in her diesel BMW x5, she had it recovered to the dealership last week and after 4 days got the “estimate” in – £6500.
It wasent the highest repair quote I have heard for repairing a misfuel but it was still a bit steep – considering the work didnt need done.
A bmw engine is no pansy, capable of operating in temperatures from -30c to +50, running for 250.000 between major rebuilds, and lasting for 20 years pushing a heavy car body at high speed – does not have an in built “self distruct” function when it detects petrol in a diesel engine.
Misfuelling is a common occurrence and happens all the time, it is a myth that petrol will destroy your diesel engine or that common rail components need replaced.
In the case of the Lady in west london she had been told that major work was needed including replacing fuel tank, hoses, high pressure fuel pump, in tank pump, piezo injectors etc, all not needed.
I met her at the dealership (where I have done 4 similair drains on misfuelld BMW’s) and the dealer staff were helpful and let me do the fuel drain in the premises, it took all of 35 minutes and after a flush and filling up with the wrong fuel she drove away in her beloved x5.
Fuel drains are the way forward, the AA and RAC both have a large fuel draining fleet and they wouldnt be in the business if it opend them up to liabilities further down the line.
The truth is cars can deal with a misfuel, it doesnt kill them or destroy the engines or pumps, its not great for the tank, and can corrode hoses and internal rubbers if left for too long but it doesn’t cause the catastrophes that the dealers would like you to believe.
If you have misfuelled a car and it is in the dealers it not too late to get a fuel drain, and dont get taken in by empty threats of warranty invalidation, you can always quote the Eu Block Exmption Rule which put an end to the dealers shady practices of adding clauses to warrantes on cars to nobble consumers.
thats about enough from me
I have done a few fuel drains on Fiats recently so if you have put the wrong fuel in your Fiat Panda or unleaded In your Doblo or diesel in your petrol 500 – we can help.
Fiats are easy cars to perform fuel drains, being front wheel drive they have simple fuel tank set ups and are easy to access.
Fiat has a some great little diesel cars out at the moment, and I like working on them. this particular fiat that I did had been hire from choices vehicle rentals and the client had
If you have misfueld your fiat give me, or any other mobile fuel drainer a call and you will be back up and running again in an hour or so.
For instructions on how to do a diy fuel drain, providing you have the know how and a safe place to do it I would suggest going in through the back seat, this is done as follows on most fiat models
1) lift up back seat, this unclips with a hard tug (a proper hard tug – I,e a man tug)
2) unscrew the big steel collar holding the take sender, this is always so much easier if you read the direction arrows and loosen it in the direction indicated, try as you might you cannot take it off by tightening it.
3) disconnect fuel lines and electrical sender
4) lift out in tank fuel pump and put your own hose into the tank to take out the mixed fuel
5) once empty put it all back together again
Only perform a DIY fuel drain if you are technically minded and fully aware of the forces of Darwinism at work when working with highly volatile, flammable and explosive nature of petrol.
For the sake of safety mixed fuel should be treated as PETROL no matter what the quantity involved, petrol is a different animal than diesel and creates an explosive vapour in temperatures above 5c (thats cold)
Hope that helps, call me if your stuck or something with a blue flashing light if it goes totally tits up.
Does petrol float on top of diesel? or does diesel float on top of petrol?.
Petrol weighs 737.22 grams per litre, (water weighs 1000 grams per litre)
Diesel weighs 840 grams per litre.
When diesel and petrol mix they blend and cannot be separated by taking fuel off the top or bottom.
when you put the wrong fuel in a vehicle it mixes in no particular order, some may say that the diesel will go to the bottom or the petrol will float harmlessly on top, have been dealing with mixed fuel as long as I have I can assure you this is not the case
I have had my mixed fuel tested a few times and had samples taken from the bottom and top of the storage tanks after they had sat for several weeks, the mixed fuel taken from the top is more “petroly” but still has allot diesel in it, and the mixed fuel at the bottom is more “diesely” but again has petrol in it.
If you have mixed fuel in the tank of your car do not assume that there is a higher or lower portion of anything at the bottom where it feeds into the pump, for one thing the fuel pumped in will be cold, the fuel in the car will be warm from the return line heat, when you put new fuel in it will mix with the old fuel as milk does in coffee.
Some armchair experts will offer advice to as to petrol being on the top or bottom but that is just guess work and not advice worth ruining your car over