How NOT to remove Unleaded from a Diesel Engine

Petrol in diesel car

I was reminded the other day of a misfuel that we were called out to resolve for a professor at the University of Brighton.

Our learned friend had tried to run a diesel Audi A3 on a mix of 25% unleaded, 75% diesel and 100% optimism. Obviously the vehicle rejected this kind of treatment and decided to go on strike by refusing to start.

Somehow or other he had managed to get the vehicle to the university campus and it sat looking very sorry in an empty parking lot after hours. Our engineer arrived and, as usual, drained the fuel from the tank. When he opened the bonnet to access the fuel lines to clear and clean the pumps, lines and filter he found things to be slightly amiss.

Apparently it turned out that the professor had attempted to drain out the fuel himself. Because he was not able to bypass the anti-syphon on the filler neck into the tank he figured he would be able to retrieve the fuel from the engine.

Now, I don’t know what this Einstein had majored in at university, but it certainly wasn’t anything to do with mechanics or vehicles. His solution for not having the correct tools to be able to remove the fuel lines was to improvise. Our engineer was quite surprised to find that all the fuel lines in the engine had been very neatly cut with a surgical knife and that the customer had tried to suck the fuel out of these.

The most amazing part of the story was that the customer was taken aback by our engineer telling him that cutting his fuel lines certainly wouldn’t help the vehicle to run once the contaminated fuel had been drained.

Fortunately our man had some spare fuel lines in the back of the van and managed to fit these onto the Audi. Once done with this, he fully drained the system and got the vehicle running again.

I guess the moral of the story is: if you don’t know how to get petrol out of your diesel car, DON’T TRY. Call the professionals!

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