“The worlds gone crazy, I tell ya!” Well, perhaps not the world, just some of Britain’s petrol forecourts. Currently, there is an ongoing panic concerning accessing fuel in some parts of the country. This is leading to mistakes being made, one of which is putting the wrong fuel in vehicles. This guide looks at what you can do to sort the issue.
As I write this, the UK national news is talking about fist-fights breaking out in the queues leading into petrol stations and at the same time, the UK government is looking at bringing in the army to help police the problem, it’s quite frankly absurd. For our non-British readers, I must stress it is not a consistent problem across the country; in fact, in some highly populated areas, you can still drive unimpeded up to the filling nozzle, just as you would have the previous week.
Obviously, with all this ongoing stress and heightened emotions, mistakes are being made, and one of them is people putting the wrong fuel in their vehicles. So, if you suddenly find yourself subjected to a bout of brain fog and do it, what can you do to save your vehicle from damage?
For these types of guides, we need to turn to the experts and fortunately, John Wilmot, who is the CEO of the leasing comparison website LeaseLoco is the man with the answers. Below, he explains the steps you need to take if you put the wrong fuel in your vehicle.
Firstly, make sure that you don’t turn the engine on
If you suddenly discover that you’ve put the wrong fuel in your vehicle, make sure your engine remains off. The problems begin after the engine is switched on and fuel begins circulating around the engine.
Remove the incorrect fuel from the tank
The tank will need to be drained to remove the contaminated fuel before you drive the vehicle. However, before you can think of doing this, and to avoid raising stress levels even more given the current situation…
Make sure the car is in neutral
Put your vehicle into neutral, let the staff at the petrol station know what has happened and push the vehicle to a safe place somewhere on the forecourt.
What to do if you’ve started the engine and began driving?
If you’ve filled up at the petrol station, driven off and realised you’d put the wrong fuel in your vehicle, don’t try to complete your journey. Find a safe place to pull over as soon as you can, put the vehicle into neutral and switch off the engine.
Getting the fuel drained
Most UK breakdown cover policies will not cover the cost of draining and flushing your vehicle in the event that you’ve incorrectly fuelled. However, the larger breakdown providers do offer this service separately, irrespective of whether you are a member of their organisation or not. There are also a good number of specialist companies offering misfuelling services in most urban areas.
Check your insurance
Some insurance policies will cover you if you put in the wrong fuel, and should allow you to claim back the cost of repairing the vehicle; this usually comes under an accidental damage clause. The clause is very likely to be found with a comprehensive insurance policy.
Although UK motorists in some parts of the country are experiencing stressful times, the best rule of thumb is to try to concentrate on what you are doing at the pumps to make sure you don’t put in the wrong fuel. If you’ve spent a long time queuing, take a minute more to ensure you’re putting in the correct fuel. It will save you a massive amount of extra stress and unwanted extra bills in the long run.
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