What to do if you use the wrong fuel

It’s a question that no one ever wants to face: what happens if I put the wrong fuel type in my car?

This is a very embarrassing story for a motoring journalist to write, but using the wrong fuel is an increasingly common problem.

Happily, the fix is quite simple, but the most important thing to remember is to not under any circumstances start the engine. If you are already driving pull over as soon as is safely possible and turn the engine off immediately – the less time the engine has been running, the less damage there will be.

Hopefully, like me, you’ll realise while filling up the car, so it’s just a matter of pushing the car to a parking space – again, if safe to do so – and calling for help.

There are a number of options. State motoring clubs like the NRMA, RACQ or RACV are able to assist, but they will typically tow your car to a workshop or dealership to solve the problem leaving you stranded and without a vehicle while the situation is rectified.

If you’re in one of the capital cities, a better solution is to call one of the mobile fuel rescue companies that have popped up to tackle this exact problem.

A quick Google will point you in the right direction, in my case directing me to Mobile Fuel Rescue, who operate in Melbourne and Brisbane, while Wrong Fuel Rescue also cover Adelaide, Perth and Sydney.

The contaminated fuel is disposed of by using it to power concrete kilns in Tasmania, instead of using coal, so at least there is a somewhat positive side effect of motorists’ mistakes. Once the tank is drained, it’s simply a matter of filling up with the correct fuel, and you are on your way.

In summary, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having put the wrong fuel in a car, remember not to panic, help is available. The most important thing is to not use the engine, or turn it off as soon as safely possible if you’re already driving.

Article reproduced from whichcar.com.au

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