Wrong fuel in your car? Tips on what to do and what to avoid
You must remain vigilant even though the incidences are rare these days thanks to varied fuel nozzle sizes
Motorists in South Africa can be grateful for petrol pump attendants who typically refill our cars with fuel. They seldom put the wrong fuel in your car, but mistakes can happen. Regardless, it remains the responsibility of the motorist to remain vigilant and aware of the contents being dispensed.
If the wrong type of fuel is put in your car, these are the steps to take to minimise the damage and the cost.
1. Don’t panic.
2. Don’t start your car as this could lead to severe damage if the wrong fuel circulates through the your engine. Rather push the car to a safe location within the petrol station if possible.
3. Call your roadside assistance provider, insurer, tracking company or the Automobile Association (AA) if you are a member. A team to assess the situation will be dispatched. It’s important to have a professional handle the situation, to avoid costly mistakes.
4. A qualified mechanic should be consulted, who will drain the vehicle’s tank and clean the fuel system to prevent damage to the engine. The fuel filter will also have to be replaced, ensuring that any remnants of the incorrect fuel are removed from the system.
5. Once the tank has been emptied and the fuel filter is replaced, fill the tank with the correct fuel, start the car and let it run for a few minutes.
6. Listen for any unusual noises or engine misfires. If you notice anything unusual, let your mechanic check the car immediately.
7. It’s a good idea to label the fuel cap with a sticker indicating the correct type of fuel.
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