Brits Reminded To Fill Up Car With Right Fuel

There are lots of things we do everyday without even thinking about it – from making a cup of tea to brushing our teeth. However, it is important to spend a little time focusing when filling up your car, as doing it on autopilot could risk putting the wrong fuel in the engine.

By filling up a petrol vehicle with diesel or vice versa, you can do a lot of damage to your motor, particularly if you do not realise and begin driving.

What’s more, Defaqto recently revealed that many car insurers are starting to refuse to cover this damage, meaning it could cost drivers thousand of pounds of their own money to fix.

The independent financial information business reported that insurance companies used to include this incident in their accidental damage portion of their policy; however, this is becoming increasingly rare.

While more than half (51 per cent) used to cover claims for misfuelling damage in 2016, this has dropped to 41 per cent these days.

Consumer motor expert at Defaqto Michael Powell appreciated that “It is easy to put the wrong fuel in your car by mistake, particularly if you are driving one that you’re not used to”.

Drivers who realise they have done this were advised not to start the engine, but to move the car to a safe place instead. Then the fuel can be drained from the car, and damage to the engine can potentially be avoided.

“If the engine is started, the incorrect fuel will enter the fuel system and potentially cause serious damage. This mistake can cost you dearly if you’re not covered for the damage caused,” Mr Powell commented.

He recommended motorists call their breakdown provider, as they tend to include misfuelling in their products more so than car insurers. In fact, 64 per cent of breakdown providers cover this mistake, recovering the vehicle to a garage where it can be repaired.

While two-thirds of breakdown providers will transport the vehicle, only a quarter will cover the cost of draining the fuel. Therefore, car owners might still have to pay for this, and any repairs that may be needed if the ignition was turned on.

This is why Defaqto suggested checking with breakdown provider to see if it covers removing the fuel, as well as if the repairer can fill up the tank with the right fuel to enable the car to be driven away.

According to the RAC, more damage is caused by putting diesel into a car that runs on petrol than the other way round. It stated that the mix of the two fuels reduces lubrication within the system, which means the metal parts are able to come into contact with each other and rub together.

By turning on the ignition and starting the engine, the petrol and diesel will mix together throughout the fuel system, which means more areas of the vehicle will be affected by the solvent mix. In the worst-case scenario, the entire fuel system might need to be replaced.

While this mistake is easily avoidable, more than 150,000 people in the UK fill up their tank with the wrong fuel every year. It is more common when driving an unfamiliar vehicle, so those hiring a van around Windsor should make sure they know the fuel type of the motor before filling it up.

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