Picture: Tim Marsden
Picture: Tim Marsden

Silly fuels! Simple mistake motorists are making

IT'S a mistake that can ruin your car's engine and cost thousands to repair, but new figures reveal a surprising number of Queenslanders are making it. 

The RACQ last year had 598 callouts to motorists who had wrongly filled up with ­diesel or petrol. This compared with 440 in 2017.

October was the busiest month, with RACQ Fuel ­Assist crews heading out to 70 incidents.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said it was an easy mistake to make.

"It's really just about being more aware of your vehicle, the warnings displayed on your dash, and what fuel you're putting in," she said.

"Misfuelling can occur when drivers look for a particular coloured nozzle at the pump because that's what they're used to at their local servo.

"They don't always check the label first, but doing so can potentially save thousands of dollars and a whole lot of inconvenience."

The months of May (57) and July (54) were among the more common months for motorists to fill up with the wrong fuel, with an annual average of 1.6 incidents a day.

Ms Ross said that there was a common misconception that diesel nozzles didn't fit in ­petrol tanks.

"It isn't always the case, so you shouldn't rely on that to save you from making this error," she said.

"Regardless of whether your car runs on petrol or ­diesel, if you've put in the wrong fuel, the first step is the same for everyone.

"Don't start your car. If you already have, stop it immediately and call RACQ straight away so we can send one of our Fuel Assist crews to your aid.

"Just turning a key can circulate fuel throughout the engine and lead to an expensive repair. Only a small amount of the wrong fuel can cause significant damage," she said.



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