Hundreds of Qlders make costly fuel mistake

Queenslanders have been warned to pay attention at the bowser after it was revealed RACQ Roadside Assistance patrols rescued more than 600 drivers who had put the wrong fuel in their vehicles last year.

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RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said it was a simple mistake that could result in costly vehicle repairs, with distraction often the leading cause.

“Sometimes it’s a simple mistake because they’re driving a hire car or a vehicle they’ve borrowed from a friend or family member. Other times, the driver may be confused by looking for a certain coloured nozzle at the pump, because that’s what they’re used to at their local and they don’t double check the label,” Ms Ross said. 

“Many people believe diesel nozzles don’t fit in a petrol car’s fuel tank, but this isn’t always true, so please don’t rely on that assumption. Always double check the fuel type before you pull the trigger.

“Even a small among of the wrong fuel can cause significant damage to the vehicle’s engine and could lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills.”

Ms Ross said drivers who had incorrectly fuelled their tanks should follow some simple steps.

“If you have put the wrong fuel in your car, don’t start it. Turning the key will circulate the fuel and destroy the engine,” she said.

“If you have started the engine, turn it off immediately and call us on 13 1905. In Brisbane, we have a dedicated Fuel Assist van that can remove the wrong fuel and get you back on the road. 

“If you’re outside this region and realise your mistake before you start driving, our Roadside Assistance team can organise to tow you to a mechanic to drain the fuel and fix any damage to your engine.”