Dangerous diesel spills - THe Growler
Now that diesel cars are becoming increasingly popular over there, it is important that their drivers are educated about the dangers to motorcyclists of spillage of diesel from over- and careless filling. At the very least manufacturers should spell this out in handbooks, or maybe on inside of the gas cap door.

Spilt gasoline evaporates, spilt diesel doesn't. It's oil, and rubber and oil combined don't have much of a friction coefficient. Fuel spills on corners, roundabouts, even gas station forecourts can (literally) be lethal to a two-wheeler. Add rain, the patch becomes invisible and even more dangerous. Any regular rider will know what I mean.

I mention this because it came up last week in our Motorcycle Action Group where we work with the police, the traffic management czars, heads of auto clubs etc to promote better understanding and road safety, and seems relevant here also.
Dangerous diesel spills - Ross_D
Its not just motorcycles either, about a year ago there was a spill on a roundabout near me; I was only doing about 25mph in the 306 but rapidly found myself going sideways. The spill was invisible as you approached it but you could see it very well as I looked back at it due to the way the light was falling on it. The lady in the Rover behind understeered straight into the side of the roundabout, mounting the kerb.
But yes, motorcycles are more at risk, I agree. I myself always make sure I dont spill anything when filling up with derv and if I do I always report it or put the sand over it. Spilt diesel is worse than ice!
I've also lost count of the times I have slipped getting out of the car at the forecourt too!
(Maybe I'm just a clumsy oaf!)

Ross
Dangerous diesel spills - 3500S
I hit a patch of this stuff on a roundabout which happened to be near the local bus depot. They'd brim the buses with diesel and then off they went, of course, it'd overflow onto the road as they went round the roundabout. Unknown to me at the time.

I hit it at only about 10mph but I was accelerating, massive amounts of oversteer as the back end fishtailed wildly. God knows how as the roundabout was busy but I managed to avoid everything continually trying to steer into the skid. Finally, I got traction as the rear wheels clipped the low kerb, the rear end went up slightly (I thought I was going to go over) and it snapped in and I ended up 90o to the road with cars everywhere.

Not a scratch on the car, I needed a new pair of trousers.

I called the police to report it, I was very lucky. A squad car came out, fire engine to hose down the road and they told me this wasn't the first time.

The moral of the story is never brim your tank with diesel, one click and leave it, this stuff is deadly on wet roads and I couldn't agree more with this initiative.
Dangerous diesel spills - helicopter
Could not agree more - I remember a coming across the effects of a spillage on the roundabout above the M23 turn off to Gatwick, cars going everywhere - deadly stuff and on a wet dark night even worse.

I hit a patch on the roundabout at the end of Waterloo Bridge once on the motorbike and just managed to hold it.Its one of the reasons I don't ride a motorbike these days. You're just a sitting target.
Dangerous diesel spills - mlj
Anyone else weary of the fairly regular anti-diesel message?
I have thirty years experience and do not need to be 'educated' on how to avoid spilling fuel. Come to think of it, I have never spilt fuel on a forecourt, nor slipped head over heels on anyone else's.
The fuel system on diesel engines operate under a vacuum: a leak lets air in, not fuel out.

Dangerous diesel spills - terryb
....and we had this about a year ago in, IIRC, a "brimming the tank" thread. If I could be a***d I'd look it up - but I can't.

Terry
Dangerous diesel spills - nick
A regular reminder is no bad thing. There may be some Backroomers who've bought their first diesel. From the mess at most diesel pumps it's a message that needs to be said a bit louder. I'm sure most people here are aware but I don't recall ever seeing any warnings or advice on pumps or anywhere else.
Dangerous diesel spills - Garethj
>>I have thirty years experience and do not need to be 'educated' on how to avoid spilling fuel.

Unfortunately, the dirty streaks below the filler caps of most buses and trucks tells me that not everyone is as careful as you are.

Gareth
Dangerous diesel spills - helicopter
mlj - No - I'm not . A lot of the younger people on this forum are only too happy to have the benefit of advice from someone who has a bit of experience ( driving that is).

I have held a licence for 37 years and I try and keep an open mind.

Instead of knocking the forum why not use your experience to make a positive contribution? This is not personal , its just a friendly suggestion.

You might just make a difference that could prevent an accident.
Dangerous diesel spills - Orson {P}
..and having put my old car into a large ditch on a roundabout in Lincolnshire thanks to a great wodge of diesel on the road, it's a hazard that everyone needs to be aware of.

It's not anti-diesel, just anti-driving into a brick wall.

O
Dangerous diesel spills - Clanger
Correct, helicopter. Unfortuately, those that could most benefit from the Forum's collective wisdom are those least likely to read the nuggets of pure gold that litter these threads. As ever, the ignorant and foolish outnumber the competent and caring manyfold.


Hawkeye
-----------------------------
Stranger in a strange land
Dangerous diesel spills - mlj
Ouch! Not sure I deserved all of that. Not all of it 'positive' either.
Anyway, I agree entirely that diesel spillages (how do posters know it is diesel? - a serious question) are dangerous. My objection is that this thread began with reference to diesel car owners and most if not all of the following comments refer to buses and trucks being overfilled at pumps with their more powerful fuel delivery systems (nozzles?)
I repeat what I did offer in a positive, informative way: diesel spillage on roads does not come from diesel cars. It is diesel cars referred to in this thread.

By the way, I drive a petrol.
Dangerous diesel spills - Robble
mlj I drive a diesel car and have slipped and nearly fallen over on diesel spilt by previous users on a couple of occasions. Some forecourts are very messy.

You said: "The fuel system on diesel engines operate under a vacuum: a leak lets air in, not fuel out."

Not sure what point you're trying to make here? If the fuel cap does not seal properly and the tank is brimming then it may slosh out. There is no vacuum in the tank.

Dangerous diesel spills - mlj
Forecourt spillage yes, but I am wondering about large diesel spillages on roads, roundabouts etc. How does it get there? Is it diesel? Is it oil? Or something else?

By the way, I always brimmed my diesels and never had a problem putting the cap on. Never had any dribbles on the bodywork either.
Dangerous diesel spills - Robble
Forecourt spillage yes, but I am wondering about large diesel spillages
on roads, roundabouts etc. How does it get there? Is it
diesel? Is it oil? Or something else?


Dunno, I presume its oil or diesel. Leaking fuel tank, leaking fuel return line maybe?
By the way, I always brimmed my diesels and never had
a problem putting the cap on. Never had any dribbles on
the bodywork either.

No me neither. Forecourts get messy though with diesel all round the base of the pump. Diesel can foam a lot when you fill up, maybe thats how it spills on the floor. The pump should cut off but they don't always seem to. I splashed a load of petrol once when the pump didn't cut out in time. Petrol evaporates though.
Dangerous diesel spills - martint123
Whoever - I don't care if you drive a new car, and old car, a lorry or a bus. If it runs on diesel please don't spill any.

It IS diesel on the roads, not oil or petrol - the smell is too obvious when you're on a bike.

Roundabouts near filling stations, traffic light, speed bumps all likely dumping grounds. If you see a spill, report it to the council, ISTR they become responsible when informed (even if they only put warning signs out).

Dangerous diesel spills - Garethj
Forecourt spillage yes, but I am wondering about large diesel spillages on roads, roundabouts etc. How does it get there?


It gets there by fuel sloshing out of overfilled tanks with badly sealed caps. After filling up, they go around a corner and the diesel runs out. As diesel doesn't ignite in the same dangerous way as petrol, some people think it's safer - I've seen a truck with a rag stuffed into the top of the tank, no danger because there's no risk of explosion....

As pedestrians, cylists and motorcyclists know, the smell gives the game away that it's diesel, petrol mostly evaporates anyway.

Gareth
Dangerous diesel spills - THe Growler
>>>Whoever - I don't care if you drive a new car, and old car, a lorry or a bus. If it runs on diesel please don't spill any.

Thank you sir. That was all I wanted to say and you did so more succinctly than I. Clever clogs please note.
Dangerous diesel spills - AlanGowdy
I once nearly lost it on a curve where some diesel fuel had been spilt - incredibly slippery stuff.

That's why it's so good for upper cylinder lubrication in my current diesel car - as opposed to having the lubricating oil repeatedly washed off the bores by petrol in my previous vehicles (!)

Keep it in the tank - not on the road.
Dangerous diesel spills - v8man
The fuel system on a diesel is no different to a petrol. It is pumped from the tank to the engine and not by a vacuum. The tank is vented to stop a vacuum occuring just like a petrol vehicle. If the tank is brimmed it will spill - Period! I would like to point out that most diesel spills are from commercial vehicles overfilled or with missing fuel caps. Last year I was involved in multi-vehicle shunt on a roundabout caused by diesel. Again the police and fire brigade acted promptly.
Dangerous diesel spills - RichardW
>It is pumped from the tank to the engine and not by a vacuum.

Whilst this is true for most modern diesels (eg HDi) it is not so for the majority of older diesels that are running about. These have only the lift pump in the injection pump at the engine, and as a consequence most of the fuel system is at less than atmospheric pressure. This is why air problems in diesel fuel systems cause bad / no starting.


RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
 

Value my car