Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Waino
Despite colour codes and different size nozzles etc, it's pretty obvious that passive methods of avoiding using the wrong fuel on forecourts aren't working. What leads to the worse consequences - putting petrol in a diesel car, or diesel in a petrol car? I am looking for a used car - but there's no way of knowing about errors made in its refuelling history.

Why is it not possible to have a proximity buzzer/alarm that sounds (either on the car or the fuel pump) when the wrong nozzle is waved within a foot or so of the filler pipe?
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - stunorthants
Sorry but putting the wrong fuel in a car is just downright idiotic and is purely down to people not reading signs. Ive never come across an unleaded pump that doesnt have UNLEADED on it and the same goes for diesel.

The only time people complain about this is when they have done it themselves and feel stupid for making such a basic mistake or they have too muchtime on their hands - the sort of people who spend three hours considering teh socio-economic impact of the colour of their toilet paper.

Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Happy Blue!
I have to disagree stu. I am anal about getting the right fuel, but I have put 2 litres of UL into our diesel car, as I was in a rush to get onto the motorway and had not calmed down from getting all the family paraphernalia in the car.

It is possible to make a mistake, especially at a garage that is not your regular one.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - stunorthants
So when stressed do you often wear the wifes underwear by mistake aswell? :-)

Seriously though, the issue is not that there was any fault in this instance with the pump, just that you were in a hurry and not paying enough attention Espada?
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Dulwich Estate
Mistakes happen even if you are a fanatical pedant about getting things right - it's just what happens in life.

I still remember my under bonnet fluid level check of a couple of years ago. Don't ask me how, but windsreen washer additive went down the oil filler tube and I only stopped short of the next procedure when I wondered why I was putting oil in the washer bottle!

Avoiding using the wrong fuel - local yokel
I've had a smoker for a year, and still managed to put 6L of UL in the other day. Filled it up with diesel (another 45L) and it was fine. Not clever, and now I check and re-check.

Really what is needed is a bayonet fitting on the filler, with lugs positioned on the pump hose side that are fuel specific. Then you could prevent low RON fuel from being put into a car that needs high RON, as well as the diesel/UL mix ups.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Jonathan {p}
This will be coming soon (out now in brand new stations).

Stage 2 vapour recovery will mean vapours are recovered at the hose end when filling as well as the tank filling operations. In practice this will mean a different nozzle. Diesel doesn't come under this regime so will retain the standard nozzles.

www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/pvr-stage2/summ...f

Jonathan
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - No FM2R
I put petrol in the diesel Galaxy a while ago. Nothing to do with the pump at all, I just nromally drive a petrol vehicle and forgot I was in a car with a POS fuel system.

Having said that I do find BP stations confusing. I was at one the other night on the M40. Every pump has bog-standard unleaded and bog-standard diesel. The third alternates between -go-faster diesel and go-faster petrol. I find the only way to avoid mistakes is to stop and read carefully, about 7 times. I wish they would adopt standard colours to try to avoid me putting the wrong one in by mistake. I also wish they would make different size nozzles which would stop me putting in the wrong fuel even when I mean to !
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Hamsafar
I too made this mistake many years ago, by putting petrol into a work's van.
The van ran very slowly until it was all burned off.
It taught me a lesson. What's more, the signage is much clearer these days.
People need to sort their lives out and not keep relying on others to be their nanny.
If you're old enough to drive, you should be responsible enough to have a proper mental procedure in place to refuel, just as you should measure twice and cut once when sawing a peice of wood, we learn from our past mistakes.

Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Armitage Shanks {p}
I have put petrol in a diesel twice in 7 years. Once in a basic engine, drain, flush, refill = OK and once a small amount in an Hdi - topped of with loads of diesel, loads of Miller's Diesel plus and no subsequent problems.

I do wonder how much trouble car hire firms have with diesel cars being mis-fuelled by hirers who normally use petrol? These days any filling errors are likely to be very costly indeed and does one's insurance cover it? Grey area I should think.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Honestjohn
A simple tip is to stuff a couple of plastic protective gloves for filling diesels between the flap and the filler cap as a reminder. I've tackled BP about the crass stupidity of calling both its super diesel and super petrol 'Ultimate', but they just pretend it isn't a problem. Now there's a rumour that, having launched 'V-Power' petrol, Shell is about to make the same mistale and replace Shell Diesel Extra with 'V-Power' diesel.

HJ
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - mk124
The signage is confusing sometimes, even if you know what fuel to put in your car. Do you want unleaded, premium unleaded, super unleaded, ultimate unleaded, RON 95, RON 97 or RON 99? What confused me was pulling into a service station where the price board just said 'unleaded' but sold about 7 diffrent types of fuel. When I pulled up to a pump the cheapest signed fuel the pump had was 'premium unleaded', apparently they are both the same fuel!

Doing stupid things is something humans do. I would be willing to pay extra for a car to have a little sensor in it's filler cap and for the petrol pump to have a little sensor to stop me putting the wrong fuel in.
Obvously Stunorthants is a gambler and people like Dulwich Estate would rather be insured. The question is why should Stunorthants should pay for fitting some of the senors to the fuel pumps. Insted of calling people idiots who don't want to make a mistake, I suggest Stuartnorthants is raging against a system that he has to pay for, that prevents him taking the liberty of putting the wrong fuel into his car.

-----------------------------------------------

Torque means nothing without RPM
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - MVP
Make something idiot proof, and someone will invent a better idiot.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - SteVee
I though Waino wanted to know
>>What leads to the worse consequences - putting petrol in a diesel car, or diesel in a petrol car? I am looking for a used car - but there's no way of knowing about errors made in its refuelling history.<<

I'd say putting petrol into an HDi is (very) bad.
Other combinations more tolerable.
So the second hand HDi with unknown fuelling history could have serious problems, the petrol vehicle that's had some diesel is either fixed and running properly, or is still suffering.

I can't say I've ever put the wrong fuel in a vehicle, but I do now that I'm capable of getting it wrong.
A great many people just do not care and care less about the consequences.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - IanJohnson
What really worries me is that if there are so many people who cannot work out which pump is labelled "Diesel " or "Petrol" how do they manage all the other things which are not labelled so well - like which side of the road to drive (I only see drive on the left signs near ports or airports!

Have had five years with both diesel and pertol cars int he family - never come near to putting the wrong one in! Must be one of the benefits of using supermarket fuel - clearly labelled pumps!
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - 659FBE
I also use a version of HJ's reminder behind the fuel flap. I have tied to the plastic strap which retains the filler cap, a large label hand written in red "Diesel". Anyone new to this car will notice an obviously home made reminder - the cap has "Diesel" printed on it, but nobody takes any notice of a standard fitment.

I have an infallible (?) method of avoiding mis-fuelling, which will also cover incorrectly filled garage storage tanks. Having picked up the nozzle, sniff the end before fuelling.

659.

Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Hamsafar
I agree, do we really want and need to live in a kindergarten world created for the protection of ourselves from ourselves?

If people are a bit dopey, they should follow the advice above and make a reminder. A pinpong ball on a bit of string that falls out when the flap is opened or anything really.

Maybe they should put something on a sugar bowl that prevents washing soda being poured in?
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - DP
I have to agree, it's not a difficult situation to avoid on the grounds that:

The Mondeo has a big black label inside the fuel filler flap which says DIESEL in white capitals, so it's pretty hard to miss. If your car doesn't have one, pop to Halfords and spend a quid on one.

The two fuels smell completely different

The two fuels have a marked price gap (check what the pump is charging you)

The two fuels even make a different noise as you fill (petrol sounds like water, and diesel "gurgles")

Much as it goes against my general principles of tolerance, if you make a mistake like this, you are not in the right frame of mind to be driving a car on the public road quite frankly. There are far more taxing choices that will confront you within 100yds of driving off than putting the correct nozzle in the filler neck.

Cheers
DP

PS - Watch me go and do it now. ;-)
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - paulb {P}
I remember in the mid to late '80s there was a BP garage in the Lewes Road in Brighton, at which was a diesel pump that, when you took the nozzle out of its cradle, played a recorded message which said, in a loud Dalek-like voice, something like "Warning! This is a diesel pump! Are you sure your vehicle requires diesel fuel? If not, please replace the handset and select another pump!"

It made the local TV news at the time for being a Clever New Gadget and was, I believe, installed following a spate of misfuelling incidents. Even so, some people STILL managed to fill their petrol cars with diesel despite this.

Certainly it used to drive my Dad round the bend ,as his surgery was next door to the garage and about 30 feet from this pump, and so he used to hear this thing bellowing its message dozens of times a day six days a week!
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Jonathan {p}
I remember in the mid to late '80s there was a
BP garage in the Lewes Road in Brighton, at which was
a diesel pump that, when you took the nozzle out of
its cradle, played a recorded message which said, in a loud
Dalek-like voice, something like "Warning! This is a diesel pump! Are
you sure your vehicle requires diesel fuel? If not, please
replace the handset and select another pump!"


Same thing for unleaded in the late eighties
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - No FM2R
What a completely ridiculous note.

You conclusion is that I am not fit to drive on the public highway since I do not have the wherewithall to avoid fuelling mistakes and compound it by not sniffing the pump, listinening to the fuel and checking the price gap ?

I assume that you follow your own logic and will be handing your keyboard into the authorities ?
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - DP
If you can't correctly choose between fuel nozzles, how do you deal with the constantly changing hazards when out on the road which not only demand decisions based on limited information, but in a limited timeframe?

Correctly fuelling a car is nothing compared to what you have to deal with when driving one.

Avoiding using the wrong fuel - No FM2R
>>Correctly fuelling a car is nothing compared to what you have to deal with when driving one.

Really ? I managed to avoid a car pulling out in front of me this morning wihtout working out what fuel it was using. I avoided another overtaking coming towards me without caring if it was correctly labelled or the same colour as one I'd avoided earlier.

In response to the implication of your writings, I have already inferred that you're a fool, you don't need to go to the extent of proving it.

I think all that sniffing of petrol and listening to the sound it makes has driven your brain into submission.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - DP
In response to the implication of your writings, I have already
inferred that you're a fool,


Good for you.

How is it possible to get so annoyed at a single sentence someone prints in a forum?

You spectacularly miss the point, however it's obvious that you have no interest in debating it without resorting to insults, so let's leave it at that.

Sad, really.


Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Dynamic Dave
Ok, enough of the arguing please,

DD.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Sim-O
I blame the government for my mistakes in refueling.
If I had been taught to read better...
----------------------------------------------
Aim low, expect nothing & dont be disappointed
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - cheddar
I have read that Ford will be introducing a filler aperture that will only open for the thicker diesel nozzles and not for the thinner u/l ones. This should make misfueling impossible for cars fitted as such.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Xileno {P}
It's easily done when one is in a hurry. The problem these days is the potential costly damage it can do. I think there's more the manufacturers & fuel retailers could do to help stop this. We can put people on the moon, it shouldn't be too difficult to come up with something.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - DP
Why can't they just make diesel nozzles "flat" (like that attachment on the hoover to get down the back of the sofa), with corresponding attachments in the filler neck?

Avoiding using the wrong fuel - cheddar
Why can't they just make diesel nozzles "flat" (like that attachment
on the hoover to get down the back of the sofa),
with corresponding attachments in the filler neck?


Clearly the nozzles need to fit older diesel cars as well as new ones.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - DP
Shouldn't be too difficult to pop a cheap insert in the neck though.

Cheers
DP
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - DP
Ignore that, I'm being dense.

Good point.

Cheers
DP
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - madf
Well any country that seriously wants to warn people that Dragon Sausages are not made of dragon meat has a real problem. ... and even worse they are doing something about it.

I've had 20 years of being a twin fuel household. We never have misfuelled cos I suspect we are mean Scots and the thought of spending money on anythiong makes us think carefully.

The prospect of wasting money on fuel would lead to a heart attack.


Seriously, I just stop and think. But BP station's labelling is carp and I can see if half asleep and careless/in a hurry I could make a mistoooook...




madf
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Hamsafar
If they do do something, surely colour coding is the best solution, as it's cheap, and often already in place and can be retrofitted for pennies.
If cars had as much BLACK or GREEN inside the flap, eg the back of flap, cap itself, and shroud, and the nozzle was the matching colour, and both had the words DIESEL of PETROL then surely noone could make a mistake.
Whats more, other colours could be easily introduced for new fuels if they become available, e.g. yellow could be biodiesel.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Mapmaker
>>The two fuels have a marked price gap (check what the pump is charging you)

Do they? Aren't petrol and diesel both about 85p at the moment? It's over a month since I last bought petrol.

As for sniffing it, what a ridiculously stupid idea. Don't do it. Unleaded petrol has all sorts of nasties added to it (aromatic compounds) to up the octane level now that tetraethyl lead is no longer added. If you had to fill out a COSHH form before filling the petrol tank, you wouldn't be allowed to.

What does confuse me is the different names used by different petrol suppliers. Why can't we have 95 and 98 writ large on the pumps? Instead some companies oversell their 'van ordinaire' by giving it an over-complimentary name and make it look like super plus.

Avoiding using the wrong fuel - MVP
Anyone so daft who can't even figure out which is the diesel and which is petrol, probably isn't fit to be driving the car anyway - so this is probably a good safety measure.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Armitage Shanks {p}
A useful discussion between some human beings, with strange contributions from aliens from another planet, who have never ever made a mistake of any sort ,and have strange views about what defines a person's ability to drive.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - DP
Oh for heaven's sake!

Forget I said anything. I was merely making the point that on THAT day when you put the wrong fuel in the tank, which involves ignoring information at various stages (tank filler, fuel nozzle, pump), you are not on THAT day in the right frame of mind to safely drive a car which is a much more demanding and complex task.

It was no reflection on someone's ability to drive generally when they are less distracted or rushed.

Forget it. I withdraw it. It just isn't worth the grief.

DP
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - 007
mm
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Armitage Shanks {p}
I was referring to the inane comments made by mvp. If you think I was referring to you that is your choice. If the cap fits etc!
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Waino
Neither SWMBO nor I have owned anything other than petrol vehicles and have never found ourselves in the position of using the wrong fuel whilst semi-consciously confused (touch wood!). I was prompted to ask the question as a result of a thread about common-rail diesel engines and their reliability as a second-hand purchase - many having received a dose of 4 star! I guess the problem has become more common as drivers migrate between fuel types and diesels becoming more common.

The easy answer is, of course, to say 'read the label'. I worked for many years in the chemical industry and know that despite bold wording, colour coding etc, mistakes can be made - that is why nurses administer drugs in pairs as a double check - and still mistakes are made.

When refuelling, a proximity alarm/buzzer might help - but then some people sleep through their alarm clocks! IMHO the best and simplest way would be a simple size/shape-match system on the nozzle/filler.

BTW - Being a mild-mannered sort of chap, I'm amazed that so much bile can be stirred up by a simple question regarding refuelling from the wrong pump. Any of you boys suffer from road-rage?
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Lud
BTW - Being a mild-mannered sort of chap, I'm amazed that
so much bile can be stirred up by a simple question
regarding refuelling from the wrong pump. Any of you boys suffer
from road-rage?


LOL. What amazes me is that anyone who's put diesel in their Ferrari or petrol in their ERF can admit it so openly. I suppose I would, but then I'm that sort of person. But since I'm letting it all hang out, I can say hand on heart that I've never done it (and yes, I have had a diesel and petrol car at the same time).

Hey, chaps: CONCENTRATE when you relly need to.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Stuartli
>>Having picked up the nozzle, sniff the end before fuelling.>>

That is not a very clever practice.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - henry k
What really worries me is that if there are so many people who cannot work out which pump is labelled "Diesel " or "Petrol"

>>how do they manage all the other things which are not labelled so well - like which side of the road to drive (I only see drive on the left signs near ports or airports!

What worries me is not someone mis-fueling which is probably not that dangerous tin road safety terms
but at least 5 vehicles I have seen in 30 minutes with NO lights on at 6pm.
Forgetful?, distracted?, stupid?, (not running from the BiB) so what is the reason these drivers will give for omitting such a basic requirement before you moving off? I do no need lights to read the speedo!!!
I would cancel THEIR right to drive.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - mk124
I think people are saying that their is a correlation between not noticing what fuel you are putting into your car and basic reasoning that we need to drive.
It would take a brave person to say there is no correlation between someone prone to making a fuelling mistake and one prone to mistaking a fundamental safety feature on a road!

Some people go further in their reasoning
-If people can't read what fuel they put into their driving must be dangours.

I disagree however. - I feel there is a correlation between mistaking fuel signs and mistaking fundamental road signs. However we all make mistakes either at home or on the road, but that does not make us all dangouse drivers, does it?!
Assuming for every 100,000 signs we come across we get just one wrong. The average person would not be considered a dangouse driver if he missed that percentage of signs.
However an average diesel car travels perhaps 200 miles before refuelling takes place, that is an average car gets filled up 500 times in its lifetime. So out of 200 cars travelling an average of 100,000 miles, one car will be misfuelled. - Worrying, but not high.
This assumes a correlation of 1 between getting things wrong whilst driving and whilst not driving.

However we all know that we are bombarded with hundreds of thousands of different bits of information every minute and our brain needs to make sense of it. For most important tasks the brain processes millions of bits of information and does not get it radically wrong. Stuff like movement is like this - for example who has fallen over in the last year? The brain however can misplace other bits of information almost frequently - how many people have put their cereal in the fridge and their milk in the cubard, or lost their car in a car park, or have gone out for shopping, but forgot to take their wallet, or failed in doing simple mental arithmetic? My point is that the brain has a massive scope to not pay attention to simple things. In other words for simple tasks the brain may get a substantial proportion of 'signs' wrong. To take the loosing your car in the car park again as an example, how many times have you crashed as opposed to lose your car in a car park? However the brain must process a lot more information to not crash, as opposed to remembering where you left the car.

Once we have established that perhaps our brains react to different types of information differently we can rework the above numerical example. With changing just a few assumptions we can see the proportion of misfuelled cars could be very high, but driving standards remaining high. However does not falsify the correlation between making simple mistakes whilst at the pump and misreading road signs. If you are very likely to not notice what fuel you put into your car you are very likely to misread road signs.

What I do not understand is some peoples view, being that if you make a fuelling mistake you must be a dangouse driver. - O.K, correlation is there, BUT I don't believe every person who misfuells is a dangouse driver. Are all dangouse drivers going to misfuell their car's now??


-----------------------------------------------

Torque means nothing without RPM
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - kal
I agree 100%
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - L'escargot
When both nozzles are circular it will always be possible to put the smaller nozzle into the larger filler neck. What is needed is for the nozzles to be different shapes, and for the filler necks to be corresponding shapes.

For example, the petrol could be circular and the diesel square. The dimensions could be chosen such that the petrol diameter was, say, halfway between the "across flats" and "across corners" dimensions of the diesel square. Then the petrol nozzle wouldn't go into the diesel filler neck and the diesel nozzle wouldn't go into the petrol filler neck. It's hardly rocket science.
--
L\'escargot.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Manatee
L'escargot wrote:

"When both nozzles are circular it will always be possible to put the smaller nozzle into the larger filler neck. What is needed is for the nozzles to be different shapes, and for the filler necks to be corresponding shapes."

Not necessarily. It' would be easy to design a 'flap' or valve in the filler next that will only open if a nozzle of sufficient diameter is inserted, so as to simultaneously operate interlocks around the filler neck. This could prevent the smaller petrol spout being used in the bigger diesel filler neck.

The problem with different shapes is the installed base of the existing filler necks and pump nozzles.


As to the "how can anybody be such an idiot as to misfuel, they shouldn't be on the road" brigade - they just haven't done it - yet. Shame their accident statistics aren't available to confirm their theory, too.



Avoiding using the wrong fuel - L'escargot
Not necessarily.


It was merely one suggestion. I'm sure there are lots of solutions.
--
L\'escargot.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - henry k
I know I have seen, on the web, a proposed solution, including diagrams of different shaped nozzles to overcome the problem.
As said earlier I cannot see it being implemented due to all existing vehicles.

I like the idea of an extra flap that checks the pump nozzle size but would it work in europe / all markets?
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - IanJohnson
Why should I pay more, as we undoubtedly will if some of these ideas are taken up, just because some of you cannot take proper care.

Thankfully I am safe bacause the industry will not adopt something which may mean they cannot sell fuel to an older/or newer car just bacause they have the wrong nozzle on the pump. Just imagine the chaos at filling stations as drivers try to work out which unleaded pump has the new "triangular" nozzle which fits their new car with a "triangular" filler!

i.e we need at least 2 and possible 3 non-interchangeable shapes that are fool proof and also not interchangeable with the current round unleaded nozzle!

BTW how many are aware that there are already TWO diesel nozzles - just try to fill your car from a pump designed for lorries!

And yes I do believe that if you cannot get this simple decision right when there is plenty of time and no stress (other than self induced) how good are you at making decisions when time is short and you are under stress, or do you 'switch off' when you don't see that it matters and if so what do you do when cruising at 70 on the motorway.................

As the desoutter adds used to say "if the cat fips..." Apologies to Mr Spooner.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - Armitage Shanks {p}
The parts of the cerebral cortex that deal with logic and deduction (which pump shall I use?) are totally different from those used to make speedy and semi-instinctive decisions (kid runs into road in front of you, lorry sheds load etc). Look at the overpaid sports people who have amazing hand/eye skills and can't spell thick.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - L'escargot
Look at the
overpaid sports people who have amazing hand/eye skills and can't spell
thick.


Or even say thick articulately!
--
L\'escargot.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - oilrag
"What amazes me is that anyone who's put diesel in their Ferrari or petrol in their ERF can admit it so openly"

Good point, I suspect a lot of people just keep quiet about it. If so it may be the *tip of the iceberg* re misfueling incidents that we know of.

If we knew the true extent of misfueling ( beyond the motoring organisation statistics) IMHO it might give more confidence in common rail as the must be thousands of common rail cars that have had a few litres of petrol that no one at all knows about except the drivers.
As such, maybe common rail is really quite robust a there seems to be no evidence of thousands of common rail pump failures.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - L'escargot
It' would be easy to design a 'flap'
or valve in the filler next that will only open if
a nozzle of sufficient diameter is inserted, so as to simultaneously
operate interlocks around the filler neck.


It sounds expensive, intricate, and open to damage if a nozzle is rammed in indiscriminately.
--
L\'escargot.
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - MVP
How I long for the days when people took care and responsibility for their actions, and didn't expect someone else to nanny them in every small part of their lives...
Avoiding using the wrong fuel - cheddar
For example, the petrol could be circular and the diesel square.


Clearly the diesel nozzles need to fit older diesel cars as well as newer ones.

Ford are rumoured to be launching a type of filler for new diesel cars where the aperture will only open when offered a larger diesel type nozzle and will not open if offered the smaller petrol type nozzle.
 

Ask Honest John

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