Misfuelling - The cost to fleets

With an ever increasing choice at the petrol pump and an array of coloured nozzles, some only slightly different, it can be easy to confuse Unleaded 91 for Unleaded 95 or even 98 (I know I always have to triple check what I’m putting in). Sure, it’s ok if you get the unleadeds mixed up every now and again, but what if you drive a diesel car? For fleet drivers who change from petrol cars to diesel cars regularly, it’s pretty easy to get mixed up. And if you’re quietly thinking to yourself “I’ve done that”, well you aren’t alone!

In 2009, diesel cars made up 22.8% of the Australian car market. Although there are no current figures of misfuelling here, in the UK there are around 150,000 cases a year. You can imagine the impact on a fleet’s maintenance budget could be substantial.

If your driver happens to misfuel their car and realise before driving away, the best thing to do is not to start the car. By just turning on your car you can cause extensive damage. Diesel lubricates the internal parts of the engine, where as petrol washes the insides of the engine, therefore resulting in metal to metal damage if used in a diesel engine. If you don’t realise you’ve done this, you soon will when you car stops working not too long after driving off. Warranties and insurance don’t usually cover misfuelling, so the repair costs will most probably come out of your own pocket. A policy should always be in place and enforced in case a misfuelling occurs.

One option is to use this diesel misfuelling device. It replaces your usual filler cap and has a locking flap that can only be released by a diesel sized nozzle, as these are a different size to petrol ones. A small investment considering the cost of a misfuelled car’s repair.

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If any of your fleet vehicles are 2010 models, you may find that manufactures have already started installing these devices into new cars. With such growth in the diesel vehicle market, it seems to be the most logical step, saving customers a lot of time, money and hassle in the long run, especially those purchasing a diesel vehicle for the first time.

Have you used the wrong fuel?

Do you use the diesel misfuelling device? If so, has it helped you? If not, do you think it would be a worthy fleet investment?

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Share your thoughts and comments below.

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