Fuel faux pas wrecks engines
Two motorists in Alexandra have been left with hefty bills after mistakenly putting a urea solution into their fuel tanks.
The solution, called AdBlue, is available from some service stations and is distributed from a pump the way normal fuel is to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide from diesel vehicles.
However, when mixed with other substances like fuel, the damage to a car engine could be significant.
Aspiring Auto Court owner Bruce Johnston said he had two cars in his workshop where the owners had made the mistake, likely costing them between $10,000 and $20,000.
‘‘People mistake it for being the petrol,’’ Johnston said.
‘‘When added to diesel or petrol by mistake, it quickly crystalises and contaminates everything it comes into contact with.’’
Upon speaking with a New Zealand Automobile Association con- tractor in the past fortnight, about 30 cases of the ‘‘unfortunate mishap’’ had been reported in his area, Johnston said.
AdBlue was prominant at most truck stop-style self-service fuel stations and pumps - similar looking to standard fuel pumps - clearly state not to add it to fuel, he said.
Johnston’s advice: ‘‘Just check the fuel pump. Just check the warning on the fuel pump.’’
The owners of the damaged vehicles declined to comment.
Aspiring Service Centre manager Kevin Wood with the product AdBlue.