Fuel faux pas wrecks en­gines

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

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.

JO MCKENZIEMCLEAN

As­pir­ing Ser­vice Cen­tre man­ager Kevin Wood with the prod­uct AdBlue.

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