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  • FIRST POST
    • sabz3008
    • By sabz3008 4th Oct 17, 11:42 PM
    • 256Posts
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    sabz3008
    'Misfuel' - Misdiagnosis? Who is to blame?
    • #1
    • 4th Oct 17, 11:42 PM
    'Misfuel' - Misdiagnosis? Who is to blame? 4th Oct 17 at 11:42 PM
    Hoping somebody can help!...

    I bought a used VW Golf on the Das Welt Auto used car scheme about a month ago. I broke down last Saturday so I called VW Assist (they sent out the AA).

    The AA patrol diagnosed it as 'misfuel' saying there is petrol in the tank. He said it will need to be recovered to a VW garage but won't be covered under warranty and may well be expensive, but that the AA fuel drainage service won't come out because the car has been driven. I was 100% certain I did not put petrol in the car - I had filled up just 3 miles / 20 mins before breaking down at a Shell garage, so I telephoned them and they checked CCTV and had a copy of my receipt confirming I did fill it with diesel!

    I called a company called Fuel-Fix to come out, they drained the tank and then told me I need something called 'Sysco HQ Gold' engine treatment, all costing £680.80! (£419+VAT for the 'treatment' and £140 + VAT for call-out)

    Then, I get going for about 0.8 miles and break down AGAIN. I had to call the AA to recover, the patrol couldn't diagnose what was wrong with it so it was recovered to VW.

    The VW garage was very quick to sort it out and replaced a faulty fuel pump under the VW used car warranty. I did tell them what VW Assist / the AA said about misfuel, but they could find no evidence of petrol and said it wouldn't have been covered under warranty if they did.

    I've complained to Shell who is investigating, but now I'm thinking perhaps the AA misdiagnosed it and Fuel-Fix pulled a fast one (Yes, I've been told £680.80 is extremely excessive - I don't even know what this Sysco HQ Gold is!).

    Also VW told me it would be impossible for me to put petrol in the car as the nozzle wouldn't go in as the car has a misfuel prevention device installed.

    I'm fuming is an understatement... But, who is responsible?!

    - Shell? (the AA and Fuel-Fix say it's mis-fuel - & unfortunately, I didn't ask for a sample of the 'contaminated fuel' to be kept - was too stressed from waiting around all day broken down on a busy road)
    - The AA / VW Assist?
    - Fuel Fix?

    Very grateful for any input!
Page 1
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 5th Oct 17, 7:00 AM
    • 11,613 Posts
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    Strider590
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 17, 7:00 AM
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 17, 7:00 AM
    You don't say whether it broke down just after leaving the garage, did it gradually start making strange noises? Was it behaving strangely at all before filling?

    I put dirty fuel in my car a few months ago, almost instantly the fuel injectors started making a racket, like a faint ticking sound that wasn't there before, it took several weeks to clear out, fortunately mine is a petrol and a little more forgiving of bad fuel.

    You may have got some bad fuel, either the garage mixed it up or the tanker had just been and stirred up all the junk in the bottom of the underground tanks, of course the garage is never going to admit to this, even if 50 people come back with complaints.
    “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an a** of yourself.”

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    • sabz3008
    • By sabz3008 5th Oct 17, 9:54 AM
    • 256 Posts
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    sabz3008
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 17, 9:54 AM
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 17, 9:54 AM
    Thanks for your reply,

    The car was completely fine before filling, no problems whatsoever. Was about 3 miles after filling at Shell that it just lost power completely.

    Yes, as you say... The Shell filling station's response was "Impossible, otherwise 2-300 people would complain, you're the only one"
    • neilmcl
    • By neilmcl 5th Oct 17, 10:01 AM
    • 10,142 Posts
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    neilmcl
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:01 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:01 AM
    Did you not confirm with these Fuel-Fix guys at the time whether you had petrol or diesel in the tank?

    I don't understand why you didn't simply contact VW again once you'd had "proof" that you'd filled up with the correct fuel or simply get the AA to tow you to the nearest VW dealer.
    Last edited by neilmcl; 05-10-2017 at 1:03 PM.
    • neilmcl
    • By neilmcl 5th Oct 17, 10:03 AM
    • 10,142 Posts
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    neilmcl
    • #5
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:03 AM
    • #5
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:03 AM
    Yes, as you say... The Shell filling station's response was "Impossible, otherwise 2-300 people would complain, you're the only one"
    Originally posted by sabz3008
    Well they do have a point. If you believe Shell are wrong and you were incorrectly dispensed the wrong fuel then the onus is on you to prove this.
    • sabz3008
    • By sabz3008 5th Oct 17, 10:04 AM
    • 256 Posts
    • 173 Thanks
    sabz3008
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:04 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:04 AM
    Yes, the Fuel-Fix guy said it was petrol in the diesel tank (as the AA patrol did too)... Then again, for £680.80... I'm thinking, of course, he would say it if the AA patrol diagnosed that too.
    • missile
    • By missile 5th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
    • 8,946 Posts
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    missile
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
    It seems very unlikely that you miss fueled AND fuel pump needed replacing. Sounds like it was coincidence that fuel pump broke shortly after refuel.

    Because you broke down shortly after refuel, AA man may have jumped to the wrong diagnosis, but it will be very difficult to prove. I would complain to AA.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • takman
    • By takman 5th Oct 17, 11:17 AM
    • 2,707 Posts
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    takman
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 17, 11:17 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 17, 11:17 AM
    The AA patrol diagnosed it as 'misfuel' saying there is petrol in the tank. He said it will need to be recovered to a VW garage but won't be covered under warranty and may well be expensive, but that the AA fuel drainage service won't come out because the car has been driven. I was 100% certain I did not put petrol in the car - I had filled up just 3 miles / 20 mins before breaking down at a Shell garage, so I telephoned them and they checked CCTV and had a copy of my receipt confirming I did fill it with diesel!

    I called a company called Fuel-Fix to come out, they drained the tank and then told me I need something called 'Sysco HQ Gold' engine treatment, all costing £680.80! (£419+VAT for the 'treatment' and £140 + VAT for call-out)
    Originally posted by sabz3008
    This doesn't make much sense. You had a copy of your receipt stating you put diesel on and you then went on and called out a company to drain your fuel tank?. Why didn't you just get him to recover you to a trusted garage the first time, even if it did need draining that would have cost a lot less at a garage.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 5th Oct 17, 12:10 PM
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    forgotmyname
    • #9
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:10 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Oct 17, 12:10 PM
    £680... To drain and tank and refill it. Wow thats some expensive fuel.

    Engine treatment? Claims to aradicate evidence misfuelling? Does it convert petrol into diesel? Or does it somehow remove the petrol from a diesel fuel system?

    Breaks down sediment? What has that got to do with misfuelling?

    But as well as breaking down sediment it prevents blockages, with all that sediment being broken down i would think its more likely to cause blockages.

    Reduces the chilling temperature of diesel? Why is that relevant to misfuelling?

    Smells of snake oil to me.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • missile
    • By missile 5th Oct 17, 1:35 PM
    • 8,946 Posts
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    missile
    I would suggest OP should educate him/herself. Unfortunately, those with little knowledge are easy prey for the less reputable "mechanics".
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 5th Oct 17, 1:50 PM
    • 1,932 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    Stoke
    All sounds very dodgy to me, but I wouldn't have been putting any snake oil rubbish into my tank either. This reminds me of RAC breakdown and their miracle fix, which involved spraying easy start into your air intake.

    Nah y'alright thanks.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 5th Oct 17, 6:16 PM
    • 1,322 Posts
    • 909 Thanks
    Tarambor
    The car was completely fine before filling, no problems whatsoever. Was about 3 miles after filling at Shell that it just lost power completely.

    Yes, as you say... The Shell filling station's response was "Impossible, otherwise 2-300 people would complain, you're the only one"
    Originally posted by sabz3008
    Not possible that it was the petrol station's fault at a distance of 3 miles as the car would have been running on what was still in the fuel filter and fuel lines before you filled it.

    Had it been 10-20 miles then yes it would be a possibility but not 3. Your fuel filter and fuel lines hold more than a litre of fuel. Your car does over 50MPG or more than 10 miles a litre. That is why it is extremely unlikely that it had anything to do with the fuel from the petrol station and given they've replaced the fuel pump it was most likely the fuel pump failing was the problem.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 5th Oct 17, 6:32 PM
    • 1,056 Posts
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    Aylesbury Duck
    I don't understand why you didn't ask the AA to recover the car to VW in the first place? Why did you call this Fuel-fix outfit instead of using the AA to get you home or to the VW garage?

    I consider the AA to be to blame for a misdiagnosis but they're not responsible for the £680 bill. From your description it was your decision to engage Fuel-fix. Shell appear to be blameless. I think your argument is with Fuel-fix because they carried out an unnecessary service to your car. However, if they did so on your instruction then you probably won't succeed. The AA would argue that they recommended the car be recovered to a VW garage. Had you taken that option, you'd have saved £680 so the AA can't be held responsible for the bill.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear, but that's my take on it from your description.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 5th Oct 17, 6:53 PM
    • 579 Posts
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    sevenhills
    I telephoned them and they checked CCTV and had a copy of my receipt confirming I did fill it with diesel!
    Originally posted by sabz3008
    That is proof that you filled up with the correct fuel, did you than go ahead with the Fuel-Fix company? Why?

    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 5th Oct 17, 8:24 PM
    • 11,392 Posts
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    unholyangel
    Not possible that it was the petrol station's fault at a distance of 3 miles as the car would have been running on what was still in the fuel filter and fuel lines before you filled it.

    Had it been 10-20 miles then yes it would be a possibility but not 3. Your fuel filter and fuel lines hold more than a litre of fuel. Your car does over 50MPG or more than 10 miles a litre. That is why it is extremely unlikely that it had anything to do with the fuel from the petrol station and given they've replaced the fuel pump it was most likely the fuel pump failing was the problem.
    Originally posted by Tarambor
    A lot of things can affect how far you'd get. If you only put in £5 of petrol into a tank with £60 of diesel you may well not stop at all. But if you put £60 of petrol into a tank with £5 of diesel in it, you may find you don't even make it off the forecourt especially if you let your engine idle for a minute or two before moving.

    Obviously if you're driving in city/town traffic then you're more likely to break down in a shorter distance than if you were on a dual carriageway/motorway due to stop/start using more fuel.

    So yes, its entirely possible in 3 miles. But its not as if OP can prove either way whether the fuel was tainted or not. Not anymore.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • n217970
    • By n217970 5th Oct 17, 8:46 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    n217970
    Not possible that it was the petrol station's fault at a distance of 3 miles as the car would have been running on what was still in the fuel filter and fuel lines before you filled it.

    Had it been 10-20 miles then yes it would be a possibility but not 3. Your fuel filter and fuel lines hold more than a litre of fuel. Your car does over 50MPG or more than 10 miles a litre. That is why it is extremely unlikely that it had anything to do with the fuel from the petrol station and given they've replaced the fuel pump it was most likely the fuel pump failing was the problem.
    Originally posted by Tarambor
    Actually the fuel moves through the system as a much faster rate then you use it, hence the return fuel line back to the tank. I know as I once ripped mine off on the A1 at Durham after the van infront decided to deposit its spare wheel in my lane at 3am. It was flowing a much higher rate then I expected and would have easily cleared through a litre in 3 minutes.
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 5th Oct 17, 9:42 PM
    • 13,043 Posts
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    arcon5
    Actually the fuel moves through the system as a much faster rate then you use it, hence the return fuel line back to the tank. I know as I once ripped mine off on the A1 at Durham after the van infront decided to deposit its spare wheel in my lane at 3am. It was flowing a much higher rate then I expected and would have easily cleared through a litre in 3 minutes.
    Originally posted by n217970
    This.
    Diesel constantly recirculates. Aids cooling also. Can easily happen in 3 miles
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 5th Oct 17, 9:44 PM
    • 13,043 Posts
    • 8,266 Thanks
    arcon5
    It seems very unlikely that you miss fueled AND fuel pump needed replacing. Sounds like it was coincidence that fuel pump broke shortly after refuel.

    Because you broke down shortly after refuel, AA man may have jumped to the wrong diagnosis, but it will be very difficult to prove. I would complain to AA.
    Originally posted by missile
    Not really.
    Damaged fuel pump is exactly what a midfield would cause and pretty quickly also if high concentration
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 5th Oct 17, 10:00 PM
    • 15,285 Posts
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    AdrianC
    Was it the lift pump or common rail high-pressure pump?
    How old's this Golf? It may not even be common rail, but PD.

    All we know for sure is that the OP filled up their recently acquired car, the car died three miles later, the AA man put two and two together and made five - then the fuel-drain company took advantage (and the michael).

    Did the AA man even see the fuel receipt?
    Did the fuel-drain company do anything but... drain the fuel and flog some snake oil?
    • Muscle750
    • By Muscle750 5th Oct 17, 10:45 PM
    • 879 Posts
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    Muscle750
    Petrol station close to me a few years ago had a delivery of fuel and they put petrol in the diesil tank and alot of people had serious issues and sued them for it etc
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