It has happened (reportedly). Diesel fuel somehow allegedly ended up coming from gas pumps at a couple of gas stations in Colorado. Welcome to my nightmare.
The number of people affected in Boulder County, Colorado, is in the dozens, reports Fox31 Denver. Drivers filling up at a Circle K near Folsom and Pearl Streets in Boulder or a King Soopers in Brighton reported “major car problems” after putting diesel fuel into their cars without knowing.
On Wednesday, Dani Alexander told the outlet she filled up her 2015 Subaru Forester at the Circle K.
“I got gas and about three blocks later, my car started lugging and chugging,” said Alexander. “It’s a really good car and I just got it tuned up on Friday.”
Alexander thought her repair shop had forgotten to attach a line, so she called for a tow.
“The tow truck driver stopped the car, and said, ‘you’re the second person I’ve towed this afternoon with that problem,’” said Alexander.
Alexander called Circle K about the issue and was referred to Travelers Insurance. It agreed to pay for the car repair, tow and tank of gas—all in all forking over $1,100.
“[Circle K] did admit it was their mistake... they had been delivered bad gas that had diesel in it, and that’s where the plumes of black smoke were coming from,” said Alexander. King Soopers “says its underground fuel tanks were mistakenly filled with the wrong fuel by an outside vendor,” according to Fox31. It’s not immediately clear what the two stations will do to rectify the issue or prevent more drivers from using the wrong fuel.
If you put diesel in a gasoline car, obviously it’s not good. Your best-case scenario is you realize it before you start the engine. Then you can get the fuel tank flushed before any of the diesel fuel gets to your motor and you’ll probably be fine after that.
But these drivers didn’t know and it sounds like many of them only realized there was a problem after they’d started driving away. That means the diesel had gotten into their engines and that’s a less-than-ideal situation. When that happens, the necessary first steps include flushing the fuel system (which includes the tank, fuel lines, injectors, rail and fuel pump). That can cost between $400 to $1,500.
If the diesel doesn’t all get cleaned out, though, there could be severe engine damage that might lead to an engine rebuild. That’s the very worst thing that could happen. Erik Shilling explained it all here in a post from 2017.
Anyway, I hope this is the last of those Colorado drivers’ problems, since it sounds like a terrible time. I’ve added it to my ongoing list of nightmare situations.
via The Drive