Customers Unknowingly Pump The Wrong Fuel At Gas Station In Maine

Image: AP
Image: AP

It’s some people’s worst nightmare: You’ve put diesel in your gas tank, or vice versa. For gasoline-powered cars, it’s thankfully a pretty rare occurrence, since diesel nozzles are usually a bit larger than gas ones. But that won’t matter if the tanks themselves are filled with the wrong type of fuel, as apparently happened at a Maine gas station recently.


According to the Kennebec Journal, a Mobil station in Waterville, Maine, has received at least six complaints from customers who left with the wrong type of fuel in their tanks. For one guy, that meant over $700 in repairs after he put diesel into his 2006 Chevy TrailBlazer.

From the Journal:

“All of a sudden we have an issue with our car, and I went to gas our other car up on the next day, I think Friday, and there was a piece of white paper that says ‘we have only regular.’ No super, no mid-grade, and I think no diesel,” [Kevin Strickland] said. “So that would tell you, something is not right here. I started thinking, I wonder if they mixed (the fuels) up?”

Strickland said his theory became more probable when he talked to Tom Hachey, the owner of Arbo’s Towing and Repair in Waterville. Arbo’s towed the TrailBlazer back to the shop on Friday, at which time Hachey told Strickland that two of the tow trucks at Arbo’s experienced the same problem after filling up on diesel at the Mobil station.

The newspaper also talked to the owner of the station, who confirmed the number of complaints, and also said that complainants were given paperwork to file with Mobil for possible compensation. The owner also said that Mobil was investigating the problem, which wasn’t much consolation to Strickland.

“You know, to come up with $700 in a moment’s notice wasn’t easy, and now it could be that or doubled, depending on what the mechanic has to do. Now the important thing is are they going to do right by us? I would expect that since they (Mobil) did it, they should stand by their products,” he said. “It was a mess-up with their products, so they’ve got to pay for the consequences.”

Remember: If you think you’re car might be running with the wrong fuel in the tank, shut it off immediately and seek out a tow. The longer it runs, the worse things will get.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.


My car’s tuned for premium, and a BP station in Orlando put regular into the premium tank.

Poor car was PISSED. Once I got it down a third of the way, I topped it off with 93 and a bottle of octane booster, and the car began to behave again.