Gas stations can be complicated. You pull in, select a pump, select a grade of fuel, stick a credit card into a freaking slot, then you have to put the correct nozzle into your car and squeeze the trigger. It can be a daunting task – just ask the residents of Oregon.
So when you do everything right and still end up with a wrecked car, that can be absolutely infuriating. Just such a thing happened last week at a station in Melbourne, Australia, where drivers thought they were topping off with good old gasoline. According to 7News, one of the gas pumps at the station was instead filling cars with diesel. Oops.
As you might imagine, this has some people quite upset. Putting diesel into a gasoline-powered car isn’t necessarily the end of life as we know it – if you catch it soon enough anyway. As long as the car isn't driven you can usually siphon out most of the diesel and burn the rest through with a full tank of gas. Even if you drive the car some distance with diesel – as many of these folks likely did – getting the car to a shop ASAP for a full-on fuel system clean and possibly some new spark plugs should be the extent of the damage. Let it sit, however, and the diesel can literally gum up the works requiring major repairs.
We don’t know exactly what kind of damage customers of this station suffered, but the news report mentions “thousands of dollars” from the mishap. As to how it happened in the first place, a fuel truck allegedly filled the wrong storage tank. We aren’t sure what kind of checks are in place to make sure such things don’t happen, but the station apparently didn’t know anything was wrong until angry customers told them as much. The report also mentions this station has had similar problems in the past, for whatever that's worth.
Fueling up a car is something pretty much every driver takes for granted. Mistakes can happen however, so the takeaway here is to just pay a bit more attention at the pump. And always keep your receipt after filling up, because if something is amiss in the tank it's the only proof you have of where the fuel came from.