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Journeys : Dec2011 Jan2012
Life on the move An RACT member wrote to us with a tale of woe – and she’s not alone! “I know that this issue has been covered in Journeys and regular readers know what the consequences are, but I’m writing to warn those who don’t. “I have been driving and filling up a lovely new diesel vehicle for six months now, no problem. Yesterday, I drove up to the diesel pump as usual. “Unfortunately, I picked up the wrong nozzle. I filled the car, paid and drove for about three blocks before it spluttered, ... and a clever solution Our correspondent is right – some fuel outlets do have confusing signs. For example, Caltex fuels are all named ‘ Vortex’ and the diesel pump is adjacent to the unleaded fuel pumps. It’s true that the diesel nozzles often have additional warning signs – even covering flaps that have to be lifted – but of course the problem only occurs when an unleaded nozzle goes into a diesel filler tube. (You can’t make the mistake in the other direction, because the diesel nozzle is too big for the unleaded tube.) It’s good to hear that Caltex has recently re-designed the signage of their fuel brands. However the similar ity of the name and the close proximity of the pumps probably means that the problem w ill continue to occur. We’ve shown Journeys readers this clever device before, but it’s worth repeating. It fits in the filler pipe of a diesel vehicle and is a perfect, snug fit for the wider diesel nozzle, which displaces a trio of ball bearings as it enters, allowing a restricting gate below to move aside and let the fuel flow. The narrow unleaded nozzle can’t shift the ball bearings, so the gate doesn’t move and the nozzle can’t go in. The devices are available at RACT Branches for about $65 – it’s a cost-effective way to avoid a much more expensive engine repair job. Diesel disaster coughed and died, not to be revived. “I was told the damage was catastrophic – and may not be covered by insurance. The tow-truck operator told me they pick up an average of one unfortunate motorist every day. I take full responsibility for the error, but I still can’t believe I mistook one pump for another so easily. They used to be separate – but at the service station I went to, the signs are confusing. I have since Googled the problem and I was horr ified to learn the full consequences of mixing up the fuels. Even my husband, who knows ‘every thing’ about motors, thought you could just empty the tank, bleed the right fuel and all would be fine. No! They say if you realise the mistake at the pump, don’t even open the door, as it primes the fuel line – while driving completely destroys the parts. “In the UK, yearly figures go into the millions of pounds for damage bills for unsuspecting car owners. “To me, this is a serious issue and one I feel should be made more obvious by the industry. I wish I had known the full cost of my mistake – it is an expensive lesson to learn the hard way.” December 2011 / January 2012 41 To apply call RACT on 13 27 22, drop into your local branch or visit www.ract.com.au Terms and conditions, including fees & charges apply. Full details of this offer are available on application. B&E Ltd. ABN 32 087 652 088 AFS licence No. 236870 RACT has partnered with Tasmanian financial institution B&E Personal Banking to deliver you a great home loan deal. As an RACT member you will pay no application fee on any B&E home loan, saving you up to $650! So let RACT and B&E help you get a home loan that really rewards you... let’s get together. Home loans that really reward you Home Loan application fee
Oct Nov 2011
Feb March 2012