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Old 07-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
zanga254
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Angry Fuel Station pumped diesel instead of gasoline!

Hi drivers, first of all this post maybe shouldn't be in the e46 thread since it happened to a Mercedes, but it would really help if I could get some input and honestly this could happen to any car.

Yesterday, my dad and I stopped to get gas on the way to a junkyard to look for w202 parts and e46 parts. Living in Avalon, NJ at the moment, so we aren't allowed to fill gas on our own. So when we stopped into the Valero gas station, we waited for a woman to fill up for us. We paid for $40 worth of 93 gas and drove away smoothly. After visiting the junkyard and going about halfway to Atlantic City (about 20 miles so far), we heard a knocking noise from below the car. Turns out that the woman at the station put diesel fuel instead of gasoline in the engine, as the mechanics at the MB Shop discovered. They have to clean out injectors, siphon and fill the tank again, and change the fuel filter. This all will end up costing 874 + tax, hopefully not more because they are repairing the car as I type.

My question to you ladies and gentlemen is how to handle a situation like this. At the moment, we plan on writing a letter to Valero Headquarters about the ordeal. What would you do? As always thanks for the input.
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Last edited by zanga254; 07-17-2012 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Changed station name to Valero from Hess
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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HOLY S----... I'd be furious... I think sending something to HESS will do it, they probably will have no problem refunding you for your repairs. I would hope... My only fear would be future problems that the diesel being in there might have caused.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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Whoa. Sorry man.

I thought those diesel fillers were a different size, that would not fit into a petrol filler.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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Whoa. Sorry man.

I thought those diesel fillers were a different size, that would not fit into a petrol filler.
+1, that lady must have been retarded... They dont fit at all.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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heh I have a phobia about this every time I pull in to get gas. (and we pump our own here lol)

Sorry my fears came true for you.

You'll get reimbursed for their mistake, it's just a question of how much rigmorole you'll have to go through.

I would contact the owner of the specific store asap. He or she may want to keep it under the corporate radar so it may go much faster and smoother for you that way.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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Just be glad it wasn't 93 into a diesel!

Does your receipt show diesel or 93?

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Old 07-17-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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Yea, I thought that the Diesel nozzles were larger in diameter than the unleaded nozzles, just like the days of Leaded fuel?

If so, the question is did the full truck fill up the wrong in ground storage tank? Not sure if this is possible?? I never worked anywhere that offered Diesel.

Ah yes, NJ, the land of full service gas stations, must be a Union or Maffia thing?

I would doubt the person filling the tank could have filled the car with Diesel if the nozzle larger?

Also check the price if you have the receipt as Diesel is usually more expensive than even high test.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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Certainly keep the receipt, and I too thought diesel nozzle didn't fit...so I'd go back yourself pretty soon and sort of confirm that the nozzles there aren't the same size...if so, take photo before they fix the nozzle.

Also, with credit card payments...probably cash too...wouldn't the receipt say what type of fuel was put in...mine always does at Sunoco.

Also, make sure MB people give you a document saying it was diesel.

Me? I think I would have drained the tank somehow...into friend's diesel truck and just fill up with 93 and see if that would help. I'm sure it's really bad, but I wonder how bad a short run would be. $900 sounds like of excessive, but I hope you get your $ from Hess.

Think going directly to owner is a great idea.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:01 PM   #9
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Something sounds odd about this. I would think that the car would have know pretty quickly that something was wrong. Not after driving for a while. It's not like the gas tank is a first-in, first-out kind of deal towards the fuel pump.

Are you sure you didn't just get taken for a ride?
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:02 PM   #10
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Something sounds odd about this. I would think that the car would have know pretty quickly that something was wrong. Not after driving for a while. It's not like the gas tank is a first-in, first-out kind of deal towards the fuel pump.

Are you sure you didn't just get taken for a ride?
Edit: just saw it was 20 miles, not 200. Nvm.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:12 PM   #11
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Something sounds odd about this. I would think that the car would have know pretty quickly that something was wrong. Not after driving for a while. It's not like the gas tank is a first-in, first-out kind of deal towards the fuel pump.

Are you sure you didn't just get taken for a ride?
+1 sounds real sketchy, are you sure it wasn't just 87
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:17 PM   #12
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My apologies, the station was not a Hess but a Valero

A Hispanic lady that seemed very inexperienced filled our fuel. I've heard that half the nozzles are actually the same size as the gasoline pumps, and that the "better" stations are the ones with

Unfortunately we didn't get a receipt for filling up, we paid in cash and generally they don't give out receipts unless you specifically ask. I did believe that she fueled gasoline before we left, but MB mechanics diagnosing it as a diesel issue is the reason why i'm putting the blame on the station.

The mechanic also believed it could be an issue with flooding nearby into the fuel tanks at the station and contaminating them, but he firmly believed he smelled diesel in our tank. Anyone have experience with contaminated gas in the system and maybe if it turns out that was the actual issue I could already have some input?

We will be visiting the station tonight.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:18 PM   #13
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Something sounds odd about this. I would think that the car would have know pretty quickly that something was wrong. Not after driving for a while. It's not like the gas tank is a first-in, first-out kind of deal towards the fuel pump.
well there are some fuel in the pump and in the lines and in the filter so it will take some for the diesel to reach the engine.
I would siphon out the diesel to see whats going on.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:27 PM   #14
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i thought diesel nozzles were skinnier than gas?
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:02 PM   #15
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My apologies, the station was not a Hess but a Valero

A Hispanic lady that seemed very inexperienced filled our fuel. I've heard that half the nozzles are actually the same size as the gasoline pumps, and that the "better" stations are the ones with

Unfortunately we didn't get a receipt for filling up, we paid in cash and generally they don't give out receipts unless you specifically ask. I did believe that she fueled gasoline before we left, but MB mechanics diagnosing it as a diesel issue is the reason why i'm putting the blame on the station.

The mechanic also believed it could be an issue with flooding nearby into the fuel tanks at the station and contaminating them, but he firmly believed he smelled diesel in our tank. Anyone have experience with contaminated gas in the system and maybe if it turns out that was the actual issue I could already have some input?

We will be visiting the station tonight.

Did you say he based this on the smell of the gas??

Its impossible to dispense diesel into a petrol engine as the nozzles are a different size. unless they did something shady to the nozzle which is a different issue. You just probably got bad gas and got taken for a ride by the mechanic you took it too. also, and dont quote me, but your car should die complely, not start knocking if it actually tried to combust diesel gas.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:03 PM   #16
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Too bad you do not have a receipt for the gas/diesel. Get a statement from the mechanic that the problem was caused by diesel. If you filled it up, there should have been lots in there. If they put in diesel instead of gas, and you asked for premium gas, then clearly they are at fault. If you pulled up to a diesel pump, and said just fill it up, they might have naturally thought you meant diesel. Lots of Mercedes use diesel. I don't know about nozzle size - I would assume different, but I don't know.
Contaminated gas can get tricky. It might be the station already knows there is a problem, in which case you are probably OK. Otherwise you have to convince them the contaminated gas came from them. Without documentation, or others with the same problem, it is basically your word against them. They will likely say sorry you got contaminated gas, but it did not come from us. If you cannot prove it did you are likely screwed. Maybe his car had a preexisting condition and buying gas at their station was coincidence - really it is a possibility.
Sorry to hear of your problems - good luck.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:04 PM   #17
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Oh men that's pain the A ...

why would you let someone put gas for you? " that's very lazy from you, as driver ...

I pretty much assume its kinda impossible not too have future failures parts,
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:09 PM   #18
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why would you let someone put gas for you?
He's in NJ. It's against state law to pump your own gas. The attendent has to do it for you.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:11 PM   #19
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Edit: just saw it was 20 miles, not 200. Nvm.
Even so, hard to believe it would go 20 miles on what's in the filter and the lines, even if the fuel goes straight through. The filter would have to hold a gallon. And if the system is anything like the E46, it constantly circulates what isn't needed back to the tank. So you would have diesel at the fuel rail in a very short time.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:11 PM   #20
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From a legal standpoint you'll have to prove that they put diesel in your tank. Or that you were even AT that station.

The surveillance video that the owner has access to might be the only proof of his liability.

Using cash may have screwed you.

Good luck.
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