Misfuelling with petrol in diesel is a more common mishap than you may have realised with 3/4 of 150000 reported cases a year being reported by the AA. With diesel car sales on the increase over recent years, this figure seems likely to rise.
If you have been unfortunate enough to put petrol in diesel then this quick guide will cover what to expect and what to do.
Do not start your Engine!
If you realise that there is petrol in your diesel before starting your vehicle then your damage is limited to a fuel drain as the wrong fuel will be contained to just the fuel tank.
Call a professional fuel drain company such as Auto Fuel Fix who will attend your vehicle in situ and drain the contaminated fuel. You will not be allowed to leave your car at the pump, so ask an attendant to help you push your vehicle to a safe and appropriate place. This is unlikely to be the first time that the attendant has seen this happen, so don’t be embarrassed.
If you have started the engine after putting petrol in diesel:
Petrol in diesel can damage the seals and reduce the lubrication in the fuel pump causing a rub. Starting the engine gives the wrong fuel time to travel along the fuel system and the longer that the car s started for, te more likely there will be residual damage. So… if you have started the car before you notice that you have misfuelled, then turn off as soon as you realise. If you are driving, make sure you find a safe place to stop.
You are still able to phone a mobile fuel drain company to attend your vehicle and the tank can be drained on the spot, providing that you are in a safe place. However, if you have driven the car with petrol in diesel then you should consider replacing the fuel filter, which can not be done on site. Contact a reputable garage to have te vehicle cchecked over for any additional residual effects and to have the filter replaced at your earlest convenience. The fuel drain company may well offer you a specalist additive on site which will help in removing the wrong fuel particles until you get there.
If you have driven the vehicle and pulled over on a major road, or have driven it for some time then you maay need to get the car recovered to a grage to have the tank drained. This of course will take extra time and will cost you more. Unfortunately, the longer that you have driven, the more likely it is that you will need to replace parts of the fuel system as the petrol will have a corrosive effect on certain components.
Older and higher mileage vehicles will likely encounter more problems.
In addition to the new tax being brought in for new diesel cars, the government has announced that by 2040 you will no longer be able to buy a new petrol or diesel car. This is in response to the clean air initiative; it is another step in making our air cleaner and our most populated areas less polluted.
At the moment, diesel cars (including taxis) cause the most amount of nitrogen oxide emissions (essentially a polluting and poisoning gas) shortly followed by vans and then HGVs. As it currently stands, in order to combat highly polluted urban areas, cities across the country have charges in place if you cross into a particular ‘zone’. The new strategy is taking an even bigger step forward in order to make our most populated areas healthier.
Over 40,000 deaths a year, in the UK, are due to poor air quality; it has been announced that there are 40 million people living in illegal levels of air pollution. In order to reduce these numbers and reduce pollutant causing deaths, the government has introduced the banning of petrol and diesel cars to their Clean Air strategy.
What does this mean?
This means that local authorities have until 31st July 2018 to have a plan in place in order to tackle the challenge of reducing nitrogen oxide emissions. Part of this is of course, stopping the production of petrol and diesel cars in the UK and prohibiting their sale.
Experts are predicting that by the mid-2020s, there will be a major shift from petrol or diesel cars to electric or hybrid versions. They are predicting that the cost of electric cars will be much more affordable (competing with, if not overtaking, the value of the petrol/diesel counterparts) and thus a switch will be a necessary and progressive step.
At the moment there is nothing been published or announced which says that anything will happen. It is not being made compulsory to get rid of your diesel or petrol car, however if you live in one of the most polluted areas in the UK, you can expect some charges for driving your vehicle during certain times and along certain roads. At the moment, this is a last resort if their 2040 ban initiative doesn’t lower pollution levels enough.
It seems as though it is really down to local authorities, at the moment, to make decisions about how best to make the air cleaner in their area. Some of the suggestions have been to redesign road layouts, remove speed bumps and traffic lights if needed, all in a bid to reduce traffic and reduce polluting emissions.
Will I still be able to buy petrol or diesel?
There has been nothing stated that suggests petrol and diesel will not be readily available. In any case, it has to be available, as owning a hybrid or electric car is not being made compulsory. Petrol stations may end up having a revamp, perhaps to cater to electric cars too, but again, it is too early to tell and there is officially no word on this aspect of the strategy. However, it has been suggested that over time they will probably slowly demise due to the lack of demand as electric cars become precedent.
Will electric charging still be free?
This is a firm ‘No’. The current ‘free charging’ is an incentive to buy an electric car; once the new initiative is in place, electric charging will be charged—at what rate, we do not know yet.
It is anticipated that most people will charge their vehicle at home or at work, but of course this may not always be possible, especially when considering parking etc. Therefore, there will be charging areas as there are now. As to how they will expand, there is no word as of yet.
Will I be able to sell my petrol or diesel car?
There doesn’t seem to be anything announced that would prohibit this and the strategy is particularly targeting the selling of new cars, not penalising people who already own petrol or diesel vehicles.
At the moment there is no scrappage scheme in place for old diesel or petrol vehicles. However, this may be another incentive announced in the coming months and years in order to entice people to make a shift to cleaner vehicle options.
Is the banning of petrol and diesel vehicles happening anywhere else in Europe?
At the moment, President Emmanuel Macron (President of France) is planning a very similar strategy: it also follows the same time span of ‘by 2040’. Germany have announced comparable plans in order to reduce pollution in their urban areas, thus it seems our neighbours are taking the same steps.
Companies are also following suit; BMW have announced they will have a fully electric running Mini ready for production in 2019 and Volvo have also announced they will have electric car options for 2019 too.
Furthermore, there have been reports that countries across the globe are considering banning petrol and diesel vehicles too. China is considering banning the production and selling of fossil fuel cars in order to tackle major pollution in Beijing.
Following Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s revelation of the 2018 financial budget, there has been a clear focus on ‘Clean Air’ and reducing our CO2 emissions. As a result, some diesel cars will see a tax increase starting in the new financial year if they do not meet the CO2 emissions standards.
It is important to note that this is only a one-off payment for new diesel cars which do not meet the government’s standards of CO2 emissions, known as Real Driving Emissions Step 2. So if you have a diesel van, truck etc. the taxation does not apply.
What do the new diesel car taxes look like?
CO2 emissions are calculated by measuring how much carbon dioxide is produced by a vehicle per kilometre of it being driven. CO2 emissions are measured in grams; thus it is calculated as grams per kilometre (g/km).
The taxation increase starts from 1-50 g/km, resulting in a £15 increase, typically an annual payment of £25. The scale goes all the way up to 191-225 g/km seeing an increase of £500, an annual payment of £1,700.
The tax ranges
A brief overview of 2018 diesel car tax changes:
CO2 Emissions (g/km)
The tax ranges are quite extensive and you may not know how this applies to you or particular vehicles; however, we can examine some examples of cars to see how they might be affected.
Low Tax Band
If you have a new generation clean diesel car, then you could be looking at a very small increase to your car tax. In addition to the new generation diesel cars, for example, a brand new Ford Focus diesel vehicle will average you approximately a £20 more in tax for the first year, due to its relatively low CO2 emissions.
Middle Tax Band
A number of diesel vehicles may fit into this elusive band. For example, a Golf TDI emits approximately 143g/km of CO2; due to that amount of CO2 emissions, a Gold TDI would cost you approximately £500 to tax for the first year.
High Tax Band
Cars which are bigger, potentially SUVs, that are diesel run will likely be the most expensive of cars in terms of the new taxation. For example, a Range Rover Evoque SUV emits approximately 172g/km of CO2. That puts this vehicle in one of the top categories, resulting in a £1200 first year tax payment.
Due to diesel vehicles being promoted and incentivised back in 2001 by the government at the time, some solicitors are saying that it may be unlawful to later penalise the public for purchasing diesel vehicles. The legal stance is that the government knowingly fed the public false information about diesel cars to push a hidden agenda. Therefore, the public have responded and more diesel vehicles are on our roads.
However, it is important to note that despite any kind of government propaganda regarding diesel vehicles, the current government are not penalising people who bought diesel cars in the last 15+ years. They are simply taking action in order to incentivise other car fuels, in a bid to reduce our impact on the planet.
In some ways, a lot of the articles that exist in the media, in response the legal obligations of the government, are slight side-steps to what the current issue and situation is. There may be grounds for legal prosecution of former minsters, however it is not directly linked to the repercussions of the Budget announcement in November. The Budget announcement is focused on moving forward; if the government proceeds to penalise all people who own diesel vehicles, then yes, this is a gross misconduct. However, as it stands there are no plans to change taxes of any vehicles other than new diesel cars from April 2018.
How this affects the price of your diesel car now
It really has no effect on your diesel car now. You will not be penalised unless it is within your first year of owning a new diesel car which does not adhere to the CO2 emission guidelines. If you already own a diesel car, your payments will not be increased and there will be no further increased increments at the present time. This is simply a taxation on new diesel cars, with no current plans to make it apply to older diesel vehicles.
Being locked out of your vehicle can be a terrifying event. It is also not an easy thing to deal with on your own and you could be in any number of places when you discover you cannot get into your vehicle.
If you do not have a spare key or your spare key is not available, you are probably looking at emergency vehicle entry from a trained professional. Any other alternative, such as trying to get in yourself may be dangerous and will likely cause unnecessary damage to your vehicle.
How can I gain access to my car if I am locked out?
There are a number of things you could do, however the most efficient and safest solution is to call a car locksmith. If you try to gain access yourself, you could damage a number of things including your central locking system and very likely the body or paintwork of your car. A trained engineer who specialises in emergency vehicle entry is the best option. This way you are assured to maintain the integrity of your vehicle and your locking system.
Being locked out of your car isn’t as simple as—I’ve lost my car key! Sometimes we do the thing we think we would never do—leave the keys in the car and when we finally remember, the vehicle has automatically locked itself! This can be especially true of newer vehicles, where the key no longer has to be placed into the ignition in order to start the car.
Unfortunately, these sorts of things can often happen when you are away from home. Or to make it even worse, this can happen when you really need to get something out of your car. In this scenario, an emergency vehicle entry locksmith is someone to contact. Check for the company’s location and whether they offer 24hr service. You may not require a typically ‘out of hours’ service, but it is worth checking what the company provides in terms of travel and opening hours.
This way you can gain access to your vehicle and retrieve your keys, no problem.
Broken keys will usually have to be fixed/replaced by the car manufacturer. Obviously these things can take some time and you may need to gain access to your vehicle before that is rectified. In this case, again, a car locksmith would be able to help you get in to your vehicle.
Flat key fob battery
Similar to broken keys, a flat battery will usually have to be replaced by the manufacturer. If this is the only way to gain access to your vehicle, then again a car locksmith would be able to help. Some key fobs also come with keys in order to gain access ‘manually’. In this case, having the fob ‘fixed’ is up to you as the owner. For prices etc. you are best to talk directly to your car manufacturer.
Mobile car locksmiths & emergency entry
Mobile car locksmiths have recently grown in numbers due to the demand for emergency vehicle entry in the UK. Mobile car locksmiths are trained professionals who are there to help you gain access to your vehicle and in most cases retrieve keys which have been locked in your car.
Over the last 5 years there has reportedly been almost a 50% rise in people needing emergency access to their vehicle. A lot of new cars have keys with are specifically programmed for that vehicle, therefore only a specialist car locksmith will be able to help you gain access to your vehicle.
The new UK speeding laws come into effect from 24th April 2017, motorists caught speeding from this date on-wards will find themselves facing tougher new laws and regulations. In this blog we tell you all you need to know about these tough new speeding fines.
Speeding Fine Bands
There will be 3 speeding bands which your speeding fine will fall into, depending on how much faster you were going over the actual speed limit. There will be Band A, Band B and Band C.
As illustrated in our diagram below, these are for the lowest speeds driven above the speed limits, for example Band A applies if you’re going between 31 – 40mph in a 30mph limit. If you’re caught speeding within this band, expect 3 points on your licence and a speeding fine relevant to 50% of your weekly income.
If yo care caught speeding in band B, for example going 41 – 50mph in a 30mph limit, you can expect to receive a fine relevant to 100% of your weekly income and either 4 – 6 points OR 7 – 28 days disqualification.
Being caught speeding in Band C will see the most severe fines. If for example you’re doing over 51mph in a 30mph, you can expect to see a fine equivalent to 150% of your weekly income and 6 points OR 7 – 56 days disqualification.
Speeding Fine Limits
There used to be a cap of £1,000 and £2,500 for motorways, there is now just a cap of £2,500 in place with more offenders receiving the higher level of fines.
How Many Speeding Offences Are There?
Speeding offences have increased by a staggering 44% over the past five years according to data gathered by Green Flag. The council in charge of sentencing have decided to increase the penalty depending on the seriousness of the offence to ensure there is a clear fine increase to match.
So How Much Could A Fine Be?
An average salary in the UK (April 2015 national statistics) was £27,600, which means the following speeding fine could be true if you’re caught speeding:
Band A – £132 – £398 (typically 50% of weekly income but can range 25 – 75%)
Band B £398 – £663 (typically 100% of weekly income, but can range 75% – 125%)
Band C £663 – £928 (typically 150% of income, but can range 125 – 175%)
However if you are a first time offender you could be offered the chance to take a speed awareness course to avoid penalty points.
So You’ve gone to get into your car in the morning or when you’re leaving work to drive home and your car door locks are frozen! Don’t panic, here’s some handy tips to get you into your vehicle and on your way!
Unfreezing your car door lock
There are quite a few items which you will probably have handy which can defrost that car lock and gain you entry to your vehicle.
Yes this may be a method that might leave you with a cold finger or thumb for a little while, heating up your hands and placing a thumb or finger on the lock for a short while could defrost the lock enough to gain you entry to your vehicle.
For those of you who carry a cigarette lighter with them, use this to warm up your car key, being careful not to get it too hot so you can’t hold it or melt the plastic cover. Then slowly push the key into the lock to melt the ice, you may have to do this a few times to defrost the lock and gain entry.
Yes you may have some hand sanitizer on your person, this contains alcohol and by putting the sanitizer on the lock and key, and then gently wiggling the key into the lock, you can defrost your lock.
If you are at home and have an extension cable that will reach to your vehicle with an hair dryer, you can use this to defrost the lock and gain entry.
This is in many a garage, and if you have some in yours, try spraying the lock with this, it should defrost the lock for you, though you may have to spray it a couple of times and wait a little while for it to melt the ice.
Yes it’s an obvious one, but sometimes we can forget when we’re in a rush, your window de-icer, spray it on the lock and wait for it to melt the ice..
Preventing Locks From Freezing
If your vehicle is out in the open, look at investing in a good car cover, so the frost doesn’t get at the locks. You can also purchase graphite powder, which will work on all types of locks to help stop ice from forming when it’s cold, the only drawback is it can be a bit messy.
Remember – Don’t force the lock, this could end up in a broken key in the lock and a costly repair bill!