The RACV and VACC have reported that thousands of Victorians' cars have experienced engine trouble this week after a mystery fuel contamination.
Although the exact source of the contamination is as yet unknown several mechanics have reported samples from small, unbranded fuel outlets in Melbourne's northern and south-eastern suburbs as being the culprit. As a result many cars have been sent for urgent repairs, some even reporting engine failure.
Although hard to detect, the contaminated fuel is clear (like water) in colour. Petrol usually has a gold tinge.
Signs of contaminated fuel include:
- Engine running rough or stalling
- Engine harder to start than usual
- Misfiring, pinging or backfiring
- "Engine check" light illuminated
- Sickly sweet smelling exhaust fumes
- White powdery residue in tail pipe and/or on spark plugs
If your vehicle shows any of these signs it is recommended you stop driving as soon as possible and get your car to a mechanic.
The VACC have this afternoon issued a statement with the following advice to consumers who believe they have purchased faulty or sub-standard fuel:
- Seek advice as soon as possible from a qualified motor mechanic
- Advise the service station where you bought the fuel from that you have a problem
- Retain your proof of purchase, which may be a receipt or card transaction docket, identifying the time and date of purchase of fuel
- Ask the mechanic to collect a sample of the suspect fuel (approximately 2 litres if possible) and either the mechanic or the consumer should retain this sample until the issue is resolved
- Each consumer will have to decide whether to ask the mechanic to fix the problem or wait until the investigation of this matter has concluded
- If consumers need their motor vehicle immediately they might chose to request a mechanic to fix the problem and seek compensation from the fuel retailer
- Consumers may also contact Consumers Affairs Victoria on 1300 558 181 for further advice