Fuel contamination fear hits the Fraser Coast

FRASER Coast residents have been warned to be cautious about where they buy their fuel after suspected contaminated sales.

A Maryborough mechanic, who did not wish to be identified, said he had at least 10 cars in the workshop recently with water in the fuel lines.

Steve Spalding, from the RACQ, said this was usually an indication that either a local service station or a delivery vehicle had a leak.

"If there are a number of similar claims in one central area, it may be the case of contaminated fuel," he said.

Mr Spalding said once contaminated fuel entered an engine, it would cause the car to splutter and eventually stall.

"In petrol cars it's usually a case of draining the fuel, cleaning the fuel system, replacing the filters and maybe putting in new spark plugs," he said.

"This can run into a few hundred dollars.

"But diesels are different, there's a much higher risk of costly repair bills into the tens of thousands."

Mr Spalding, manager of technical and safety policy, said people should always buy fuel from a reputable business.

"Most of the bigger suppliers have some form of fuel-quality guarantee," Mr Spalding said.

Another Maryborough mechanic, who did not wish to be named, said residents should also be wary of filling up while a truck was delivering fuel.

"That stirs up all the sediments and any water in the storage tank," he said.

"Leave it for a few hours."

Anyone who experiences problems with their car and suspects they may have filled up with contaminated fuel should contact their mechanic immediately.

How does water get into fuel?

  • Poorly sealed caps on storage tanks
  • Broken vents, particularly at ground level
  • Condensation
  • Ground water through a damaged storage tank
  • From a delivery


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