The Automobile Association is warning motorists to be extra vigilant when buying fuel at truckstops, after several catastrophic incidents with people inadvertently filling up with Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
“The AA has had reports from motorists who’ve mistakenly thought this product was petrol or diesel or an additive, and put it into their fuel tanks. In each case, the car has been started, resulting in irreparable damage. Fortunately they’ve been fully covered by insurance but it’s a major drama for such a simple mistake,” AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale says.
Diesel Exhaust Fluid is known by various brand names including AdBlue, Alliedblue, GoClear, Z DEC. It is injected into the exhaust systems of late-model trucks to reduce emissions, although some new light diesel vehicles also have this feature.
“Diesel Exhaust Fluid is neither a fuel nor a fuel additive. It is not meant to go in the fuel tank at all, but rather a separate tank,” says Mr Stockdale.
“Some truckstops dispense this product at the same bowsers as fuel, and some motorists are confusing it for fuel. The AA has contacted truckstop operators and asked some of them to improve their warning labels and signage to minimise this confusion, as well as look at introducing other measures like magnetic nozzles that prevent Diesel Exhaust Fluid flowing into fuel tanks,” Mr Stockdale says.
Conventional service stations don’t dispense Diesel Exhaust Fluid at the pump, but instead sell it in small containers, the AA says. For light diesels that need this product, they can top up with the small container, or when the vehicle is being serviced.
“If motorists are going to truckstops, the AA urges them to pause and look carefully at the pump and read all the warning labels and signs. If they’re unsure what a product is it’s better to fill up at a regular service station,” Mr Stockdale added.