I used to have trouble years ago, in the 1970s, switching from Shell
to other brands, and then back again, something to do with gum
and varnish like compounds in the carb. But nothing like this!!
===================================================LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Investigations gathered pace on Thursday
into whether contaminated petrol was responsible for a mysterious
problem which has damaged the engines of hundreds of cars across
Retailers and suppliers said they were carrying out tests on fuel but
had so far found no evidence of any abnormalities after trading
standards authorities announced they were probing up to 100 complaints
from motorists in southeast England.
Broadcasters said they had been bombarded by angry car owners across
the country saying their vehicles had suffered breakdowns after
leaving gas filling station forecourts.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said it believed
suspect fuel might have damaged sensors in some cars' systems, leading
them to cut power to prevent damage to the engine.
"It's still fairly unclear what's going on," said SMMT spokesman Nigel
He said cars about 2-5 years old seemed to be most affected.
"It's affecting all types of cars but it tends to be cars which are
3-years-old plus. It doesn't seem to be so much of a problem as far as
we are aware with brand new cars," he said.
Ian Hillier of the Trading Standards Institute said the problem only
seemed to be hitting cars using unleaded petrol.
"Officers are investigating these complaints, and samples of fuel from
some of the affected cars are currently being tested for
contamination, as are the contents of the pumps from which the petrol
was drawn," he said.
Results of the tests are due by the end of the week.
Motorists pointed the finger of blame at petrol they had bought from
supermarket retailers such as Tesco and Morrisons.
Both companies said they had carried out tests and found no evidence
that their fuel was contaminated.
"Whilst we cannot currently trace any problem back to Tesco fuel, we
will of course continue to urgently work with our supplier to identify
what might be behind it," a spokesman said.
Morrisons said it had tested every batch of unleaded petrol to ensure
it met British and European standards.
"These found no contamination and confirmed our unleaded petrol met
the required standards," it said in a statement.
Clifford Jones, an engineering academic at the University of Aberdeen,
said there were three plausible explanations.
These were that a refinery had taken "too wide a cut" with the crude
oil allowing other products to mix with the gasoline.
An octane enhancer might not have been added to gasoline which needed
one; or perhaps bio fuels were put into cars which were not designed
to use them.
"We have no reports of quality issues with petrol supplied from UK
refineries," said the UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA), which
represents the nine main refining companies in Britain.
It added the source of the problem might be a batch of fuel supplied
to "some large independent retail sites".
Independent oil firm Greenergy, which supplies both Morrisons and
Tesco, said it was examining whether the problem was related to its
"We have found they are fully compliant with BSEN 228 -- the
independent standard everyone works to," it said in a statement.
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