Fuel riddle after cars fill up and break down

John Backshall, left, with mechanic Joe Mendall and the Honda Accord which choked to a halt because of contaminated petrol

John Backshall, left, with mechanic Joe Mendall and the Honda Accord which choked to a halt because of contaminated petrol

First published in News by , Assistant News Editor

A mystery petrol contamination has brought cars to a grinding halt.

Drivers who filled up at Texaco on Avis Way, Newhaven, on Wednesday morning (November 28) had to be rescued just minutes after driving off the forecourt.

Two motorists only got around the corner before their cars choked to a halt.

Driver John Backshall was on the way to visit his partner in hospital when his Honda Accord broke down.

He fears the problem will cost him hundreds of pounds in repairs.

His mechanic Joe Mendall from Mend-All Auto Services in Seaford said it is the worst contamination he has seen in his 20-year career.

Contamination

“It is really badly contaminated fuel,” he said. “I have never come across it this bad before.

“And another garage around the corner from us has the same situation with a man who filled up on the same morning.

“It’s not diesel mixed in with petrol.

“There is a distinctive layer of fuel and the rest of what we have siphoned off is sludge.

“I don’t know what it is but it shouldn’t be there.”

Complaints

Rob Gochmanski, area manager for Tate’s Fuel which runs the Newhaven Texaco branch, said the problem is being investigated.

He said: “We have only had two customer complaints.

“When there is contaminated fuel lots of cars break down and there are lots of problems.

“Newhaven sells 10,000 litres of unleaded fuel a week. We have a lot of regular customers who have not been affected.”

But he said samples of fuel had been sent off for testing to see where the contamination had come from.

Mr Gochmanski added: “If it’s our fault and out responsibility we will do everything we can to help out.”

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Comments (10)

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6:55pm Mon 3 Dec 12

Hoarder12345444 says...

I know the one, run by Tates, sue Tates people!! They are the money grabbing crooks that put their prices sky high that has caused this!!
I know the one, run by Tates, sue Tates people!! They are the money grabbing crooks that put their prices sky high that has caused this!! Hoarder12345444
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Mon 3 Dec 12

sussexram40 says...

Tates are very expensive.
Tates are very expensive. sussexram40
  • Score: 0

7:45pm Mon 3 Dec 12

Sussex jim says...

Say what you like about supermarkets, but at least their fuel is consistent and cheap; and the payment is quick.
I had to use Esso at Cross-in-hand today. The fuel was cheap; but the lone cashier held up the queue by offering a deal on chocolate bars before proceeding with the fuel transaction. He then forgot the VAT receipt I had requested at the start. As a Sussex gentleman, I politely requested my receipt and refrained from suggesting where he insert his junk snacks.
Say what you like about supermarkets, but at least their fuel is consistent and cheap; and the payment is quick. I had to use Esso at Cross-in-hand today. The fuel was cheap; but the lone cashier held up the queue by offering a deal on chocolate bars before proceeding with the fuel transaction. He then forgot the VAT receipt I had requested at the start. As a Sussex gentleman, I politely requested my receipt and refrained from suggesting where he insert his junk snacks. Sussex jim
  • Score: 0

10:45am Tue 4 Dec 12

spencer1973 says...

Only use Esso,BP or Shell, all other fuel is take your own risk
Only use Esso,BP or Shell, all other fuel is take your own risk spencer1973
  • Score: 0

11:43am Tue 4 Dec 12

qm says...

spencer1973 wrote:
Only use Esso,BP or Shell, all other fuel is take your own risk
Agree!
[quote][p][bold]spencer1973[/bold] wrote: Only use Esso,BP or Shell, all other fuel is take your own risk[/p][/quote]Agree! qm
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Brian Steele says...

It's all very well to say that we should only use supermarket petrol, but you mustn't forget that the last major contamination issue, which was widespread throughout the whole of the south of England, was confined almost exclusively to the supermarkets.

Anyway, apart from a few additives in Shell and Esso, most petrol brands are the same. When companies run short, they just get it from each other.
It's all very well to say that we should only use supermarket petrol, but you mustn't forget that the last major contamination issue, which was widespread throughout the whole of the south of England, was confined almost exclusively to the supermarkets. Anyway, apart from a few additives in Shell and Esso, most petrol brands are the same. When companies run short, they just get it from each other. Brian Steele
  • Score: 0

9:26pm Tue 4 Dec 12

mictrix says...

Brian Steele wrote:
It's all very well to say that we should only use supermarket petrol, but you mustn't forget that the last major contamination issue, which was widespread throughout the whole of the south of England, was confined almost exclusively to the supermarkets.

Anyway, apart from a few additives in Shell and Esso, most petrol brands are the same. When companies run short, they just get it from each other.
i'm everso sorry but they don't.i don't know who 'informed' you of this but alas its complete drivel.i know as i work for bp.thanks anyway
[quote][p][bold]Brian Steele[/bold] wrote: It's all very well to say that we should only use supermarket petrol, but you mustn't forget that the last major contamination issue, which was widespread throughout the whole of the south of England, was confined almost exclusively to the supermarkets. Anyway, apart from a few additives in Shell and Esso, most petrol brands are the same. When companies run short, they just get it from each other.[/p][/quote]i'm everso sorry but they don't.i don't know who 'informed' you of this but alas its complete drivel.i know as i work for bp.thanks anyway mictrix
  • Score: 0

9:34am Wed 5 Dec 12

Brian Steele says...

mictrix wrote:
Brian Steele wrote: It's all very well to say that we should only use supermarket petrol, but you mustn't forget that the last major contamination issue, which was widespread throughout the whole of the south of England, was confined almost exclusively to the supermarkets. Anyway, apart from a few additives in Shell and Esso, most petrol brands are the same. When companies run short, they just get it from each other.
i'm everso sorry but they don't.i don't know who 'informed' you of this but alas its complete drivel.i know as i work for bp.thanks anyway
As a petrol retailer, I know they are the mostly the same fuel. The few really big brands have certain unique additives, but the base fuel is predominantly the same.

Firstly this is because brands share the various refineries and distribution centres, and secondly because they supply each other when stocks run short.

How do I know this? Because I talk to my petrol company, I talk to the tanker drivers and I have had (unmarked) deliveries from other brands myself.
[quote][p][bold]mictrix[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brian Steele[/bold] wrote: It's all very well to say that we should only use supermarket petrol, but you mustn't forget that the last major contamination issue, which was widespread throughout the whole of the south of England, was confined almost exclusively to the supermarkets. Anyway, apart from a few additives in Shell and Esso, most petrol brands are the same. When companies run short, they just get it from each other.[/p][/quote]i'm everso sorry but they don't.i don't know who 'informed' you of this but alas its complete drivel.i know as i work for bp.thanks anyway[/p][/quote]As a petrol retailer, I know they are the mostly the same fuel. The few really big brands have certain unique additives, but the base fuel is predominantly the same. Firstly this is because brands share the various refineries and distribution centres, and secondly because they supply each other when stocks run short. How do I know this? Because I talk to my petrol company, I talk to the tanker drivers and I have had (unmarked) deliveries from other brands myself. Brian Steele
  • Score: 0

11:10pm Mon 10 Dec 12

mictrix says...

Brian Steele wrote:
mictrix wrote:
Brian Steele wrote: It's all very well to say that we should only use supermarket petrol, but you mustn't forget that the last major contamination issue, which was widespread throughout the whole of the south of England, was confined almost exclusively to the supermarkets. Anyway, apart from a few additives in Shell and Esso, most petrol brands are the same. When companies run short, they just get it from each other.
i'm everso sorry but they don't.i don't know who 'informed' you of this but alas its complete drivel.i know as i work for bp.thanks anyway
As a petrol retailer, I know they are the mostly the same fuel. The few really big brands have certain unique additives, but the base fuel is predominantly the same.

Firstly this is because brands share the various refineries and distribution centres, and secondly because they supply each other when stocks run short.

How do I know this? Because I talk to my petrol company, I talk to the tanker drivers and I have had (unmarked) deliveries from other brands myself.
totally incorrect but thanks anyway
[quote][p][bold]Brian Steele[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mictrix[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brian Steele[/bold] wrote: It's all very well to say that we should only use supermarket petrol, but you mustn't forget that the last major contamination issue, which was widespread throughout the whole of the south of England, was confined almost exclusively to the supermarkets. Anyway, apart from a few additives in Shell and Esso, most petrol brands are the same. When companies run short, they just get it from each other.[/p][/quote]i'm everso sorry but they don't.i don't know who 'informed' you of this but alas its complete drivel.i know as i work for bp.thanks anyway[/p][/quote]As a petrol retailer, I know they are the mostly the same fuel. The few really big brands have certain unique additives, but the base fuel is predominantly the same. Firstly this is because brands share the various refineries and distribution centres, and secondly because they supply each other when stocks run short. How do I know this? Because I talk to my petrol company, I talk to the tanker drivers and I have had (unmarked) deliveries from other brands myself.[/p][/quote]totally incorrect but thanks anyway mictrix
  • Score: 0

2:31pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Brian Steele says...

Don't know from where you are getting your information, or in which part of BP you might work, but my company has been selling various brands of petrol for over 50 years.

There are very few refineries and distribution centres spread throughout the UK (especially since Coryton closed), so each one serves numerous petrol companies.

Individual brands may have their own cocktail of additives, but the base fuel is generally common, as witnessed by the fact that the different tankers queue up behind each other to fill up before delivering to the forecourts.

Guess this could run and run, as we both just keep accusing each other of being wrong.
Don't know from where you are getting your information, or in which part of BP you might work, but my company has been selling various brands of petrol for over 50 years. There are very few refineries and distribution centres spread throughout the UK (especially since Coryton closed), so each one serves numerous petrol companies. Individual brands may have their own cocktail of additives, but the base fuel is generally common, as witnessed by the fact that the different tankers queue up behind each other to fill up before delivering to the forecourts. Guess this could run and run, as we both just keep accusing each other of being wrong. Brian Steele
  • Score: 0

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