Dozens of cars in for repair after Tooele fuel mix-up

Posted at 1:00 PM, Oct 14, 2013

TOOELE, Utah -- As many as fifty drivers are headed to a repair shop after filling up at a Holiday Oil in Tooele.

The company is still trying to determine how one of its tanker drivers put diesel fuel into the premium unleaded and vice versa. It happened Saturday morning at the Holiday Oil at the corner of 6th North and Main in Tooele.

It's a mistake that may cost Holiday thousands of dollars and left some drivers without a working car for three days.

Curtis Mills filled up his Infiniti Saturday. He thought he was getting unleaded and received diesel instead.

"My car started sputtering and I had to shut it down and when I tried to start it back up it wouldn't even start," said Mills.

"I mean people make mistakes. I just happen to get caught up in it," said Jeff Neil.

Neil thought he was filling his Chevy Silverado with diesel fuel. Instead, it was unleaded.  Drivers are shaking their heads at the fuel flip flop. Neil showed FOX 13 his repair bills. "This is the repair receipt from Quality right here. $293.92."

That's how much it cost to flush the fuel lines. Neil's truck ended up at Quality Automotive where other vehicles are being repaired.

"It's gonna probably average anywhere from $300 as high as $12,000 on a diesel, if it takes out the high pressure fuel system on a diesel," said Mike Neilson with the service department Quality Automotive Group.

Mechanics say they have not seen significant damage. For most cars, it's a few hundred dollars and Holiday Oil is picking up the tab.

"They paid for the tow truck to come get me, we'll fix the car, pay for all expenses, we'll replace your gas. So they've been pretty reasonable," Mills said.

But he remains frustrated after missing work over the incident and even though mechanics gave Jeff Neil's truck a clean bill of health, Neil is concerned about problems later.
"I know diesel fuel lubes all this and gasoline isn't good on it. I'm real concerned about it.  It's a $50,000 truck!" he said.

It's unclear if the fuel mix-up happened at the refinery or at the gas station but the tanks have been cleaned and the pumps have re-opened.

If drivers are just discovering the problem, Quality mechanics say they shouldn't drive the car. Quality will tow it and Holiday Oil will pay for the repairs, plus a tank of gas.