The Long and Winding Road

The past week has had some ‘irksome’ moments and I’ve been feeling a bit stressed.  Nothing to do with health – just so you don’t worry about me – but stressful nonetheless.  Which is the only way to explain me being a complete numpty the other day.

After my craft group meeting finished I realised I needed to put some fuel in the car and for the first time ever in my whole driving life – which is quite a long time – I put in the wrong type.  I realised after about 30 litres and £42 and then stopped, rushed into the garage shop and asked what to do,

I had a vague idea I could just top it up with the right fuel and all would be well but no! I wasn’t even allowed to start the engine for fear of damaging it  After much umming and aahing, the charming mechanic at the garage said I could leave it there and he’d try to fit it in but they were extremely busy due to Monday being a bank holiday and everybody wanting their cars ready to cram up the roads for the long weekend.  This is the downside of our decision, now that Mr. Tialys works mostly from home, to manage with one car between the two of us.

Luckily, I had waited until the garage nearest home to fill up mess up big time so I started on the walk of shame, knowing I’d have to ‘fess up to Mr. Tialys that 30 litres of fuel would have to be pumped out and recycled, for which we’d have to pay the best part of £200  and then pay to fill the car up again with the right stuff.

So, in clothing chosen on an overcast morning, I set off up the hill in an afternoon of full sun with a handbag suddenly seeming to be full of lead weights,  my knitting bag and no water.

but at least the scenery is nice.

After what seemed like forever – although it was only about half an hour – I saw ‘the girls’ who are enjoying the grass in the field opposite our house at the moment  – and prepared to spill the beans to Mr. T.  who was absolutely fine about it of course.

Just in case you think I’m a wimp, we did an 8km (5 mile)  walk this morning which included an Iron Age hillfort at the highest point in Dorset (279m/915ft) and took a couple of hours but then I had water, no heavy bag and was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and walking boots which makes a difference.  Plus I wasn’t all hot and bothered because I’d made a mistake and wasted loads of money.

Lewesdon Hill from the west.jpg

Lewesdon Hill, Dorset

So, be honest with me, how many of you have put the wrong fuel in the tank?  Surely it can’t just be me.

Most expensive diesel in the UK ever hits 154.9p a litre despite falling oil prices | Metro News

I won’t be doing it again.


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  1. #1 by Nice Piece of Work on August 30, 2021 - 08:07

    It happens. I’m sorry but I had to laugh at your “walk of shame”. It’s just the sort of thing I’d end up doing!
    And yes, I did do it once, but – in fairness to myself (sort of) – it wasn’t my car: I was driving my mother’s car in Johannesburg a few years ago and stopped to fill the tank. I assumed it took “normal” petrol like every other car I’ve ever driven but it turned out I should have asked for diesel. A performance ensued (I won’t go into too many details) and, yes, there was also a walk of shame. Now that I think about it, it must have been a veeeery long time ago because it was before cell phones.

    • #2 by tialys on August 30, 2021 - 09:54

      We are not alone. This from a company who specialises in ‘rescuing’ people who have done the very same thing – “It happens, on average, every 3.5 minutes just in the UK!”
      It doesn’t make me feel any better about it though – just such a waste of money.

      • #3 by Nice Piece of Work on August 31, 2021 - 05:51

        It happens. We all make mistakes – my experience is that the ones I make that cost me money are the ones I learn from the most!

  2. #4 by claire93 on August 30, 2021 - 08:39

    oh dear! hasn’t happened to me (yet) but at least you realised your mistake and it stopped there! The cost of pumping fuel out to refill with the proper stuff will much cheaper than if you’d started the engine and completely buggered up the insides! And well done to Mr T for not blowing his top when you ‘fessed up ^^ Not sure what my other half’s reaction would have been.

    • #5 by tialys on August 30, 2021 - 09:59

      Yes – I was going to fill it right up so at least I did’t waste quite as much as I could have done.
      I phoned to tell him I was walking home because ‘I’ve done something to the car’ and I think he was so relieved I hadn’t wrapped it round a tree or something that putting the wrong fuel in seemed a minor issue.
      It’s a ploy I often use in different scenarios 🤣

  3. #7 by Emmely on August 30, 2021 - 10:57

    I don’t even have a drivers license so this particular mistake has never happened to me but I have for sure made some very stupid mistakes that were similar. Like adding ethanol to cells that I still needed to passage and use later on (spoiler: cells don’t survive 70% ethanol).

    • #8 by tialys on August 30, 2021 - 11:11

      Now you’re just messing with my head Emmely. I had to Google ‘passaging cells’ but at least I learnt something new today. 😉

      • #9 by Emmely on August 30, 2021 - 12:33

        Ah yes, I guess that is a bit of a lab term.

  4. #10 by Wild Daffodil on August 30, 2021 - 12:21

    I haven’t done it yet, but I know plenty of people who have. You are definitely not alone. At least you realised what you did and didn’t try to drive it. I hope the walk up Lewesdon Hill (one of my favourites) was soothing and brought you back to a sense of equilibrium.

    • #11 by tialys on August 31, 2021 - 10:06

      I was practising for when you’re ready 😉

  5. #12 by Laurie Graves on August 30, 2021 - 16:04

    Yup. Been there, done that. Diesel in the tank and a trip to the auto mechanic. Never did it again. 😉 On a happier note…what an utterly beautiful view.

    • #13 by tialys on August 31, 2021 - 10:06

      It is gorgeous countryside and coast – not surprising that we are in one of the U.K.’s 46 AONBs (area of outstanding natural beauty). We still have much to explore and enjoy.

  6. #14 by knettycraft on August 30, 2021 - 17:01

    Oh Lynn… 🙈… but too funny to read how you wrote about it. I got my drivers license 12 years ago (when I was already 40)… and never used it … really I never drove a car after the day I got my license. … always using bicycle or public transport (or being the co-driver)… so no risk concerning wrong fuel…

    • #15 by tialys on August 31, 2021 - 10:02

      Of course the question on everybody’s lips will be ‘why did you wait so long to learn, then pass your test, then not drive anyway???’ I’m sure you had your reasons. It wouldn’t be possible to survive without a car where we live now because it’s too far from any facilities but we are trying to manage with just one which is fine as long as Mr. T. is working from home but, if things relax and he has to go into the office two or three times a week (which might involve staying away a night or two), I might have to get a little ‘run around’ rather than be stuck at home while he’s gone

  7. #16 by katechiconi on August 30, 2021 - 22:19

    I’ve never done it, but the Husband has… and him a fuel tanker driver carting 51,000 litres of diesel in each load. You’d think he’d remember/notice the difference! It happens. From my point of view, the worst part of it was that there was no workshop attached to the service station, we had to get a tilt-tray to pick us up, and he wasn’t allowed to pick up from a service station forecourt, so we had to push the car out into the street for him to load. On the upside, we’d only put in 10L when the Husband realised. And we took a taxi home. 15km was a bit too far to walk!

    • #17 by tialys on August 31, 2021 - 09:58

      Well, if the Lord of Chiconia can do it – bearing in mind his occupation – I feel a lot better about it now.

      • #18 by katechiconi on August 31, 2021 - 14:24

        You have absolutely nothing to reproach yourself for, I assure you!

  8. #19 by tinaor on August 31, 2021 - 12:53

    Oh dear! Husband did the same a few years ago. The £70 of fuel and the £180 for it to be removed was galling. Kind of funny – to me – as the van arrived emblazoned with ‘Accidentally Misfuelled Your Car?’ or similar on it. He couldn’t hide the fact he’d made a mistake, I’d have never have heard the last of it had it been me! At least you had lovely scenery to enjoy on the way back home, plus you weren’t heading off on holiday or under a big time pressure or something. xx

    • #20 by tialys on September 1, 2021 - 10:27

      Hilarious! Talk about rubbing it in.

  9. #21 by anne54 on August 31, 2021 - 23:54

    I haven’t done it, but I am paranoid about doing it. I check three or four times before I press the diesel nozzle! Once a service station attendant came out and asked me if I knew I was putting diesel in. I was outraged ~ did he think that I was just a silly lady, not knowing what fuel went into her car? However, if I had been wrong, I would have appreciated his advice.

    • #22 by tialys on September 1, 2021 - 10:31

      They were very kind in the garage and another customer (a man) came over to tell me he’d done exactly the same thing in a supermarket service station only recently. I was amazed to read how common it is and that there are companies specifically for rescuing you from such a situation – ‘The Fuel Doctor’ being one of them.

  10. #23 by Susan Nixon on September 4, 2021 - 19:46

    I haven’t yet, but now that I read your post, just watch!

  11. #25 by magpiesue on September 8, 2021 - 18:27

    I haven’t done this, not being able to fuel a car for over 10 years now. It also helps that I drive an electric vehicle these days. So kind of Mr. T not to give you a hard time. I would have been feeling much the way you described. I may have to steal that photo of Lewesdon Hill for my desktop screen. Talk about peaceful!

    • #26 by tialys on September 13, 2021 - 14:01

      Feel free to steal the photo – very peaceful up there. We only saw one other person the whole way round.

  12. #27 by cedar51 on September 17, 2021 - 23:10

    I’ve done a lot of other silly things but when I had a car, never that…oops behind with blogs, trying to catch up…

    • #28 by tialys on September 20, 2021 - 19:07

      It’s apparently a very common thing to do – I’m hanging on to that!!

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