Episode 6. Chevrolet LUV WA54 HYP. (part 2).


Since buying this little truck it has been a brilliant for me, and I really can't fault it. But now I have done something I have never done before... I have put the wrong damn fuel into it! I've had this thing for quite some time now, so I should know that it drinks diesel, but the other evening, it took a shot of unleaded! In 31 years of driving legally (33 if you take into account the sketchy stuff!) I've never done this before. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words...


Now you may well be looking at his and thinking whats wrong with this? May I draw your attention to...


Yep, thats me putting Unleaded Petrol into my DIESEL Chev-suzu the other evening! Oh crap, crap CRAP!! Was something like what I thought as I realised what I'd done, but how much had I squirted into my tank before realising that I am an idiot?


Probably more than enough! 16.41 litres of the stuff, or in proper money, 3.60 UK Gallons to be precise! Yep, and the tank was absolutely empty. I went in to pay for my fuel, only to be greeted by the man at the cash register asking me, don't I usually put diesel into that truck, I said, yes, usually, but I'm trying something new tonight! He then handed me a pamphlet that pretty much said, you've been an idiot and put the wrong fuel into your car, call us and we'll drain the tank for an extortionate amount of money! I paid for my petrol, and headed off back to my truck to have a read of my pamphlet, and have a think... As I sat there I wondered, and tried to remember if Petrol and Diesel will blend? That is to say, will one float on the other or will it mix? My feeling was that Petrol is lighter than Diesel, so in theory it would float on the diesel? But, when you think about it, Milk is a different density to water much like Diesel and Petrol, but when you put the Milk into your Tea it blends! It was at this point that Mrs Clint asked me what I was going to do? I said that I was thinking, she said think faster! I said, care to join in the thought process? She said, sure, what are you thinking? I said, does Petrol mix with Diesel, as they're different densities. Her reply was classic, Milk blends with Coffee!! Great I said, I've got to that conclusion too, just give me a second! I thought on. I thought about it blending because as you drive it will be aggitated the whole time, and then I thought about something I think I read many moons ago in Popular Mechanics magazine, and that was that as I remember the fuel in a car with fuel injection is constantly circulated from the tank to the engine and back again (Isn't it?) This, if I remember correctly will porbably warm the fuel up? In my mind, most of the fuel pumped into the engine is not actually used but sent back to the fuel tank, it brings with it the heat from the engine. Car fuel systems are set up so that the fuel is pumped from the tank at the MAXIMUM rate that the car can consume it, so that in the event you put your foot right down you don't have to wait for fuel pump to decide to increase its flow and pressure before you start accelerating, therefore the fuel in your fuel tank should be warm, which, again in my head should help it blend. So if you pour in petrol, which is cold into a warm tank of diesel, since it is pumped in rapidly it stirs in the tank, the petrol should float in theory, but since it is cold it and it is going into a warm bath of diesel it will mix rapidly, this is before the car has even moved, furthermore the petrol will not float, or be more condensed on the top it should blend with the diesel. The thing is, my tank was completely empty, so, cold Petrol... It was at this point that Mrs Clint once again spoke, WELL? She said. I got out the truck, stand by I said, I'm probably about to do something extremely stupid. It's ok she said, we're used to that!


I figured that I would just fill up with diesel, and brim the tank!


So I  now had 38.24 litres of Diesel, and 16.41 litres of Petrol in my tank, that would be 54.65 litres of fuel mix. I'm guessing that my tank probably holds about 60 litres, and in which case this means that I have 27.35% of petrol in my diesel. Hmm... Will it blend? Will it even start?


With the odometer readiing 207,927 miles, I turned the key, and sat there while the pump started and waited for the glowplug light to go out, I repeated the cycle. Mrs Clint looked at me, what will happen she asked? Well, I said, internet and this pamphlet would probably have you believe that this will end with us coasting to a halt by the side of the motorway with the engine destroyed! Oh, she said, will it? No, I said in an almost defiant manner, I think it'll be fine, but I'm still not done thinking, I've never done this before. One final click and the mighty Chev-suzu roared into life, and we pulled out into the bleak dark evening and headed for the motorway with our tank full of hybrid fuel! I said to Mrs Clint that I wanted to give it a bit of a run, you know, just to see how it was. So I drove on into the evening, me, Mrs Clint, and our two little monsters all in complete silence, listening for any new, or unfamilier noises, and I carried on thinking, I can;t remember the last time I thought so much! After about thirty miles it was still running fine, infact, if anything I thought it was running a little better than ususal, it seems to have more power, more acceleration, infact it all seems good. But I had been thinking, and this is what I thought. Diesel, I believe lubricates the system as it passes through it, but petrol acts more like a solvent doesn't it? Therefore in my crazy bald little head, my engine wasn't being lubricated as well as it would be if it was just running plain old diesel. So I thought that I should add some sort of lubricating agent...


In went half a litre of ASDAs 2-stroke motorcycle oil. I couldn't decide to be honest if this was a good idea or not, but in the end I figured that I'd come this far, what harm will it do now? We headed off back into the night and decided to get something to eat, the decision was made to eat at Pizza (the) Hut.


The Chev-suzu being left outside in the cold to cool off. I spent the whole time wondering if, once it was cold, would it start then? I figured that it was one thing starting a warm engine with the wrong fuel, but would a cold engine start? After we had devoured our Pizza and something called 'frickles' (basically deep fried pickled ghrkins, you don't want them!) we headed out back into the car park. I felt the bonnet... Still warm. Ok, into the truck and lets see if it starts! I jabbed the key into the ignition, twisted it, waited for the glowplug light to go out, then gave it a flick! It started without any effort, we set off once more back into the now inky blackness of the night fingers still crossed! Half an hour later we were rolling up outside BelongaClint having nearly covered 100 miles with our hybrid fuel, so far the gauge says we've used just under a quarter of it! As I layed in bed that night I wondered if the might Chev-suzu would start this morning, once the engine has really had a chance to cool off. I don't usually drive to work as I usually take my bicycle, but the following morning, I really wanted to see if my Chev-suzu would start. I got outside, the bonnet was cold (well it had been sitting there for over ten hours, what was I expecting?) I figured that I would have a quick look at the engine to see if there was any obvious damage, I popped the bonnet...


Nope, that looks exactly the same as it looked 2500 miles ago when I checked it before heading off to Germany... Good. So then, just one thing for it...


I jumped in, put the key in the ignition, waited for the glowplug light to go out, crossed my fingers, got the number of the RAC ready on my phone, and then flicked the key... First turn of the key it sprang into life. It's always been a good starter, but if anything it started easier. I drove it about all day today running errands etcetera, and it's been running faultlessly, it drives just as well as it always has! I've put another 50 or so miles on it, and I've now used just under a third of the tank. My plan was to just keep on driving it, and hope for the best. My feeling was that it should be fine, I've always thought that these companies who drain peoples tanks when they've mis-fueled are a bit of a scam, and people are frightened into having their tanks drained for fear of their car packing up because they've put the wrong fuel in it. Of course time will tell if it is a scam or not, I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but you'll know how it all goes, hopefully I'll not be reaching for my RAC card any time soon! 

The following day, feeling ever-so slightly more confident, the mighty Chev-suzu died... Read on...


The following morning I donned my heaviest boots (above), and headed out onto the open road! The plan? Drive it far, and drive it fast in order to get the hybrid mix out of my tank as fast as possible. I like to go for a drive anyway, and my original plan called for a drive in one of my other cars, but seeing as I have quite a lot of fuel in the Chev-suzu, I figured it would be better if I just drove that instead. To be fair to it, I do quite enjoy driving the thing, it's not particularly fast, although it is fast enough to put you in the land of the licence-less, but it's comfy, and I like how it drives. I had been out and about for about two hours or so, and I had decided that was long enough for one day, plus I was getting hungry so I was headed for home, blazing a trail along the motorway, in the fast lane and passing everyone! Not once did I get flashed to pull out of the way for a faster car to come through! Anyway as I approached the first exit for my town I thought, nah, I'll take the next one, and as I approached that one I thought, nah, I'll take the last one! And that was when it happened! There was a loud screach from the front of the truck, then this...


My initial reaction was to fill the cab of my truck with a rather pungent aroma from my backside, and then to back off the loud pedal! I throught, crap, thats it, I've killed it, next stop, the spares and repairs section on ebay! Damn, damn, DAMN... Hold on... The engine is still running, I shoved the loud pedal back into the axminster! Better yet, it still had plenty of power! I pulled off the motorway at the next exit, and into the carpark of Motor Parts Direct to have a little look at the state of things under the bonnet!


Under the bonnet, after a quick glance everything looked fine, but then I saw it.


The belt that goes to the alternator had snapped, then tangled itself around the other pulleys and belts, taking another belt out in the process, and wrapping itself around other bits and bobs on the front of the engine! Well, that made me feel a bit happier! I'd not murdered my truck after all! Good. About ten minutes later the belt was removed.


It was, to use a technical term, knackered! No matter, I'll just head into the motor factors as I'm already in their carpark, and get a new one, and replace the other two while I'm there because I'm sure that having this one whipping all around them won't have done them any good! Well, they couldn't help me... They were closed! Damn! No matter, I dumped what was left of my fan belt in thier bin, jumped back in the Chev-suzu, started it up, and headed for home to order some new belts for the Chev-suzu!

Now then, I have been thinking about keeping the tank topped up with Rudolf Diesel's finest, but as I'm now down to just under a third of a tank full, and I'm hoping to just keep going until it runs out, then fill up with some fresh stuff (Just diesel hopefully!) and everything will go back to normal! The reason that I am not planning to top it up all the time is that, although every fill the percentage of petrol in the tank is diminished, the petrol, albeit in a smaller quantity will stay in the tank for longer. I wonder if this make sense or am I babbling like an idiot as usual? My plan is to run it as low as I dare, then just put fresh diesel in it. Hopefully it, and for that matter I can last that long! Just driving this at the moment is really jangling all of my nerves, I havn't had the stereo on once since misfueling it, I'm listenting for every little noise, monitoring (more than usual) every variation in engine respose. The second that key is turned and the engine starts I become hyper-sensitive to everything! I'm on the lookout for anything that my be a pre-warning to my engines self destruction! I'm constantly looking in my rear view mirror to see if I'm leaving a trail of smoke like the Red Arrows that even the blind could follow, I'm not, or atleast, I'm not yet! I get out and check the exhaust on start up every time, and I check it just before shutting down every time. I've even stopped mid-route so I can have a look at it whilst Mrs Clint gives it a good revving! And so far, so good! I'm nearly up to 250 miles and it seems fine. But to say I'm finding it nerve wracking would be an understatement!

Thre next day I was back at Motor Parts Direct to collect my three new belts. However after extensive searching it was determined that they actually couldn't help me, and it would be a trip to the Isuzu main dealer for my three belts. A quick trip across town, and after another extensive search there it was decided that the main dealer actually could help me, and for the three belts it was only going to cost me (are you sitting down?) £90!! (ish) Ninety pounds for three piddly-ass fan belts!! I said to the girl at the parts desk surely you can't be serious. She said, I am serious, and don't call me Shirley! Ha haaa, I chuckled, well I guess she's seen Naked Gun as much as I have! Anyhoo, they didn't have my belts in stock, so I left it with them, asking them to let me know when they're in. Two days later I get a phone call to say that my belts were in. I arrived at the parts desk, and 'Shirley' (I still don't know her real name!) was there. I said to her that I had come to collect my belts, to which she reached under the counter and pulled them out, here they are she said, and good news, they're not £90 she said. Oh good I said, so how much are they? She chuckled slightly and said, i forgot to add the VAT! In my head a voice screamed AAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaarghh!!! So with the VAT she went on, as I slumped into a chair, they come to £62.45! She then went on to say that she didn't realise that two of the belts come as a pair so she originally priced them up as if they were two single belts! Phew... Still, £62.45 is still kinda steep for three fan belts! Credit card got a good battering, and I headed off for BelongaClint eager to get them back on the Chev-suzu, and finish off that tank full or petrol/diesel mix.


A little while later and I was ready to go for a burn! I jumped in, commenced the ignition sequence to the let the glow plugs, erm, glow, flicked the key... tick... tick... tick...! Damn, the damn battery was now flat... FFFfffffffffff... Fine, never mind, I'll bump start it! Now I've pushed a few cars in my time, and with the exception of the time I pushed my Ford Ranger solo this is the heaviest car I've ever pushed! Would it start? Would it heck? I just couldn't get enough speed up, the trouble is the part of the road that I had parked on, was of course the flat part! Never mind, I pushed it back into a space, and waited until I caught my breath! Man alive that thing is heavy!


As I sat there puffing and panting in the Chev-suzu contemplating whether or not I should put my deep breathing to good use by calling up one of my 'hot mummy friends' from school (as Mrs Clint calls them) or something I suddenly had another thought, a better one... Possibly! Why didn't I just jump start it? It's not like I didn't have anything near by that I could use!! Jump leads out, and hooked up, ignition sequence completed, turn the key, and it fired straight up! Right, unhook everything and go for a bit of a spin! After an hour or so I returned to BelongaClint  for lunch, and thinking that driving for an hour or so would charge the battery enough, I shut off the Chev-suzu. After lunch I jumped in, commenced the ignition sequence again to the let the glow plugs, erm, glow, flicked the key... tick... tick... tick...! Damn, the damn battery was still flat!! Right, battery off, and put the damn thing on charge! After an hour or two my battery charger was saying it was charged! So back out to the truck I went, put it back in, tightened everything down, jumped in, commenced the ignition sequence yet again to the let the glow plugs, well, y'know, flicked the key... tick... tick... tick...! Damn, that damn battery was still flat... CHEESE 'n' RICE are you freakin' kidding me?!! I stood there wondering if it would do any good bashing my head on the side of the truck, but then thought better of it, it's dented enough, and so for that matter is the truck! So, then out came the multimeter. Probably would've been a better idea to do that before putting it back in the truck, but hey-ho, you live and learn! Anyhoo, multimeter said I had 11.4 volts, that would explain why it didn't want to turn the truck over! There's a date written on the battery which says 13/11/2007, so I figured it had proabably had a good run, and was probably due a fresh one! So back to the motor factors, who told me that I had a dead cell, another good assault on the credit card, and £105 later I had a new battery, and, more importantly, a truck that starts with ease! Down to less than 1/8 of a tank now! One more drive should have me an empty tank!

But as i've been waiting for my tank to become empty I have been scaring myself with research on 'tinternet! Mostly trying to figure out what engine is in my truck, after a casual search it would appear that my truck has a 2.5-litre common-rail diesel engine, which also according to the internet is bad if you put petrol into it!


It's safe to say that I wouldn't know a 2.5-litre common-rail diesel engine if it bit me in the bum! Does that ^^^ look like a 2.5-litre common-rail diesel engine to you? My initial reaction was much like the other reactions I've had about putting petrol in my diesel engine, quite a uncomfortable, and uneasy feeling that I am slowly but surely destroying my engine! However, as disturbed by what I was finding out as I was, I continued to dig. I'm now at a point where I think that what I actually have in my Chev-suzu is an Isuzu 4JA1-T 2.5 which is a 2.5 litre (2,499 cc), 93 mm bore, 92 mm stroke direct injection 8 valve, or 16 valve engine, my guess is that it's the 8 valve! Fingers crossed (as I'm not uncrossing them until that fuel tank is empty!) it should be ok, but only time will tell!

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