BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Some drivers in Brighton are now in need of car repairs after a gas station mixed up the types of fuel they were selling — causing serious damage.

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“It started sputtering, and smoking, and pulls into the driveway and just dies,” Cyndi Svanda said.

Svanda’s husband knew something was wrong with their 1980 Datsun 280Z after he pumped fuel at the King Soopers fuel station in Brighton, but he didn’t know it was because he had filled up with diesel instead of gas.

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“He thought because he has a classic car, he thought it just died,” she said.

A spokesperson for King Soopers explained there was a delivery error that happened late Dec. 19.  They told CBS4 the issue has been fixed, however they didn’t say how long that took.  In the meantime, they have been working with customers who report car issues. It’s still unclear how many people have complained, but Svanda estimates — from posts on social media — at least 80 people have said they were affected.

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“The most important thing is if you fill up and your vehicle starts running very poorly afterward you need to realize that there is either a mistake made that you personally made or the fuel station made,” Derek Spalding, Brighton Auto Clinic Owner said.

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Spalding has taken in about three cars that have come in with problems from the mishap.  He thinks the vehicles will need all new fuel injection systems.

“Gasoline is not at all compatible with diesel engines it will chew up an injection pump, it’ll chew up injectors.”

The costs could run from $600 on gas engines to about $8,000 on diesel ones.  If this ever happens to you, Spalding advises pulling over at the first sign of trouble.

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“Shut the vehicle off and have it towed to a repair facility.”

Depending on how early you notice, it could mean less expensive repairs.  Now the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association also told us, if you encounter something like this, first talk to the vendor where you bought gas, and if they accept liability, they may reimburse you for car repairs, or file a claim on their business insurance to cover your costs.

  1. Scott Groen says:

    I have NEVER, in 40+ years of being an automotive tech, seen diesel hurt a gasser. If it were the other way around, well, OH MY!
    The gas engines will merely need to be “purged” of the diesel fuel and fresh gas put into them and the air bled out. The guy wanting to sell fuel systems, well, I couldn’t work for him.

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