An inventor from Birmingham has invented a device which claims to solve the age-old motoring problem of confusing petrol with diesel.
Engineer Lee Steadman has developed the Diesel Head, a device which prevents motorists putting petrol in diesel vehicles, known as misfuelling.
Mr Steadman said the Diesel Head can save unthinking drivers thousands of pounds in damage if they accidentally choose the wrong fuel.
It has taken two years from his ‘Eureka’ moment, to design, model, test and manufacture prototypes of his solution to the problem of misfuelling.
The product has now come on the market, ready to meet the demands of both the environment and consumers.
“Most people do not realise that a petrol nozzle is smaller in diameter than a diesel fuel nozzle and it is this fact that gave me the solution,” he said.
“The opening to a fuel tank fitted with a Diesel Head needs a ‘diesel’ diameter nozzle to activate the opening and let the nozzle in – as a result the smaller petrol nozzle cannot open the Diesel Head and so the car is protected.
“The Diesel Head really is a ‘fit and forget’ product, which is essential as many misfuels arise because of distraction.
“We all lead busy lives and rarely have the luxury of being able to only concentrate on one thing.
“It’s so easy when in a rush to select the wrong fuel nozzle and pump petrol into a diesel car or van, particularly when driving with the objective of doing something important or critical, such as meeting a child from school or a relative at the airport.”
Wayne Rooney was a high-profile misfuelling victim when he put unleaded petrol in his wife Colleen’s Range Rover Sport V8 – and ended up with a bill for £6,000.
Breakdown services are called to around 150,000 misfuels in the UK every year, with one misfuel every 3.5 minutes.
Experts say misfuelling can cost unwitting drivers from £175 to thousands of pounds.