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Drivers warned to stop filling petrol tanks after the first click

Dominic Smithers

Published 
| Last updated 

Drivers warned to stop filling petrol tanks after the first click

Drivers have been warned about filling their petrol tanks beyond the first 'click' at the pump.

While the majority of us are often guilty of taking it as a false alarm, experts now say that we could be wasting valuable money.

According to one car firm, the petrol or diesel might actually not even end up in our tanks anyway.

Graham Conway is the managing director of UK leasing firm Select Car Leasing and has urged motorists to stop trying to 'top off' their tanks and to quit when they hear the 'click'.

"That’s because it’s likely to still dispense some fuel that won’t end up in your tank," he said. 

An expert has warned drivers to pay attention to the 'click'. Credit: incamerastock/Alamy Stock Photo
An expert has warned drivers to pay attention to the 'click'. Credit: incamerastock/Alamy Stock Photo

"If you ignore the first click you could be filling past the top of the fuel tank port, and that extra fuel will end up running into the small drain under the entry and onto the ground beneath your vehicle.

"On some pumps the extra fuel may be sucked back into the pipe. This means you are paying the petrol station to give them back their own fuel."

But it's not just about throwing money away, something we could all do with avoiding right now, Graham says you could actually end up causing some serious problems for your car further down the line.

He went on: "A more serious issue, one that could damage your car and cost you serious cash, is connected to the vapour recovery system.

"This prevents evaporated petrol or diesel escaping when you release the petrol cap to fill up, capturing it in a charcoal canister instead.

"But if you are forcing surplus petrol or diesel into the tank, this can propel liquid fuel into the pipes and damage the vapour recovery system.

Trying to 'top off' the tank could damage the car. Credit: Sergiy Tryapitsyn/Alamy Stock Photo
Trying to 'top off' the tank could damage the car. Credit: Sergiy Tryapitsyn/Alamy Stock Photo

"That means you will soon see warning lights on your dashboard and run the risk of failing emissions tests. You’ll also be looking at an expensive repair bill, possibly up to £500.

"That’s something definitely worth avoiding during the current cost of living crisis."

Aside from trying to get as much petrol in the tank as possible, Graham says some people often go beyond the 'click' in an attempt to get a round number.

I mean, if you're reading this and you drive, you have almost certainly been guilty of it. I know I have.

Something in you just tells you to get it to £20 rather than £19.87.

But again, he urges common sense next time you're at the pump, explaining that contactless payments mean 'there is less need to be so accurate'.

He added: "It also removes the frustration of carefully trying to get to a certain mark and the counter somehow ticking over by a penny – an experience most will have had at some point."

So, you have been warned.

Featured Image Credit: Simon Belcher/Andrew Catterall/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, Travel, Cars

Dominic Smithers
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